Look around and there are millions of resources out there to help women build their confidence, find their strength, and get themselves on a path filled with joy and peace. Many of these resources, whether they be books, life counselors, tapes, or lectures, focus on self realization (knowing yourself), self confidence (loving yourself), and strength (realizing your power). Power is a word that is used so often these days. I’ve been to workshops at the Landmark Forum where a central theme is power – a person’s power to change relationships, reactions, thoughts, and whole lives. I’ve read countless books which guide readers to find their inner strength and use their power to chase those dreams, move through change, and cope with loss. There is a great deal of emphasis on self-realization and self-awareness through meditation, journaling, controlling thoughts and reactions, self-improvement. All these strategies for bringing serenity, happiness, and acceptance into people’s lives are positive.
However, there is one important piece missing in much of the guidance that is out there. It’s the simple everyday interactions and joys that provide power. While many of the recommended self-realization and self-awareness tools do provide a source of strength, insight, and validation, these are often individual and private strategies. It is easy to get lost in all the guides, opinions, recommendations, and theories and the risk is that too much time is spent at home, alone, and thinking.
The simple, daily activities, encounters, surprises, and experiences in our lives cannot be forgotten. The power of a night with a good friend, or the joy of an old song on the radio, or the man at the grocery store who cards you for wine when you way over 35. It’s good to get your feelings out in a journal, to find ways to better understand yourself, to reexamine your life and put time into thinking about where you want to be. In the process though, don’t forget about the simple things in life that give you joy. Seek them out. We learn so much from “hand’s on” experiences and during the good times and the hard times, we need to keep those joys in our life and treasure the positive moments that make us feel strong, beautiful, and powerful. So when your child gives you a big hug, or when your favorite song comes on the radio, or when your laughter echoes through the room as you chat with a good friend, breath in deeply and remember the moment and let the power of your experiences, friendships, and successes build your strength, empower your spirit, and bring you peace and joy.
Heather Coulter is the Founder and President of The Femme Forum. The Femme Forum is an on-line membership based community of women offering information, resources, and one-on-one advice in the interest of empowerment, friendship, and personal growth. Please join us at http://www.thefemmeforum.com