Female Empowerment is a mending of inherited inadequacy and passivity. It is a common occurrence for me to hear, you are intimidating (Definition: frighten or overawe (someone), especially in order to make them do what one wants.), strong (Definition: able to withstand great force or pressure.: “cotton is strong, hard-wearing, and easy to handle”. Synonyms: secure, well-built, indestructible), straightforward (Definition: uncomplicated and easy to do or understand.: “in a straightforward case no fees will be charged”. Synonyms: uncomplicated, simple, easy), and have standards (Definition: restaurant offers a high standard of service” “the governor’s ambition to raise standards in schools”. Synonyms: quality, level, merit, excellence). These were all pieces of my little self and are aspects of my adult self that I have had to examine with a close eye. As a much younger woman, my intimidating, honest and sharp personality came from a place of inadequacy. Deep seeded feelings of insecurity, not being enough, but possessing this burning desire to create, support and be great. I used to struggle with chronic anxiety and in my 20’s experienced deep depression. These feelings produced a protective mechanism, in me, that WAS forceful, intense and intimidating. I was as hard on others as I was on myself. Studying Vedanta, going through loss, struggling personally and socially in college and most importantly, finding purpose in Citizen Yoga mended those feelings. Tony Robbins said, “Life happens for you, not to you.” All feelings of inadequacy had to die in order to step into a true inner power to live the pure mission of Citizen.
As women, we have unconsciously inherited a concept of how we should interact with the world. Passionate is interpreted as intense. Straightforwardness is interpreted as bitchy or harsh. Having standards is experienced as intimidation. I hold a firm belief that a woman can have love, compassion and kindness, and STILL have these aforementioned qualities. Citizen must stand for this; for women to move out of inadequacy and into self-belief. When self-belief, and self-confidence have been integrated deeply into the female soul, the honesty, straightforwardness and standards come from a place of nurturing, care and support. Swami Parthasarathy often quoted, “sometimes you must be cruel to be kind”. In a leadership role, kindness is expressed as efforts pointing people in the direction of growth, self-development, which to an untrained eye, could be interpreted as cruel. It is our obligation as people wanting to be better to humbly bow and listen for feedback. The Ego, the small, childlike self, expresses as personalization. DO NOT TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY! If you trust your team, growth will arise from listening and self-reflecting.
Forever I will hold true that successful entrepreneurship arises out of a firm, integrated, positive self-belief. You must believe in yourself. This is not an easy task. It takes effort, objectivity, self-awareness and, yes, deep moments of doubt. This is the point of the Kula. It is imperative to surround yourself with people who lift you up, tell you the truth and do not support habits of erratic, impulsive action.
In Vedic philosophy, it details the nature of humans as passive and aggressive. Passive operate from the level of the mind. The aggressive from the level of the intellect. Within these categories, there are passive/aggressive good and bad people. These two terms are defined by the use or non-use of the intellect. The intellect being the adult self. A passive person lives by their feelings rather than reason and judgment. They do not analyze their actions, question their merit and blindly follow the life of their family, culture and predecessors. Environment shapes who they become. Passively bad lives a life of bad action without intending to, but has inherited that lifestyle. A passively good just happens to land in a way of life that is good and moral. There is no determining the right course of action. An aggressively bad person schemes, plans, and manipulates always in pursuit of selfish motives. The aggressive are more powerful and exploit passive people for their own means. Pay the greatest attention to the aggressive good. The aggressive good is inherently good. They program their life to benefit everyone. An aggressively good person uses the intellect to steer activity towards an ideal. A single aggressively good person can bring peace and harmony in the community. In the world, the proportion of passive exceeds the aggressive like the ratio of lions to sheep. Our job as women is to transform from passive good into aggressive good. To release our passivity, our fear of being great! To confront and conquer the aggressive bad elements in society. To be an empowered woman is to employ the intellect, to have an ideal and direct our actions towards it. To inspire those around us, through action that provokes thought and reflection, while encouraging everyone to step into fullness. To demand more from ourselves than living and acting from our feelings of inadequacy. If this quality of living is interpreted as strong, intimidating, and straightforward…I STILL CHOOSE IT.