05.24.12 Truth & Wisdom
BY Alice Grist
I’m going to be a little bit controversial and claim here and now that feminism, in some respects, has thus far failed (a little bit). Yes women can wear trousers without issue, give or take problems with zips versus buttons and the ever changing and confusing fashion statements made by bootleg, straight cut and flared options. Yes us gals can vote and get jobs and generally walk the streets unharrassed…generally. But in a twisted deal with the devil, to attain this and to add feminine gloriousness to the workforce, I believe that we have paid an unfortunate price.
The cost of being a fabulous female in the 21st century is threefold and goes as follows:
First, we have become super-equal. Meaning that to feel successful, not only must we equal men but we must retain all our feminine aspects too. We desperately believe we deserve everything and many of us suffer under the weight of trying to juggle children, partners, social lives, gym schedules, housework and careers.
Second, women are sexualized to the hilt and I defy you not to open a magazine or pass a set of billboards without being visually assaulted by female flesh, legs, lips and hips. Leading to many young women haphazardly experimenting with anything from new lipstick, botox, anorexia in a bid to fit the convention.
Thirdly, we have bought into the culture of buying. Handbag over fist we flaunt our newfound earning power to the extent that shopping has become key to our goals in life. We all want to have it bigger and better. Life has become one big exchange program and rather than work at our inner happiness, we employ a swap shop technique. The car isn’t flash enough – get a new one, the boyfriend isn’t how the magazines say he should be – get a new one, nose is a bit crooked – get a new one, and so it goes on…
Warning: being a fabulous female can be hazardous to the mental health. Something is clearly missing from our lives. Our souls are subject to a whopping great black hole that sucks up new shoes and handbags as though the plentitude of them will somehow make us complete. Our consumer culture we live in has forced us to look outside ourselves for happiness. In doing so we have almost forgotten who we are on the inside. We no longer know ourselves as individuals; rather we are a compilation of fashions, occupation, marital status, dress size and confusion.
We suffer badly under the belief that the ‘grass is greener’, ‘life will be better when…’ and the misguided thought that it is everybody else who is the problem and never us. Our aspirations are prescribed by an overreaching perfection obsessed society and our little sisters grow up wishing to be celebrities! We skulk in corners, pouting at waiters supping our cocktails, applying our lip-gloss and pretending that we aren’t as dark as we feel on the inside.
I know because I have been there. At the age of 28, I was having a mini mid life crisis. From the outside I was well groomed and shiny, on the inside I was empty. My life was whirling around me, seemingly out of control and yet I smiled, glowed and basked in the company of friends, all the while blaming everything and everyone else in my life for my misery.
Full of desperation I had to do something to get myself out of this ever-worsening rut. Luckily I had been brought up spiritually and such ways were familiar to me. However I had let them go to worship at the altar of weekend drinking and boys. It was fun for a few years, but living for the weekend had taken its toll and I was a shell of my former self. It was in this fog that I found myself embracing reiki and reading about alternative faiths. I was soon hooked and alternative spirituality quickly became my self-help, my savior and my heaven sent liberator. Far more than spending power or even my first car, alternative spirituality was empowering. It brought me back to life.
Women are starting to realize that to be utterly fabulous we have to go beyond skin deep. Our intentions, thoughts, self-belief and actions towards others, are the true key to our fabulousness.
Spirituality and soulful living of all kinds can have a massive life enhancing effect. It comes packed with more lifestyle tips than Vogue and clears more mental clutter than a short course of counseling! Life takes on a very different meaning when seen through soulful eyes and a level of happiness can be attained that you would struggle to achieve in any other way in western society. I know of nothing that the global market place can sell to me that is close to the bliss and peace I have felt through my own soulful explorations.
Spirituality for a fabulous modern female is a tool kit of wondrousness. It gives and it gives and it gives. I believe that spirituality can pick up the reigns and help push women’s equality through to the next level of social, spiritual and personal development, otherwise known as Enlightenment! Embracing our soul’s need for comfort and unconditional love is the best place to start and something that I believe women will be naturals at! So let us embrace our naturally spiritual tendencies, put out the recycling and explore our soulful nature.
Top Five Tips for Finding your Soul
1) Have faith, believe, know in your heart that there is more to your life than canned goods and beauty regimes. Possibility is infinite, so ask for a sign from your angels, guides or beloved deceased grandma. When the sign comes, believe it.
2) Choose to see beyond the externals. Drop reliance on ‘products’ to define you and start to get to know who you truly are. Read more, explore your world, talk deeply with friends about what is in your heart – not your handbag.
3) Follow your intuition. Nothing is more powerful. Listen to your own gut instinct and see as your powerful personal wisdom transforms your life.
4) Trust that all things happen for a reason – even the bad things. Everything is sent to test us and if we choose to go along for the ride, then all things can only make us stronger and more beautiful on the inside.
5) Embrace your mistakes, forgive yourself. Whilst you are at it, forgive others too. Release the past and start anew every single day. Allow life to flow through you unencumbered by what happened last week or ten years ago. Be you, right now.
Featured Image via The Ewan on Flickr