By Anea Bogue, Self Esteem Expert
There has never been a better or more important time to rediscover your authentic self.
It is an incredibly exciting and important time to be a woman. I dare say, I believe 2012 will be the year of the woman.
After many centuries of being programmed with messages of our inferiority, I see increasingly more signs of women waking up from the protective coma we have been in for a very long time. Women are gathering again in greater numbers to inspire and encourage each other to tap into the abundant strength, wisdom and resilience we carry.
We are re-discovering our voices, once (and still in some parts of the world) quieted by the threat of being severely punished in one way or another, for speaking truths that might challenge a fundamentally imbalanced status quo. More women are serving in positions of political and economic power, with some even daring to redefine power in its more egalitarian and thus, sustainable form. These, in my mind, all fall under the ‘exciting’ category.
Now here’s the important part. All this exciting growth, awareness and strength among women must be protected and nurtured so it continues to grow. Because our playing small serves the status quo, there is resistance to the empowerment of women.
There is comfort in familiarity, after all. However, this particular brand of familiar is creating an imbalance that is putting our species and our planet in peril. We must be fiercely diligent in nurturing our girls, be they our daughters, nieces, students or neighbors and we must demand of our husbands, boyfriends, fathers and all the other boys in our lives, that they break out of what Anthony Porter brilliantly calls, ‘The Man Box’.
Most importantly, however, we must first be committed as individual women to rediscovering our authentic selves, gathering our strength, mustering our courage and then embodying all the power, beauty and wisdom of being a woman so that we may model this for our daughters and create the balance on this planet that longs to be.
As we set out into 2012, I invite you to set intentions for yourself (call them ‘resolutions’ if you’d like) that will be truly transformative to your life as a woman and in turn, to the lives of more people than you ever would have thought possible. These are nine suggestions that get right to the core:
- I will remind myself daily that life does not live me – I live life. Recognize that you create your own path and plan each day with this in mind.
- I will reconnect with my body. Learn about and embrace your body’s natural and powerful cycles. As your body moves through hormonal changes throughout the month, it will have something different to say each day. Fighting against it only creates tension that manifests itself in challenging ways.
- I will embrace my own sexuality. Women are born as powerful, sexual, multi-orgasmic beings. This gift has been buried under centuries of religious and societal messages that have taught us to feel shame for our bodies and sexuality and to oblige our partners while forgetting about ourselves. Rediscover your natural, erotic self.
- I will set aside at least 30 minutes of pure ‘me time’ every day. Use this time to read a book that speaks to your soul, meditate, sit in a quiet place, peel off the layers and re-discover your authentic self. When the messages of others are quieted in your head, your heart and soul can be heard and they never lie.
- I will honor my body by eating healthier and exercising regularly. A healthy body is a prerequisite for anything else you do. Treat your body like a temple and trust that when you do it will take its natural, healthy, beautiful shape.
- I will commit to consistent time with the women of my circle. A few hundred years ago, the gathering of women was outlawed because its power was overwhelming to many. Tap into this power. These women will remind you of your beauty and strength whenever you forget.
- I will challenge myself to be the one who defines my beauty inside and out. This will require critically filtering media and societal messages that tell you that you must look, act and speak in a prescribed way in order to be deemed an attractive and acceptable woman.
- I will trust my instincts. Believe in the life-sustaining instincts you have as a woman, the profound wisdom you carry and your ability to see truth. Too often we doubt ourselves. Your instincts will never steer you wrong.
- I will remember who I am at my core. Keep near you a photograph of yourself before the age of ten. She will inspire you to honor her, hear her, love her and fiercely protect her, always.
What are you planning to do to honor YOU this year? Let us know!
Anea Bogue, M.A. : A highly sought-after contributor to various media outlets, Anea Bogue is an acclaimed self-esteem expert who specializes in working with women of all ages, including adolescent girls. The mother of two daughters, Anea is absolutely passionate about the empowerment of girls and women and has dedicated more than half her life to this cause. She brings 20 years of experience to her work as an educator, certified life coach, consultant, writer and speaker. Anea is also the creator and director of REALgirl™, a revolutionary empowerment program for girls ages 9 – 16, yielding incredible transformations in girls. Whether through her upcoming television special, featured articles or speaking engagements, or as a highly-credentialed coach, confidant and consultant, Anea is committed to helping each girl and woman discover her authentic self and reach her highest potential. To learn more about Anea please visit www.AneaBogue.com.