When I was growing up in the ‘power decade’ of the 1980’s female ‘empowerment’ was being shouted from the rooftops - just like it is today. As a young woman I saw this translated into general disdain or even hatred towards men whilst at the same time being encouraged to emulate the toxic masculinity of the workplace, competing and comparing my way forward. The message was that girls should ‘beat’ men at their own games, doing it all faster and better - ‘super-women’ style. But all this came at high personal cost for both feminists and their shoulder-pad wearing sisters alike. It separated us all, men and women, and we no longer felt power-full, ‘walking on’ each other in stilettos.
From my perspective, women still appear super-confused about what empowerment looks and feels like. And from what I see around me we’ve been unsure about how to reconnect to it, or to each other in true power - for a long time.
Now in 2019 we have more ‘women’s movements’ than ever before, but are they moving us closer to true inner power? It is clear to me at least, that most women, particularly in the West, are no closer to true empowerment than in bygone eras. Yes - we have better pay, better ‘dropdown’ lifestyle menus, legalised workplace ‘respect’ and perhaps better wardrobes.
BUT - as Natalie Benhayon asked us at the start of the workshop:
‘Do we all have that true daily settlement in our Body
that comes from knowing nothing can rock or
undermine our self-respect and worth?'
Do we consistently trust or honour our feelings or the cyclic rhythms of our body that have always been our inner source of power?
The rising rates of female plastic surgery, depression, anxiety and general need for comparison and jealousy (fuelled by the media) as well as caffeine, alcohol, sugar and other stimulants would suggest not.
At the Women in Livingness Workshop in Brisbane, I joined many other women all wanting to understand how to live in true empowerment, outside the many stereotypes we had seen or ‘tried out’ for size in our lives.
...And so enters the simplicity of Sisterhood. A magnifying quality of one-on-one intimacy, free of comparison of any sort, held in equal-ness and ready to naturally reconnect each woman to her own and another’s inner power, regardless of age.
If ever our world needed this quality it is now. Yet our discussions revealed that many of us did not have true reflections of Sisterhood in our families of origin where moments of female intimacy were corrupted early by comparison or jealousy. As one lady commented, the story of Snow White and the Jealous Mother (later changed to Step Mother) was so much more than a mere fairy-tale.
What is the magic of Sisterhood?
As Natalie walked us over this stepping stone to empowerment, we discovered that Sisterhood:
Embraces sensitivity and vulnerability.
Leaves no room for comparison and judgement – not ever.
Allows transparency from all angles.
Leaves space for all the ‘awkward’ conversations, because at their heart lies true intimacy.
Has a beautiful self-perpetuating ripple effect and reciprocity.
It is the ability to just BE with someone, deeply so, with no reservations in showing all you feel and know, from and with the wisdom of your body.
Sisterhood works within the wisdom of each age decade or cycle, as a marker of equal wisdom whatever that woman’s age. And this cyclical feature provides the context for how we allow ourselves to be in the world, drawing from it and using it in Sisterhood, to help other women, of any age, reconnect to their own power.
Living Sisterhood from these Cycles magnifies us all as womankind, for we all arise to true power together, free of ideals and beliefs, comparison and self-doubt. Without it we are left with cheap imitations, shaky inner foundations - burntbras and shoulder pads!
I left this Women in Livingness workshop feeling the strong web of connections between women of all ages and the latent power Sisterhood holds for us all.
During subsequent days I witnessed the magic of Sisterhood in situations previously outside my ‘comfort zone’, by choosing greater transparency, ditching comparison and using the wisdom of my ‘age’ to foster intimacy with the women in my ‘usual’ social sphere and beyond. I felt how this also supports another woman to reconnect to her power and appreciated the simple magnification of ‘power’ and volume it brought us both.
Do we dare to bring the simple practice of Sisterhood into our home, use it with our daughters, our mum’s, our workmates, friends and our men? If we did, the ripple effect might just become a (gentle) Tsunami.
If each of us held that solid inner steadiness, the true empowerment that Sisterhood brings, we would stand together free of the judgement,
imposition and the false power our world - for aeons -
has used to dominate and beguile us.