women empowerment

When we accept our shallow we become deep, it’s as cool as that.

Ann Gentry. Karen Gutman. Angie Weihs

Ann Gentry. Karen Gutman. Angie Weihs

“I let literature and world history inspire me to give my textiles quirky creative names,“ the elegant boss lady over 50 said, “that’s pretty shallow, isn’t it? But I live for those names.”

The group of a dozen memoir writing hopefuls and our wise, experienced writing coach giggled.

Marketing copy as her “creative shallow”? The way she talked about it was funny, one of those breaking-the-ice moments making everybody sigh with relief that they can be real here in this writing seminar.

Shallow, I thought, I hate shallow.

So called celebrities came to mind, those women for whom appearance and what they own is everything and who chose their entourage following the same categories. Shallow people are naturally narcissist prone and rarely have compassion or unconditional feelings for anybody. A person looking for real friendship would probably fall on her face realizing that the OMG, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH of a woman full of herself is void of any true emotion. Not because the shallow person is born a mean bitch, but because she never had the privilege of learning what consideration, empathy, honesty or loyalty are.

I’m one of the others, the “complicated” people. If you’re nice you call me deep. Everything to me has meaning, tells stories, evokes feelings.

“Isn’t that an exhausting way to live?” I was asked.

It is sometimes; when I feel that I’m not understood and run away from myself trying to fit in and when I need too many shields to protect myself from getting hurt. I ran from the pain and after the joy and understood after decades that living deeply means both; crushing despair and high flying happiness and in between the calm of knowing.

Shallow to me is a vacation from myself and a learning tool.

The difference lies in BEING shallow, which means the lack of self awareness and ACTING shallow, which to me is freedom from limitations of being deep ALL THE TIME.

An old friend of mine “cancelled” our friendship as she couldn’t bare seeing my “self-indulgent selfies.”

Mirrors and pictures of myself are part of my process; test drives into self confidence and who a truly am. My exploration of outfits opened new levels of understanding; accepting the feminine pretty of pink gave me new depth.

The shallow act of dress up became a guide through vanity to self love.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” I loved that quote because it condoned my “dying of boredom” in regular life.

A new friend of mine is the queen of small talk; she appreciates and gets along with everybody. I watched and cringed. When I was able to allow shallow talk as a part of life without having to get drunk to stay calm I found compassion.

Shallow talk can be somebody’s cry to connect.

Who hasn’t giggled about celebs, found the power of a billionaire sexy, identified with the cool new car, craved a freaking expensive perfume or espresso machine, loved their selfies or people that made them look good? Who hasn’t had shallow thoughts or desires?

When we accept our shallow we become deep, it’s as cool as that.

“We tell anecdotes all day long,” explained our writing coach, “the difference to writing our life’s story is to add significance and meaning to it.” The most important question, which Adam Hauge asked us ten years ago in a screen writing seminar and I seem to forget sometimes in my desire to change the world was

What does this matter to me?

It’s the same with anything described as shallow; where does it come from and what does it matter to you? It’s a question that cuts though the clutter of our wants and needs.

This is not a call to love ego tripping narcissists and happily embrace and let in the shallowness of Hollywood gossip; it’s a reminder to feel the fear in our judgements.

Everything even shallow acts have the potential of being and knowing “more.

Shallow, I figured, I shall add significance and meaning to shallow.

Happy Women Dinners. This was a brunch with writing coach Karen Gutman,  Spirit of Story

Happy Women Dinners. This was a brunch with writing coach Karen Gutman, Spirit of Story


Mirror obsessions

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“What are you doing?”, asked the white haired teacher who had been brought back from retirement as our school for girls couldn’t find a history teacher. We tricked her into telling anecdotes from her youth nobody was interested in. She fell for our begging each time; her flights into her child hood gave us the chance to read magazines under the table, to dream, to sleep, ‘cause who wants to learn about “real” history? This old stuff was so boring…

I was a mostly nice Catholic teenager in the 60’s not allowed to sing with Mick Jagger, the devil, or daring to hold hands with a boy. In a time of cultural rebellions I tried hard to be what my parents expected from me but I knew that there was something wrong, this wasn’t me. I wasn’t seen, heard or understood, neither by them or by my self. I felt like one huge question mark, an Alien probably found in a trashcan. I looked into the mirror when and wherever I could or found one. It was vanity, sure, but on a deeper level it was

“Am I really HERE?”

“Is this really me?”

My history teacher caught me looking into a small hand mirror i had under my desk just in case I felt lost. The girls in the class giggled. I was the weird one, a girl attached to her mirror who had an A in math.

Looking at myself was my obsession through all my life, controlling my looks, dreading imperfection, loving style; hoping to proof that I was good enough.

I was searching for more than the shiny reflections of my outside.

Mirror, mirror, who am I?

Two decades later I yelled at the amazing star studded night sky of Portugal’s Algarve,

“I do anything to know what life is all about.”

The Universe answered manifold and repeated its messages many, many times until my tears had wiped away the dust and I could see. In my many spiritual, shamanic and self exploring journeys I found the bigger mirror, the one quantum physics calls Schroedinger’s cat. Reality exists because we see it. If we close our eyes there’s nothing out there but our imagination.

What if when we open our eyes all we see is our imagination?

What if we can’t see our Self in others because we are too afraid to face the truth? What if that’s why we are slapped over and over again? Because our soul wants us to wake up?

When my life coach told me to write “I love you” on my mirror a few years ago I found it super silly but did. I looked at it and at my wrinkled face and grinned.

“Fat chance.”

I did not love myself. Why should I? Because of some inner values? Everybody had them. I wasn’t special enough to deserve my love.

My coach gave me another one of her silly exercises; I took a deep breath and decided it couldn’t hurt, ridiculous or not.

I walked my dog. Instead of allowing my brain to bubble its usual comments like “Wow, he looks grumpy” “Gosh, look at that ugly dress…” I focused on finding people’s eyes. I looked at everybody I passed, no matter if they smiled, were absent minded or seemed unfriendly.

“I see you. I love you. I wish you all the best,” I thought. It must have been a hundred times.

When I came home an hour later something had clicked. I loved the world. I saw its people. Some had looked back at me recognizing something deeper.

For the first time I looked at my mirror image and saw more than my skin; I saw my soul.

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I saw everything I was, all of ME. When I said “I love you” I felt pieces of my armor crashing to the floor.

I had seen my Self in the many people I met, in the essence behind all their personas.

Writing my memoir, the story of my rebellions and resistance, the stories of No let me dive into the people in my life; a mind boggling and heart expanding revelation of the love I received from my friends and foes alike; they were there for me to let me see; they were guides, teachers, messengers and even the guardian angels I did not believe existed. Each and every one of them was a mirror of my hopes and fears. Because I did not believe I was worthy I let the fears win and ran away.

I ran away with with my son, far away from Europe to the US, an ocean away from my past.

Giving my son everything I had missed out on and loving him without conditions I created the first mirror in which I could see my beauty; my son is the most loving, balanced, generous, smart and funny being I know. It just dawns on me now that he is a manifestation of every I hold dear and a mirror of the best in me.

The concept of seeing ourselves in others can easily be misinterpreted and misunderstood. It doesn’t mean that we are as bad as the murderer we see on TV, that we want the husband to hit us, are narcissists or actually aspire to be broke.

What we see are our fears, beliefs, judgments as much as our dream, hopes and desires.

Our judgments are our prisons but can be our guides to freedom; what we think about others often has nothing to do with their reality but is a “truth” interpreted by the grid of our own beliefs. We assume intentions where there aren’t any.

The answer is to ask “What does this have to do with me?” “What do I really see?”

You and me we are messengers from our souls, supporting actors showing each us our deeper truth.



Prompts from the Soul Sister Journal


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Truth and Dare

Be brave. Fess up. See yourself in the mirror of others.

Take off your personas like robes that don’t fit anymore.

Attract like-minded women, your soul sister tribe, when you walk your truth.

Don’t fear your Self, be radically honest.


Helpful questions to ask

What was my relationship to women in the past and what is it today? 

 

How do I feel towards women and in women groups?

 

How would I like to feel?

 

What are my main reasons to connect with women?

- Develop my business to make more money

- To connect with opportunities

- Achieve a common goal

- Support and be supported

- Give and receive love

- Sell my products or services

- Joined partnerships

- Create a better world together

- Feel sisterhood

Create magic and rituals

- Connect to ancient knowing

- Women empowerment

- Feel that I belong

- Create a revolution 

- Other

 

What do I love or hate in my women friends?


What do I judge? (Fear)


What do I love about them?

 

Who and what inspires and attracts me?


Who are my deeper connections on Facebook?

 

Who are my girls on Instagram?

 

What do they have in common?

 

What do I see of myself in them?

 

What can I learn from them?

 

How can I be of assistance to them?

 

What’s my unique contribution, my gift to them?


I see you. I love you. I wish you all the best.


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We are the mothers of sons who become men we (dis) like

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"If you don't sit still, you'll get it! You know that, damned." The boy sat up, straight like a little soldier, hands on the table, eyes wide open. The dad who reprimanded his son did not loosen up, his stern face seemed frozen. The mom batted her eyes.

That was just a week ago, in a cute cafe frequented by modern couples in a gentrified LA neighborhood.

The responsibility to change the world lies in us parents and it starts with the babies in our wombs.

Today it's about the boys who might become men ruling our societies on the side of women and their moms who have the power to let them be all they are, embracing both their male and female virtues.

Men still have the power in our patriarchal societies but that doesn't mean that they "deserve" it as just, balanced, compassionate and fair kings. They have an ancient history of being screwed up as human beings. Those who break through and welcome their feminine sides are as adorable as women gaining their strength. We as mothers have the power to let them be Yin and Yang right from the start.

Undeserved power, entitlement and arrogance has unnerved me for decades, brutality and ruthlessness got me rallied up too often. I hated what I felt I had no power over. I'm still not physically stronger than most men or became a senator to change the world but lots has changed not just in me but in society. I was an emotional rebel princess on the pea, now I am a passionate rebel queen. But it's not about revenge; it's about using the fire of our anger to light up feminine qualities in everybody.

More and more women find empowerment in self love, and the world sees women rising everywhere.

This new confidence of women, our powerful inner warrioress,  supported by the fierce ladies before us who have fought for the simplest human rights to be extended to us, like wearing pants or voting, is our chance. It is our answer to the many outcries of "Mother Earth".

The male qualities in us give us the strength to stand up for the power of female qualities in our boys.

I offered my son Kung Fu and dance classes, cooking and fencing, an art and a math tutor. He played Halo and collected swords but also had a couple Barbies. Which, I must admit were never a success. I suspect I really bought those for myself. I let him decide for himself and asserting his vision of life as much as encouraging him to cry and to ask for help. He came out sweet, loving and strong, he would be the balanced ruler I'd endorse.

We are the women who create the men we love.

When we put "fem the future" on our banners, many reacted with "but we need men".  The fear that women lust for competition and revenge is often immediate but ruling as women means valuing love, compassion and understanding. We don't want to be right, better and more repressive. We don't want to smack men, we want to lift them up; the divine masculine is as cool as the divine feminine. It's the value in both we're after and balancing it in perfect Yin and Yang. We vote for integration not segregation.

It's all about balance.

The word "educare" carries the message: it means to train, and "educere" means to lead out. We train body, mind, soul and spirit and lead to knowledge, which again is both, the inner knowing and the outer knowledge.

We have nine months to think balanced thoughts and feel the appreciation of this beautiful planet and all its inhabitants, which we'd intend for our children to embody. What an amazing time to grow for both, mom and kid.

Most women know unconditional love at least at the moment they give birth to a child. That's a power worth cultivating and putting on a pedestal. When we let go of how we were told to mold our kids but instead listen and feel them and open the world to their uniqueness we are using this power wisely. We draw out who they are not squeeze in our preconceived notions of who we think they should be. We offer them the perfect environment in which to grow, like a flower wanting the right mix of sun, shade, soil and water. Inner nature is in tune with outer nature. Perfection in it's weird way also includes the imperfect, the glitches and challenges through which mom and son will grow.

Be vulnerable, baby boy. It's an asset not a weakness.

Cry, it's a gift not a demise.

Dress up, enjoy pretty stuff, paint pretty pictures, dance and nurture your puppy. It's cool to enjoy style and amazing to "mother" what you love.

Seriously, don't we adore men with compassion and style? I certainly do.

We let our boys have their super powers but also the magical powers of witches who brew strange potions in cauldrons.

We offer them experiences and things without wrapping them into judgment, we let them decide for themselves. We trust their innate amazingness. (and nudge them a little if needed)

The order to be manly is as suffocating as being reduced to Barbie. The answer lies in opening all doors, making all feelings available from being powerful to being vulnerable.

Let tough and teasing be cruel feats from the past and no sensitive kid or journalists in wheel chairs will be bullied anymore.

Super girls and super boys will create their world in balance with their powerful and magical souls.

Moms to the rescue.