On this picture you see me with Vandana Siva, Seane Corn, Gurmukh, Sadhvi Bhagavati, Satya Scainnetti, tribal women from South America, and more. This is one of the most precious moments in my life that I will cherish forever. It shows exactly that - women empowering women. These women are my friends, mentors, heroes, inspiration and a place of refuge. It was at the International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh at one of the lectures on eco-feminism and women empowerment. When I think about the energy we created I still get goose bumps. I felt like I could move mountains after that. I know for sure that together we can create this type of energy and empowerment for each other.
In our rapidly changing culture, it is increasingly difficult and confusing to define ourselves as women and to know who we are as women: a feminine, a spiritual or a sexual being? Lover, mother, career woman, teacher? A good friend, a reliable partner, a seductress, a warrior? Or are these categories just a trick of the patriarchy to disempower us anyway?
It sometimes feels we are being put before a painful choice: to either be strong, respected, powerful and able to take our own decisions or to relax, enjoy relationships, enjoy being open, receptive and feminine. One side makes us feel strong and independent, but often we pay the price of becoming cold, hard, lonely and losing the touch with feeling ourselves and others. The other side gives us the ability to feel deeply, to relate and melt and to receive love, but if it is there alone, it can make us feel heavy, over-emotional, needy, dependent and not able to move, do something or take decisions.
Why embodying our feminine energy in its full spectrum and women empowerment at large are important topics to me, why I talk about it or teach women’s groups is because I know how it feels to be disempowered by my own judgement of what being a woman means. I’m invested in this work so that we may learn to stop judging each other and instead rise in our full glory.
In my women‘s workshops I often play this song
I'm a bitch
I'm a lover
I'm a child
I'm a mother
I'm a sinner
I'm a saint
And I do not feel ashamed
I'm your hell
I'm your dream..
It‘s such a great example of how complex we are, never just ‚good‘. One of my teachers used to say, better whole than good’ (besser ganz als gut) And boy, was he right! Accepting the good, bad and ugly is empowering! Owning your shadow is the key to letting go of judgement of yourself and others.
Men judge women a great deal and stereotype them. Sadly, women judge other women even more fiercly. This is because we’ve internalized patriarchy so strongly and and forgotten who we really are. An empowered woman understands that judging other women weakens her. She empowers other women instead and is happy for their succes. That happens when we tap into our power, for which we need to own our shadow. It’s not a walk in the park, yet so very worth it. You no longer feel threatened by other women because you known there is space and time for each one of to shine. And you don‘t judge and doubt other women habitually.
We need to understand that our own internalized patriarchy (here an article on that), our idea of what being a woman means, is the root cause of all problems. To judge and to separate means to weaken ourselves. A woman can be a mother, a wife, or not, married or not married, an astronaut, a business woman, a housewife, a cleaning lady or an excutive. None of that determines or defines her true worth and makes her less or more. I hope we can stop blaming and judging each other for what we choose to strive for and achieve or not achieve in our life, whom to love or have sex with, and instead simply accept each other for who we are. To look at what connects us not what separates us.
I don’t think this is ever a ‚done job’, it’s a non-linear process and evolution like life itself is. There are so many ways to be a woman especially in 2023. With different talents, dreams and desires. May we found ways to support each other even if our personal life concepts may differ. This is the new chapter in feminism that I‘m interested in.