What does it mean to be an independent woman? Is about being totally self supportive financially, not needing a man in your life, with the strains of the Helen Reddy classic circa 1975, “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar.”, playing in your ears and a lifetime subscription to Ms. Magazine?
Author, speaker, technologist, teacher, strategic planner, feminist and blogger Liz Lewinson spells it out in black and white in her book entitled Independence Ring: Rock The Female Revolution. This deceptively simple, short and easy to read treatise about the power differential and confusion between the genders, clarifies a great deal. She begins by taking us back to her twenties in which one of her goals is to meet and marry a powerful man, thereby ‘proving’ her worth. It is when she comes accross a young Buddhist teacher who goes un-named throughout her story, that her understanding of what power truly means, begins to take root and grow.
This was the take home message she received that night: “Women exemplify, from a spiritual point of view, power. Men have reacted very negatively to the power that is inherent in women. Rather than realizing that that power is also in them, that they have the same power, only it manifests in other ways, they have rejected that power and sought to convince women of the exact opposite, that they are powerless.”
From that concept stems repression, violence and violation that looks like rape, abuse, female infanticide, genital mutilation, subjugation and salary inequity. Lewinson’s contention is that as men and women recognize and honor each other’s power, rather than fear it, attempt to quell it or blast it to smithereens, we can stand beside each other in true equality.
Throughout the years, I have feared my power and had not wanted to overwhelm the men in my life. No one who knows me would see me as a shrinking violet and yet there were times in my life during which I played small. Now I recognize that ‘standing in my power’ has nothing to do with being overpowering and in fact, can be subtle and enduringly life enhancing.
This week on It’s All About Relationships, Liz Lewinson and I will explore what it means to truly live your power, whether you are a man or woman and how we can do more than peacefully co-exist, but rather empower each other to be our best.
Listen in on Thursday April 11th at 8pm est on Vivid Life Radio www.vividlife.me