NO LONGER GET IN YOUR OWN WAY AND DO NOT ENVY OTHERS (10/10)

10 steps for women who eventually want to fulfil their potential (10/10)

Wilhelm Busch once said that envy is the most honest form of recognition

Whereas jealousy means ‘I want to have what you have’, being envious means ‘I want to have what you have, and I do not want you to have it!’. While a little bit of jealousy adds a certain amount of flavour to a dish, like salt and pepper, envy means emptying the whole pepper mill on it.

Furthermore, envy indicates a lack of self-worth, and hints at self-pity, which results in comparing oneself with others, and feeling disadvantaged.

And the other way round: if we feel envied, it is the unspoken confession that we are better or more successful, or simply luckier. At least, at the first, more superficial glance. However, if you take a closer look at the spiritual laws, you will discover that everything that happens to us is the result of cause and effect.

Envy is of no benefit because…

  • you benefit more from concentrating on your own life, needs and successes
  • you are happier when content with what you have
  • it is better to concentrate on your abilities and talents rather than peering at others
  • it is better to define personal levels and priorities
  • envy can destroy relationships, which you definitely do not want
  • envy weakens your self-worth, your self-esteem, and your self-confidence, which is the last thing you want

THOUGHTS ON THE TOPIC ‘ENVY’

  • Nobody knows what is going on behind the closed doors of other people. Maybe they pay a high price for their success.
  • Envy is like poison. It has a direct effect on your body and weakens it. Nelson Mandela once said that envy is like drinking poison, hoping that it might kill your enemies. Envy always works against you!
  • If you are envied, do not be offended or angry – the successful German TV presenter Robert Lembke used to say ‘Pity you get for free, envy you must earn’.
  • Watch yourself and recognize in which situations you feel envy and why. Only when you see through your behaviour patterns, can you consciously work on them.
  • Admit to your insecurity, your frustration or self-pity in connection with envy. You do not have to be ashamed! But the longer you suppress these emotions, the deeper you go down the spiral of envy.
  • Change your point of view of life, and abandon your role as a victim. As long as you believe you were disadvantaged as a child, and still are as an adult, you will always envy other people. Realize that other people’s lives, which you probably envy, are not perfect, or without problems.
  • Stop thinking about what is fair or not. You do not know about the higher plan behind other people’s lives. You have no idea about their learning tasks and developing steps, and what challenges they have to face. Maybe their hardest learning tasks feel easy for you.
  • Have the courage to change your living conditions if you are unhappy. Nagging, envy and moaning only cost valuable energy, but are of no use. Oh well, as the saying goes: change it, love it or leave it!

 

Women&Consciousness

WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES: Stay Different than Others!

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

WHY I BECAME A VEGETARIAN

For ten years my parents tried to make me eat what normal people eat. They eventually succeeded. In the first ten years of my life I refused meat and dairy products. And I still do not like onions, garlic and leeks. And there is more…

I remember very well when I slowly started to eat cheese at the age of eight. A strange thing indeed, considering my father held a leading position in a local dairy. It was no problem for me to eat bread and butter, therefore, my mother mixed mild cheese spread with loads of butter, so that I got used to the taste of cheese. The next step was bread and butter with thinly sliced cheese. Even this became normal for me, so I turned to stronger cheeses, until I ended with really stinky ones. Everybody was proud of me!

AS A CHILD I FELT DISGUSTED BY SAUSAGE

I also found sausages disgusting! But this is a different story. Today, some decades later, I am aware that I was born as a semi-vegan. Of course, this did not fit into the prevailing habits of the society I grew up in. Many children have a natural instinct, and feel exactly what is good for them and what is not. During my days as a kinesiologist I often experienced that children are allergic or intolerant to food they did not want to eat originally (but were often forced to).

For some years I have been vegetarian for ethical reasons, moving towards becoming vegan. I am not interested in facts and statistics which say it is unhealthy to eat meat. No, I just don’t like meat because I don’t want to eat dead animals. And this includes fish and seafood.

WHY WE LOVE DOGS AND EAT PIGS

I always find it amazing that loving owners of horses, dogs, cats, hamsters or guinea pigs eat a rare steak without turning a hair. The American social psychologist Melanie Joy has written an interesting book on this topic: ‘Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, And Wear Cows’.

She says you should imagine the following scenario: you are invited to a festive dinner at friends’. Together with the other guests you sit at a nicely laid table. The room is pleasantly warm, candle light is reflected in crystal glasses filled with wine. There is relaxed conversation. You can smell tempting aromas coming from the kitchen. You have not eaten anything the whole day, and your stomach is rumbling. After some time, which seems a lifetime to you, the host appears with a steaming bowl of stew.

The scent of meat, spices and vegetables is drifting through the room. You help yourself generously. After you have tried the tender meat, you ask the host for the recipe. She happily reveals the secret by telling that she first takes five pounds of golden retriever meat, well marinated, and then… Golden retriever? You are petrified! The meat in your mouth comes from a dog. And now? Would you continue? Or does the thought of Golden Retriever on your plate, which you have just eaten, repel you?

REPRESSION KEEPS SOME FROM EATING MEATLESS

What is going on here? When we think of a golden retriever, we see a dog in front of us, playing ball with children in a garden, dozing in front of the fireplace, or running alongside with a jogger. These images raise sympathy and compassion for the killed dog, and disgust at  the thought of eating this animal. If we deal with beef, however, we skip this part of the process of perception which connects the meat with the cow.

I do not count myself as a militant vegetarian who condemns others for eating meat. People have different reasons why they do not want to exclusively live on vegetables, grain or fruits.

Why do I publish this text on my women’s blog? Because in my experience, it is basically us women who influence the eating habits of our families and therefore, indirectly of our society.

However, an increasing number of children and teenagers influence us adults to do without meat. They simply refuse to eat animals for ethical reasons.

Women

WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES: 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

WOMEN WHO RUND WITH THE WOLVES: Importance of 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

WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES: Dancing out of Line

Do you know a woman who already opposed as a girl the misogynist educational measures and disciplining of adults. Maybe you were even one of these non-conformist girls.

  • How did you feel?
  • Looking back, how do you see this time in your life?
  • Did you have to pay for your independence, or your break with social structures?

The fairy tale ‘The Girl with the Red Shoes’, which Clarissa Pinkola-Estés analysed in her world bestseller ‘Women Who Run With the Wolves’, focuses on the topic of the non-conformist woman. The girl in her story breaks out of her cage, but channels her basic female instincts in the wrong way. She painfully has to pay for her new freedom.

THE STORY

A poor orphan girl sewed her own shoes with red rags. She is invited by a rich lady to go and live with her. Her red shoes are burnt, the girl is bathed, combed and beautifully dressed. However, from now on she has to sit still all day, she is not allowed to scamper around, and she may only speak when spoken to.

As she starts to long desperately for her red shoes, she goes out and buys a new pair secretly, and against the will of the old woman. But as soon as she puts the shoes on, they start to dance with the girl and carry her through woods and fields, over mountains and through valleys. As she dances into the churchyard, she is cursed by a spirit, “You shall dance in these red shoes until your skin hangs down your tired bones, and nothing is left of you.”

And this is what happens. The shoes keep dancing, and there is nothing she can do about it. The girl asks an executioner to cut off her shoes with her legs so that she can finally stop dancing. The man does as he is told, but the poor girl has to spend the rest of her life as regrettable servant.

THE DEEPER MEANING

With her red shoes the woman lost something precious, as they stand for her freedom and impetuosity. She thinks she can regain these by buying new shoes secretly, but forgets that the purchase is no real liberation, but only compensation for her dependency. With the new shoes and the urge to dance, she does not become happy at all. Only through the tortures of self-mutilation can the girl release herself from these compensations, but the price she has to pay is a high one.

AND THE MORAL OF THE STORY

Many women feel similar to a girl in a golden cage who has everything she needs, except her freedom. These are women…

  • in unhappy relationships
  • going through life with acquired inferiority complexes
  • being scared of punishment and humiliation
  • full of shame

But one day the wild feminine soul inside them might say, “I’ve had enough of oppression!” Then they should really make sure their act of deliverance does not cause permanent damage (like the girl with the red shoes).

Therefore:

  • do not escape from difficult circumstances in life in a mad rush, jumping into a new life where you feel lost and overloaded
  • learn to be careful, watch, think and distinguish at the beginning of a new life
  • deepen your practical knowledge of human nature
  • develop sensible scepticism towards other people
  • do not feel too proud to accept other women’s advice and help at the beginning of a new period in life
  • surround yourself with people who support a return to the basic female instincts.

It is worth dancing out of line every now and then, but be aware whether you are driven by plans to escape, or are acting with a clear mind! When we suffer, we are often cut off from our basic female instincts, and do not feel the threatening dangers of ‘wild’ any more.

Every radical change in a woman’s life should not happen in the heat of passion, but should be carefully thought out and done at the right time.

Women

STOP GETTING IN YOUR OWN WAY AND LEAVE THE PAST BEHIND!

10 Steps for women who finally want to fulfil their potential

A proverb by John Knittel states that you are old as soon as you have more pleasure in the past than in the future.

Are you one of those people who are in the present physically but their mind is still in the past? It is very hard, if not impossible, to discover and live your potential in this position!

You feel torn inside, wasting your resources on people and situations that have a completely different, or possibly, no role in the present.

Maybe you want to take a few minutes to reflect on the following questions:

Why you are sometimes stuck in the past?

  • Do you not get old, burdening situations, failures or wrong decisions out of your mind?
  • Do you regret missed chances and opportunities?
  • Are you incapable of forgiving yourself for something in the past?
  • Are you scared your best days might have gone?
  • Would you like to turn back the clock to take another direction at a crossroads in your life?
  • Is the future a major cause of concern to you?

How you can mentally bow out of the past

  • Take time very consciously to think about something from the past that you cannot get out of your mind. Take a regular time for this, for example 20 minutes in the evening. When the time has elapsed, deliberately turn your thoughts to something totally different. You will probably be able to stop, or at least control your thoughts from going round in circles.
  • Replace your thoughts about the past by consciously chosen positive plans. If you, for instance, continue to dwell on past quarrels or arguments, then firmly say to yourself “STOP!”, and then think of something beautiful, such as a holiday, a celebration or a relaxing day.
  • Imagine your future in the best possible way, plan the first steps, and start realizing them. This gives you no more time to think about the past.

How you make peace with the past

  • Learn to recognise facts from feelings! Emotions can be agonizing, take much space, suck energies, and often do not have anything to do with reality. Sometimes you might be carried away by fantasy. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.
  • Appreciate the experiences you have made in difficult situations in the past. Totally accept them. It is no use struggling with the past, so therefore, learn your lessons gratefully.
  • Change your view of the past! If this is hard for you, imagine yourself as a neutral observer, and realize that it is mainly your emotions that do not let you rest. Try to pay attention to the facts, not the feelings, that connect you with the event in the past.
  • Allow yourself to enjoy the present and look ahead. Even if you have lost someone very close to you, and must now live without them, it is important to learn to enjoy your life to the full again.

 

Women Women&Consciousness