Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Celebrating the Mother of Christmas

On this Christmas Eve we honor Mary, not just as the mother of Jesus, but as a symbol to women. To many people around the world (Christians and Non-Christians) her image embodies compassion, courage and the unconditional, unwavering, love of a mother. 

For those of us that celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas let us take a moment to honor His mother. For those of us that don't celebrate Christmas let us take a moment to honor what Mary symbolizes to women worldwide.  

Images of the Madonna from around the world.

Wishing you a very "Mary" Christmas!!! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Cracked Jar - Transforming Perspective

A water bearer had two large pots; each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. ”I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” ”Why?” asked the bearer. ”What are you ashamed of?”

”I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, ”As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.” Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, ”Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Author Unknown

We are all cracked pots. None of us is perfect, yet many of us feel that our cracks are bigger than everyone else's. It's so easy to be self-critical and it can be quite difficult to turn off the negative chatter inside our heads. This simple little story illustrates in no uncertain terms that our perceived weaknesses may be our strengths.  

If you are inspired take a moment and think about those aspects of yourself that you perceive as "cracks". As you do so rather than letting the familiar negative talk take over your thoughts let yourself find creative ways that your "crack" or weakness has been of benefit to you. For example a crack may be that you have a quick temper. Rather than dwelling on the negative aspects of having a quick temper focus on the positives, like, because of my quick temper I have been able to stand up for myself and others. 

This is not to say that we should stop striving to improve and to grow but that in learning to embrace our perceived weaknesses as also being aspects of our strengths we learn to love and respect ourselves more completely.  

Let's celebrate our cracks! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Courage is the first step towards inner-peace

One of the first lessons we practice in my Women's Empowerment classes is that of finding our courage and center in everyday situations. 
It's important to note that how we react on a daily basis becomes a habitual conditioned response. In high-stress situations our bodies and minds go into automatic and many times fall back to our habitual-response behaviors. If we are uncomfortable owning our truth and our power in everyday situations it can be that much harder to find them in a potentially violent situation. 
Remember that we are more than just physical machines. Just memorizing punches and kicks without addressing our totality of being will not prepare us adequately to face potential threats effectively. It's just as important to train the mind, subconscious, and emotions as it is the body. 

I'll share one of the lessons we do to encourage strength and authenticity. 

3rd week lesson - homework & journal

Many people find that the need to not upset others out weighs the need to protect their own inner peace.  Even the most outspoken of us has found ourselves in situations that create inner conflict because as your mouth is saying YES everything else in you is saying NO. 

This week our homework and journal will consist of the following:

It's ok to say no. It's also ok to make time for yourself. In fact both are extremely important practices for overall wellbeing and health. 

1. Every morning this week find music that makes you feel strong, positive and alive. Listen to at least 10 minutes and dance or move with the music before you start your day. You might enjoy some of the music from our "Collection of Empowering Songs for Women". 

2. Just for this week promise yourself you'll choose to protect your inner peace over the wants and demands of others. So find one thing this week that you can do to create more peace for yourself. Examples: Finding time to meditate, taking a long bath, or reading an inspiring book. Being honest about your limitations and saying no when need be. 

3. Give yourself permission to be honest with yourself and with others. 

4. Every evening take 10 minutes to journal about the new habit you practiced that day and how it impacted you. 

Remember even if you have a very busy life and find it difficult to make time for yourself, it's only a week. Give yourself just 7 days and maybe you'll find you can incorporate it for good? Also if saying no is difficult, it's only for 7 days. You may find that as you practice, it becomes easier. 

If we don't make time to find our center, it is much easier to be thrown off by life's daily challenges. If we don't find the courage to speak our truth then we are no longer living our life but someone else's idea of what it should be. 

Thank you for reading my blog post. If you're inspired to do this lesson let me know how it goes. 

Thank you for honoring the feminine.


Monday, November 18, 2013

My first Women's Empowerment Post

I am grateful for this opportunity to welcome you to my new blog. I have been passionate about women's rights, health and safety issues for decades and have taught my style or system of women's self-defense called Aurora's Women's Empowerment for more than 20 years. I hope that you will find my future blog posts informative and inspiring. 

I will not only share some of my Women's Empowerment program here but will also share other organizations and business that honor, celebrate and uplift the feminine. I hope that this blog and my upcoming website will be a resource for women and girls all around the world. 

I believe that if we each do our part to share our knowledge, our services or our talents with our sisters around the world we can make a lasting and sustainable impact in bettering the lives of women everywhere. 

In most cultures women are the parent most actively raising the children and tending to family matters so by helping raise each other up we are creating a better future for both boys and girls. 

That is why I will be sharing some of my Women's Empowerment Program for free on this blog. I have faith in the power of generosity and know that whatever I share that is of use in helping another will be returned in kind.

I look forward to you comments and suggestions as I post my work and share the work of others I admire. Together we can make a difference. 

Thank you for reading my post. 

Thank you for honoring the feminine.