An Invitation to Empowerment (Where the Magic Happens)
by The Freelance Dilettante
It’s Midsummer* already, and I feel as if I am riding the equinox, straddling the line between dark and light. I’ve been stuck again. Those who know me well know that this happens often. I can say that I’m really busy, but in reality, I’m just stagnating creatively (and socially, and intellectually, and emotionally, etc…)
I can usually tell when these periods of stagnation are about to be interrupted; there are signs. First, the urge to create begins to emerge. It starts with a small push and grows, if unattended to, into a persistent, desperate anxiety, a pulsing ball, lodged firmly somewhere between the heart and the throat, leading me to a cliff edge, where I teeter precariously, afraid that I will leap, knowing I probably need to.
I’m not quite there yet. Sometimes, I am able to circumvent the anxiety by accepting that I am in a place of stasis because something good is germinating. I’m reading, or imagining, or thinking something through that will eventually come out as art or writing, or some life-giving venture. If only I can push through the despair, the “shoulds” and the self-shame/blame/berate game, I’ll get there.
Several weeks ago, I was handed the opportunity to take over a project, a group (at the moment on Facebook, but destined, I believe, to be more) focused on empowering women. I took it over because I fiercely believe that it is important, and the work done by the woman who began it was too valuable to let die. Of course, since then, I have been stuck. I feel that I am not really prepared to take on this monumental a task; I am not smart enough, not dedicated enough, I am bound to fail, and let down these women who have put their faith in me. After all, it’s happened before. I never finish what I start.
These are lies I tell myself.
I am dedicated, I am strong, and most of all, I wish to find empowerment for myself and other women. Therefore, fears aside, I am pushing forward.
This stasis has not been in vain. I have been thinking. I have been reading and watching some things that I thought might help me find focus on my journey. I have thinking about what empowerment really means. I have thinking about happiness, and positivity, and power, and healing. I have been looking at it from a more holistic sense: body-mind-spirit, and a more wholistic sense: self-community-world.
What makes a woman feel empowered? What gives her a sense of strength, satisfaction, happiness and wholeness? I believe that working on finding one’s own power is important, but it’s not enough. Women can often find themselves by looking outside themselves. When we help one another, we heal ourselves.
What makes people happy? Studies have shown that extrinsic goals such as money, status, and appearance are not enough. Sure, it helps to have enough, to be cared for, and to feel satisfied with your own beauty, but self-acceptance is only part of the story. What really helps is to move outside our selves, to seek (healthy) relationships, to experience new things, to count our blessings, and to help others.
I have decided that, in order to make our group, the Tribe of Sacred Women a truly empowering global entity, we need to work as a team. I have invited a group of women to help me “lead” the Tribe, but the hope is that we will all become leaders. We are a community, and no one is lesser than another.
Some other things I would hope we could focus on:
- Personal Empowerment through creativity of all kinds
- Awareness and discussion of “Women’s issues” including sexism, gender roles, sexuality, abuse (physical, sexual, emotional), traditions, family, politics, etc.
- The Sacred nature of the world, and of ourselves: the women who inhabit it. The Tribe is not religious, per se, but the exploration of the sacred self is a powerful thing, and is part of the inherent nature of women.
- Acceptance including size acceptance, self-love, healing (all kinds), health issues, sexuality, forgiveness (of self and others), spirituality, etc.
- Discovery of self through adventures and (sane) risk-taking, big and small
- Community Service finding ways to help other women in our local communities
- Global Awareness/Service banding together to understand the struggles of and help women worldwide.
By participating in these activities, we learn to “talk the talk and walk the walk,” as it were. In my experience (a mere 40+ years), trying to find power in isolation is like walking on a treadmill and hoping to end up somewhere new. It takes a friend, it takes a village, it takes a country, it takes a world of women to accomplish what each of us are truly born to do: heal, help, find joy, and feel whole.
I know it’s not easy. I often feel alone. I moved to a new state in January of this year (2013) and I literally have no friends in this town. I do have a few acquaintances, and a couple potentials I have been woefully lax in keeping up with (I am going to remedy that), but my entire base of friends is well outside this place. I have not explored my own city. I have sat here being stuck.
My personal goals are deeply entwined with my hopes for the Tribe of Sacred Women. I want to inspire and be inspired to grow, heal, explore, create, and give. This is not just what I want, but what I need. If you need this too, then you are welcome here, as is any woman you know who feels the same.
To become part of the Tribe of Sacred Women, like our page on Facebook (Men are welcome to “Like” us too!)
and/or contact me to join the group (women only)
Soon to come: FB groups (women only) focusing on each of the topics outlined above. All of the topics will also be addressed, in less depth, on the main page, and in the Global group.
I hope to see you there, my sisters. (And brothers, too.)
Please feel free to share this information with anyone you feel will like it, might need it, or might be interested in joining me (us) on this adventure.
*Midsummer is the traditional name of the Summer Solstice. The Irish name for November, Samhain, means “Summer’s End.” It seems as if in the Celtic lands, there was, at one time, just two seasons: Summer and Winter.