Attending a women’s group has been a great support and valuable learning for me; it is something I cherish and look forward to. Just before the last women’s group, I came across some old notes that I had written from a women’s group a few years back. On the top of the page I had written a question: what does it feel like to be a successful woman?
Underneath, I had written a list of everything I thought this was. But on reading, I felt like it was a list of things I wanted to be or thought I should be. Images and pictures would come to mind next to each one. As I was reading, I could feel these were all of the things that were outside of me.
Growing up, I used to think being successful was being married and having children, having a large lovely home, a great well-paid job, many friends, holidays abroad and so on. But now, a few years down the track I couldn’t feel that any of this related to being successful. There was a large chunk missing and I realised it was a great exercise for me to do because I now know there is so much more to women. I realised that success is not measured by what we have in life.
The following month I came along to the women’s group and the penny dropped. The group spoke about a number of things; how we feel when we are on our own and how we feel when we are with others. For instance, we may notice that we change in different situations or for whom we are with. We stood up and spoke about ourselves; some spoke factually, giving their name, age, and work and some spoke about the qualities they bring.
As we continued, the women in the group became more honest and intimate in discussing themselves and taking the time to appreciate themselves. As I stood listening to the woman standing in front of me, the first thing she spoke about was how beautiful her eyes were, and as I looked into them I could see how much depth she brought through with them. They were a beautiful radiant green colour and as she spoke they sparkled. She had never appreciated her eyes in this way before and as she did so, she became more delicate and open.
Hearing and seeing her heartfelt appreciation, tears welled up in both our eyes and my mind flashed back to the list in my book. I could feel now the difference between what we think we know and what we would like to see as being successful, and what we know to be true when we feel it in our bodies. To be a successful woman is to be the real me, all of me, and to share this with others.
Standing there in front of this woman, all I could feel was tenderness in sharing together. I could feel me and her and the group all as one; a connectedness to everything around us. The list that was lingering in my head had melted away and I felt something I had never felt before, an appreciation for the qualities we bring: qualities we could see in each other and all the women around us.
I could feel what it was to be a woman, what it felt like in my body, because it felt so warm and familiar; it felt like me without any walls or masks, without the lists and the roles I play. This feeling cannot be found in what we do, our jobs, our achievements, our ‘to do’ lists, a book or in a presentation. It is very simple and it is felt and seen within ourselves, because it is within us all.
First published on Esoteric Women’s Health, 27/05/2017
For further inspiration…
‘Appreciating another begins with the appreciation of me.’ Read Cherise’s story…
‘What does it really mean to be beautiful, to be powerful and to truly express who we are?’ .. listen to women speak on self-worth and true empowerment.