Rediscovering feminine power: a guide to our intrinsic worthAug 21, 2023
Angel Arts, founder
[Image source: Shutterstock]
Rediscover the essence of feminine strength and wisdom to inspire and empower yourself
The modern woman is juggling myriad roles—career woman, mother, daughter, partner—often forgetting her own self in the process. The hustle and bustle of daily life often makes us overlook our intrinsic worth and the profound power that lies dormant within us.
“Feminine power” at its core, encapsulates the essence, strength, and grace inherent in every woman. History has been punctuated by women who've displayed unparalleled strength and leadership. From the legendary Cleopatra of Egypt to the fierce Joan of Arc – their stories aren't just tales of achievement; they are testimonials to the innate power every woman possesses. If we dive deep into these narratives, we’ll see that our ancestors understood and celebrated female strength in ways that we are just beginning to embrace today…
Historical glimpses of feminine power
Feminine power is not a modern concept. It's a timeless force that has shaped our world.
- Cleopatra. Not just a beauty icon, but a tactician, diplomat, and the formidable last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. Her reign epitomised the strength, intelligence, and strategic mind of women.
- Joan of Arc. Rising from obscurity, she became a military leader and symbol of undaunted faith, defying both age and gender expectations.
- Empress Matilda. A pivotal figure in 12th century England, Matilda was a woman who staked her claim to the English crown, challenging norms and setting the stage for future generations of powerful female rulers.
- Queen Seondeok of Silla. One of the first known reigning queens in Korean history. Her reign marked advancements in science, culture, and art, showcasing her prowess as both an administrator and a visionary.
- Rani Lakshmibai. The Queen of Maratha-ruled state of Jhansi in India, she was a key figure in the 1857 Indian rebellion against British colonial rule, proving her bravery and strategic acumen.
- Pocahontas. A native Powhatan, she played a key diplomatic role between Native Americans and English settlers, bridging two worlds and cultures.
- Sojourner Truth. Born into slavery, she became a prominent abolitionist and women's rights activist. Her speech, "Ain't I a Woman?", delivered in 1851, remains one of the most powerful addresses on gender and racial inequality.
- Dolores Huerta. A labour leader and civil rights activist, she co-founded the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez. Her efforts have been crucial in fighting for the rights of agricultural workers and advocating for Latino and women's rights.
- Eleanor Roosevelt. The First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945 transformed the role into one of active political participation. An advocate for civil rights, women's rights, and the rights of World War II refugees, she also played a pivotal role in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Malala Yousafzai. From Pakistan, she became an international symbol for girls' education after being shot by the Taliban. Subsequently, she co-authored the memoir, "I Am Malala", and became the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.
- Tilly Aston. Blind since the age of seven, she founded the Victorian Association of Braille Writers and later the Association for the Advancement of the Blind. Tilly was instrumental in advocating for the rights and independence of blind people in Australia.
From queens and political leaders to activists and pioneers, these women exemplify resilience, ambition, and the drive to bring about change. Their legacies continue to inspire many across the globe.
The modern woman's challenge
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In our times, amazing women globally are breaking barriers, making their presence felt across sectors. Yet, the challenges are manifold: the modern woman often finds herself at a crossroads of identity and purpose juggling all of her roles.
The digital world means being constantly connected, leading to information overload, and often a struggle to disconnect and find true moments of introspection and peace. The expectations have skyrocketed. Now, not only is a woman expected to excel in her career and home, but she's also expected to show this "picture-perfect" life on social media, which adds a layer of pressure that often masks the underlying struggles.
Then there's the delicate balance of navigating traditional roles and modern aspirations. Many women still grapple with societal norms that box them into prescribed roles, while simultaneously being told to chase limitless ambitions. This dichotomy can lead to an identity crisis, where a woman might question if she's doing "enough", and if she's "enough" herself.
While the feminist movements of the past have paved the way for greater gender equality, there still exists a gender pay gap in many industries, and women are underrepresented in many top-tier leadership roles, because they're not men. Navigating workplace dynamics, combating subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) biases, and finding a voice in male-dominated spaces remains a challenge.
Unlocking your power
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Despite the challenges, though, modern times also offer an array of resources and support systems not available before. From communities of like-minded women, women's clubs, women festivals and women's circles, to educational resources and platforms that amplify women's voices, there are tools at our disposal to rise, reclaim, and resonate. The modern woman's challenge, then, is not just to navigate these hurdles. It's to transform them into stepping stones, building a legacy of empowered womanhood for the generations to come. And we're so ready and so capable of making that change now...
To truly harness our feminine power, we need to recognise and accept it first. And then we need to take action. Use these simple steps to help yourself pave your way daily whatever action you take:
- Self-awareness. Frida Kahlo channelled her pain and self-awareness into art. Introspection and meditation can provide a mirror to your soul. Use them to reveal your strengths and areas of growth.
- Affirmations serve as rooting us in our worth and potential. Oprah Winfrey, one of the most influential women of our time, often speaks of the power of intention and positive affirmations.
- Empowerment through knowledge. Education and understanding are not just for personal improvement. When combined with the will to speak out, they become a tool to challenge systems, inspire others, and bring about significant progress in society. For instance, Maya Angelou’s words, derived from her personal experiences and profound wisdom, have illuminated the struggles and triumphs of the Black community in America.
- Setting boundaries. Whether it's in personal relationships, at the workplace, or in how we consume media and information, defining clear boundaries helps maintain mental well-being and ensures we direct our energy towards constructive endeavors.
- Community building: Behind every successful woman is often a tribe of women who have her back. Connect with like-minded women, join or create support groups, and attend networking events. Sharing experiences, resources, and providing mutual support can bolster your journey immensely!
- Action and advocacy. Harnessing feminine power isn't just about personal growth. It's also about influencing positive change in society. Stand up for what you believe in, advocate for those who might not have a voice, and remember that even small actions can have large impacts. Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her bus seat became a pivotal symbol in the Civil Rights Movement – you can be the change in doing small things right, too!
- Self-compassion. Ambition and drive are commendable, but it's also essential to be kind to yourself. Embrace failures and setbacks as part of your journey, and treat yourself with the same compassion you'd show a dear friend.
Your intrinsic worth is your compass
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Believing in yourself and recognizing your worth does not make you arrogant. Women have always been powerhouses of strength, resilience, and wisdom, and it’s important we acknowledge that. Our intrinsic worth is our compass, it’s always there to guide us, even when the path seems obscured.
Every woman is a tapestry of experiences, dreams, challenges, and victories. Embracing our feminine power is a path lined with self-discovery, growth, and an awakening to the strength that's been within us all along. As we stand on the shoulders of the foremothers who came before us—be they queens, warriors, artists, or advocates—we're reminded of our boundless potential. This isn't just about reclaiming power; it's about recognising the luminous strength that's always been within, waiting for its moment to shine.
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