To not be influenced by ideals, beliefs or external factors in life, but rather only by what comes from inside you and that honours the deepest part of you - in other words, having a deep relationship with one's body over and above what happens around you. Yep, sign me up for that - for this is part of what Natalie Benhayon presents as being a Woman in Livingness and that it is entirely possible for of every single woman on this planet to live.
The Well-being and Empowerment presentation began with aplomb and we dove straight into the deep end of nutting out what well-being and empowerment looks like in our everyday lives. So, what is well-being? Say you wake up sick. You have your go-tos, like taking yourself to the doctor, seeing an Esoteric Health practitioner, taking medication, having a day off, a long bath etc. But what do you do when you’re not actually sick? What do you do when you wake up overwhelmed with the day or doubting yourself and feel unconfident? Is this not just as ill as being 'sick'?
It was presented that we choose to subscribe to a sort of sub-standard way of being – being kind-of-okay is good enough. Where our normal class or standard of living involves breast cancer, endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts, ovarian cancer, lumpy breasts etc etc. These are all acceptable (albeit undesirable) and statistically speaking, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll end up with one or more. Isn’t that par for the course? How has our normal dropped to being un-well?
''The whole way you live your life is your health,
and ultimately good medicine or bad medicine.''
Or, we could choose to not settle for that sub-standard and choose a normal where any day we wake up tired is already an illness. Where the absence of 'sick' isn’t a sign of true wellbeing; where we value our body and accept nothing less than real intimacy in relationships and real intimacy in everyone else’s relationships. Where people in society are reported by the masses for rude, crude, obscene and abusive online comments and behaviours; where sending nude pictures of your fourteen year old self isn’t accepted and expected; where cyberspace connects us not divides us and where continual raising of the standards of decency is the norm. Where the concept of ‘putting up with it’ doesn’t exist and the concept of compromise is but a theory. Very simply, a woman in her livingness would choose the latter.
We all start with preciousness, sensitivity, value, decency, and respectfulness. But from a very young age we quickly learn to compromise what we know and what our bodies tell us is right and true and decent for us.
We then compromise, compromise some more, and some more again, and again, and before we know it, we have lost our compass and are living in a world that dictates to us how we need to be. And with more women than not living in the compromise of their bodies and deep relationship to themselves, that this is now normal.
We encounter situations in our work, our families, or our relationships, and we blame them or the problem for the drama. But we are taking an already compromised person or body into these difficult situations and expecting a good result.
And then enters the spontaneous ‘wellbeing’ – the pampering, detoxing, spas, juicing, holidays, sending the kids to the neighbours ... The go-tos, that have become what we do when the compromising runs us into the ground. These behaviours are not wrong, but, and it’s a really big but, they are not true well-being.
How we compromise...
Well-being is not a solution; it is not a doing. It is an adjective – ‘well’ – describing the Being, the inner part or spark of us that communicates in every moment how and in what quality we need to live. True well-being takes you back to look at and address where you compromised.
We end up so very far from a well-being because the beingness of us does not allow compromise. True well-being therefore is relearning not to compromise. Living without a Being that is treated well, the point is often reached where you loathe the body you’re in and then equate this to body image issues.
Natalie presented that what if it wasn’t our body but our Being that we have an issue with and that deep down we know our Being is ill?
Confirming what the previous Women in Livingness event presented, Natalie further exposed the fact that there is not a single woman in this world that has a body image issue - the issue is with our Being. Our Being is the most important thing to us and when we don’t treat that Being well, we hate that. We have been compromising our Being and we don’t like that feeling.
And so when we compromise a Being that at its core doesn’t allow compromise, the body is put into a state where it has to work twice as hard, like living two days in one, not because we're busy, but because everything we then do is alongside compromising the body and the lack of relationship with it.
I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t agree there is nothing more satisfying than someone seeing you for your being-ness; truly being seen from every angle for who you are, not about what you haven’t or have done.
Let's get real... We are crying out for connection. Craving it like crazy. But ridiculously doing everything to further the gap from actually getting what we truly want. We have a multi billion dollar porn industry. How on earth did we get this? Why do we substitute porn for intimacy and connection? Shouldn’t we all, women and men, be up in arms with this?
Because we compromise. Because we pick our battles. Because we let things slip, and because we let our eyes just not see that. And when we are given the chance to speak up, we are met with reactions and repercussions. But is the answer to just shut up and shut down our expression and radar for decency?
Consider though, the snowball that is our declining societal standards and it will only keep getting bigger if we don’t start to melt it with our voice, our action and our well-Being. Natalie passionately expressed the disgrace in how we have let our ill-health statistics come so low and that we are not up in arms enough. She reminded us that in the 60s women marched and burned their bras for change; but do we march today with ‘Until you tell us why we keep getting breast cancer, I’m not going back to work’?
How we move...
Natalie Benhayon was at pains to point out it is not about writing letters or becoming an activist or marching the streets from dawn till dusk. Rather we change the way our body moves.
What do you do when you’re confronted with a heavy door? Effort goes into opening it; but do you register the door is heavy and that you need to adjust your body to deal with it so that no part of your body needs to harden for you to get through the door?
99% of the time we’re thinking of the job to be done on the other side of the door. At that moment, the door is a means to an end, and what we think is most important is still to come. To register the door is heavy only takes 1 extra second. Barraging every door we come across, eventually our body will harden to get through each door. We could of course refuse to open a door ever again, or alternatively, barge through every door we come across, but both are compromising. Oh, and just because you’re more physically robust than the next woman, it doesn’t mean you’re any less fragile or delicate – your Being will tell you that!
In case you haven’t quite worked it out, the door is symbolic of life. It’s about our doing-ness coming from our body first and not making what will happen on the other side more important than the tenderness of the body. The opening of the door is no more important that the task ahead of it. Holding everything – absolutely everything – we do as equal is the key.
“The most important moment is every moment.”
Women know deep connection. We know what is true in our body, and we know what is compromise. The harm is done when we compromise the wellness of our Being because our doingness hasn’t considered the Being. And so when we choose to move in a way that opens the heavy ‘door’ with tenderness of body and Being, everything changes.
When you have a true and well-Being, you have empowerment - so it could be said that empowerment comes from the way you move your body.
No one ever told me that... There is nothing controlling, dominating, dictatorial or bossy about true empowerment, because decency, respect, valuing and not compromising our selves doesn’t allow it.
Natalie shared how she has a very very very deep relationship with her body and that she learns life from her body. Natalie is constantly testing things out, finding ways to not allow life to dictate how she has to be, all the while seemingly fitting into the rules yet breaking them all the time.
In typical practical Natalie style, she had us testing out movement of our own bodies! We were invited to see for ourselves how we could move in a way where we could feel our selves, feeling a certain quality or freedom that we allowed in the body, as we listened to Tina Kopa and Catherine Wood’s Bringing Sexy Back.
“Every single woman in this world has the right to feel sexy
and that has nothing whatsoever to do with sex,
but with a vibrancy of her body
expressing who she is.”
In minutes we had a sense of how powerful the way we move our bodies is. Movement is represented in the daily way we walk and we were able to register the way our body felt when moving around the room and how when choosing to sit back down our body dictated how to move in a way that gave full respect of the way we were now feeling within. Needless to say, the entire room felt much more settled and graceful. A body moving in this way says I’m not playing ball with any other way - I can still be a body engaged in life and communicating in society, but just in my way. It is not through hardness that we communicate, but through a vulnerability and fragility through our body that speaks volumes.
“Make it a movement in your body that says I’m going to do it my way,
that being a way that doesn't compromise who you truly are.”
That’s empowerment and we don’t even need a soundtrack in our head! Our bodies are showing us that we do need to stop. The beautiful thing is that when we do stop in honesty, everything we need to bring us back is all there in an instant to support us. If you are prepared to make a true stop, you have the opportunity for a true clean slate.
Could this be the women’s revolution we are waiting for?
Women coming back to their body. Women saying 'I don’t want to have to put my body on the line anymore.' Women raising the standard of living, first in their mini world, their family unit and relationships, then in their workplace, their schools, their communities, as the ripple effect moves into all facets of the woman’s life?
I walked out of the room knowing I want to live in a world where every single woman raises their hand to share there wisdom with the world. Where every woman is able to put their finest on and walk into the world with confidence, shamelessly expressing the woman she is, with not one tiny part that doubts herself. Put Natalie Benhayon on a world stage and this reality is in the not too distant future.