woman and what it means


I've been looking at the events for this year's International Woman's Day and making contact with women friends and family members for the Million Women Rising March #MWR on Saturday 10th so that I don't end up as #SallyNoMates on the day.

It's made me focus on the myriad events in my life that have made me who I am and how I share those experiences with many other women the whole world over.

My life so far, just like so many other women, has been one of loving and loss, and I sometimes fear who else I will lose.

It was about the birth of my son all those decades ago and the other babies I never allowed myself even though at the time it never felt like a choice.

It has been about so many experiences and challenges when I felt overwhelmed to the point of doubting my survival and yet with good people around me miraculously I have so that today I thrive.

It's made me pause and think about the women I know and love who most probably won't be marching this year for all sorts of reasons.

I'm thinking of my friend Linda who has just lost her husband after caring for him through his decline from Alzheimer's. I can only imagine how it must have been for her to see her once alpha male partner hollowed out by that dreadful disease.

I'm thinking of my friend Barbara who has just buried her mother and the tsunami of grief she is currently caught up in. I'd love her to come, but it might be too soon for her even to consider right now.

I'm thinking of my unique woman friends I've not made time to see in the last year or so and it makes me feel sad and ashamed of myself that I've not tried harder to keep these relationships alive. I'm prompted to reach out to them now before I'm no more than a distant and irrelevant memory to them.

I'm thinking about the women I know professionally and how great it could be for us to do something together that is real and would be unifying away from emails, webinars and Skype. I hope some of us will meet up for this.

I'm thinking of my beloved sister-in-law and her grown-up daughter living in the Republic of Ireland. I know they're not going to make it over for now and it would have felt great to march with them. They've got their country's Irish Abortion referendum coming up in May, so maybe I should go there and march with them.

I'm thinking of women in my modern, re-constructed London family, my step-grand-daughters and their mums and hoping they'll answer the call to action too so that we can all march together.

Women. All of the women from all the parts of my life. Feels like a Million Women Rising is a perfect opportunity to show up, be counted and to celebrate connection and appreciation for every last one of us.

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