Women be marchin (and we aren't stoppin).

I'm not into politics.

Much of my work as a life coach is about identity: we believe that we are one thing, and we operate from that place. We believe we will be that way forever, that our identity is a static piece of who we are and that it will always define us. We cling to identity as a way to make sense of our world. Many of us never even question it.

In reality, we are not our identity.

I know, it sounds like a lot of woo-woo nonsense. If you're not your identity, then who the fuck are you? 

(You're the witness, the one who listens, the watcher on the wall that is your consciousness. But that's a conversation for another day).

The point is, our identities aren't static. They're constantly evolving, they are living and breathing and changing just as we are. One day you "don't like pizza." The next you are 7 at a birthday party with Alex Benanti and he likes pizza, so you try pizza and you're like "holy shit, I love pizza!". You become this girl who loves pizza and the Little Mermaid, among many other things. 

I had one of those moments this November. I had always seen myself as someone who "didn't like politics" and who couldn't take time out to be informed because "it all wouldn't make a difference, anyway." I am embarrassed to admit that I didn't even vote until this past year. In sum, I was the opposite of woke.

This November, that all changed. 

On Saturday, I took place in the biggest protest in history. I marched with sisters young and old, male and female. I made a sign that had the word Pussy on it and I held it with pride. 

I do not agree with the ideals of our President. But as we know from physics, with every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The positive force developing from this is something to be proud of, and something unparalleled. A sleepy, complacent nation is waking up and getting going. Pro or Anti Trump, Republican or Democrat, we all can unite on this: we cannot and will not turn a blind eye. We will not close our eyes and let someone else make our choices for us. We will stand up, we will march, and we will fight.

The biggest indicators to me are some of the smallest gestures. A friend gifted our secret santa gift exchange with a planned parenthood donation. A waitress bought us a round of shots because we marched. I organized a lunch with women at work to write post cards. These are things that I wouldn't have even fathomed in years past. And today, they are happening more and more.

Like the sleepy giant in whatever movie I'm thinking of, we're waking up loud and angry and a little groggy. But we're powerful AF, and we're coming.

I'm not into politics. But I am into revolutions.

p.s. if you're interested in joining the movement, visit WomensMarch.com. 100 days of action are starting this week! 

Bliss Inspiration: Like a Girl

If you haven't seen it by now, Always' new campaign #LikeaGirl is a brilliantly moving piece about the power of stereotypes in our society. As someone who works in marketing I'm always a fan of pieces that strike on a really powerful insight, especially one that can spark positive change. And female empowerment/self-esteem issues are definitely right in my wheelhouse of "Things that make me REALLY PASSIONATE." So, yes, this video made me cry. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjJQBjWYDTs]

 

What really resonated with me is the connection it made to some of the work I'm doing in my own life. In one of the first meetings I had with Caroline, my ever-brilliant life cheerleader, we did an exercise where we rated ourselves on certain characteristics, one of which was femininity. When we got there, I was awe struck. I'd never much thought about the subject, but when it came down to it, it was clear that I didn't seem myself as inherently feminine. Why?

Well... a laundry list of reasons. I thought that I didn't match up to what cultural norms have defined as feminine:

1. I am not dainty, small, or graceful

2. I am head strong, could be aggressive and opinionated, and more of a 'leader'

3. I am bold in life and love, I don't play games, I'm not 'coy,' I go after what I want

4. I am not immaculately put together

5. I am not particularly "virtuous" (sorry Mom!)

So basically... I still have an idea in my head that the "ideal" woman is a 1950s Stepford wife, or at least a tiny Southern Belle waiting around for prince charming (seriously, the idea of feminity to me is like a real life Thumbalina).

Which is just. insane. It's 2014. So much has progressed in terms of feminism and women's rights. So why hasn't our idea of "being feminine" changed? Why do we consider powerful women to be women exhibiting masculine qualities?

Always' certainly hit the nail on the head with stereotypes. And I will add two more to the mix: the idea of how women can and cannot behave in the workplace and in love.

These areas are some of the most deeply ingrained in me, and some that I struggle with most deeply, especially the area of love and dating-- which is where I'll choose to focus. Women suffer many, many stereotypes around how they choose to date, how much of their real selves and real agendas they reveal, and how "far" they choose to go with the men in their lives. COUNTLESS books, articles, conversations, TV shows, movies, and more cover this topic. It's everywhere. And it's a ridiculous standard that makes women feel guilty, out of control, and unworthy.

As someone who truly values the importance of love and finding a monogamous partner, it scares the shit out of me that I may forever screw up my chances because I am not "following the rules" as society dictates, because I don't act exactly as women are meant to act in courting situations. I don't pretend to be uninterested. I don't actively suppress my sexual needs based on how many men I'm "allowed" to sleep with per year [seriously, I know a lot of women who do]. Instead, I follow my heart, I stay true to myself, I express feelings genuinely.

And because of that, I often feel incredible guilt and anxiety. Even though I know what I'm doing is right for me, I'm afraid it's wrong by societal standards.

Which is why I am here, writing to you and continuing my practice of love and acceptance. Because it's time to break free of "who we're supposed to be" and accept all of who we are.

xx