Blog January 2016
What image exactly is conjured in your mind when you hear this word? Is it an aboriginal woman with a bone nose piercing dressed in tribal garb? Is it Gloria Steinem standing at a podium with thousands gathered around listening to her every word?
Well, for starters, I can tell you what it is not. It is not a person walking around with hands folded in reverence. It is not a person who gets along with everyone they meet. It is not a place where there are no bad or where there are no ‘off’ days. There is no perfection in empowerment.
I will not bore you with the Webster’s definition of empowerment. If you truly wish to know this version, you will be able to look it up yourself.
For me, it stands for numerous things. I ask many people the same questions: “What are you good at? What do you know about yourself of which you can be proud? What do you admire about yourself?”
Most times the response is the same, contemplation and silence. Occasionally there are answers, but not many. Unfortunately, there are tears. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a quiet tear, or one that escapes the eye before the person is able to pretend it isn’t there.
I then ask the questions, “What is it you are most proud of about your child (or friend, sibling, partner, spouse)? What do you feel their strengths are? What is it about them that makes you most proud?” Again, the response is almost universal. They are able to list at least seven or eight things in quick succession of what they feel are wonderful qualities of that particular person.
I then point out the discrepancy between their answers about themselves and their answers about someone other than them. For some reason this makes many cry. It is at this point I ask them to pay attention to that. The tears. Why are there tears? This is what you need to pay attention to. Your heart is speaking, even if your ears cannot hear it.
For me the word ‘empowerment’ entails knowing who you are. It is an inner knowing, an inner confidence that leaves no question in your mind of exactly what you stand for, your morals, your values, your sense of self.
So begin today, right now. Be empowered. Time to lean in to who you are. Begin your day, each and every day, as if today you will conquer the world!
Dress as though it matters; because it does.
If you feel better with makeup on, then put it on. If not, don’t. The point is to dress and go about your day as if you matter; because you do! When you feel good on the inside it shows on the outside. Show yourself the respect you afford others. No one in the world is better than you – no one. Even if they have more money than God, they are not better than you. No one can be a better you than you!
Be empowered. Be you. Whatever that means for you. No longer schlep from day to day merely existing. Life is too short for that. Find something that makes your heart sing. If you cannot, then try to remember something you loved doing as a child. If you are unable to remember, ask someone who knew you back then. If that doesn’t work, make it up. Play, act as if. You can only go so far as you allow, so leave yourself plenty of space. Take back your life and remember what it takes to smile again and do that.