Last week, I talked about the importance of embracing who you are, despite all the pressures and presumptions that have been placed on us as women since childhood (you can read more here).
Learning to listen and lay bare our soul is not just the important work of our time; It’s the missing piece of the puzzle that will awaken humanity and elevate women to their rightful place as leaders and trail blazers in a world that needs our love.
Ask yourself: How do you feel about YOU? Who do you believe yourself to be at the level of identity?
I promised you an exercise to guide you in answering these questions, so if you’re ready to let your ego’s defenses down and you are seeking true and unfiltered answers to these questions – Let’s try this…
Your Personal Practice*:
Close your eyes and imagine a difficult feeling or uncomfortable emotion that is familiar to you. Anger, sadness, resentment, frustration, fear. A feeling that you notice bubbling up when things around you get tough.
Breathe deeply into that emotion and feel its location in your body. If you’re a visual person, it may help to draw a stick figure with a big blob of emotion scribbled in red. All emotions are welcome.
Now go deeper. Expect nothing and give yourself lots of empathy and compassion, you are not alone and you are not the only one who feels these things (I promise you that!).
As you breathe deeper and get under that uncomfortable emotion, ask yourself about the message that those bodily sensations are whispering to you.
"I’m scared". "I’m a failure". "I’m not worthy". "I’m bad". "I’m alone". "I’m invisible".
As I share in the eBook offered below, "I'm not enough" underlies much of my discomfort and I must acknowledge this regularly.
Just let the emotions speak to you and don’t censor them. They’ve been waiting a long time to be heard.
Journal these messages that your cells are sharing. All of them. Take your time. Reserve judgement. Remember, you are held, safe and resourced.
When you have finished listening and you’ve wiped your tears, turn toward yourself and offer the same level of love, compassion and care that you would offer to your own child. Pretend that that inner part of you is a younger version of yourself who needs your support and give it wholeheartedly. Extend the energetic warmth of a hug and unconditional love and speak to her with encouragement.
"You are loved". "You are worthy". "You are safe". "You are enough".
Journal these loving, mature responses that you are extending to the vulnerable parts of yourself. Write them down. Share them openly. Feel their strength.
And, just as you would if a child or younger woman were asking for your help, remind yourself of what is absolutely true about you.
Reclaiming who you truly are is something we practice regularly in the Empowered Women's Circle. I'm thrilled to announce that this Fall Season, the EWC membership is bringing 4 incredible women leaders who will share their stories about challenges they've faced and key strategies for transforming breakdowns into breakthroughs and agency into action. We start September 21st—Click here to learn more and register!
*This practice is adapted from one shared by my mentor, Claire Zammit PhD, Founder of The Women-Centered Institute for Coaching, Facilitation and Leadership