Why I’m Not Here to Empower Women
Updated: Jun 27, 2019
Empowerment gets thrown around a lot these days- everywhere from business coaches to spiritual healers like to talk about empowering people toward the end of getting people to achieve the mission said coach is here to fulfill.
I don’t negate the fact that some groups have been systemically marginalized. That people may have the belief they do not have power. And in cases of politics, religion and patriarchal structures, this is absolutely true. I'm not talking about political power or power over someone or something. I am talking about the deeply rooted, personal power that lives inside of each of us that we don't talk about so much.
Inherent in the idea of empowerment is the idea that if, from my position of power, authority or expertise do X, it will give you the confidence, power, belief that you can do Y. It is hierarchal and it keeps women searching outside of themselves for answers, confidence, vitality and power.
I don’t subscribe to this idea that people need me to give them anything. Because inherent in EACH AND EVERYONE OF US is a well of personal power that has been suffocated, muddled and lost amidst all the toxic conditioning and cultural narrative of who we’re supposed to be, how we’re supposed to act and how to do life right. Kelly Diels does an incredibly thorough job of detailing out the trap of female empowerment here.
As the dictionary definition states, to empower is to:
give (someone) the authority or power to do something.
make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.
One could argue that my work serves the latter definition of empower. But still, I don’t seek to empower women in a hierarchical or expert sort of sense.
Rather, I seek to help women remember, reclaim and rise up in the power that they inherently hold to have the health, vitality and confidence that modern marketing and advertising would rather have you keep chasing outside of yourself.
I don’t believe women need anyone to power them, make them capable or stronger. Women already have all that innately inside of them. Its just that all of us have allowed the brainwashing to take such full hold that we instead have identified women as fragile, weak and needing to be supported and uplifted lest they can’t do it on their own.
I don’t buy it. And not solely because of the story I am about to tell you. I don't buy it because I have seen the power rise out of women when I was a doula and I watched women give birth. Or when their child or beloved was being threatened. Or when something they felt passionately about was being attacked. I know that women's bodies hold an immense amount of power and capability, hence the reason why women's bodies have been under attack for thousands of years.
Women have the wisdom and power to figure out what works for their health, their body and the kind of life they want to live.
I was a notoriously insecure young woman. I cringe when I think of my hours-long conversations I had with friends during that time of my life, questioning each part of myself, comparing myself and looking for their validation and reassurance from them at every turn. (If you were my friend then, I apologize for monopolizing with my insecurities!)
And then, in the span of 5 years or so, I hit rock bottom three different times. And in being on the floor, where I had no idea how I would pick myself up or why I was there for a second and then third time was some of the most demoralizing space I have ever inhabited. My health tanked. I worked horrible jobs during that 3rd time in my life. Got paid pennies. Gained so much weight my body started to hurt. Lived on credit. Got fired. Laid in the bath for hours crying and wondering how I could ever make something from here. I cursed god.
But slowly, I remembered who I was before I began trusting someone else’s opinions over my own (which is what led to each and every one of my rock bottom experiences).
And I began to step out, one stone at a time, on faith. I began to do things that my body & soul asked for. I began doing the things that I had been trained and taught not do. I started to accept that this body and personality of mine are outside the appropriate lines of the status quo AND THAT'S JUST THE WAY IT IS. From that place of acceptance, I actually learned to not only love, but genuinely like, the woman I am.
There wasn’t much else I could do except listen to myself and agree to stop settling, stop ignoring myself and stop trusting others over ME. This took a solid two years of finding my footing. I’m not suggesting it’s an easy path. But two years to claim my power, vitality, health and confidence is a SMALL price to pay in order to live the rest of my life in full alignment with my power, peace of mind and certainty of who I am and who I want to be.
I stopped listening to experts who told me I had to eat an exact way, stopped attending meetings and events that told me there was something wrong with me that needed to be fixed. I started doing things that were enjoyable, that filled me with satisfaction and most importantly, that had me finally living the kind of life I had always dreamt of living, but hadn't allowed because of the insecurities and obsession with my body and whether or not I was good enough.
And, I’m not perfect (because perfect is an illusion), so there are times I still lose my balance, wander off course or momentarily doubt myself. But I built enough roots in the center of myself that even when I find myself off course, I can come back in a matter of hours, not weeks or months. Because I’ve remembered that the wisdom that is right for me, lives inside me. It is always there for me to come back to. Now that I’ve opened the channel to it, there
There was, most likely, a time in your life where you didn’t doubt yourself, criticize your body or do your best to monitor your food, your behavior or your needs and desires.
A time where you followed your impulse, did what felt good and lived in a way that didn’t have you doubt or question yourself on the regular.
I think for many of us, that time was in childhood. The quote “can you remember who you were before the world told you who you were supposed to be” summarizes all the best parts of why I don’t seek to empower women with my work, but instead, to help them strip away the layers of conditioning, diet & beauty culture and the experience of shutting down our voice, our desires and the natural human capacity to take up physical and energetic space.
I’m here to help you remember.
Because when you touch that rooted center, even for a glimpse of a moment, it is like a homecoming. While you may have never been here in your adult life, your body and soul remember what its like to be here, this is their home territory. They have been waiting for you to return, to remember who you are and what it is that you really want for this one wild & precious life of yours.*
In short, I think of empowerment a bit like eye cream. It may reduce your fine lines when you apply it every night, but stop applying it and you're left with the same skin, same fine lines, same adorable eyes. So you can continue to seek empowerment, but you will have to keep squeezing the tube for more and more cream to keep up the external boost. Or, you can do the brave thing and sink into the power and capability that live inside you and prove to yourself just how potent you really are.
If you feel consumed by self doubt, hating your body, attempting to control food and finding yourself having a diminished experience of your health, vitality and aliveness as a result, I’m here to help you remember and tap into the power and confidence that naturally lives inside. You can schedule a one hour Body Breakthrough Session with me and we'll jam on both the physiological and physical aspects as well as the emotional and psychological aspects to bring you back home to yourself, your power, confidence and vitality so you can fully life the life you dream of living.