The ABCs That Kill
It’s become an epidemic…
As Western women, we have the power to choose. But so many women – too many women – are choosing not to choose.
They’re bored, overwhelmed or numbed out. They’re moving through life on auto-pilot, favoring safety over freedom. They’re behaving like they don’t matter; like their voices don’t matter; like their choices don’t have an impact.
That’s what cracked my heart open today: realizing the impact of free women who are NOT choosing their sovereignty every day.
There are women in other parts of the world who get stoned, shot at, ostracized or beaten for getting caught doing something as innocent as learning the ABC’s. Their hunger to learn how to read and write is never satiated. They’re made wrong for their desires. They don’t have the freedom to choose what they want.
As Western women, we have the privilege of choice. We have the freedom to learn how to read and write; to love who we love; to travel wherever we wish without a male escort; to wear what we desire; to start our own business or family when we want, if we want to; to do what we want when we want.
Yet there is another set of ABC’s that are killing us. These ABC’s aren’t the ones Malala got shot at by the Taliban for. But they carry their own dangers for us Western Women.
What are the ABC’s I’m referring to?
A = Apathy
B = Brokenness
C = Criticism
If we’re not choosing, we’re choosing apathy.
Sure, apathy blocks out the poverty, inequality, abuse and tragedies of the world. But it also suppresses our deep caring and ability to heal. It builds a wall around our own genius so we can never fully access, let alone share, our gifts with the world.
Apathy deadens our senses, our capacity to feel pleasure and desire. We end up as empty shells, moving through life on auto-pilot, choosing safety and apathy over freedom and desire.
Apathy is a cop-out. It’s a way of avoiding the power and privilege that we Western Women have. The biggest danger of apathy is that it kills us before we’re even dead.
So many women – too many women – make the mistake of believing they are broken. They buy into the cultural training that they shouldn’t age, they shouldn’t gain weight, that they are too much or not enough, and that at their core, they are bad and wrong.
Women then spend their money on anti-aging products and practices; they invest their energy in diets, exercise regimes and trainings with authorities who supposedly know more than they do on how they should be and what they should do to be a “good” woman.
It is so sad to me that this culture of free women gives away our power to try and fix ourselves.
But the truth is, the more you think you’re anything less than perfect, the more you are wasting your life.
You are not broken. Quit trying to fix yourself.
Take a moment to consider what your internal dialogue has sounded like over the last few hours.
Did you hear an inner voice saying things like, “I’m so beautiful!” And, “Oh, that croissant was so delicious. I’m so glad I chose to have it with extra butter.” And, “I did such a great job with that presentation. I showed up with confidence and handled their concerns brilliantly.”
Chances are, if you’re like the tens of thousands of women I’ve talked with over the years, your inner voice isn’t that kind. Instead, you may have heard an inner voice making comments like, “Oh my gosh! Is that another age spot?” And, “I can’t believe I ate that croissant. And with extra butter? I’m such a pig.” And, “What are they thinking of me now? I can’t believe I made that mistake with my presentation. I really messed that up.”
We as Western Women kill ourselves with criticism. With comparing ourselves to others and their expectations and judgments of us. We get so lost in the stories our inner unkind voice tells us that we lose sight of what is really important and what really matters to us.
How can you show up and be the greatness you truly are when you’re cutting yourself down with criticism?
‘Cause the truth is, you are great.
You are born to step into your greatness alongside all other great beings.
But if you keep letting Apathy, Brokenness and Criticism be your rulers, you will never know the power and possibilities of your sovereignty. You will never know the joy and pleasure of your freedom.
That’s why I invite you… I DARE you… to ditch those ABC’s and choose another, more empowering set of ABC’s that will change everything. These are the building blocks to a whole different way of living.
The ABCs that will set you free:
A = AWAKEN
B = (EM)BODY
C = CHOOSE
The freedom that we have as Western Women comes with a responsibility: to awaken to our privilege and USE IT to create the kind of world we desire to live in.
Responsibility does NOT mean obligation, being a martyr, or getting hooked on some savior complex. What it DOES mean is taking responsibility for yourself and your gifts and using them to create more for yourself and for everyone.
Many women make the mistake, too, of thinking that when they awaken they will be overwhelmed with the pain of this world; they will feel all the needs and tugs for their attention; they will drown in the sea of sorrow and burn with rage. Dear one, I get it. Believe me, I really do.
It can be challenging to feel it all, to be with all the pain of this world. Yet you don’t have to remain in the pain or drown in it. Allow it all to crack your heart open to more of your caring, to the depths and beauty of our humanity, and ultimately, to the depth and breadth of your own extraordinariness.
Apathy is living in black and white. Awakening is living in technicolor. What do you really desire?
We can NOT afford to fall asleep. We can NOT afford the costs of apathy.
We also can NOT wait for someone – anyone – else to give us permission to awaken to our power and privileges.
Do not wait for your spouse, your partner, your father, your mother, your governor, or your president to give you permission to awaken from the domestication and trance that we’ve been trained to live by all our lives.
That day, and that permission, will never come. And even if it does, it is worthless until YOU give YOURSELF permission to awaken fully to your daring, desiring self.
No more waiting. It’s time to give yourself permission to AWAKEN.
When you embody, you come home to yourself. You stop believing you are broken and need fixing. You inhabit your sovereign ground and claim your right to be here.
How can you ever create what you desire if you’re not embodying your beautiful self and your life?
How can the world show up for you when you’re not showing up for yourself?
You’re either embodying or you’re abandoning yourself. Which will it be?
We need you in your body, loving your body and expressing all the truth and wisdom that lives inside. That is what will change the world.
When you are embodied, you are a force of nature. (Click to Tweet)
Your beauty and grace, your joy and pleasure, and everything else that is YOU is essential. The fullness of you is essential. So bring it on!
You’re either exercising your freedom to choose – choose your partner, your business, your wardrobe, your lifestyle, your food, your desires – and claiming your power, or you’re not choosing and giving your power away. It’s really that simple and powerful.
Sovereignty is our birthright, but you must choose it.
So many women do not have the capacity to choose. They run the risk of getting killed or imprisoned if they choose to love someone of the same gender or get educated or leave the house without covering their head (let alone their entire body).
Now, I know there are parents out there who say to their children, “Eat what’s on your plate! There are children in Africa who are starving.” They use this truth as a manipulation, a bit of a guilt-trip to get their kids to finish their peas and carrots.
I’m coming from a different place with this; not as a manipulation or a guilt-trip, but rather, a call to action.
Your choices matter.
When you exercise your freedom and CHOOSE to awaken, to embody, and to choose, you take your power back. And when we all stand in our sovereignty, we stand in solidarity with all sisters (and brothers) who don’t have the same privileges we do.This has more impact and momentum than we may ever truly know.
Now is the time, more than ever, to choose what you desire. To stand up for the causes you care about. To show up for yourself and what matters most to you.
If you are with me…
If you’re ready to ditch the ABC’s that are killing you and choose the ABC’s that will set you free, engage with me. Let me hear your voice by posting a comment below. What are you daring to choose today? Join The Daring Project, it’s free for 30-days! Click here to join.
My internal dialogue over the past few hours:
“I am sexy and I know it!”
“Darn, are you gonna eat that croissant? ‘Cause it’s winking at me…”
“Valt hier nog wat te neuken?” (an untranslatable Dutch expression, roughly meaning: “Any chances to get laid here, or what?”)
“Procrastinate thy worldly priorities! Fluff yeah!”
“Everything’s too funny.”
“I am getting into trouble again…… \:D/”
Ah! Hormones… :)))
What a great post! You are singing my favorite tunes (embodiment, choice, and nonsugar-coated awakening)…you also seem to have cracked the code on something I have been thinking a lot about lately: how to sustain a real optimism? Such challenging times and yet, we are all so incredibly lucky and privileged to be alive. These are indeed the ABCs of a life well-lived. Love you!
Awwww Jules! You’re the best! I adore you… we are in this together.
A timely reminder for me as I have noticed of late the self talk has been not so positive, the looks in the mirror judgemental… I have Hashimotos and it feels sometimes overwhelming to put energy into myself… So I’m choosing today to fully accept myself as I am, to love myself and take care of me as I would others in this way… today I choose to choose, to be one with the wild forces of life and to be as serine as the still waters of a deep and life filled lake…
I choose to take gentle action where possible and not to ever give up on life… but to celebrate it woth each breath.
You are always so on point Saida. Thank you xx
Hi Ali, wow! Great comment!! Isn’t it a powerful choice to truly embrace our own life and all it’s messiness and then to make new choices based on what we’d love?
YES <3 When you are embodied, you are the force of nature. Pure resonance.
Damn. This really spoke to me. I was talking to a student of mine and she was asking about how to fix her voice, removing a slight lisp and maker her “sound better” (I’m a speech teacher). I told her the first thing we need to do is change her mindset. I told her she wasn’t broken, there’s nothing we need to “fix.” Then I came home and read this blog! Good to know my viewpoints are in alignment with the content that I’m consuming. Thank you for this affirmation.
Awesome Alicia!!!! I love this!
I am awakening to those things that sap my time and energy that are not my responsibility. I embody the truth that the customer service of the company I work for is not serving my clients properly, which puts more work on me; so I have written my frustrations to headquarters — and guess what, they responded with expediting some corrections. Now I choose to use my time to plant my pansies in the front yard because I have cleared my schedule from things that are not my responsibility.
WOW!! Thank you so much for sharing such a fantastic example of standing your ground and going for what you love!
I love your words at the same time they hurt as I am dealing on a daily base with a very deep ingrained feeling of not feeling enough. I am trying to shift that around but it’s so hard after a life time of not accepting myself. A lot of times I am feeling weak of not being able to feel great which creates more shame and guilt. I would like to find a way to feel ok about where I am working on turning things around and not getting angry about how I am still stuck in this pattern of self doubt.
Sweet Sietske, I am here with you. You are not alone in this journey. Your vulnerability touches me and I hope that I can support you moving ‘as fast as the slowest part of you’ as you keep choosing to recognize that you MATTER & that you belong to life itself.
Saida- Thank you for these thoughts and I’m so grateful to be connected with you through the Internet, at least! This may sound trite, but I am choosing to claim my power by questioning my healthcare professionals who are helping me on my path to healing right now.