STOP GETTING IN YOUR OWN WAY AND GIVE UP YOUR FEAR OF BEING ALONE! 10 Steps for women who finally want to fulfil their potential (3/10)

Susanne, a long-standing client, once told me that she was already 32 when she first went into a restaurant for dinner on her own. She felt watched by all the other guests which, of course, was not the case. It was her who could not handle this unusual situation. Why? Because for all her life she had gone out with her parents, her friends or her husband. She never thought that she could do this alone as well.

Why do so many women still have a problem with being alone?

Three answers immediately come to my mind:

  • Because they are scared of loneliness
  • Because they feel pushed to the edge of society
  • Because they do not know what to do with themselves

Many women fear being alone most of all. They prefer living in less than perfect relationships, or remaining in unhappy partnerships to living a life by themselves.

Then again there are others, such as Susanne, who feel like outsiders as soon as they attend social events on their own. They fear not to be taken seriously without a man by their side, or being approached by unsympathetic men.

Many women in solid relationships have also not learned to treat themselves with some time-out, to spend hours or days by themselves, free of partners, family or everyday life. They simply do not know what to do with themselves, cannot deal with themselves, or have not interests and hobbies they could take up.

No idea how to arrange one’s life

Many women have no idea how to arrange their life joyfully. They think they can rely on being entertained, engaged or – worst case – dictated to by others. At the same time being on one’s own offers a great deal of advantages, such as

  • being flexible
  • acting self-determinedly
  • living independently and free
  • acting with self-responsibility
  • planning one’s time freely
  • being able to make spontaneous decisions
  • getting to know oneself better

Well, still not convinced? Maybe I should carry on with some more persuasiveness in one of my next blogs!

Women Women&Consciousness

IF YOU ARE DIFFERENT TO MOST OF THE OTHERS, THEN TRULY STAND BY IT!

Do you know the fairy tale of the ugly duckling by Hans Christian Andersen? Are you aware that, ‘beneath the surface’ it contains a lot of female knowledge and wisdom?

The author and psychologist Clarissa Pinkola-Estés once again managed to work on this fairy tale in her world bestseller ‘Women Who Run with the Wolves’. She makes the encrypted messages of the story available to everyone. It contains a few important key messages about the female soul. But let’s start with a summary:

STORY

A mother duck is sitting on her eggs. The eggs hatch and six wonderful yellow ducklings pop out. Only from the seventh egg there comes a grey, ugly duckling. It is bigger and clumsier than its siblings, and because of being different it is avoided by the others. Although mother duck tries to protect it, it even gets physically attacked and is treated like a leper. It has a painful life.

One day its mother has not got any more strength to defend the young one, so it sets out into the unknown. It is mocked and avoided because of its looks, and constantly has to face mortal danger.

So the duckling flees from one place to the next, until one day, it reaches a beautiful lake. In the meantime it has learnt how to fly, and lands on the water near three big birds. On the surface the duckling can see its own reflection. First, it hardly recognizes itself because it looks like those majestic swans surrounding it. And instead of being frozen out, the other swans preen its feathers and take the little swan into their family.

DEEPER MEANING

The fairy tale contains a lot of important key messages, such as:

The ugly duckling is seen as an outsider, fought against, and eventually excluded from the community. It is defenceless, and loses vital force.

Girls with a strong female primary instinct are sometimes seen as ‘totally amiss’, and punished, or at least treated more strictly than others because of their self-will. Their curiosity, imagination and eccentricity are inconvenient, and so their creativity is blocked. The girls are told that their being different is bad, or even unwanted. After some time many of these girls feel weak, ugly, unaccepted, which burdens their self-worth for a long time.

Because of the ugly duckling, the mother duck is confronted with an inner crucial test. If she stands up for her child, her family’s reputation will suffer, if she casts it out, she acts against her motherly instincts.

Mothers of unadjusted girls often try to teach them decent, socially adjusted, and accepted behaviour. Even as grown up women they are excluded or punished due to their unconventional lifestyle and resistance to social norms. In the fairy tale, the mother is completely overstretched, and fears confrontation with the others. She does not express her thoughts and opinions.

The mother duck is attacked by the community because of her strange child, until she eventually breaks down. Thus the duckling loses its only ally in life.

Many mothers of ‘wild’ and self-determined girls feel ambivalent because they cannot keep their mothering role any longer. Therefore, they often follow the path of lowest resistance, which can cause emotional cracks in the girl. The mother duck in the fairy tale is fragile, naïve, and in many ways, still a child herself. As a young girl she was probably not properly mothered by her own mother, and, therefore, cannot pass on this positive feeling to her daughter. The self-worth of a broken mother is not intact, and she threatens to collapse with challenges. In the worst case, the girl feels responsible for her mother’s sufferings.

The ugly duckling is looking for its kind for a long time, until it eventually finds them, is accepted and appreciated by them.

The danger is that maladjusted, wild women keep knocking at the wrong doors, trying to get friends in unsuitable circles, where they are treated as outsiders again. It is not worth enduring emotional abuse to receive a few dubious signs of love. Only honest self-analysis and working on your experiences can lead to real healing, and can open the doors to people like you.

WHAT DO YOU CORRESPOND WITH?

Read my questions and watch the feelings that arise. Maybe you want to write down your thoughts:

_ Did you feel different to the others as a little girl?

_ Were you told to adapt to your environment?

_ Were you in the role of an outsider?

_ How much did your mother understand/support/defend you?

_What was your mother like as a little girl?

_ Have you found people of your kind?

_ Do you prefer being alone to company?

_ Do you sometimes over-adapt?

_ Would you call yourself highly-sensitive?

_ What do you like to pass on to your daughter/granddaughter for her way through life?

 

Women

WHAT GOT LOST ON THE WAY FROM GIRL TO WOMAN

Do you remember the inquisitive and maybe cheeky, little girl you once were? Your lack of concern, naturalness and candour? Your courage, boldness and impetuosity, your urge to discover? Your uncomplicated way, your laughter, your curiosity, your wonder and thirst for knowledge?

Maybe, on the way from girl to woman, you have suppressed your very feminine characteristics, or you might have even lost them in the course of your life. Maybe because you have had bad experiences with them? Perhaps because you have subordinated or adapted yourself to others too much? Or maybe because you have lost contact with your ‘inner femininity’?

THE WILD WOMAN INSIDE US

The psychoanalyst Clarissa Pinkola Estés had collected stories, myths and fairy tales about the primordial nature of women for decades, before she published the world bestseller ‘Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype’. The first story is about ‘La Loba’, the she-wolf, the wild woman inside us. Due to our life experiences, at some point, there is not much left of her, unless she is woken up.

THE STORY

La Loba (Spanish: she-wolf) is an old, fat and hairy woman, living in a cave in the desert. She keeps looking for bones, snakeskins and carrion to create the skeletons of wolves. Then she holds her wrinkly hands above them and starts to sing. Immediately the skeleton starts to put on meat and skin, turning into a she-wolf and leaping away through the canyon. Now the animal turns into a woman who bursts out laughing, shakes herself, and disappears beyond the horizon.

THE DEEPER MEANING

In the figurative sense the collecting of the bones and the singing over the bones means to breathe new life into the emotionally dead or injured feminine parts of the soul, and the feminine, emotional remains. Therefore, every single woman should work on her emotional depths, which enables her to find her own strength and heal the wounds of her soul.

WHAT DO YOU RESPOND TO?

Read my questions and consider the feelings they arouse. Maybe you feel like writing down your thoughts:

  • How strongly did you feel the feminine primordial nature inside you when you were a girl? And how strongly do you still feel it?
  • How much of your ‘wild inner woman’ has been buried, or lost, in the course of your life, through injuries, disappointments, or other difficult circumstances?
  • Which emotions, that particularly identify you as a woman, have you cut yourself off from, in order not to feel them any more?
  • Do you feel your spiritual feminine power and strength, or have you handed it over to others?

WITH THE POWER AND WISDOM OF OUR FEMININE PRIMORDIAL NATURE

We women bear a strong feminine primordial nature which keeps straightening us up, no matter what happens to us. This inner wild woman helps to find the way back to our feminine basic instincts. This requires honest inspecting and checking of our soul from time to time. How much are we already neglecting or burying our feminine basic nature?

We women bear a great potential which will always enable us to find a new access to our feminine primordial nature. If we follow our basic feminine instincts, allowing them enough room in our lives, we will always survive as smiling she-wolves. And new horizons will open up, no matter what we have already encountered in our lives!

Women

STAND UP AGAIN AFTER DEFEATS!

Maybe you sometimes stand in the way of yourself and your own success because your expectations are too high. Or you are too strict with yourself – or you are too scared of failing.

Whereas one group of women is motivated by failures because they are convinced of themselves and their ideas, there is another group that gives up hastily and despondently. The reasons may be various, such as

  • fear of disappointing oneself and others,
  • feeling inadequate, too weak or too incapable,
  • only accepting absolute success, no partial success,
  • not coping with any further defeats,
  • being convinced of not deserving success,
  • not feeling loveable due to failure.

Therefore, it is important to question where your fears come from. Only then can you effectively weaken their power over you.

What do success and failure, victory and defeat, or passing and failing remind you of? Exactly! Your own childhood and school time!

Already, as a little girl, you were rewarded or criticized, depending on your performance. Therefore, fear of failure is an acquired behaviour pattern which you should desperately get rid of. It is a very one-sided judgement which forgets that there are so many other aspects and qualities within you and your life that make you loveable, valuable and unique. And they are not linked to success.

Therefore,

  • see your failures as chances for learning and developing,
  • recognize and transform your fear of failure,
  • follow your aims and wishes, even if they are not yet attainable, and
  • remain faithful to yourself!

And, above all – do not remain lying on the ground after a defeat! Because as the saying goes: falling over – standing up – straightening the crown, and going on!

 

Women

HOW MUCH OF GODDESS ATHENA IS IN YOU?

What has the Goddess Athena got to do with the women of today? Don’t we know her from the Greek legends? True! Only if we understand what archetype she stands for and what female part Athena represents in us women, can we learn to know more about ourselves. We can explore our behaviour, our needs and our qualities in a better way.

The American psychologist Jean Shinoda Bolen has been fascinated by the female soul and its facets for many years, and, therefore, she has entirely dedicated her professional life to women. She wrote down her knowledge on the different female archetypes, which is based on her work with thousands of women, in her world bestseller ‘Goddesses in Everywoman. Powerful Archetypes in Women’s Lives’. With her observations she could help her clients to discover and reawaken their strengths.

The so-called Goddesses have all along been symbols for the different aspects of the female soul. All the Goddesses-archetypes together, such as Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, Demeter, Hestia, Hera and Persephone symbolize the different landscapes of a woman’s soul.

HOW MUCH OF ATHENA IS IN YOU?

If you want to get to know yourself better, feel within you. Which Goddess is particularly strongly pronounced in you? This time Athena is in focus.

Whilst thinking about the Goddesses-aspects of Athena within you, take care that you do not slip into judgements and stereotyped thinking. My information should only serve as inspiration:

ATHENA-SOUL ASPECTS: A BRIEF SUMMARY

Women with typical Athena-aspects are for instance intellectuals, scientists, politicians, artists and other career women

Typical topics of the Athena woman: well-groomed appearance/classic dress style – intellect – success – career – art and aesthetics – imparting of knowledge – reduction to the essential – self-control – efficiency

Typical for the Athena woman: loves intellectual challenges – only ‘heroes’ are possible partners – striving for her own career and success – critical – choosy – distance to other women – children do not play an important role – self-sufficient – very practically-minded

Shadows: weakly developed body sensation – dominating mind – control freak – emotional distance – intolerance

In my next and last blog of the Goddesses I will introduce you to the Goddess-aspects of Hestia.

 

Women

WHY IS IT WORTH HAVING A LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES OF LIFE

No, it is no coincidence that I have stumbled across the ‘four Indian laws of spirituality’ on the internet. Because, just like so many of you, I do not believe in coincidences any more. More likely, I see this ‘coincidence’ as a discreet hint from above to publish the spiritual laws on my blog, to make them available for many others. Here they are:

FIRST LAW: THE PERSON YOU ENCOUNTER IS ALWAYS THE RIGHT ONE

“What? Is this supposed to be a joke?” I hear some of you ask. “My ex-husband who does not want to pay alimony? My friend’s sister who ran off with my friend’s husband? My chauvinist boss who looks down on women, and treats them so? What you say about the right encounter can’t be true, can it?”

Let’s try to leave the familiar human level of thinking, and look at our lives from above. Do we still believe that our lives are determined by coincidences? What about our free will, our inner freedom? What about a higher plan, which we agreed to long ago, when we were still souls on a different level?

Nobody enters your life by chance. Everybody has got a message, learning topic or some other enrichment for you. It depends on us whether we experience these as pleasant or not. Let’s be honest: don’t we sometimes need a kick to move on, to leave our comfort zone to make progress on our developing path.

SECOND LAW: WHATEVER HAPPENS IS THE BEST THING THAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED

Have you ever thought, ‘If only I had not got involved with this man!’ or ‘If only I had used contraception!’ or ‘If only I had made peace with my family earlier!’

Forget about it! Everything is fine as it is! No, this is no palliation. It is an approach where you have to push the human view away, to switch to a spiritual, or at least, holistic one.

Yes, it was right and good to get involved with this particular man because only through him could you make the experiences which were important for you. It might have taken longer for you to realize than you anticipated. Maybe it took more men, who did not do you any good to make the one important experience. But it has all made you stronger, tougher and maybe a bit more independent. We learn voluntarily, but more often involuntarily. Therefore, let’s be grateful that exactly these things come into our lives which are truly important for us and our development.

THIRD LAW: EVERY MOMENT THAT SOMETHING STARTS IS THE RIGHT ONE

In former times every child could decide when it wanted to be born. There were no caesareans and labour boosters. The child came when it was the right time, when its soul said, “Go!”

Nowadays we want to plan everything: the right time for having children, marrying, making a career,… Of course, life has become very complex, and we do not want to leave things to chance. But have we ever thought of letting go of the reins, making spontaneous decisions or letting go? We have no idea what we have already missed out on because with all our planning we have interfered with our life from time to time.

Therefore: let go, relax, lean back and trust that everything that is important for us will come at the right time! If we can manage to put a little plaster on our ego’s mouth to quieten it down a bit, letting go and being in the flow will be easier.

FOURTH LAW: WHAT IS OVER IS OVER

If a carton of milk has run out of date and the contents turned sour, then it’s over with the milk. Nothing can be changed. The milk won’t get fresh any more. When your partnership is over, and love gone, it is the same. It has stopped existing. Maybe you can turn the relationship into friendship. Or you stick with the relationship because separation is a no-go. But the loving and exhilarating relationship is dead. Finished!

Yes, this can be sad and painful. It takes many people a long time to get used to it, they have problems letting go of their ideas, expectations, wishes and dreams. Not again this word ‘letting go’. We can’t hear it any longer!

The art of letting go should accompany us throughout our life, as it is a continuous stream of longer and shorter stages. And if we cannot say goodbye to them, we will not develop. This does not mean we should separate from our partners after a few years. Because the development of our love and our partnership is also a process of letting go. We say goodbye to the person we used to be for a period of time, and discover ourselves from a completely new angle. As soon as we let endings and beginnings, transformation and change consciously into our life, it will be a fulfilled and very happy one. That I am deeply convinced of!

PS: By the way, it would take me too much time to explain why I stopped believing in coincidences many years ago. The fact is that behind the superficial look to our life, there are more relevant spiritual laws which we human souls are connected with. With a higher spiritual order, so to speak. However, that is a story for another day perhaps.

Women

THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR FEMALE INTUITION

I am sure you know it, this silent inner voice…your female intuition which strives to be heard. It accompanies every woman, and, with almost scary precision, tells us what is truth or deception. Female intuition is like a compass, telling women what direction to choose, or who to trust. But:

_ Do we actually hear this inner voice?

_ And if we do: do we listen to it?

_ Do we suppress our inner voice because what it tells us is inconvenient, or tied up with uncomfortable consequences or sacrifice?

THE WILD WOMAN AND HER INTUITION

Our intuition, our inner voice, is like a secret messenger, providing direct access to our psyche, our inner ‘wild woman’. It speaks to us in the form of inspirations.

The multifarious psyche of the ‘wild woman’ is described in detail in the world bestseller ‘Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype’ by the psychoanalyst Clarissa Pinkola Estés. Over decades she collected stories, myths and fairy tales from all over the world to enable us to gain a more profound access to the female soul, with the help of these symbolic tales.

The third story in this book is about ‘Vasalisa, the wise one’. A story about the initiation of a woman into the hidden kingdom of her own intuition.

THE STORY

When Vasalisa’s mother is dying she gives her daughter a doll that looks like Vasalisa. She should feed the doll and always keep it with her. When her father marries again, Vasalisa has a stepmother and two stepsisters who torment her. One day they send Vasalisa away into the woods. With the help of her doll she finds the witch Baba Yaga there. She is allowed to stay with her but has to fulfil many tasks. Her doll remains a big support for her.

But one day the witch also sends Vasalisa away. As a farewell present she gives her a glowing skull. When she returns to her stepmother and stepsisters, they already have new plans to destroy her. However, the glowing skull becomes Vasalisa’s new ally. When the girl wakes up the next morning, all that remains of her stepmother and stepsisters is a pile of ashes.

THE DEEPER MEANING

The key message in this fairy tale is the power of female intuition. In this story it is passed on from mother to daughter, from one generation to the next, as a beneficial legacy. This intuition might be suppressed or buried, due to a lack of understanding, but it is never lost.

The fairy tale also describes an initiation process where the candidate has to pass certain tests. As soon as all the tasks are completed, she develops a new relationship with her own intuition, activating many undeveloped aspects of her own soul.

WHAT DO YOU CORRESPOND WITH?

Read my questions and watch the feelings that arise. Maybe you want to write down your thoughts:

_ Do you simply say YES when somebody offers you something unexpected, and you cannot/do not want to say NO, although your inner voice warns you?

_ Do you listen to your intuition when choosing a partner, or are you blinded by appearance?

_ Do you sometimes ask yourself what you really want?

_ Do you know exactly what is good for you, and what is not? And who does you good, or not?

_ Do you allow your ego power over your feelings?

_ In your childhood was your mother a role model for making decisions by intuition?

_ Are there any intuitive-wise women in your family?

_ Have you got contact to your inner wild woman?

Clarissa Pinkola Estés says that it is one of the most difficult tasks to develop a sensible power of discrimination. It requires courage, will power, and soul substance. It involves sacrifices and waiting until we really encounter what we want. This learning process becomes most evident when we choose a lover or partner.

Women