The Treasure Chest of You
The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” ~Alice Walker
Once you embrace your value, how do you ensure that you stand in it?
Embrace your power!
We began this series of blogs with the concept of knowing what our value is, and then provided some ways to recognize and embrace it. Knowing, embracing, and honoring your value is another way of saying that you accept yourself. Accepting yourself and your value as a woman is the beginning of recognizing your Power as a Woman.
So, what has you feel powerful in your life? For many of us it’s our accomplishments. It’s usually easy to point to tasks or projects we’ve done and feel genuinely powerful. “I did that and it was hard.” Except that feeling powerful only about accomplishments limits ourselves, and, well, our power! What if our feeling of power lives in our interactions with others, more in how we are being with people than what we are doing? Talking with a friend, listening and supporting her may be the most important thing you “do” that day.
In fact, here’s how one woman put it:
Power was not ever a word in my vocabulary. Feeling dominated by men was all I knew and it came naturally. I was divorced for one year after being married for fifteen years in a very difficult, painful marriage.
“My best friend for thirty years, whom I trusted and loved dearly, was exploring new ways of thinking and changing her perceptions of life. She introduced me to others who were on a similar path. I noticed that women in this circle had a way of being with each other that I’d never seen before.
“There was a bond and intimacy that was foreign to me. I was curious and skeptical at the same time. Power was a word I heard in their conversations. I was tempted and attracted to this circle like a magnet. But it took me time and consideration to have the courage to get involved.
“After about one year I took the leap to join 175 women in a room who were on a path to discovering their “Power”. I’d never seen or felt so much feminine emotion, truth and vulnerability. It was the beginning of learning what power as a woman really means. At some point that day I found myself standing at the back of the room watching the energy of women together. In a moment I knew I was no longer alone. I felt my power, owned my power in a way I had never experienced. But what was greater than that was when women share their power together, they can accomplish anything. Now this was true power!
“My life changed. Women had my back and I had theirs. And one more gift–I discovered my purpose: to support and help women recognize and celebrate their success.”
In the story above, Blanche recognized her power.
The good news is you can choose to recognize your power, acknowledge it, and embrace it.
Before I came into the FOW, I never even thought that I had any power, and I didn’t know how to express myself successfully. A woman in the FOW once said to me that I was powerful and that my negativity was using my power in an unproductive way. I often dumped my feelings and anxieties about something on my husband hoping that he would know how to fix it.
“Being negative diminishes me and disempowers others – the opposite effect from my intentions. I was being “Poor, Pitiful Pauline” instead of being the “Inspiring Irene” that I hoped I was. I really listened to her and realized that I was responsible for how I conveyed my thoughts and feelings, and this has led me to be aware of my power and to exercise it positively. I was able to take in her comment and wisdom because I understood that she wasn’t criticizing me – she was truly wanting to help me become my best.
“Now, I know that what I say and how I say it is powerful, and it is my choice and my responsibility to use it positively to empower myself and others. I love this quote that I came across: “Empowered Women Empower Women.”
Having a group of supportive women around you can inspire you to recognize and embrace your power.
You must embrace your value before you can stand in your power.
What comes up for you when you think about power? There are all kinds of power in the world, and some of them aren’t pleasant to think about.
Here is how the Family of Women defines power:
Energy, inner power, as opposed to power over others. Power is integrity, creativity, and courage. It is the mark of a person who is whole. Power comes from within when love and knowledge are united. Power is understanding our emotions and taking responsibility for them. Power is acknowledging that by the choices we make, we create and are responsible for every experience of our life. Power, rooted in love and tempered by knowledge, wisdom, and responsibility, brings growth and healing.”
~Women’s Discovery Weekend
This power is the power that we, as women, can choose to embrace, individually and together, that will make a significant difference in our lives and in the world.
OK, with this piece in place, it’s now possible to realize our power and identify our purpose. Wow, these sound like really big things! And they are. But isn’t that the kind of life you want to live?