Women and Emerging Futures

The next wave of my own evolution lies in exploring the potential of women to profoundly shape our world. Not only if women can but if women will...do what is required to make the difference. This demands redefining our notions of 'leadership' and reclaiming meaningful expression for women. To progress beyond historical notions of evolution through incremental change, we must redefine what it is to be human - and women are the key.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Women and self-silencing: ENOUGH!

I read Lori's latest blog entry on 'Speaking Up....Speaking Out'.

There are far too many places in the world where women are legitimately in grave danger when they give voice to their own thoughts. Making a simple request or declining to engage in some way will get you killed. Fortunately, for most of us, this country is not one of those places.

Perhaps my greatest sadness comes from years of working with women who have self-silenced and held someone else to blame. Our seeming commitment to be seen NOT to be irritating or annoying; to be liked by everyone; to be considered 'low maintenance' for the men in our lives; to be spoken of as 'kind' or 'helpful' or 'no trouble' are often the things that keep us dead to our own potential.

Years ago, the very first topic developed for the Women and Power cd series was just that - Speaking Up and Speaking Out. They are different things. Speaking Up is about ensuring that our voice has resonnance...that its vibration is felt as a ripple through the bodies of those who hear what we're saying. It's about moving the conversation that - like a hamster in a cage - goes 'round and 'round in our heads and presses to be freed from the physical body and released into the outside world. It's about coming to grips with the fact that no matter how much I am convinced that my needs/wants are legitimate or reasonable, they will not be met in any way as I keep them secret inside myself.

Speaking Out is about saying the things that we believe no one wants to hear. The things that we engage with each other in secret conversation; the things that we whisper to our confidant but dare not say out loud in polite company; the things that we bear witness to and know, deep in our bellies, are wrong and sometimes dangerous! But we silence ourselves by telling ourselves that it's not our business...or not our concern...or no one will listen, anyway.

Until we open our mouths and let what is inside us make its way into our larger world, we have no one to blame for our miserable lives but ourselves. I, for one, am done with that.

Lori made a choice. A simple choice to move the conversation from inside her to outside her, where it could make a difference in her life. In doing so, she discovered that people want her to have what she wants. In my years and years of working with women, I know this to be so far more often than not.

Thank you, Lori...for being unwilling to continue to move silently through your own frustration, anger and eventual exhaustion and likely collapse. As much as you could have been the instrument of ensuring your own miserable life, you chose otherwise. Hallelujah!

Breathing is good.....

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