As a child, I used to give myself a big hug when things went wrong. If I had been told off, I would literally put my arms around myself and give myself a squeeze to reassure myself I was still okay. As I became a teenager my breasts got in the way and it felt weird, so I stopped. I didn’t want to become a woman, but couldn’t stop it, so instead I chose to disconnect from myself.
We didn’t just want to be sex objects and child bearers. But I see no change for lots of young women today. They are still stuck in their roles, now chasing around juggling childcare, full time jobs and the housework too. Any time they make for ‘me and my quality time’ comes last at the end of the day when they are exhausted and becoming unwell. Where is their space for embracing being a woman?
This was my life too, when I was younger, playing the many roles as a woman. I was wife, mum, cook and bottle washer, friend, the person the children came home to after the troubles and traumas of school. In fact, at that time, I had a part time job when most mums stayed at home, which was criticised by some. I used to think this job was my ‘me time’ but in truth, I was simply playing another role.
The other thing I had running was a constant internal critic feeding me negative thoughts. There was never any need for anyone to put me down in life as I could do this to myself much more effectively than anyone outside. Others may have confirmed it, however, sometimes I would have done it first. It was a way I behaved toward myself that became my normal, and I can still revert to it occasionally.
My inner dialogue said I was stupid, weak willed, no good at anything, dumb, and I had a feeling of low self-worth.
Life as a woman was seen as lesser than as a man, women tried to compete in the man’s world but never matched up to it. Still today we can see that most successful women who are in business have had to harden themselves to compete and become accepted as equals.
Only more recently have I been learning about what it is to embrace myself as a woman.
I have met some gorgeous young women who, today, reflect a different way to live, by caring for themselves in the rhythm of their bodies. A few years ago, I started attending ‘Women in Livingness’ days in London where we explored what it is to be a woman. We started by introducing ourselves to each other and realised we are used to putting ourselves into categories of age, jobs, social status, how many children we had, and so on.
It was astonishing to see how we were constantly comparing ourselves without realizing it, running a quick synopsis of whether someone was taller, fatter or thinner, prettier, younger or older and it felt uncomfortable to behave in this way. In time we discovered that when we connect deeply to our innermost, we already have everything we need within us without needing to try or compare ourselves.
In truth we are all different but all the same, all beautiful, in our own unique expression and all on our own journey to embrace ourselves with our own emanation.
So I started to care for myself more and learned to connect to myself and bring my attention to what I was doing in each moment. For example, in the shower, I stopped thinking of all the activities lined up for the day and started feeling my arms as I washed and dried them and started creaming my body after the shower. This small difference felt amazing, I was giving attention to my body as I did the same things I had always done, but it felt very nurturing. I could feel how lovely my skin felt after I had creamed it, and I rubbed my hair dry more tenderly, rather than with auto pilot vigor! I started to be gentler with myself throughout the day.
The more kind I became to myself, the internal critic started to diminish. I wasn’t dumb or stupid; I was human and made mistakes sometimes.
By being critical about myself I had been giving myself a second bashing, instead of being tender with myself and simply learning the lesson from the situation, letting it go and moving on. Now I have started to value myself more, and would you believe, this is not a one-off experience, it grows and grows. I have found that the more I nurture myself in this way, the more lovely I feel and the more I naturally wish to nurture myself.
It is like I have returned to my childhood embrace of myself.
It feels like a journey that can come full circle in a lifetime. We can have a way of living that supports our bodies to live our lives in a quality and a value that can keep us in great health and vitality. The website www.esotericwomenshealth.com can support us to feel the truth of living as a true woman and to explore further living our health from within.
Gill R., UK