I was going to hold my nose and vote for Hilary. That is until I started to learn more about her. When I watched her biography on a CNN special I realized more clearly who she was and what she was up against in her run for ruler of the free world.
Here you have a woman, who at a young age knew just who she was and how she wanted to express herself as a successful attorney. But very quickly she was shamed out of her greatness and into the small box that the culture she lived in could stomach.
As first lady of Arkansas and then the United States, she learned that in order to be seen and heard, she had to become less seen and less heard. She had to look and act like a proper first lady, dressing to appease the onlookers, talking in ways that made her husband stand out. Bit by bit, the fullness of who she was, was diminished, covered up and put down.
As a yoga teacher and long-time yogini (female yogi) I know that yoga practice teaches us to take a good long look at ourselves. To study ourselves and to express the fullness of the Being that we discover. However, in this country and in this political climate women are still far from being able to express our complete selves.
Meanwhile, as a nation we are willing to accept (and elect) the man with many flaws, but not the woman who is flawed.
If women are too ambitious we are called man-ish and dismissed. If women are too compassionate we are called emotional and dismissed. How many times do women have to pretend to be someone we are not so that we can fit into the tiny box our culture has created?
This woman, who has been in the public eye for years has had to settle. To contain who and what she is so that she can avoid scrutiny and judgement. This badass, ambitious woman has re-made herself over and over throughout the years to help her husband achieve his goals and to keep her daughter safe and cared for.
This is what all of us women, moms and wives do to love, nurture and protect our beloveds. We play our role. We play the role of mother for the betterment of the next generation. We play the role of strong backbone for the betterment and achievement of the men we love and sometimes we catch hell for it. Sometimes we surrender and push down our own goals so that we can be who is acceptable to all the eyes watching.
And what do we get from it? Yes, we experience those proud moments of witnessing our kids, husbands and communities being great, all while waiting in the shadows for our turn to shine.
This election has shown me that our time to shine may still not have come. That America is not ready for women to be successful in our own right.
Just like every man, women have parts of us that are deemed “bad” or unacceptable. But for fear of judgement and abandonment we put those parts of us aside, even though those parts are the very things that make us whole and great.
Isn’t it time that we embrace our fullness as women? No more hiding in the closet of “I’m a woman” shame. No more beating ourselves up for being too ambitious, too unhealthy, too sexy or too whatever.
The tragedy is, when we fail to acknowledge, embrace and accept every part of our being, we die.
We die a slow internal death that is a disservice to our children, husbands and communities. Onlookers see only a small figment of who we really are, as we fake the funk showing up small.
That’s not what life is about! We are ambitious business women building empires, dreams and communities. Sure, our marriages are important. Absolutely our children are important. But our complete soul’s expression is even more important.
In this country don’t we have that freedom of expression? Don’t we have the right to show all of us?
Do we have to remain small and content to be Stepford wives? Do we not owe it to our families and the world to unhood ourselves and proudly display ALL of our talents, gifts and desires?
Salem was a witch hunt to take down the free and liberated women of that day. These were the empowered women who knew who they were and how they served. Sadly, not much has changed since then.
Our culture is still witch-hunting to suppress the power that resides in every woman. Power that oftentimes we don’t even see in ourselves or feel too ashamed to express.
The truth is we don’t have just one or two “places” in society. We occupy all places. In politics, in religion, in the home, in business and in our community. We are not just the nurturers of our children, but nurturers of the world. That is our birthright. That is who we are. That is who I stand here today as a yogini, mother and business owner.
We will not be silenced. We will not be made small. We will not be deemed too emotional because we don’t fit the masculine roles this country has set forth as “good.”
We express both our girl-ness and our man-ness. All of it is us. We embrace both our goodness and our badness. All of it is us.
The legacy we leave our daughters is the knowledge that they can be all things. Not just a mom, not just a wife, but all things she chooses in her lifetime. To always be as big as she desires to be. And to always be fully and completely HERself.
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