Today in Female Empowerment: IN THEORY AND IN PRACTICE

I’ve said many times over that female empowerment has always been my calling, and that it starts with just me, and you.

Part of my own growth as a human has been organic, and another (maybe bigger) part has been intentional.

That intention is woven into the development of my Nine Pillars of Female Empowerment.

🌟I’ve been working on insight and awareness (around both myself and others). I think I’ve developed and embraced the growth mindset for real: if I don’t want to do something (for superficial or fear-related reasons), that is exactly the sign now that I MUST do it. Tough conversations with people who intimidate me, the monster hill at the north end of Central Park when my legs are tired, French class when we’re learning the difference between the passe composee and the imperfect. All of it—I’ve been diving right in. This can be difficult (read: so goddamn uncomfortable). But ultimately rewarding.

🌟I’ve definitely grown more confident...ironically through becoming more vulnerable. I’ve learned to share important (and real) parts of myself (without OVER-sharing, which, cringingly, I really used to do, often accompanied by dramatic tears). So, for example, I speak openly about how I have a lot of student loan debt, but perhaps now I don’t share the exact amount 😬.

🌟 I have dramatically altered the very persistent narrative in my head, shifting a lot of my negative thinking into the positive. My trick? I start to think a negative or judge-y or otherwise gnarly thought, and sometimes physically grab it (not giving a shit what I look like to the hundreds of people eyeing me on the NYC street around me) and throw it out on the ground, replacing it with a positive word or thought. I know. But it’s a practice and even though it might seem a bit extreme, it works and negativity has slowly loosened its grip on my psyche.

🌟I meditate and visualize and really “feel” my goals coming to fruition. Or at least I try, till I get distracted by the faintest ticking of the clock in a far-off room, the accent of the person guiding my meditation on Insight Timer (Is it Australian? Or is she a Kiwi?), or the fact that I forgot to vacuum the left side of my area rug last night and there is a black speck on it that’s driving me crazy. Breathe in. Breathe out.

🌟I’ve always been pretty resilient (not only bouncing back from setbacks but actually thriving in the face of challenges) and am even more so as the days go on. Looking back over the last few months, and the massive challenges and shitty things I had to face (again, both inwardly and outwardly) with the closing of Uplift, I am proud to note how resilient I was (am). In fact, a bigger source of pride was that I actually recognized my own resilience DURING the months of closure, trauma, and drama, while it was all going down.

🌟Building community with like-minded women was, is, and always will be my forte. I’ve always naturally done it. Have you heard my SWIGs story?

🌟I’ve taken baby steps into boundary-setting. No, old former friend from a million years ago, unfortunately I cannot spend the time or money to catch up with you over drinks. I am prioritizing me, and my primary relationships, and not feeling guilty about it anymore.

🌟I’ve taken adolescent steps into amplifying my (own) voice and speaking up for myself. And other women, too.

🌟And altruism - even on the tiniest of levels - continues to be a part of my life, especially the more I practice it. I am not a lot of things, but I try to be generous of spirit (and action) without expecting anything in return.

Basically, I am the full and perfect embodiment of female empowerment, living all of this, believing in all of it, toiling in and on all of it, and it works! It’s a miracle and my life is complete!

...Until the moments (hours, days, weeks) when it DOESN’T and ISN’T.

There are so many times—too many to enumerate—where I fall far short of any of the empowered woman ideals I’ve created and worked on.

I wake up anxious a lot. I have so many flaws and make so many mistakes that it scares me sometimes. And even though in the logical recesses of my brain, I know this is perfectly fine because not one person is perfect or close to it, it’s all about the journey, blah blah blah, I sometimes can’t help hating myself for my shortcomings.

I often engage in mental boxing matches with myself, getting totally exhausted, often before the sun has come up.

At the same time, I really, really believe in the work I am doing.

People always ask me how I fight the “fears” (as my friend Julie calls them). Fight through all the doubt I have, the chorus of voices both inside and outside my head that tell me, Nah.

The real and true answer is, I don’t really know.

There’s no mystical magic bullet for everything connecting and me (or others) getting it.

It’s simply a series of teeny tiny triumphs…and then looking back over the last hours, days, weeks and seeing just how far we’ve come.

I try. I try again. And again. And again. Every day is a chance for a new and fresh start.

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