On this International Womens Day I found myself reflecting and marvelling on a woman’s journey and how incredible we are.
The rites of passage women will pass through are many: from puberty with her first blood, through her energetic youth, beauty, romance, career, motherhood, crossing to her wisdom years as the crone, the grandparent and finally to old age.
Her natural youthful beauty brings with it confusion as she explores her bodies secrets, and sexuality. Hormones may play havoc with her feelings and her emotions will run deep. There are girlfriends, boyfriends, laughter, tears, confusion and travel and all the fun of the fare of sisterhood. There is fashion and cooking and having too much fun. She will enjoy talking and sharing feelings with girlfriends, but will often ignore natural intuition during youth.
She may strive for a career in a male dominated world giving over her skirts and dresses for black pants and shirts. She may walk away and become a more earthy woman or a hippy chick. (As a young woman I chose to join an Ashram to avoid the rat race of career and consumerism. My uniform became orange robes, but even there the human ego played out. My daily meditation practice and the taking of mindfulness into action I developed during this time was my training for life.)
She will often crave for a partner, someone to make her feel whole and to share her dreams with. So she may marry and choose to have a family. That may work out well or end in divorce or violence. Childhood dreams of Prince Charming will be shattered.
She may find herself suddenly a single mother. Or she may have no desire for children.
Pregnancy heralds the miracle of growing a babe within her womb and birthing a new fresh soul into the world is truly awesome. Some babes are lost before their born, bringing deep feelings of grief and loss for her.The courage of a woman is truly inspiring. She will experience both the pain and joy of pregnancy and childbirth… with her swollen belly and breasts full of milk, then sleepless nights and dirty nappies. Yet all these challenges melt away when she gazes into the eyes of her child and love takes on a whole new meaning.
But one thing is for sure…Life gets very real when she becomes a parent.
She may have a loving partner. She may find herself in an abusive relationships feeling frightened and insecure. Relationships become a huge part of life where she may experience the healing mirror through others eyes. This may be a time of great change, challenge and opportunity.
During this phase she may feel the need to work and keep her own personal expression, juggling mothering with a career. Truly becoming super-mum juggling work, gym, yoga class, school, career with ballet and soccer training.
Then all of a sudden of sweet little darlings become demanding and challenging teenagers. The strong and commanding woman now emerges in an effort to keep her young ones safe. She may worry and fret about them making the right decisions around schooling, friends and appropriate peers. The threat of drugs and alcohol and how stupid her teenager may be when their hormones kicks in. The slammed doors and teenage tantrums.
Often she is facing another change in her woman’s body: menopause. She may face the hot flushes, mood swings, and suddenly find fat in places that used to be streamline. She also begins to see life differently passing through this gateway to wisdom. Deep realisations may lead her to let go of striving and struggling and she may begin to surrender to the flow of the lifestream.
Ahhhh what a merry dance it all is. She may then realise that Shit Happens and sometimes there is nothing we can do about that. But, that ‘this too will pass’.
For in the end … There is nothing we could have done differently…because that is what happened…and that the acceptance of life as it is with the ups and downs is what will set her free.