I can’t even tell you how many conversations I have had with this year with female friends, co-workers, students, business owners, etc. who have dealt with competition, jealously, gossip, resentment and overall lack of support among women.
I walked into my 8:10 yoga class today feeling overwhelmed and sad by this current epidemic of women tearing down women. I sat down in front of my class (which consisted of 30+ women from all walks of life and a handful of guys) and pleaded that we work together to change this.
Like yoga usually does, the class completely shifted my outlook on my day. The energy my students brought to class today was ridiculous. It was one of those classes where you feel like everyone showed up on their mat all in. They breathed, sweated, flowed and laughed together. You could literally feel the energy build in the room. They all lifted each other up. We need to do this for each other all the time.
One of my students posted on my Facebook wall after class, “Can’t stop thinking that, as women, we are often no better to each other than our 13 year old daughters…So sad.” It doesn’t have to be like this!
Does anyone remember when Starbucks put this Madeleine Albright quote on their coffee cups? I could go on for paragraphs here about how lucky we are as a society for how far we have come as women when there are so many others around the world who are still fighting for basic freedoms.
I want to talk about a couple of things here. First, the competition. There is enough opportunity in this world for everyone. I strongly believe that when you support others in their efforts, good will come back to you. Doors will open. You will receive abundance. I have so many real life examples that I could share that demonstrate the power of this but it’s been my experience that those people and organizations who openly support others (even when they’re in competing lines of business) are always the winners. Thinking from the place of “there’s only room for one of us” is extremely limiting.
Second, jealousy and gossip. You know that quote about people not being happy with their own lives if they spend so much time talking about others? I think there’s some truth to it. What is it that we need to change about our own lives so that we can stop focusing so much on the lives of others? If we took the energy that is devoted to negativity, jealousy and gossip and put it towards our own personal happiness and passions as well as supporting the happiness and passions of others, where would that get us? I want to believe that would be somewhere a lot better than how it feels to be trapped in a vicious circle of drama and gossip.
So where am I going with all of this? I’m not really sure yet but I want to start a community mindset of women supporting women. I would be lying flat out if I said I wasn’t guilty of everything I listed above but when I’m acting from those places I feel really icky and guilty and shameful. It’s not like I think we’re going to live in this blissful society of butterflies, rainbows and hugs. That would feel icky too. I love it when my girlfriends challenge me and call me out but you can totally tell when it’s authentic and because they want me to grow and be my best.
I’m going to put more thought around this but here’s what I’m going to do immediately. I’m going to start supporting other women in ways that I show it. I am extremely fortunate to have a generous audience of mostly female readers so I’m going to start telling you about some of the AMAZING things that other women are doing. I want this not to be blogger or Charlotte specific but broad scale. I want to share stories about women that I have a personal connection with who are kicking ass and doing great things. Business owners, moms, athletes, volunteers…I can already think of a long list in my head of topics to get started with.
– A woman who is working to bring the Charlotte yoga community together while also working to create social change to help end hunger
– A woman who is a successful local personal trainer who is expanding and launching a great new website
– A woman who followed her dream to open a barre studio even though the road wasn’t easy
– A woman who took the plunge to leave her corporate job and is now managing an entire territory of yoga studios and their growth and development
– A woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer and lost her mother to cancer in the span of a few months and is working to become a personal trainer to help other women look and feel their best
– A woman who launched her own jewelry business to follow her creative passion and is now receiving national recognition for her work
– A woman who has braved the storm of opening an online boutique and everything that comes with the first year of being a small business owner
– A woman who left a “dream job” that wasn’t fulfilling her to open her own culinary business and is now thriving teaching cooking classes and working as a professional chef
I could keep going. And if you or someone you know has a story to share about women kicking ass, email me.
Women are doing amazing things everywhere if we choose to open our eyes and see them.