Misogyny and the Sliding Scale of Abuse – Our Responsibility

According to statistics and a number of surveys around the World, misogyny and the abuse of women is on the rise.

A survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights found about a third of all women in the EU have experienced either physical or sexual violence since the age of 15. The survey found that “one in 10 women has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 15, and one in 20 has been raped”. 

Every 90 seconds, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted – Calculation based on 2012 National Crime Victimization Survey. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice.

Since the age of 15, one third of women (33%) have experienced inappropriate comments about their body or sex life, one quarter (25%) have experienced unwanted sexual touching, and one in five (19%) have been stalked. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006) Continue reading “Misogyny and the Sliding Scale of Abuse – Our Responsibility”

Expression: The Choice to be My Natural Self

‘How are you?’

It’s a question we ask each other every day… and a question that was posed by Sara Williams during one of the recent Esoteric Women’s Groups in London.

We were invited to ponder on how we usually answer that question, what we choose to say and how much of ourselves we choose to share. Working in pairs with people we didn’t know, we were given three opportunities to answer the same question… Continue reading “Expression: The Choice to be My Natural Self”

Finding My Self-Worth: Is it in Performing different Roles in my Life?

For a long time I felt my self-worth was outside of me, in all that I did and received back in the process, as a form of recognition or a reward:

  • It was all about others and keeping them happy with NO time for me
  • It was in multi-tasking, in working hard towards being the best I could be in all aspects of life
  • It was all about things that I would achieve on my TO DO list in all my roles – as a child, sister, daughter, friend, mother, wife, employee…

That’s what I thought was the way to live: a life driven by doing/achieving and being recognised constantly in all that I did! Continue reading “Finding My Self-Worth: Is it in Performing different Roles in my Life?”

Comparison and Competition between Women

What if instead of ignoring it or pretending it doesn’t happen, we could understand comparison and competition between women as an opportunity to notice something more about ourselves?

Could comparison be a reminder that we have forgotten our own loveliness?

When we start to see comparison as a symptom of forgetting ourselves in the first place, it stops us from making it about the other woman – the one we are comparing ourselves to – and becomes solely about the relationship we have with ourselves.

Is it possible that comparison enters through the doorway of lack of self worth or self loathing that we open whenever we brush off, ignore or hold at bay recognising and appreciating the absolute preciousness and amazingness of ourselves?

  • When I see a friend, sister, colleague, daughter or my mum feeling amazing, stepping up and being beautiful, there is a lot of information exchanged in that split second about the choices they have made and the ones I have made too. I get to feel them and myself in that same moment. If I hold that woman above me, better than me, more ‘it’ than me – I feel deflated and crushed by my own ‘not enough-ness’, my mouth goes dry and my tummy feels punched. Hello comparison… where’s the chocolate?
  • When I am present with myself and hold myself as equal to any other woman, including the one in front of me that is reflecting their beauty and amazingness, all the information of that single moment is still there, but instead of being crushed I get to feel where I have let myself go or held myself back, in the face of my mums, friends, sisters, colleagues or daughters’ choice to be more of themselves instead of opting for something less. I get to see and feel where they have made choices that I didn’t. But the difference is, I do not feel less for it, I feel soundly aware of the choices I’ve or haven’t made and the ones I can still make instead. Hello inspiration!

How different would our relationships be as women if we were able to, instead of using the information we are constantly feeling in every exchange as a measuring rod to beat ourselves (or another) with, we acknowledged the unfolding beauty of another woman without feeling an iota less in ourselves, in fact, feeling more aware and appreciative of ourselves instead?

As women we have a powerful opportunity to nip comparison and competition in the bud wherever it plays out in our daily lives and our relationships with each other – friends, family, colleagues, celebrities, strangers – even pictures in a magazine or characters in a movie.

What if instead of cutting one another down as women with the ill will that comes from a bruised self, we took the opportunity to REMEMBER our own absolute worth and loveliness?

When comparison and competition between women gives way to inspiration and appreciation we get to see and feel each other blooming, knowing we share that same blooming power too, equally, in all our different bodies, ages and lives.

Inspired by the Esoteric Women’s Health presentations of Jenny Ellis, Rebecca Poole and Mary Louise Myers.

By Adrienne Hutchins, BEd, Brisbane, Australia

Meeting Men, with the True Beauty of a Woman

Yesterday, when I walked down the road to catch the bus, I was feeling full of my own inner beauty, the true beauty of myself as a woman: my heart was open and I felt joy when I came across other people on my way. Many of these interactions were with men…

  • a simple ‘good morning’ to the man walking his dog
  • a warm hello to the road sweeper who looked surprised but opened up like a flower in response to my smile
  • a wave hello to the man who runs a café who always leans out of his door to wave back at me and wish me a good day
  • a brief heartfelt conversation with a man who asked me directions
  • a smile and a ‘thank you’ to two men sitting on a doorstep whiling their time away, who told me I looked lovely today.

Continue reading “Meeting Men, with the True Beauty of a Woman”

Sewing ‘The Rhythm of Life’ – One Stitch at a Time

Can it be possible that sewing stitches on a piece of material allows us to see and observe the kind of day we’ve had, and how we’ve felt in it? Growing up I took the art of sewing into my teenager daily life, remembering with joy the invaluable lessons this craft taught me as an adult about the rhythm of life and the importance of taking one stitch at a time… Continue reading “Sewing ‘The Rhythm of Life’ – One Stitch at a Time”

What is being Truly Sexy?

What sexy means to me has changed dramatically over the past three years, since attending the Women in Livingness Groups, held monthly in London. I used to see being sexy as something outside of me that I could buy, attain or an approach that if studied hard enough could bring me that sexy look. I used to see being sexy as an age thing and that as you went past a certain age that was it – no more sexy!

Well I am super glad I have put that belief to bed; I have now met many, many women who inspire super sexiness at all ages. These women are happy and content with who they are, they know they are not perfect but there is tender openness with a joy and a willingness to explore who they really are. Over the years that I have attended the women’s groups, I have seen the ladies flourish as they deepen their connection to the real, truly sexy women they are.

This has been a real blessing and truly inspiring to see. I can feel my body rejoice in the inspiration of these women as they deepen their self- acceptance for themselves, and love for who they are.

Society imposes on us what sexy is.

Sexy is not a picture in a magazine that tells us how we should look.

Sexy is not about showing as much flesh as possible.

Sexy is not about flirting and being all smiles and puppy dog eyes, yet hiding behind a façade of insecurities.

Sexy is not about being taken advantage of in any single way.

Sexy is not about inciting male attention to hide a lack in ourselves.

Sexy is not about making other women jealous.

Sexy is not about inciting comparison.

Sexy is not selling a product or selling yourself.

Sexy is not seeing a look on a billboard and feeling “wow that is sexy I want to look like that”.

Sexy is not manipulating a situation to get what you want.

Being sexy is not using looks or sex to gain affection.

Sexy is not dressing just for the attention of others.

Sexy is not acting seductively to “hook” a male in.

Being sexy is not being domineering, or meek and pathetic.

Sexy is not about being abused in any way.

Sexy is not acting promiscuously or promoting it in any form and it is definitely not found on MTV.

True sexiness is:

  • How we move.
  • How we are gentle and tender with ourselves.
  • How we walk.
  • When we feel amazing, and claim it rather than holding it back.
  • How we blink our eyes.
  • How aware we are of our breasts.
  • How when our posture is aligned and chest lovingly expanded we stand open ready to give and receive love.
  • The way we can feel connected to and be aware of our ovaries and uterus whilst carrying out mundane tasks.
  • In our voice when we talk with clarity and presence.
  • An inner confidence that is not altered by other’s perceptions, whether good or bad.
  • The clothes we choose to wear that accentuate the beautiful woman already there.
  • In the way in which we deeply honour ourselves whilst getting ready for the day.
  • How we interact with all those we meet, holding them, connecting with them and not holding back and not trying to be more or less.
  • Simply expressing what is there to be expressed.
  • Being playful, and being in the moment.
  • Dressing for yourself and feeling the texture of the fabric on the skin and the way it feels and flows on body.
  • Choosing underwear that confirms the beauty we are, making sure the fabric feels good against the body.
  • Giving yourself permission to say YES to life.

Being Truly Sexy is enhanced by being in touch with our natural rhythms and cycles; it is about inspiring other women that we are ALL truly sexy, and all we need to do is connect to the enormous sensual, sacred and tender love that we have inside.

As women we all have a unique sexiness that comes not from looks or any outside skill we perform. True sexiness is there already within, waiting and wanting to come out. Thank you to all you sexy ladies out there for inspiring me to be the full, truly sexy woman I am!

by STC, UK 

You may also like:

Feeling Truly Sexy by Priscila Azeredo de Souza
The Natural Yearning and Impulse to Express Our Beauty by Gina Dunlop

 

Menopause and Me – A New Chapter in life, Listening to My Body and Making Wiser Choices

I was truly inspired after reading the blog My Reincarnation through the Menopause by Susan Lee. I couldn’t agree more that there is definitely a life afterwards, and that older women are not ‘over the hill’, or ‘invisible’!

The Change

I am a woman of 61, and I went through the menopause about 9 years ago at aged 52. I am married and had my 2 children in my 30s. In my 40s I was very curious to know what to expect from both a physical and emotional standpoint, it seemed a rather bleak outlook with nothing much to look forward to after ‘The Change’. I even went to a conference on menopause with experts speaking on different topics, like HRT, and I reflected to myself asking, “Isn’t menopause just a natural and normal event in a woman’s reproductive cycle and not a disease?”  Continue reading “Menopause and Me – A New Chapter in life, Listening to My Body and Making Wiser Choices”