Returning myself to my rightful owner….me!

As women I think sometimes its quite easy to get caught up in our roles (mother, partner, daughter, etc) so much so that we lose sight of whom we are. In most cases if someone asked us who are we, we would probably respond with “Well my name is XYZ and I am the mother to ABC, partner to EFG and I work at MNO” Yet does that really say who we are? It says what we do, it explains the various hats we wear but deep down it says nothing about who we are. Until recently that would have been my answer but I am tired of that being my answer. I not only want to know who I am but today after a powerful coaching session I am ready to return myself to my rightful owner…me.

Having children early in life gave me little time for self exploration, after all its hard to plumb your inner self when you are trying to keep a roof over your head and food on the table. It’s really only been recently that I have started to ask myself who the fuck am I? According to Joan Borysenko my life stage of 35-42 is the time that most women start to ask these questions, when we have spent just enough years as adults in some cases fulfilling others expectations for us or doing what we think we want but the cusp of middle age for many women is when we lose that fear of asking the hard questions. I suspect we crave them, hell we need them. Much like our bodies during PMS put out specific requests and we can either give in or ignore the request.

In asking myself the heavy questions to the point of even questioning my very faith, I have greater clarity and peace on many levels. Yet there is still the hard work of actually getting to what I want which in some cases means being willing to put myself out there, it means taking risks. Though in many cases nothing worth having happens overnight yet it’s all part of the journey of getting to self, where there is seamless integration between who we really are and the many roles we fulfill.

For me I am starting to acknowledge I am a seeker of knowledge, a truth teller, a rabble rouser who is passionate and sensual in all that I do, it informs every area of my life. I am learning to say yes to myself more often when I want something. I ask for what I need and occasionally even take it. I strive to be intentional and present in all that I do for when I live this way there is greater harmony in my life. I connect better with friends; I am more loving with my kids I can give more to my partner and not feel ragged and incomplete.

Right now the most important work I have is to return myself to my rightful owner…me. What about you? What’s important to you, what are you seeking, are you in balance in all areas of your life?

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Girl power, do you have it?

My intent today was to write a piece about Obama, but after an impromptu family outing, I decided to scrap that plan at least for today since there are more than enough folks out in the blogosphere commenting on Barry and his changing tide.

Today’s title comes from an incident with my girl aka mini-me today. On the way back from the beach today, mini-me wanted some ice cream, so we pulled into the parking lot of a local place, now the plan had been to get the ice cream and roll but mini-me wanted to sit out in the grass and eat her ice cream. However the menfolk, spousal unit and elder child aka the boy, didn’t initially want to go with the plan; so Mama being the goofball she is said well girls rule so we are eating outside because we have girl power… I know this is corny as hell but mini-me immediately liked that phrase and decided to run around screaming girl power.

Now, some of y’all might be groaning, day-um you are pretty corny up there in Maine, sista. True, I won’t lie but as I was thinking about it just a moment ago, it dawned on me that when I was growing up I never quite got the message that girls had power and I suspect I am not the only woman of a certain age whose folks talked about girls being able to do anything but truth is they didn’t walk the walk. Don’t get me wrong my folks did not explicitly say that I was limited by my gender but honestly, actions speak louder than words and while my little brother who I love dearly, was always supported in his endeavors by my folks, truth is that I was not. I suspect some of the choices I made earlier in life were a direct result of not quite believing that as a girl I had any power.

I have often heard how in Black families girls and boys are raised in different ways and I do believe there is some truth in that, I also think the ways we are are raised or perhaps conditioned by gender also plays a role in the angst that exists today between brothas and sistas.

For me in raising my daughter, my hopes for her are that hopefully she won’t make any of the silly ass mistakes I made like seeking love instead of seeking herself nor confusing lust for love. Instead I want her rooted and grounded in knowing who she is (I also hope she comes to know the Lord to) and having the faith to know she can accomplish anything and that she is not limited by her gender but that inherent in being a woman comes with power.

So, I say to all the ladies that read this, take a moment and look for your own inner girl power, if you are raising a girl, make sure she knows she has girl power. For the men, don’t be afraid to let the ladies in your life know that they have girl power and don’t feel threatned by that power.