We create our life experience through our beliefs – in what’s possible – in what we deserve. If you want to change your life, the only place to begin is within. What do you think is possible? What do you think you deserve?
We each need to identify and get rid of our limiting beliefs.
Society helps dictate our views
We’re conditioned to see ourselves the way society sees us. When I was young, females did not go to college and were expected to get married and care for families. (I was born in 1932.) Out of my freshman class at Hollins University, only two of us went on to have careers and mine was only after I had married, had children and been divorced. The rest got married and managed their families as they were conditioned to do.
My mother saw to it that I went to college and got my Bachelor’s degree. And as a young mother of four in her forties, I went back to college and got my Master’s degree. We need to follow our calling and do what we need to do rather than adhere to any pre-existing mold.
What’s expected of us influences how we see ourselves. And only we can change that.
As a young married woman, I happened to find myself in charge of running a tennis tournament at our Country Club. A friend, a man, a business person, complimented me profusely on how well run it was. He was truly impressed. I don’t know whether it was because I proved myself to be a good organizer or because I was a woman who was capable of organizing that surprised him. Perhaps a bit of both. Men didn’t expect much of women in those days.
I absorbed and cherished that compliment because at the time I thought he knew more than I did just because he was a man and he was in business. It was only years later that I figured out that being a man in business doesn’t make you smarter or more capable than a woman who is not in business. How influenced we are by the prevailing belief systems of our times!
As my life progressed, I understood that I am a naturally outstanding organizer. But back then, I didn’t know that about myself. I didn’t believe that about myself.
Look carefully at the gifts you’ve been given. Look carefully at what you believe you’re capable of accomplishing. Raise that expectation. It’ll change your life.
A barrier has been broken
We had the woman’s movement in the late 60’s. We’ve had the slow but gradual rise of women to leadership positions formerly held only by men. We now have more women going into the technical world. We have a movement for equal pay for equal work. And we have a very strong movement with serious consequences for sexual harassment. Things are changing. The bar has been raised and we are meeting it.
Years ago, I worked for a small company and we had a flood that impacted me and others. My boss commented on how hard it was on one of the drivers, “because he has a family to support.” I was standing before him, a woman in her forties who was raising her grandchild by herself. He was so blind to the value of women he couldn’t see that I was affected for the same reason.
You see what you look for. You see what you believe.
The rise of the feminine is in progress and it’s changing the world. It has only just begun. The more we believe in ourselves, men or women, the more doors will be flung open to welcome us.
What do you think is possible?
How do you see your life unfolding? What vision do you hold for your future? Do you see yourself as a CEO if you want to be one? Can you see yourself as a creative entrepreneur who changes the world? Do you see yourself earning the same as the male who holds your same position? Do you see yourself with an equal opportunity to gain a promotion? Do you see yourself as a deserving person who is effective and powerful?
It’s possible that all of those images you hold of yourself need some work because they haven’t yet been part of your experience. And deep down, you don’t believe they can happen. We need to change our expectations – for ourselves, and for others.
Work around the limitations
Life changes and we need to continuously make adjustments. There are things I can no longer do physically because I’m old, and there are also things I no longer want to do because I’m old.
For instance, as my eyesight is changing, I now read digital books with enlarged print. I’ve yet to explore audiobooks. I no longer travel but I watch PBS and the Nature Channel and Nova and Ancient Aliens and Mysteries at the Museum.
I take courses online. I actively deepen my study of shamanism and have a fellow shamanistic practitioner with whom I speak weekly on Skype. Those exchanges keep us both moving forward on our shared path. I write daily to figure things out and share a lot of what I discover. I send wholing energy to the well-being of the world.
And I sit here in my apartment to do it all. But from this vantage point, I can learn anything I want to and exchange ideas with anyone in the world.
There are no longer limitations – except in what we believe is possible for us to accomplish. We can create an alternate version of everything and anything in order to accommodate our changing lives.
Honor and believe in your own gifts
I have a vision of a woman president and women holding the majority of seats in both houses of Congress. And I’ve given thought to how that will change the interactions in our government. The timing and extent of the emergence of that vision will depend on how women continue to see themselves. And what actions we take. This transition also has a great deal to do with our age. Young women of today expect more of themselves. Nothing is beyond their reach.
But older women are different.
I have a conservative friend who simply votes the way her husband tells her to. And she’s half my age.
There are older women, who because of their upbringing, don’t think women are capable of running things, like our government. They won’t vote for women because of that. They don’t see themselves as capable, so how can other women be?
But that’s changing with the new generations.
Our opportunities come from how we see ourselves
Part of the repositioning process for each of us is simply one of gradually and organically being replaced by younger people with different experiences and expectations. As the older generation leaves the planet, their male-dominated, woman-demeaning ideas will also leave with them.
And life as we know it will begin to change – again. Still. More.
It already has changed. The younger generations are defining themselves very differently than we did/do.
What can you do now?
While we wait for natural evolution to take place, we can make powerful changes within ourselves. How do you see yourself? As a woman, what do you think is possible for you? As a man, what do you think is possible for you, your daughters and your wife?
We all have to question our view of the role of women in the world. And men also need to question how they see their own potential and possibilities.
Change begins within yourself
Look closely at how you view yourself if you are female, at how you view females if you’re a man. Question the roles you think males and females should hold. Question the vision you hold for yourself. Is it big enough? Broad enough? Deep enough? Question everything you think. Where did that belief come from? Is it truly what you want to believe today?
As we watch women become racing-car drivers and boxers and soldiers, our worldview of the feminine changes. For the most part, we see women following a masculine image. What does it look like when women are in charge? How will their approach to problem solving and leadership change our world?
Women are learning to be in charge and have some adjustments to make.
As women become more prominent in the governing of the world, in business and politics, the arts, we have to learn to do it our way, and not do a “feminine version” of the masculine way.
I have no real idea of what that would look like but there would be a more inclusive approach to decision making. There would be a gender-neutral way to look at skills and talents and there would be mutual support – when we stop trying to emulate the male view of needing to compete.
It’s not my generation that will do this. And perhaps not yours. But if you know of a young woman who is testing her wings, be the air of support for her. Encourage her, help her believe in herself. Make certain she knows she can do whatever she wants to do and make a huge difference in our world with the unique gifts she has to give.
Can you and I, at our age, do that too? Fly higher? Any shift we make will have an impact on our own lives and in the lives of those around us. I’m trying to stay self-sufficient in my eighties. I’m defying the accepted view of an old person by studying and learning and writing and participating, and am loving every minute of it.
Look closely at what you think is possible
No, I’m not going to run any races or even travel, but I sure can use Skype to interact with and learn from people all around the world.
I also have the conceit to feel that after all these years of living my life and accumulating lessons and wisdom, it’s my responsibility, my calling, my duty, to serve as a wise elder and teach what I know to whoever wants/needs to learn from me.
I am to pass on my wisdom but in a manner that allows others to take what they need from it and freely adapt it to the circumstances they find themselves in. It’s not “do it this way.” It’s “here’s what I’ve learned, take what works best for you.”
And know that the young people of today have a different set of challenges than we did and some of their lessons will be quite different.
What you believe you deserve and what you believe is possible determine your life experience.
Question your beliefs, particularly about what’s possible for you. Know that you deserve the very best. Don’t settle for second best. Expect more of yourself. Work until you achieve it!
How do you see yourself?
A check in my mirror might reflect an old woman who stoops a bit. But her hair is still brown with only random strands of grey and her eyes are intelligent and inquisitive.
From here inside myself, I see and feel an intelligent, curious, creative, deeply spiritual explorer who connives to be excited about what she learns and discovers.
Are you looking at your external reflection or are you looking at what’s inside?
How do you see yourself? Pay attention to your inner image and live up to all you know you can be.
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