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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6 Responses to Spirit of Woman Blog

  1. Louis Fossa says:

    How can one answer the question..’What does it mean to be a woman’ being a male person I cannot begin to take thought to this. Women are the pivot for man, without them we are lost.

  2. anniemm says:

    @Louis Fossa: Dearest Lou,
    You are a true man by virtue of your generous comment. Yes, woman are the pivot for men, and when they honour and bless their men for the depth of their love and for the supportive role they play, they create the stage for a deep, meaningful and worthwhile relationship. Unhappily many women don’t realise their power and they and their menfolk suffer as a consequence. Louis, I am so loving your field of beautiful freesias at the moment – it is a stunning sight and an exquisite smell sensation – thank you.

  3. Meta Robins says:

    Hi Karen,
    If you had asked that question a few years ago, I wouldn’t have had a clue. I grew up believing women worked as hard as men[I did] also played as hard. Seen but not heard, was also paramount. Oh! I was a trial for my parents, WHY? was a constant of mine. I found out what it meant to be a woman when I started using Alternate Therapies and using Flower Essences and when I met Annie [a few years ago now], what a revelation that was. I believe I know what my light is now and I am very happy and proud to stand in it, no-one can take it from me, I can dim it if I need to and I can also push it to it’s brightest point without fear of retribution or “you can’t do that!”. Well guess what! I can and I do and I will as long as it suits me. A quote that love is;
    Be the kind of Woman that, when your feet hit the floor each morning, the Devil says, Oh! Crap She’s Up.
    Enjoy your journey,

  4. anniemm says:

    @Meta Robins: I love the quote Meta! What a wonderful thing to aspire to. My weekend (which I will share in this week’s blog) revealed my light! And I dare say I have for the first time in my life absolutely (though possibly not completely at this stage) stepped into, owned and accepted my power. I feel regenerated and excited. Whilst I haven’t yet met you Meta, I give thanks to all you wonderful women who have journeyed before me and shown me the way. For all others who verge on the brink, I can say that the hardest part was believing 100% in myself that this was the right path to follow. Being a woman ROCKS!!!

  5. Mary says:

    Hi Karren
    I have finally looked at your blog. I’m excited to keep following your updates. What does it mean to be a woman? I am just beginning to learn and I love what I’m learning. It seems everywhere I turn another book, another woman or another article just adds to my new understanding. I was told recently that being a woman means being LOVE. We get love by giving love. For me that works. The parts of me that don’t love – that are fearful, angry, resentful, jealous – they are the childhood parts of me that are still hurting. In my new understanding I can now love those ‘girls’ and bless them and offer protection. I am growing in confidence, creativity, affection and a sense of self. What a wonderful journey this is.

  6. anniemm says:

    Mary, you are sooo right. The little ‘girls’ in our lives are ready and waiting to be loved and nurtured. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling when we realise that we can do that so beautifully ourselves. Go Girl!!!

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