Emotional Awareness: Creating Female Empowerment And Success
By Jean Eng
This upcoming International Women’s Day has me reflecting on a woman’s place in this world and how I, a mother and an owner of a beauty business, can better contribute to the improvement of it.
In North America, women enjoy civil rights and freedom of choice. Women make up roughly 50% of university graduates. There are influential female role models including Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Marissa Mayer. We even have books such as Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In that aim to help women achieve their full potential by sharing personal anecdotes and empowering messages.
So why do women still make up less than 15% of the leaders in politics and business?
Why are being ambitious and commanding qualities that are admired in men, whereas the same qualities can be used against women, labeling them negatively as being “bossy” or “bitchy”?
And why are so many women stretched thin trying to balance work and family life?
I think that one of the reasons for this can be attributed to the deeply rooted emotions and beliefs held in our subconscious. One of these beliefs includes the old fashioned idea that women must value creating a family more than her career. In this case, these are beliefs that no longer serve us well. Whether we choose to put our family or career first, we can find satisfaction in what we want and what we do. So how do we align what our conscious mind’s goals are with our subconscious impulses?
Awareness is the solution. Here are my simple suggestions on increasing your personal happiness and fulfillment in whatever choices you make.
1. Understand your deep emotional triggers.
Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child, helps us explore and make sense of our emotional triggers. I personally found this deeper understanding helpful in pushing me past my emotional hurdles, and I have become a more well-rounded person because of it.
2. Become aware of what is driving your choices. Are they based on outdated societal expectations or personal happiness?
I think a reason why movies like Fifty Shades of Grey are so successful is because more than a few of us have some deep desire to be dominated. This is not unnatural as until recently, women the world over were often valued for their attractiveness and submissiveness. Additionally, Shauna Singh Balwin’s book, The Body Remembers, explores the pressures women face to be good wives in the eyes of men. I think it is important for us to realize when we are acting according to traditional expectations instead of pursuing what we really want.
3. Embrace your natural beauty.
Beauty is not a fixed convention. Our perception of it is constantly changing. It’s empowering to realize that our bodies evolved to maintain health and survival in a specific geography. I personally started appreciating my stocky figure and hooded eyelids when I learned that they were the evolutionary features of an ancestor who survived the ice age. So embrace your natural beauty rather than chasing impossible ideals!
4. Turn your pursuit of beauty into an opportunity to learn more about your health.
Health is the foundation of beautiful skin. At Pure + Simple, we use Ayurveda to help remedy our clients’ skincare concerns and encourage them to approach their beauty from a holistic perspective. From treating my own skin, I realized that my acne, my ruddiness, and my fine lines were rooted in my poor digestion and frenetic overactive life.
5. Beauty is Mind Body Spirit.
Above all, the most effective way to become happy and successful is to love yourself. After all, beauty is a connection between mind, body, and spirit. Learning to love your individuality is the best gift you can give yourself.
Understanding the root of our own beauty and our true value to society can free us from blindly and/or obsessively pursuing the idea of conventional beauty, allowing us to focus on becoming a happier and healthier being.