Happy International Women’s Day to all my women readers and savvy male readers (I see you at the back, and I also value your allyship very much).
Collective action and shared ownership for driving gender parity is what makes International Women’s Day impactful.
Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have.
Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. All small actions play a part in creating progress and momentum.
For me I like to play my tiny part coaching women to find their voice, and stop being afraid to use it to ask for what they need. To understand what boundaries are, how to define them, how to communicate them effectively. To learn how to prioritise their own mental health and put their own oxygen mask on first. These may all seem small things but they have so many beautiful ripple effects not just in the women themselves in countless small but personally significant victories but also in the knock-on effects to their daughters, friends, colleagues, mothers…as well as their sons, husbands and communities. It’s about a woman claiming her own voice and power in her own life.
With these International celebration days, important though they are, there can be a tendency to celebrate the achievements of The Big Hitters. The incredible women who are captains of industry, innovation, technology, medicine and so on(as well as all the inevitable fluff on Instagram of The Highly Visible). For me however, I’d like to turn the focus to the ordinary woman, the you and the me. The regular women living regular lives…who in our own quiet way keep the world turning each day. And so for International Women’s Day you would enjoy a list of just observations, qualities, characteristics of the amazing, ordinary, extraordinary, regular, fabulous, normal, everyday every woman I have the pleasure of working with every day.
15 things a woman standing quietly in her own power does:
- She takes time for herself without beating herself up for it. Taking the time but feeling guilty negates the freedom of the commitment. Guilt-free me time is the way to go: they choose it AND enjoy it.
- She set’s boundaries that honour who she is. The job, the relationship, the way the house runs, how they spend their leisure time. They are not trying to be someone else for someone else. They are themselves regardless of context.
- She knows the difference between a problem and a fact. If it’s a problem they find a solution. If it’s a fact they acknowledge that and then stop fighting it. Let go. Move on.
- They know worry is a waste of energy. It’s using the imagination for bad rather than good. They take their focus to what they can affect and let go of the rest.
- They spend much more time emphasizing their strengths than improving their weaknesses. Life is too short to address weaknesses: she hire’s or barter’s to address them and spends her time in the happy zone rocking what she is more naturally good at.
- They own their emotions. All of them. They don’t drown then in alcohol, or smother them in cupcakes, or try and run away from them with excessive exercise or workaholism. They feel them. They know there is no such thing as a “good” or “bad” emotion any more than there is good or bad weather. We need sunshine as much as rain to make this world a beautiful place
- They know rest is as important as action. That play is as important as work.
- They don’t take life or themselves too seriously. They laugh. A lot.
- They are brave when they need to be. They also understand the difference between quitting and graceful surrender to something not meant for us.
- They do not worry too much about what “everybody” thinks.
- They know how to ask for what they need, and are not afraid to ask. Knowing that rather than offending people nine times out of ten voiced clarity is welcomed and embraced
- They know what their real priorities in life are and consciously decide in favour of them.
- They know that everything in life is a choice. All we have to do is breathe. After that everything else is a choice. They choose wisely and without regret.
- They don’t settle for second best in matters of the heart. Forever is a reeeeeeeeeeally long time.
- They love without fear, and know they are strong enough to handle whatever happens.
I am willing to bet you already embody many of these qualities, and there may be a few you might like to work on and acquire. Happy International Women’s Day to you…may more and more progress continue to be made. Even those of us who live with considerable privilege (I acknowledge I am white, grew up in a middle-class family, had great quality state education in a country with free healthcare) know we have the freedoms and opportunities we enjoy were built on the shoulders of the brave women who went before us. There is so much more to be done.
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
P.S. Grab your copy of my book: The Busy Woman’s Guide To High Energy Happiness, published by Penguin Random House. NZ ONLY: Order your copy here $38.00 with free NZ shipping