I’m about to go on a rant, so brace yourself. There’s my warning for those who need it. Mwah.
Things I’m told to be as a woman:
Sexy, but not too sexy
Nice, but not too nice because it’ll seem fake
Successful, but not too successful because then a man won’t want you
Independent, but not too independent because then a man won’t have a role in your life
People pleasing, but not too pleasing because then people will walk all over you
Tidy, but not too tidy because no one likes someone who’s perfect
Expressive, but don’t use profanity because it’s not ladylike
Strong, but not both emotionally and physically
Soulful, but not too soulful because you need to be grounded
You get the picture. It’s not just the plight of a woman - I am well aware there are inconsistencies for men, too - but I am a woman and this is my platform. I am exhausted by trying to fit into someone else’s box of what a woman is supposed to be. I worked for a corporation that is conservative and wanted strong, brilliant women - as long as they were married, respectful of their male bosses and didn’t ask for too much or rock the boat. I’ve also worked in the yoga world where the feminine free spirit, wildness, and marching to your own drum was more respected and welcomed (whether you're a man or a woman). However, like any other physical fitness regime, there’s a huge undertone of perfection and space for potential body dysmorphia.
What I’ve come to realize is that I DON’T GIVE A FUCK. I am sexy and nice; crass and polite; independent and a people pleaser; a mess and organized; soulful and successful (always working on balance). Why does it seem the world only wants me to conform? What is so scary or wrong about being a powerful woman who acts from love? Why are we constantly asked and taught to hide bits and pieces of ourselves? I’m not interested in showing up just one way. I’m not interested in ‘perfection’. I’m interested in real emotion, in depth, in complications and simplicities.
Being a woman is powerful. Our bodies are of this earth, connected to the moon - every 28 days being given a refresh on the possibility of bringing life into this world. We are creative, loud, tender, soft, firm, strong - ALL of it. So stop asking us to relinquish that power - we should not feel ashamed of the cycles of our being. It’s not my problem that my full presence makes you feel small, unimportant, or even unheard. That’s not my intention and to reference the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz (look it up!) - Don’t Take Anything Personally and Always Do YOUR Best. It’s not my job to quiet down - it is YOUR job to step up - to open up and accept me as I AM. I mean that in the most loving way.
When I meet someone who blows me away by their beautiful, powerful, connected Self I am in awe (regardless of that person being a man or woman). I am inspired to be more of myself, to push past my comfort zones and bring my self-expression to a new level. I would never dream to ask someone to dim their light, quiet down and constrict their spirit. I want to live in a world where it is ok for EVERYONE to thrive. Where everyone feels the right to be here in whatever form that takes. To live without a need to use your power to overtake someone, but use your power to encourage and love more deeply. I’ve seen communities where that exists - experienced where that is possible. Because we are human, here on earth, we have the power to choose how we show up. I choose loving authority, I choose letting other people be right in their own way, I choose showing up as my wild, earthy, fully present being and ALL that comes with that.
Fuck your patriarchal bullshit that is made to make me feel like I don’t belong, or that I belong only when I’m with a man. I am here, I belong, and I will NOT dim my fire. I am not angry, nor am I hateful towards men. I absolutely value and love men. They are just as valuable, complex, and nuanced as women and I want those men to show up. I want a world full of men who aren’t afraid to cry, who are rugged and polished, who are messy and simple, strong and tender. I invite those men to show up and be part of the fierce, creative, connected energy that is swelling the tides and raising all boats.
I am not a perfect woman. But I am real, and raw, and soft, and creative and fiercely me.
What expectation can you let go of to feel more like your wholehearted self?