When I was growing up, apart from the obvious anatomy, I never realised I was different from a man, and I certainly never considered myself any less capable than a man.
As a child I saw my mum doing the wallpapering, the painting and decorating, I’d heard her talk of roofing a house and fixing a car – none of which you’d ever find my step-dad doing.
She’d also cook and clean.
At school I excelled academically. I had no reason to think that I was any less intelligent than the boys, especially when my grades and exam results were higher than most of theirs.
In fact I never realised that as a woman, I would ever have been considered less able in any area of my life, just because I was a woman.
The first time I became aware that there may be an issue was when I got my GCSE exam results.
As expected, I was a straight A student. One of my friends’ mum (she only had sons), remarked to me ‘Well done! Showing the boys that you’re as good as them!’
I was confused by this, why on earth would I need to prove this, surely everyone could do anything they wanted to?
Of course as time went by, I noticed the issue of gender inequality more.
But it never deterred me from doing things, or applying for things, I’d just keep going, refusing to accept I couldn’t do something just because I was a woman.
To me, not being able to do something, implied a weakness.
It wasn’t until years later that I really started to appreciate and truly honour what it meant to be a woman.
Instead of feeling like I always had to ‘keep up’ with the men, or that I had to prove that I wasn’t a ‘weak and feeble’ person, because I was a woman, I allowed myself to enjoy the differences that being a woman gave me.
Instead of simply seeing masculine and strong and feminine as weaker, I discovered and experienced the true essence of the feminine.
Being a woman gives us so much access to strength and power, but it’s more of an internal strength and power.
Of course woman can be physically strong, but there’s a different type of strength that women can also tap into, a strength that honours the very essence of being a woman.
You may have noticed this strength, but not been taught what it was.
The strength in the natural ebb and flow of your body that has been quietly calling to you your whole life.
You’ve witnessed this cycle in the changing of the seasons, in the way in which day turns to night, and back to day again.
You’ve felt this ebb and flow within your own body, your energy changing throughout the month as you’ve experienced your own menstrual cycle.
However instead of embracing these changes, we’ve been taught to try and tame them, to control them and pretend they’re not happening.
We’ve witnessed the ‘inconvenience’ of having a menstrual cycle, having to soldier on when your body is crying out for rest and nurturing, of not feeling comfortable in the changes of the seasons, and doing what we can to pretend that nothing is changing.
But what if there was another way?
What if you’d been taught, not to ‘fight’ against these changes, and not to keep pushing forward, but to stop, rest, and tune into your own cycles and the cycles around you.
What if you’d been taught to really understand the ebb and flow of your own body, and how the cycles around you, affect your own.
What if you could’ve then used this knowledge to create a life that nurtures, sustains and nourishes you.
Where instead of trying to fit into a world that doesn’t understand, or celebrate your cyclical nature, you were supported, and had the space and time to explore your rich, wild and changing inner landscape.
How would your life be different?
The good news is, that it’s never too late to start this SHEro’s Journey!
This is the reason why I’m so passionate about the Red Tent.
The Red Tent
The Red Tent is a space where woman can come together, to rest, to share, to heal, to be held, to be witnessed, to explore and get to know themselves on a much deeper level, it’s a space that values and honours the truth of being a woman.
When you stop fighting against your own natural rhythms, you find that you have so much more energy left to experiment with your own ideas.
You have the space to listen to your intuition and trust your instincts, instead of doubting them.
You have more time to connect with your true passions and the things you believe in.
You can make choices based on your own desires, not those the world have tried to push on you.
You trust and own your power, rather than feeling afraid of it.
It’s time for you to harness the ebb and flow of your own being, to work hard, but also to honour your need for rest
As I’m sure you’ve experienced, you actually get more done this way, just in the same way you often have your best ideas in the shower, or on holiday, when you have a moment to breathe, when you consciously make the time and space to connect to yourself, your needs, and your inner wisdom, all sorts of amazing things start to fall in to place.
Now is the time for you to reconnect to the very essence of your womanhood, to ignite and embrace your SHEro Super Powers, so that you can dream again, feel fulfilled, on purpose, and whole.
A time to break free from the role of ‘good girl’, and always trying to please others, and keep the peace, it’s time defy expectations and become the SHEro of your own story!