“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”
― Joseph Campbell
This morning as I was scrolling through my email inbox I came across an email with the subject line Is Power “unladylike?” Wow, that jolted me awake and I had to sit up for that one! With a quickness I clicked on the link to read the article to see what the author was talking about. It was quite interesting to hear that some women still misunderstand the meaning and use of power and being powerful.
Sadly I had to admit that in my line of work I have heard and seen this all to often. Unfortunately, this is common among women as most women view power in the context of force and as having some type of control over others. When women think of being powerful I can almost guarantee you that the image that comes to their mind is that of a man.
The dictionary offers a few definitions of powerful but the one that I most relate to is the one that defines the word powerful as “influential, convincing and effective.” Would you describe yourself as influential? Convincing? or effective? Let me throw in my own definition of “persuasive.” The word power itself is defined as “the ability to do or act. being capable of doing or accomplishing something.”
Because of this image and misunderstanding of power, women often shrink away from the label of being powerful and sometimes wholeheartedly reject it in favor of being labeled as compassionate, considerate and thoughtful etc. But I submit to you that all of these labels are components of being powerful!
For some reason, some women view power as not only being unladylike but also as being masculine. It is just not something that women are supposed to be and women that do embrace their power are seen as out of the ordinary and sometimes given the label of “B****!” Ouch!
Close your eyes and think of a woman that you consider to be powerful. What image comes to mind? Is it that of a woman in a “power suit” in the position of CEO? Is it that of a politician? Is it that of a newscaster or TV personality? Does the image of a female police officer come to mind? Or do you get an image of a wife and mother who works from home. Do you get an image of a woman that is a teacher and influencing our children? What about a woman that cleans up after others for a living? A hair stylist? Blogger? Photographer? Does YOUR face come to mind when you think of powerful women?! May I suggest that it should!
M point is that it is time for women to redefine who and what we consider powerful! Power is not being able to control the behavior or livelihood of others but being able to influence, inspire and uplift others. Being powerful is being able to get others to see and embrace the greatness in themselves! It’s being able to embrace YOUR gifts and talents and shouting it from the roof tops! it’s being able to accept and own your abilities and not being afraid to display them to the world! Being powerful is being gentle, kind, considerate, thoughtful but at the same time not shrinking away from the spotlight of your life.
So many of us look at other women who are in positions that we consider powerful and secretly wish we could do the same but won’t admit it openly. We say things like “oh, I could never do that” or “I wouldn’t want her job for all the tea in China” or ” I admire you for what you do but I could never do it!” it’s OK, to “stay in your lane” and do what you do but when you stay there out of fear then there is a problem.
Decide today to embrace YOUR power and be POWERFUL! Whether that’s getting our finances in order or acknowledging your inner strength There are so many resources available to help you through this process including this blog so no more shrinking away from your power. Be who you were created to be: an extension of the Divine, powerful and perfect in your very own way!!
As I sit here and watch the sun rising I realize that at this moment, there is no place that I’d rather be! There is nothing that I’d rather be doing but sitting here in the stillness of the early morning marveling at the purplish, blue sky that is reminding me of the intelligence of the universe and that everything is as it should be because the Divine is as it should be. There is no place I’d rather be!
I haven’t always felt this way! There have been some days when I got off center and looked around me and saw my life and started to think that I should be much “farther along”‘ than where I am. A few days ago I was talking with the luv of my life and listening to him as he shared some of the disappointments that he has with himself. He expressed disappointment with some of the choices that he has made in his life and how he feels that these choices are responsible for his not being farther along in his life.
As I quietly listened to him express his thoughts my heart began to ache for him and for the countless numbers of people in the world who for whatever reason feel like they should be somewhere else in their lives; who feel like they should be doing something different than what they are doing.
I remembered feeling that way. I remembered the guilt and the sadness and even the embarrassment that came along with it. But what I remember the most about that place is coming to the realization that the choices and the decisions that I had made in my life up to that point were precisely the reason that I was who I was at that moment! I remember talking with God and expressing my own disappointment with some of the choices I had made and Him gently showing me that through all of those experiences that came along with those choices, I had become a better person! I had experienced growth from the pain of those decisions! I had evolved because of those decisions! I had learned from those experiences! Those “bad” decisions and choices had played a major part in shaping my character!!
Through the pain and suffering that came with some of the choices that I have made in my life, I have become more compassionate, more loving, more understanding and more tolerant of people and where they are in their lives. I have become a person of great character and I attribute it to the experiences of my life that those choices and decisions brought with them.
Perhaps you are looking at your life and thinking that you should be in a different job, have more money in your bank account, own your own home by now or are regretting a relationship that you had and if only you had not made THAT decision you would be much farther along in your life right now. But I’m here to tell you that YOU ARE RIGHT WHERE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE!!
God doesn’t make mistakes! And if we begin to look at our life and at the “mistakes” that we have made along the way we will see that we have actually learned from them. How many times have you done something that has not turned out to be that great and you realized that it is something that you will never do again?! You learned from that “mistake” and therefore can’t call it a “mistake” at all! Its a life lesson! Even if you have found yourself doing the “same thing” over again there is still growth to be made from it.
Let me use the anology of lifting weights to drive my point home. Whether you are beginning a weight lifting routine or are experienced in the area, stay with me now, and are moving up to “heavier weight” there will be pain that comes with that heavy weight. Lifting weight actually tears your muscle fiber and anyone who has ever had any experience with working out for the first time or moving up to heavier weight than they are used to can tell you that major soreness sets in a couple of days later. The pain sometimes causes you to rethink and even regret the decision to exercise at all or to “go heavier.”
But it is in THIS pain that your muscles actually “grow”. It is the tearing of the muscle fibers that the weight causes that also causes the growth! How you ask? When your muscle fibers are torn your body begins the process of healing itself. Your body draws on the protein stores that is has to rebuild the muscle that has been torn from lifting the heavy weight. The result of the “healing” is that your muscles grow bigger because protein is being added to repair the torn muscle. That is why body builders are willing to go through the temporary pain they will experience from the heavier weight for they know that the growth they are going to have far outweighs the pain they feel in the ensuing moments.They know that the potential to be bigger and in their eyes, better, is there and they are willing to go through it to be bigger and better.
What does that have to do with you and where you are in your life? The “bad” decisions that you have made in your life, and will continue to make if you are human, are your weight! It will be these decisions that often bring pain and suffering with them that will also cause you to grow and to evolve. Does that mean you should just go around making bad decisions in order to grow? Of course not, but what it does mean is that on those occasions that you do make a decision or a choice that turns out to not be so good, understand that it will be from those decisions that you will also experience growth.
So instead of looking back on your life with regret, look back and marvel at how far you have come! look at the amazing person that you have grown to be! look at the character that has developed from those decisions! Look at the compassion that you now feel for others! Look at the wisdom that you now have! Look at the lessons that you have learned and the better choices that you will now make because of those lessons!
Hold your head up high, forgive yourself and flex the spiritual muscles that you have developed from the pain of the weight that you have lifted in your life. Know that at this moment everything in your life is as it should be and had it not been for those decisions you would not have grown into the person that stares back at you in the mirror of life. You are magnificent! You are marvelous! YOU ARE RIGHT WHERE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE!