"Choose to Challenge" is the theme for this year's International Women’s Day.
This resonated with me on a cellular level. I don’t know about you, but I have felt like I have been face to face with challenge after challenge in my life, especially this last year. I feel like there are a lot of you who can relate to that statement as well. So, I thought why not unpack that a little and see what comes up!
I’ve been feeling a sense of “fight” my whole life, it actually began as a child and has reared its head a number of times in my lifetime but only begun to boil over this last 2 years. Now, It feels like a shift on a global level…not just inside me. My whole life I have challenged everything I came across that didn’t feel just right. It’s like I was implanted with a sort of moral compass at birth and have questioned things my whole life. A lot of people viewed this as a negative attribute. But it was all so clear to me, it was my job to fight for “what was morally right”. Sounds strange I know, but I had been extremely blessed to have had a very broad collective of strong women in my life and so I had always felt held and supported in my feelings.
As I got older it all started to get a little foggy, it’s like I couldn’t see or feel things as clearly anymore. The more "experiences" I had in my life, the foggier things appeared. My vision was clouded by things like silence, fear, shame and an awareness that made me question my worth or relevance. My journey wasn’t seeming to lead me towards more strong women for that sense of connection and camaraderie; instead, I was surrounded by women whose vision was as foggy and clouded as mine. There was this sense of competition, ownership and dismissiveness, that seemed to separate us all from each other.
In my Thirties I had an experience that shifted everything for me, my focus changed. It happened something like this:
I was asked to speak at a "women in business" conference about “Finding Balance”. A sort of “how to” inspirational day. How to be a businesswoman, mother, partner and all the other roles we play AND be successful at it all. The reality was I was hiding drinking boxed wine in my pantry trying to figure out why I couldn’t DO IT ALL!!! How could I tell that truth? I came out on stage and saw all those women staring back at me with this hunger for answers…I knew then that I couldn’t lie to them. So, I told them the truth as I knew it….THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BALANCE! Despite what any celebrity or magazine headline says, "finding balance" is just a catch phrase…a VERY dangerous one. Balance means an even distribution. When we are wives, parents, business owners and all the other roles we play there is no even distribution, we are constantly ebbing and flowing, changing and pivoting…Balance is unrealistic. So, the sooner we stop perpetuating the lie of balance to each other and on social media, the sooner we will be able to actually connect with each other again authentically. That day was a pivotal moment for me…I chose to challenge myself and my fear of being vulnerable and truthful with those women who were my peers. In doing so, I made strong connections with the women that were there. They thanked me because they had been doing the same thing in their pantries and they were sick of hiding.
When we choose to challenge what we have been taught and instead listen to what we know deep within ourselves; amazing breakthroughs happen. That’s how positive change comes to be in our lives and in turn our world.
As of late there have been small whisperings all around me; from Women especially. Women who are on the verge of something BIG. Some choosing to speak UP for the first time, some choosing to speak OUT after a long time, and some choosing to challenge everything in between. They are choosing to challenge whatever it is that is standing in their way. That’s how I know that we are on the brink of a global shift. I can feel it. This primal urge to push through, to challenge the norm, to no longer travel the beaten path. The desire to explore a new way. A different approach to what we have been taught. Breaking the mold, embracing our true selves and honouring each other for doing the same.
Take some time on this International Woman’s Day to celebrate and honour your inner voice, to truly connect with other women and ask yourself the question: "What will I choose to challenge in my life?"
Through it all; Stay Connected.