Think for a moment about power. What comes up for you in the presence of this word? In asking myself this question, I answered with an antiquated combination of masculinity, fear, respect, and aggression. As a strong, capable woman in a modern work force, I had to wonder where these ideas came from and how they managed to take hold in me. As I began to question this perspective, I was able to untwist this misrepresentation and come up with a more authentic definition for myself.
I decided that power is strength. Power is confidence in the ability to bring about action and change and gain momentum toward a cause. Power grows where there is connection and a common belief or conviction and it knows no barriers in race, religion, or gender. What is power for you? What do you believe in? What is your cause?
In 2011, I was in Morocco during the Arab Spring. The feeling in the air was one of unrest and uprising. It was an energy charged with fear, excitement, hope, and belief in the possibility of change. Protests in Tunisia had forced an unpopular ruler to flee. The people of Egypt bore witness to the events there and began congregating and building momentum and a voice around their own struggle for freedom from a corrupt regime. The success of the protests and activism in Tunisia had ignited hope in Arab nations at odds with their governing forces and spread the belief that significant change was a real possibility. Non-violent congregations and protests united men with women and Muslims with Christians in a common movement toward democratizing their political systems and ousting their crooked leaders. Together, they shared the belief that there was a better and less oppressive solution in democracy.
The Arab nations still have a long way to go in their fight for change in an oppressive political environment, but the spring of the uprisings brought with it an awakening of power for its people. Through their connection with one another, they gained confidence in their convictions and realized they were surrounded by many who shared the same ideals. They learned that by putting their fear aside and standing up for their beliefs and shouting them in their cities, things were beginning to shift and their plight was acknowledged by the entire world.
In this spirit of unity, solidarity and the surge of momentum among like minded people, women all over the world are coming together. They are finding their voice and strength in workshops, classes, and online discussions and groups to connect in their common desire to build a new platform for feminine power.
For decades, in a unified effort to gain equality in the workplace, women have been approaching their careers using a masculine framework for success. We have taught ourselves to act like men, think like men, and achieve like men to prove ourselves as equals. This movement has been a necessary part of the process for our integration into a previously oppressive regime and the movement has been hugely successful. Of course, as Sheryl Sandberg addresses in her new best seller Lean In, we still have a long way to go for real equality, especially at the top. But there may be a power in the feminine, long put aside that we are overlooking.
In their course, Feminine Power, The Essential Course for the Awakening Woman, Claire Zammit and Catherine Woodward Thomas are engaging women worldwide in a movement toward embracing their innate feminine attributes as a way to source exactly this kind of power. In the first session, Claire says:
“Each one of you, in your deepest, most connected moments, senses and knows that you’re here to make a connection, that you have a role to play, and that you’re life matters. And, so, we are coming together to create the space, to access the power, and to unleash the potentials, so that we, individually and collectively, can come together and rise up into the fullness of who we are.”
We’ve proven to men around the world that we are just as capable, just as ambitious, and just as valuable. Now it’s time to prove that we can bring even more to the table. We can be capable, ambitious, and valuable and also be nurturing, gentle, creative, and loving. We can be assets in ways we are not allowing ourselves to be for fear of having these important qualities rejected in a workplace saturated with masculine energy, generated by both men and women.
In order to put this vision into action, we must begin to nurture our connections with one another. We must come together and recognize the power in our united beliefs, not unlike the Arab nations did in the spring of 2011. Once women begin to find fulfillment and greater success in bringing their authentic selves to the workplace, the optimism and desire for change will spread and spark a revolution that is so important for both men and women and their relationship in a modern professional environment. By embodying rather than fearing our feminine attributes and connecting with other women instead of creating competition and animosity among them, we will begin to realize the sense of connection and power we hold and the positive shift we can initiate throughout the world.
In her blog “The Alchemy of Sychronicity”, Mia Rose wrote “We have to trust that our souls know the way.” We innately know the power of the feminine from a place in the soul. We have suppressed some of these cues in the workplace and in our lives and we must believe in their power and begin to re-integrate them. We must believe in other women and empower them to do the same. It is crucial that we communicate and support one another toward this common goal. In doing so, our environments will become softer, more tolerable places to spend our days. With this new sense of connection, the men and women we are surrounded by will become less fearful, more confident, and more productive.
So Believe in your own power. Believe in the power of women, united together, to bring about this change. Share your successes. Use setbacks as challenges to force you to re-examine and strengthen your platform, reinforce your ideals, and reaffirm your beliefs. In the same blog, “The Alchemy of Sychronicity”, Mia Rose says “Trust that the right people will continue to appear at the right moments to help carry out the mission.” Talk to other women about their experiences, aspirations, and dreams. Find common ground and a place to start and grow. Make it your mission to establish and strengthen your connection with women all over the world and unite in seeking a better way to live and thrive through a belief in feminine power.
As published in the April 2013 Believe issue of Soulwoman eMagazine, which can be found at www.soulwomansanctuary.com.