Who I Am Not, Discovering more of me as a Woman

by Julie Ferguson, Mackay

A little while ago I attended an Esoteric Women’s Group in Mackay. This is my experience…

As I sit here, trying to support myself to write what I truly feel instead of what my head is telling me, I realise how challenging for me this is.

The me I have become is all about how I look, the house I live in, the car I drive, the friends I have, the way my children behave or any of the million other boxes I feel I have to tick to show the world I’m doing just fine.

I feel vulnerable, fragile even to go here with myself, as I realise I don’t feel fine.

I breathe gently, allowing myself to feel how afraid I’ve become to simply be myself as I, like many women and men I know, have grown up with feelings of not being enough.  Continue reading “Who I Am Not, Discovering more of me as a Woman”

Apology not Accepted

by Kathryn Fortuna, Inner Image Consultant, Bendigo, Australia

“The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion, but cosmetics are easier to buy”.  (Yves Saint Laurent)

When I see your face…

I see so much more than just your features. I see your past, your worries, your thoughts, your fragility and your innermost beauty. I see and feel an energetic map of your lives etched across your face.

As a professional Makeup artist I have worked with faces for more than 25 years. The differences between them have been distinctive, yet I have loved every single one of them. Continue reading “Apology not Accepted”

Nurturing – What it Really Means

by Toni Steenson, Coraki, Australia

I recently attended a group presentation for women (and men if they chose to come), where many things were discussed, but one thing I found really potent was; what it means to deeply nurture oneself, and how this may look.

I had heard of the idea of nurturing oneself before, and then basically I had created a list from past experiences of things that were nurturing e.g. having a bath, going to bed early, preparing a loving meal, taking time to get ready for my day, doing my hair or nails, watching a movie etc. Where I had gone wrong with this was: I saw times when I needed to deeply nurture myself because I had a bad day and required some support to come back to myself, or alternatively if I had had a brilliant day and wanted to do something nurturing to confirm this feeling. When I had felt these times arise, I would have gone to the mental list I had created in my head and just performed one of these activities without really feeling if that was what would support me in the confirming / coming back to me process. And if I had not felt like doing anything on my so-called ‘self-nurturing’ list, I would almost berate myself for not caring or wanting to support myself. Continue reading “Nurturing – What it Really Means”

Precious Women – Frozen Behaviours

by Eva Rygg, Norway

Today the outside temperature in Oslo, Norway, is showing minus 18 degrees Celsius.

Now some of you might say that’s incredibly cold, however living in Norway we are used to these temperatures in periods over the winter.

I would like to share some reflections I have had around the possibility that the climate, as well as culture, does affect us.

Because – how is it that we can end up so totally disconnected from ourselves, that along the way we stop feeling how much we harm ourselves? One thing is that it happens gradually over the years, but yet another answer to it is we watch and see that this is how most people around us cope with life. Continue reading “Precious Women – Frozen Behaviours”

The Harm of Pornography

by  S., Australia

Quite some years ago, when my second child was aged one, I came upon an intense period in my relationship with my partner. At this time, we shared a computer and had a room set up as an office. One day, when my daughter was at pre-school, my son asleep and my partner out, I was on our home computer; I had been looking something up several days before and so I visited the web history to go back to the page I was on. I stumbled onto something there that completely took me by surprise.

I was not suspecting anything and was certainly not looking for anything. As far as I was aware I had nothing to be concerned about, but I discovered that my partner had been looking at porn on the internet.

Up until this point, the only relationship I had had with porn was once as a teenager; I was with one of my friends and we went to visit her boyfriend at his friend’s house. There was a group of boys there, centred around a television, watching a porn movie. Continue reading “The Harm of Pornography”

Building Nurturing into our Daily Lives

by Alison Moir, UK

I have been attending Esoteric Developers Women’s Group over the last couple of years; this has been so supportive. It has been amazing to see how everyone attending has expanded their awareness of what it means to be a woman.

From a young age I never really accepted myself as a woman, partly because as a teenager I never got tall, my breasts never really grew and I didn’t look like the other girls at school, so I brushed aside the fact that I was a woman and avoided womanly things. Buying dresses was always a problem, as I couldn’t fill them in all the right places.

So at a recent meeting when we began to discuss nurturing, what it meant to us as women, and how we could bring it into our lives, I must admit I wobbled a bit – did I really know what it meant to nurture as a woman? Continue reading “Building Nurturing into our Daily Lives”

Releasing Ideals and Opening up to the Natural Beauty of the True Woman within Me

by Nicole Serafin, Tintenbar, Australia

Growing up in a house with my two male cousins – one a little older than me, and the other a little younger – created an interesting dynamic for me as a girl, let alone when I started going through my teenage years and into puberty…

My parents treated us all equally. We went to the same school, had the same friends, went on holidays together and were all very close, wanting to do things together all the time… which in most cases was fine, but in some I found it wasn’t. Not because we didn’t want to, but because we weren’t always allowed. I began to find that the boys were treated differently to myself, often being able to go places and do things that I also wanted to do, but because I was a girl I was told it was not safe or just not ‘the done thing’. It didn’t take me long to realise this notion was the case in most situations, and also held in the world.

I began to notice that the boys were always allowed to do more activities – such as play more sports and go out to places that I was not able to go – even when I had been the same age. Society ‘told me’ that I was a girl and “girls did not do those sorts of things”. However, when or if I ever got hurt, felt vulnerable or expressed any kind of fragility, I was expected to “get over it and toughen up” like the boys. There was never any room or time for tears or feelings. It seemed I was supposed to be able to ‘tough it out’ as they say, but also when it suited I was to be a girl. I remember feeling and finding this extremely confusing. Continue reading “Releasing Ideals and Opening up to the Natural Beauty of the True Woman within Me”

From Rip Cord Effect to True Love

by Danielle Pirera, Australia

My friends and I would often joke about the ‘rip cord effect’; when a woman gets married and then pulls the cord, like on a life vest, and ‘poof!’ – instantly she puffs out, putting on weight. My partner has also joked to me about this, but I could feel that it was from a genuine concern or fear that this would happen to me. I pondered on this more deeply, seeing it in my mother, and I reflected on times when I had put on weight in relationships, or ‘let myself go’.

In my teenage years and as a young adult I grew up not living as the lovely girl or gorgeous woman that deep down I felt I was. Living in such a way felt empty or bottomless… not living in the stillness and preciousness that I could feel myself to truly be. Somewhere along the line I was taught, shown or told that I could be this lovely woman when I had a man, got married and / or had children. So in my head I thought that if I had a man beside me, or became a wife or mother, I would no longer feel the empty and desperate feeling within. I then spent a greater portion of my life driving or pushing very hard to get a man and kids; I lost myself completely because every choice was based on what would enable me to reach my goal. Continue reading “From Rip Cord Effect to True Love”

Something Beautiful Part 2 – My Unfolding and Learning to Be All of Me in a Relationship with a Man

by Johanna Smith, Perth WA

It just so happens that since initially writing Blog Part 1… a man came into my life. We initially enjoyed a short but fairly committed and serious relationship.

We came from different backgrounds  so at times there was a language and cultural barrier. Also, how we had been raised since childhood, and all the ideals and beliefs we used to get us through life came between us at times. These would show themselves as ‘issues’ that we could both see as something to work through.

I found this man to be open to the way I treat myself and the way I have today chosen to live – with care, respect, tenderness and love for myself. I found him to be gentle with me, understanding, simple, caring, considerate and supportive – with the ability to sit and talk with me, and listen… but most of all I found him to have been willing. Willing to work on a relationship which was more honest and true (a true relationship) to that which he and I had experienced before in our independent pasts. And we both had to work out what that was along the way for us. For me, it had been (and still today is) ‘me being all of me in a relationship’ – (something which continues to unfold in discovering how that actually looks and feels on a practical level, with all the daily activities such as work, chores, kids etc.). Continue reading “Something Beautiful Part 2 – My Unfolding and Learning to Be All of Me in a Relationship with a Man”

Something Beautiful Part 1 – My Unfolding and Being All of Me with a Man

Johanna Smith, Perth WA 

I am currently 34 years old, and from the ages of 15-28 have been in long-term relationships. Literally as 1, 2, 3 or 4 year length relationships ended, there was another one (the next day or two) knocking on my door ready to begin… and I always took it! I liked the exciting-ness of it all; the feeling that someone was interested in me and all that went with it… until the not so pretty themes would raise their head, and similar issues or patterns would come out in each relationship. Then, it wasn’t so much fun. However, I seemingly kept myself in the illusion that “I was doing OK”, as I told myself that this one (this relationship, man or ‘catch’) is better than the last. Continue reading “Something Beautiful Part 1 – My Unfolding and Being All of Me with a Man”