What does it mean to be woman?


The question itself seems simple enough, yet it is one to which I constantly return.  At times I am filled with gusto and bravado – ready to take on the world and fulfill my aspirations, yet at others, I fall into a heap and feel paralyzed by fear and insecurity.  I will return to this unfolding drama.  For now I wish to invite you all on a journey.

This is my first regular blog installment. In my introductory blog post, which you can read by clicking here,  I promised to share honestly and openly with you my thoughts, experiences, feelings, and processes.    It’s confronting for me, but I hope to humour you, challenge you, befriend you and share with you my processes in becoming a Wise Woman.

I speak confidently of becoming a Wise Woman, as the myriad of experiences that have interwoven themselves in my life  (and still continue to do so) are designed, I believe, to lead me to that sacred and well earned place.  Having said that, I am sure I have quite a distance to go yet!

I truly look forward to sharing this journey with you all. I would love your contributions, either when you feel a connection, or if you have a topic that interests you that you would like to have discussed.

As women, it is often difficult to share our fears achievements or disappointments (particularly around parenting) however I would like to challenge us all to take this journey.  This is a forum of NO JUDGEMENT!  In truth, I believe discussion is the first step in moving towards resolution of issues.   As with all things, it starts with the self and often ends up rippling through to the Community.

It appears to me that the question of “What it means to be a woman” is one we all ask at some point in our lives.

I grew up in a family with three sisters and no brothers. My father was the only male and often quipped about the ‘unfairness’ of existing in an all female environment.  Yet he (and my mother) both ruled with, what seemed to me at the time,  iron fists.  We were the quintessential children who ‘were seen and not heard’, particularly, in public where the appearance of  ‘a happy, harmonious and well-disciplined family unit’ was critical.

On the inside, I was far from happy.  With my ‘wings’ consistently clipped, it felt a struggle to be ‘like my sisters’ who appeared to be happy honing their ‘domestic’ skills.  I simply wanted freedom – yet I was desperately looking for who I really was………… and to be loved and accepted for that.

Consequently, I learnt to walk the tightrope between both worlds, the end result of which is:  I’m resilient and forthright, I enjoy challenges and I am driven (often to the point of self destruction).  I have finally conquered domesticity.  Which simply means that I accept it in my life and at times enjoy it!

But I’m also fearful. Of what, I ask myself?  Of my authentic self, I answer!

After a week of taking ‘Daddy’s Girl’, and a full weekend of being with friends sharing our personal lives, I am increasingly conscious of the unspoken fears that hold many women back from being their true and authentic selves.  In the words of Frances Moore Lappe “I’ve grown certain that the root of all fear is that we’ve been forced to deny who we are”.

My journey this week has awoken me to remember to be authentic to myself.  Daddy’s Girl has helped me to once again come out behind the protective curtain of “father issues” where I hide and avoid nurturing my authentic self.

Women change constantly!  Yet, somehow we continually expect that our friends, sisters, mothers, teachers, etc. will remain consistent and the same.  The Wise Woman emerges from her experiences and each one of those experiences changes her perceptions, understandings, emotions and life.

Our authentic selves need room to grow – like any beautiful flower!  As women, we must nurture each other, provide nutrients and sustenance to our fellow being-humans (human-beings) to ensure each and every one of us is provided every opportunity to reach full bloom!

For me, that is the essence of being a WOMAN!

Feel free to comment – in fact, I would love it if you did!!

It stimulates discussion and, also, your comment may be very well what someone else was thinking but was too timid to speak out!

Have a great week and please look out for my next blog post.

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