Something has to change

Something has to change!
The story women grow up with has to change.
The tragedy of learning other women,
who I adore and admire,
also loathe themselves
is heartbreaking.

My wise and beautiful friend
admonishes me for talking harshly about myself
yet she too suffers from an internal battle with herself.
Another vibrant, radiant, sexy friend also
loathes herself.
Always has.
She’s intelligent, courageous and nurturing
but hates herself.

How the fuck does the world go around when half the population
privately can’t stand themselves,
don’t feel enough,
feel they don’t measure up.

Not enough for who?
Measure up to what?

What’s going on here?

This shit has to change.

Now!

It’s time to reclaim our sovereignty my beautiful women friends.
It’s time to embrace ourselves as we do our lovers and children.
It’s time to become embodied sovereign women,
for ourselves
and the sake of our fellow sisters and our daughters.

I realise the big question is “How?”
I don’t have the answer right now
But I know there is an answer.
It won’t happen overnight but each small action toward:
accepting ourselves,
challenging societal rules, about age and body image,
saying no to the constraints placed upon us,
choosing how we use our bodies,
not accepting the crap we’re told by western medicine about our bodies
are part of the answer.

I think it’s also about ending the “good girl” behaviour and
choosing to express ourselves when and how we want.
It’s about asking for what we want,
walking away from what we don’t.
It’s about learning to be comfortable in our skin and not comparing ourselves.
And you know what,
I think it’s about starting to see other women,
not as enemies, but allies.
It’s about seeing the good and the beautiful in the women around us.
Recognising another woman’s gifts does not diminish our own,
it strengthens us,
unites us and brings us back to ourselves.
Strong women don’t compete with each other
or tear each other down.
Embodied women support each other,
are generous with other women,
are generous and loving toward themselves.

It’s time to reclaim our sovereignty my beautiful women friends.
It’s time to embrace ourselves as we do our lovers and children.
It’s time to become embodied sovereign women.

Let’s do this.
Let’s get this show on the road.
Let’s transform and be rad as fuck!

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Peace just snuck up on me

There is no secret ingredient. It’s just you.

Kung Fu Panda.

I’ve been mulling over an issue this week. Well, it’s not an issue as such, more an interesting insight.  A learning, an understanding and acknowledgement , if you will.

Over the course of several encounters in the last little while I have had a gentle realisation that things are shifting for me. That perhaps I’m growing and moving along my path with more grace and ease than I’d realised.

I’ve recently been contacted by several people from my past who, in the past, I have reacted badly to, for one reason or another. Feelings of bitterness, resentment, guardedness usually flare up and simmer for days on end, driving me crazy, souring my thoughts and clouding my heart.  Being in touch with these people, admittedly it hasn’t been face to face contact but contact nonetheless, has been quite pleasant. No resentment, no fight or flight, no anger or malice.  I noticed after each interaction I was actually quite compassionate toward them, not in a “I am a guru, better than you and will bless and forgive you” manner but in an “I am in a strong place and I no longer have to struggle with you” kind of way. Does that make sense?

Talking with a friend last night we came to the realisation that when we give up the struggle change happens.  Again, I’m no guru here. It drives me insane when people advise: stop struggling, let it go, just allow, don’t use force etc. Easier said than done I say. I didn’t just drop this stuff that happened between me and those others, I got so intent and focused on other things that the issues between us slipped away and became insignificant in light of what was going on around me.

Almost by accident this shift has occurred, though many say there are no accidents, and I’m inclined to agree. Quite simply, I shifted my focus onto what I wanted rather than what I didn’t and voila, peacefulness slipped in without fanfare, filling the empty spaces.

Again, I stress, this wasn’t an overnight decision to focus on the good stuff and turn my attention away from my troubles. It was a long and slow process of choosing small actions each day, ensuring each week I got out and did something that made me happy. It wasn’t big stuff. It was lots of small actions and choices that together made the difference.

This morning two quotes spurred me to communicate my small gain, the one at the top of this post and the following, I hope they resonate for you too.

You don’t have to respond to negativity with negativity. You don’t have to pick up that burden. You don’t have to throw the next stone, cutting your fingers open on the sharp edges in the process. You don’t have to prove you are strong by hitting back. Remember, you can simply choose to stay in your own peace. You like it there. And who  knows? Others may decide to join you.

Nanea Hoffman