International Women’s Day – How Can You Be An Inspiration?
Today may feel like every other day. You get up and do what you have to do and hopefully what you love to do. Today is a special day for me because I was privileged to be able to practice my energy routine, drink tea and celebrate with my sisters – the furry ones.
I can start my day well because of the women and men that came before me and the people who surround me and who are an inspiration to me.
Today is International Women’s Day, and a day to remember that we want and deserve equality.
Equality for me, goes much deeper than just for women, we need it for all.
I don’t do bashing of either gender. I don’t agree with so much that I am witness to and I feel helpless to change the whole world, but I can support those around me – I can be an inspiration.
I am fearless in the face of injustice and I could regale you with many tales of the work place and my approach to sexual harassment – let’s just say I did not take any prisoners.
But equally I would defend a man in the same way. As my fellow workmates knew. I was once set up in a leadership training environment and I acted just as they knew I would. I defended my work colleague from what I perceived as bullying. I did laugh after – little gits!
This is such a massive subject and I don’t think I even know where to begin to address it or write about it. Instead I choose to think about those who have inspired me to be who I am.
Women and men who are my inspiration
I know I am who I am mainly because of two people. My mum and dad.
It wasn’t an easy relationship. They tried to tell me what to do and I did what I wanted. I fought and rebelled.
But you see home life was a bit of a battlefield. I’d been abused first by a babysitter at ten – which I couldn’t talk about and later groomed and abused by a local couple – which I was deeply ashamed of.
My dad drank and they argued.
But even in all of that they did their best, while I did my best to hide all of the pain and hurt. I could not express in a natural way. Later in life my suppressed emotions would emerge as physical illness. Strangely much easier to deal with.
Dad used to have sayings. One was you can only get wet once when he would push my brother and I out to play in the rain. Later I came to realise that (at least to me) he was saying go on try it, it’s only scary once.
He had another saying you can do anything you like until you get caught, this I knew meant he would give me a hard time when he caught me out. He did, but he also supported and defended me when I got into trouble – which I did often.
I loved them the equally, but in different way. I would never have stayed married to my dad. He’d have been ditched pdq. Just like the last one I was married to. (look out for a blog on be careful what you wish for). Yep, I chose well. Deceptive during our whole relationship, this man was far worse than my dad. The stuff I found that ended the marriage was rather interesting to say the least. I am however eternally grateful to him for the gift of freedom and the space to find me,
When I moved here following the break up of this marriage, I got to know my mum as a person, not just a mum.
Mum didn’t get to do what she loved until later in life, and now she paints (not so often) and writes (nearly every day). She has osteoporosis, had seven fractures and is in constant pain, yet she smiles through it, she is intuitive, kind and caring. A woman you would want by your side. For me, she demonstrates beautifully that no matter how old you are, you can still live with passion.
On her 80th birthday we tricked her. She came with us for a casual drink and there in the tea room was over twenty of her friends all delighted to see her.
My mum who didn’t and couldn’t know such love while my dad was alive has bloomed and is having a ball.
She inspires me every day to be a better person.
I wonder who inspires you to be a better person?
Who are the women that inspire you? Who can you inspire?
Indulge me while I just focus on women.
All over the world women will not be able to live the way they want and are still being subjected to the most horrific treatment. Their suffering is something we could not imagine and yet it happens.
In January 2020 The Independent ran a dreadful story about Turkeys Marry your rapist bill. You can’t imagine it can you?
Women and young girls are trafficked into forced labour and sex slavery. My friend Ulrika runs Do Good Now Global who’s aim is to stop human trafficking. Another abomination. Yet it happens right under our noses. It is not just in far away lands.
Since knowing Ulrika, who is an amazing woman, I have learned so much that saddens me. You can only wonder what drives the people who want to control innocent women and girls.
In February 2020, The BBC ran a story about Atsede Nguse who had been subjected to an acid attack by her husband. She still amazingly believes that there are more good people than bad.
Menbere Aklilu a Women’s rights activist heard the story and stepped in to help and I am sure has inspired Atsede to dream big.
These are just a few stories.
Then there are the women who give up the terror of their homelands to suffer dreadful hardship to find a better life and end up in disgusting refugee camps with little hope of finding their dream life in the near future or maybe ever.
Imagine living in some of these countries as you and I tuck into our cups of tea and dunk our biscuits. They may be a million miles away, but they are still our sisters and brothers.
Closer to home the Domestic abuse bill is delayed because someone decided to prorogue parliament and hold an election last year. I cannot even begin to wonder how this one will ever get solved.
I imagine every one of us reading this knows someone who has had the cr** kicked out of them, strangled or psychologically abused most days.
There by the grace of God go I.
And yet this is the world we live in. These few things do not show the extent to which humanity needs saving.
And I get it. It’s not just women, guys I know you get mistreated too and my heart bleeds. It truly does.
Then there are the animals and the land. Where will it end?
All over the world there are men and women like Ulrika doing something to change the world.
We can do the same. In each of our hearts is a space for something that we care passionately about.
Mine is animals.
How can you do something – big or small to help create change in your life, community or the world?
What each of us does is about doing something that is impactful to us. That could be within your family, the community, your county, country or the world.
What matters is that it is meaningful to you.
Today and every day – start with you
For me, the best place is to start within. We might not be able to change the world, but we can change our world and the world around us. We can be the change we want to see in the world. We can honour, respect and love ourselves and our fellow humans so that they can find strength in our connection, discover their courage and passion for life.
We can challenge the mindsets of men and women who don’t believe that change is overdue. And we do that with compassion.
Today we are lucky. We can come together in circles to share our love and energy so that the person sitting on either side of us can feel the strength of our love and know that there is someone by his or her side who will listen and will support them.
Today I ask that you consider the women and men who walked before you to enable you to have the life that you have.
Today I ask that you spare a moment to walk in the shoes of another woman or man who’s life may not be as great as yours.
Today I ask you to take steps to support and inspire your fellow humans no matter where they are or who they are, in some way.
The womb of the world within us is connected by an invisible force to Mother Earth and to the Universe (God, Grace, Cosmos). We carry the future; we are the future. Equality, diversity, respect and love starts with us – use your gifts wisely. Be an inspiration.
Today celebrate who you are because my friends – you rock
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