“Each of us has that right, that possibility, to invent ourselves daily. If a person does not invent herself, she will be invented. So, to be bodacious enough to invent ourselves is wise.” – Maya Angelou
Women spent centuries being told what to do and how to act. We should be pretty, we should be demure, we should produce babies and we should entertain. With the women’s movement, we have received the freedom to break free of these requirements – THANK GOODNESS!
With this power, however, comes great responsibility. We women spent so long ignoring our wishes, that we have forgotten how to know what it is that we actually want. Society may look different today, but for the most part, we still aren’t choosing our realities. Nowadays, we find ourselves striving for the impossible goal of being a woman who is sexy at every phase of her life, well-educated, has a boomingly successful career, becomes a mom not too early but also not too late, has exactly two kids (because none or one is selfish and three is irresponsible), takes care of her grandchildren, cooks healthy food for the family, exercises to stay healthy, and finds time to look after herself which we dress up as being self-care. Phew, I am exhausted just thinking about all of that!
We have officially moved from trying to be one person’s ideal to another’s.
I love the quote from Maya Angelou which I placed at the beginning of this blog post because it embodies this idea so well. Every one of us has the right to decide who we want to be on a daily basis, and if we do not do the inventing ourselves, then we will inevitably be shaped into someone we don’t want to be.
It's important to remember that life is to be explored. We have been given the right to decide who we are and the ability to reinvent ourselves into someone new any point.
One of the hardest obstacles for women of the modern age will be to shed ourselves of societal ideals. It will be our job to learn how to make up our own ideal, one that is true to ourselves. To go inwards and seek out our desires so that we may become the woman that we want to be. So that we may live our dharma – our purpose in this life.
How do we do this? One step at a time. Knowing who you want to be can only come about by spending time alone with yourself and accepting the things you discover unconditionally and without judgement. When you are going through the motions of your day, try to tune into how you feel while completing just one of your automatic habits. Ask yourself how you feel while doing it. If you feel anything but good, then consider that this might not be a part of who you are anymore and try something new. How does that feel to you? If the answer is good, then look at incorporating it into your life. This could be something as small as drinking coffee to something as big as working in your current career.
Remember: You are in control of who you are today and every day. You don’t need to continue being a corporate worker if you feel much more at home as a yoga instructor. You don’t need to continue being vegan when you feel your body screaming for meat. You don’t need to continue eating meat like the rest of their family when the thought what these animals went through makes you tear up. You can start drinking herbal tea if coffee makes you jittery. Some decisions can happen over night and others changes will take time. As long as you are moving to your true self, you will feel at peace.
We all have the right to decide who we are at any point on any given day, and what a great gift that is!