By the time I was 20, I had decided that being a woman was dangerous. Gravely dangerous. A matter of life and death dangerous.
Message after message all around portrayed women as the dangerous kind: emotional, moody, needing medication when our womanhood got out of control around our menstrual cycles, needing perfumed feminine products to hide our ungodly scents. I watched girlfriends tear each other down for being too high maintenance, for requiring too much attention, for being emotionally needy. When I got to the business world, I watched women hold back for fear of being too sensitive and not business-like enough in the boardroom (and some were certainly punished for it too). Messages about sex were not less mixed. We were told that we are more than our bodies; yet, our self confidence as women comes from owning our bodies and being comfortable in them.
I took this all in and I learned that my sexuality was something to hide. I learned to turn it off, dress it down, and eventually to hide it. My sexuality - the chaos of emotions, the volatility and the subtleties - became liabilities. I pushed away my feminine qualities in exchange for masculine ones in an effort to make it in the world. It just made sense if I wanted to succeed - at home, in the business world, in life.
I made a lot of conclusions on how to live my life - and that meant having everything under control. I wanted to hide any appearance of being needy - and that meant I could not ask for help, which cut me off from collaborating with others in a healthy way. At home and at work, my relationships suffered with my efforts to curtail my emotions and hold back not to appear "too crazy", which contributed to my not being able to tap into my intuition and make important personal decisions. I judged my sensitive nature as not being tough enough; I indulged in self-loathing for having mood swings, which were in fact an indication that something in my life was not going right.
In fact, most things were going wrong. I was exhausted. Exhausted of putting all these parts of myself and my emotions under lock and key, as if they were monsters waiting to hurt the world, and most importantly to hurt me and my success in life. I was exhausted of having my "woman" under control.
Instead of putting attention on my dreams and my passions, I was draining my energy by holding back, suppressing who I was because I believed that being a woman was dangerous in the world.
So much of our culture supports this stereotype - that women are crazy - and no one more than women have colluded with this belief. Women like myself, the highly-educated overachievers who knew that we have power to change the world, believed it. We bought into it and rearranged our lives to tone down our womanhood to be "a successful woman". We compared ourselves to men and took on masculine power - and in the process, we lost our own.
We have very few role models to pave the way. We have to create a new way of being as powerful women - women who own their sexuality, without apologies. And we also have the responsibility to use it as a source of power - not of force, control or manipulation that we have adopted in our culture.
Our fire has been reduced to embers, barely sustaining what we need to do in the world. Women - we have a lot of work to do in the world. This world needs love and connection. Our families and children need nurturing. Our businesses need compassion as the bottom line.
And most importantly, we need to practice compassion and self-love to ourselves. We have to accept our feminine nature and no judge it against masculine standards. And we have to show that compassion to each other by accepting each other for who we are and collaborating to create a strong fabric.
This is the Ignited Woman Movement - a movement to tune into who we are, rekindle our fire, and to harness our power to do good in the world. It’s a movement to turn on our sexuality and to use our feminine power.
Our power lies in our ability to create connection through emotions and our ignition. Women are creators of life. Our desires are the fuel to change the world and create the love, life and connection that we all long for. We are here to start the conversation of who we are and who we can be when we are in touch with our nature as women.
What I long for is for every woman to feel fully alive in every moment, to be fully in power of her feminine nature and embody it with pride and power.
Join the movement and redefine what it means to be a powerful woman.
Women, this movement is for you!