Sisters connected by community. Women standing together with women. Lots of chatter these days about women supporting women. That’s good stuff.
Where women fall down is not ability or skill; it’s belief.
The cultural stance here is that boys played team sports and girls didn’t. So we missed out. What a crock. I played hockey and netball at school. Let me tell you, teenage girls are competitive. And that’s no bad thing. Somewhere along the line that natural competitiveness gets drummed out of us. Don’t get me wrong, its still inside, only now its layered in needing to please and asking permission.
Women do community really well. It’s biological we had a better chance at surviving with support. The more hands on deck to look after the young, the elderly and feed the tribe the better. That’s still true today. We still need each other. We still need to be with each other. Isolation’s a bitch. That’s where the dark side lives, its where you think I can’t do this, I’m not good enough and other equally helpful thoughts. With our girlfriends we laugh about it, cry about it, rage about it and process. We let it out. Left to our own devices we medicate with chocolate (and that’s best case).
Bitching, backbiting, gossip and spite all live in the shadow side of sisterhood. Ignoring that reality doesn’t make it go away, the only way to be free is to bring it into the light. Stand in the light of sisterhood and be free.
Here’s 3 things you can do this week to be free:
Just holding the intention to be more connected is powerful. As Tony Robbins says “where focus goes, energy flows”. Every morning, remind yourself “I want to feel more connected to women” take a breath, release the thought and get on with your day. Use whatever combination words feel good to you, just keep is focused on the positive (so not “I want to be less competitive with women”). Your brain will do its thing and search out opportunities for you to connect.
Be gentle with yourself.
Nobody wins when you beat up on you. Take a deep breath, stretch with your whole body, breathe again. Consciously distance yourself from that critical inner voice. Acknowledge the effort, you’re not perfect that’s ok, nobody is. Life is messy. You showed up anyway. Cut yourself some slack. Tomorrow will come, whatever you do. Choose love.
Pay it forward.
Use your resources to bless someone else. That could mean giving financially to a charity you believe in. Could mean having a cake sale at work for your local women’s shelter. Could mean donating your time to charity to help them get the word out (there’s masses of scope here, a charity is still a business so marketing, branding, press, social media all still apply). Yoga teacher? How about free lessons to a community group? Corporate rockstar? Mentor a junior member of staff. How about the next time one of your girlfriends call, you shutdown your macbook and are fully present with her.
Your turn. What’s it going to be? Pick one thing. And do it.
In 2009 the 14th Dalai Lama said "the world will be saved by the western woman". He’s right and it’s time we listened.
The founder of Global Sisterhood day, Nisha Moodley, adds on "that the world will be set free by women who are free. Sisterhood is the key." Right on, sister.
It's never been a better time to be a woman in the the West.
Nope, it's not perfect. We are not equally represented in government, in boardrooms, in the top of most professional fields. We are still not paid the same as our brothers. We are still held to unrealistic body standards by the media . Strong women are still depicted as bitches, ice queens or ruthless.
But. We can vote. We can go to school, to college, to university. We can be doctors, presidents and astronauts. We can get medical care. We have a right to say no. We expect to be listened to. We are in charge of our own bodies. We have a choice over whether kids are right for us or not and when. We have rights. We have systems and structures to protect those rights. We have a right to life. Most of us, me included, never think about this stuff. Because we've always had it. Yeah, we know it wasn't always like this and that back in the day women had to fight and fight hard for those very things we forget we have. It's normal for us.
It's not normal for every women in the world. It should be. It's time to remember all those women (and men) who came before us and fought for women's equality. It's time to be those women for our sisters who are still in chains.