EMBRACING YOUR POWER WOMAN
AT MID-LIFE AND BEYOND
by Barbara Wilder
STEP FOUR - THE POWER OF COURAGE & ABILITY
(Excerpt from Embracing Your Power Woman: 11 Steps to Coming of Age in Mid-Live by Barbara Wilder
ďThe purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.Ē
- Eleanor Roosevelt
YOU CAN DO IT
There are many things we know we can do. As menopausal women we have all lived forty years and more. We are all intelligent women. Most of us have supported ourselves financially at one time or another. A great many of us have raised children, made homes, and learned innumerable skills. We have done the amazing and the mundane. And in our minds we all know that we can do anything if we have to.
Yet there are some things we each dearly desire to do that we feel are impossible. Itís as if thereís a wall that keeps us from breaking through to our dreams. In the corporate world this wall is called ďthe glass ceiling,Ē above which a woman canít rise. We all suffer from the glass-ceiling effect, whether or not weíre in the corporate world.
For most of our lives, our generation of women have asked and even demanded that the glass ceiling be removed. The men who built it have not taken it away, though women have raised it. Nevertheless, the glass ceiling canít be raised or removed if we donít get rid of it first in our consciousness, where it has been firmly ensconced.
How many times has someone said to you, Go ahead, you can do it? How many times did you think, Thatís not true? How many times did you think, I could do it, ifÖ if I had more money . . . if I had more time Ö if Iíd had more support from my parents when I was a childÖ if Iíd only finished college Öif I were smarter, prettier, richer, more daring? You can add your own qualifications to the list.
It is a sad fact that as young women we were rarely told, Go ahead, you can do it. Even when we hear the phrase now, or as we think about having heard it in the past, there is a little voice that whispers, No, you canít. And then, for whatever reason our clever minds devise, we are suddenly less sure. We immediately become stupid. And from this place, it is an easy downward spiral into the comfort of our complacency.
I recently watched the 1948 classic film One Touch of Venus. In it, Ava Gardner plays a statue of Venus, which comes to life after being kissed by a mortal man. At the filmís climax, Jupiter drags Venus away from Earth while her mortal lover drives at breakneck speeds to rescue her. The film cuts back and forth between Venus, who is powerless against the male gods, and her lover, who risks life and limb to save her. As she waits breathlessly, he arrives in the nick of time and saves her from the jaws of destruction.
How many films have you seen with endings like this one? How many times have you sat in dark theaters or in your living room and watched the images of women waiting breathlessly while men work furiously to save them? How many of these images do we have embedded in our psyches? How do we break the pattern? How do we reconstruct our subconscious images from rescued to the rescuer, and self-rescuer?
As a very young teenager I was the rescuer of my fantasies. As an older woman I know that any self-respecting woman must become her own rescuer. But though I have known that in my mind, until very recently there was still a part of me that felt I needed to be, and deserved to be, rescued. I also felt that if a man didnít rescue me, I wouldnít be as good as other women who had been. This didnít come from my conscious mind. Iím certainly not the kind of woman that anyone would suspect was waiting to be saved by a male hero. And yet, I was. I am not only my mind and my personal will, I am also a social construct made up of messages delivered in a million ways, including those on a flickering movie screens. These are the mists through which we must peer to find our greater reality.
THE COURAGE TO LOOK AT OUR MIRRORS AND LIFE THEMES
As we become more and more consciously aware of our process and our ability to release the blocks to the flow of positive life energy though our bodies and our lives, we will begin to see that everything around us is a mirror of our inner life. The angry store clerk, the impatient driver, the whining friend have all been obligingly provided by our Spirit for our very own growth and development. They are like clues for our inner detective to direct us to what we need to heal or how we need to grow. The intensity of our reaction to these mirrors is in direct proportion to our need to release them. Our ability to step into the role of the detective to solve our mysteries is hindered only by our fear of what we may find. A good private investigator searches for the truth. The truth can never hurt. The truth will set us free. But to look at our truth takes courage. Often our truth-mirrors are not about healing and growth, but about acceptance and self-worth.
As we look into the mirrors that reflect our true selves, we mustnít exclude the ones that show us how beautiful and strong we are or how far weíve come. Mirrors reflect our true grit, our wit, our intelligence, and our potential. Learning to respond to our beauty-mirrors takes as much or sometimes more courage than the ones showing us where we can improve. It means we have to recognize and embrace the true wonder of our own power. Because many of us lack self-esteem, we react to beautiful mirrors with jealousy instead of joy.
Suppose you were having a difficult time with your finances and suddenly found yourself in the presence of wealthy people. If you are aware that everyone around you is a mirror of our true self, then you will see in these wealthy people a mirror of your own prosperous potential. Choose to see your own prosperity in the mirror and positive change will take place quickly.
If you choose to become immersed in self-pity because you donít have what they have, you will only become increasingly angry, jealous and impoverished.
Courage is the key Ė courage to face our fears, accept our foibles, get down with our anger, recognize our magnificence, and explore the themes of our lives. Each of us has come into this lifetime with a very particular set of challenges. There often seems to be a main theme to these sets of challenges, such as money, relationships, death, love, or children. Sometimes itís a combination. These challenges are given to us to embrace in order to learn to live joy-filled lives in spite of them.
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
- What are the recurring themes in your life?
- How do you deal with these recurring themes?
- Do you wish the challenges would just go away? Has wishing worked?
- What could you do to begin living a happy life despite these challenges?
- What would it mean to embrace the worst parts of your life? Do you have the courage to try?
is an internationally acclaimed author, teacher, and healer. She is the author of Embracing Your Power Woman: 11 Steps to Coming of Age in Mid-Life and Money is Love: Reconnecting to the Sacred Origins of Money. A former actress, screenwriter, and film production executive, Wilder studied light-energy healing and growth techniques in The School of Actualism, a Hermetic Mystery school based on Agni Yoga & the works of Alice Bailey & Rudolf Steiner. She currently lives in Boulder, Colorado, where she writes, teaches, and maintains her practice as an transformational therapist and light energy healer. For more information on Barbara and her work, please visit her website www.BarbaraWilder.com.
Copyright © 2006 by Barbara Wilder