How to Be a Woman by Sheryn Bruehl
Note from Steve: This was one of the "How to Be a Woman" article submissions from someone who preferred to submit it as text instead of via a link, so I'm posting it here in order to have something to link to from the final results post. This article is copyrighted by the original author and is reposted with permission.
This article was written in response to a call for submissions from Steve Pavlina, author of the article “How to Be a Man” (http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2008/05/how-to-be-a-man/), for a companion article on “How to Be A Woman”.
HOW TO BE A WOMAN
Women of the last few generations have freedom, access to education, career opportunities and lifestyle choices unimaginable for many previous generations (though not unprecedented in history). We have been raised by feminists, traditionalists, hippies, liberals, conservatives, fundamentalists, and everything in between. Each and every one of us has received different messages about what it is to be a woman, and how to do it well.
So do you revel in the gifts of your feminity and the power of your womanhood? Or do you prefer proving that you can be just as powerful in exactly the same ways as any man? Have you chosen to get married, have children, have a career, or all of the above? Are you doing those things “traditionally” or not? Do you feel that any of the choices makes you less of a woman?
You have a thousand choices, and all of them are yours alone. There is no weaker gender, there is no innately superior sex, there aren’t “characteristics” of either gender that are exclusive to everybody in that role. There is not one kind of woman, or one kind of man…and there are plenty of people who don’t fall squarely into either gender, physically or mentally.
But if you live your life as a woman, here are a few ways to live consciously in the gift of your womanhood:
1. Know Your Power & Protect it
Know who and what you are in this world. You are, by virtue of being alive, a being of vast intelligence, instinct, intuition, beauty and complexity. It took a million miracles to create the being that you are, here, now, in this place and at this time. You are not an accident. You are a being of infinite possibility and awesome power. Created with the power to think, to dream, to create, to nurture, to love, and to create life in a myriad of ways. You are unique in the universe, and without you, nothing would be the same.
Do not give away your power by surrendering your judgment, will or intuition to the opinions of others. Not to an invisible and imagined “Other” in the form of public opinion, and certainly not to individuals so weakened that they would make you less than you are to protect their egos. “They” are not more empowered or enlightened than you. How “they” might judge you is irrelevant. Surrendering to their fear serves neither you, nor them.
Nobody got a manual to this life that you didn’t. Some may have experience you don’t, but even that is colored by their own experience of life. Listen to wise counsel, but weigh it with what you know. You know, deep in your core, what you are meant to do and be. Listen, and act, accordingly.
Being less than you are serves nothing. Being all that you are serves the universe.
2. Embrace Your Sexuality and Your Desires
You are a woman. Your body is exquisitely designed to give and to receive sensual pleasure as well as to nourish your body and soul, and those of your partners and children if you choose. Your skin is more sensitive than a man’s, and softer to the touch. Your body is softer and rounder, built to comfort, to nourish, to carry and to receive. And yet it is durable in the extreme, with a much higher tolerance for pain, stress and fear than its harder male counterpart. Your senses are more attuned, and your orgasms naturally more powerful and versatile. You were designed for your own pleasure, and for it to be a pleasure to be you.
Your natural hormones are a cycle of yin and yang, balancing active and creative with receptive and still, in a dance that mirrors the cycles of nature. Your desires are influenced heavily by what you perceive as good for you, and your body accommodates by being physically attracted to the things you truly desire. The pleasure you give and receive feeds back to increase the love and loyalty between you and your partner, and the energy you exchange, even by merely flirting casually with a stranger, nourishes the soul.
A woman who feels safe, secure and attractive is a naturally sexual being, however she chooses to express it, sexually or creatively. A woman who does not know who and what she is, and is not in possession of her own power, will give or barter away her sexuality for attention, reassurance or security. Once traded away, this magnificent source of pleasure and vitality becomes a conduit to drain her of energy, confidence and power.
Know what gives you pleasure. Claim the magnificence that is your body, whatever its shape and size, and use it for your pleasure. Share it with people who are worthy of you and who give as much as they receive. Use it in any way you like, even if your pleasure is unusual or “perverse” by other people’s standards. There is no right or wrong, so long as everyone is consenting and adult. But do it on your terms and with joy.
3. Be Who You Are in the World
When you have claimed your power and your pleasure, you will begin to notice that you have distinct desires. Whether they be to create art, children, money, or ideas, or to nurture the creations of others. Honor them.
You will also notice your fears, insecurities, and a variety of programs playing out in your head that reflect the fears and desires of people who have influenced your life. You will begin to recognize survival mechanisms created by you as a helpless child that no longer serve you as a powerful adult. You will start to see a “false self” you have created that no longer serves you. Acknowledge that self for its service to you and protection of the child that you were. Then let it go.
Use your desires as your cue to what is good and right for you. Use your fears as maps to false messages of limitation that hold you back. Don’t wait for the perfect plan or opportunity. There is no “right” way to be a woman. Only a true one. Simply begin being who you are, openly and honestly and with all of the creativity and strength at your disposal.
Not everyone will approve. You may lose a “friend” or two, perhaps alienate a controlling family member. But you, being who you really are, will naturally attract those who love what you are in abundance beyond your imagining, and those who really love you will revel in your joy and fulfillment.
Creating a false self by doing what you think “others” expect of you instead of what you truly desire can only attract people who cannot really love you, because they do not know you. It will lead you, and them, in a dance of disappointment and pain that will waste years of your life. There’s a reason so many people have “mid-life crises”. It’s the time when people finally realize the futility of pretending to be something they are not, and that their lives will never be what they want them to be until they actually start doing what they truly want to do.
Being the woman that you are will inspire others to their greatest strengths, lead those whose help you need to you, and naturally create power and momentum behind your dreams, until you cannot help but be successful at being the most perfect version of you.
[Article continues below...]
4. Marry Yourself First
A woman’s love is the most powerful force in the universe. Battles have been fought for it. Children live and die by it. All of history has been shaped by the love of women, or their inability to give it. And some of the most egregious abuses and sins of our world are visited upon men, women and children in the name of “love.” Yours is a valuable gift that you owe to yourself first, and then to others who deserve your love and attention and share theirs with you.
It is the rare woman who reaches adulthood with her trust intact, never having been threatened, or violated, or hurt because of her sexuality or her willingness to love. But women are powerful and versatile creatures, and it is your choice as a woman whether to be defined or strengthened by those experiences. The strongest swords are made of tempered steel, fired to the melting point repeatedly. Each pass through the flames makes it stronger than it was before. But if you refuse to take it from the fire, it will eventually melt away.
If you suffer from fear or lack of trust because of something that has happened to you in the past, do the work it takes to grieve and then to heal. Feeling the pain will not kill you, and healing does not absolve the person who harmed you. Releasing anger, pain and fear will not make you weak or vulnerable, it only removes that thing from the list of fears that limit you, and frees you to live your life fully. If you are in a situation where you are being broken down, or harmed, make a plan for your safety and leave it now. Take your children with you, if you have them. You are strong beyond your imagining, and you will have help in finding your way.
Don’t wait to live your life until you find a husband or a boyfriend. Make your own money, plan for your own retirement, buy and fix up your own house and car, take vacations to the places you want to go, take up the hobbies you want to play at. There is no hormonal key to a hammer, a house, a boat, or a checkbook, or even to parenting. When you surrender the notion that you “need” a spouse or lover to have a full life, and begin living your own life fully, with yourself as a best friend and life partner…then you will be ready to choose a person who enhances your enjoyment of that life, or not.
Some people find that perfect love long before they know who they are, and they grow together. Many more fail because they chose in a vacuum, one or both of them clueless as to what they truly needed and wanted in a relationship. You will find a person you want to walk your path with on that path, not sitting somewhere else and pining.
5. Speak Your Truth
When you have begun to find your way, share your story. Share your fears and insecurities, along with your victories and lessons learned. When your light begins to shine brightly, it becomes a beacon to everyone around you, summoning friends, teachers and students alike. You will give and receive gifts beyond measure just by being fully and authentically you.
One of the great secrets of the universe is that we are ALL comparing our insides to other people’s outsides. And when we see people who are happy, healthy, secure and enjoying their lives, we tend to assume that they don’t have any of the pain, fear or insecurity that we experience. Openly being who you are empowers others to do the same.
Remember, though, that it is your truth. It will not fit everybody else, and it’s not your job to try to live their lives for them. You have responsibility for one life. Yours. Even your children will find their own way once you’ve offered them what you know. Let your truth be yours, and let others take from it what they will. You have no need to defend, to argue, nor to advocate. Be too busy living well to bother.
6. Trust Your Intuition
Every system and cell in your body is exquisitely attuned to the singular mission of keeping you and anything you are committed to protect alive, safe, and healthy. Your physical senses are wired to your body and brain at levels far below your consciousness. You may or may not accept that you have “higher” senses that operate outside your thinking mind, as well. But “woman’s intuition” is an enduring legend from the beginning of time for a reason. It works. Learn to trust it.
That wrenching feeling in your gut. The vague nausea. The tightness in your neck and shoulders. Your racing heart, shortened breath, that odd sense of urgency in your abdomen somewhere between the need to pee and arousal. A sudden desire to jump or run. The hair standing up on your arms or the back of your neck. Goosebumps. Become aware of the way your body feels when you interact with negative or dangerous people and situations in your life, and learn its signals.
Ponder how often you say “I KNEW I shouldn’t have….” and start saying no instead. Practice until you are perfectly comfortable saying “no” or “I don’t think I will do that” or “that doesn’t feel right for me right now” without guilt, defense or explanation. Then notice how often you are truly glad you didn’t do whatever was being asked of you.
If you need a more intellectual argument for instinct, do yourself a favor, and read “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin DeBecker for a checklist of the subtle warning signals given by people who intend to harm you. He does a masterful job of explaining exactly how your intuition knows what it knows, that will carry over into numerous areas of your life.
7. Nurture Your Spirit
Take time each day to nurture your spirit. It is the fuel that drives the rest of your life. You and everyone that you care about draws from that well, and if you do not invest in filling it, you cannot serve yourself or anybody else. Be kind to yourself and forgive. Treat your body nicely, give it pleasure, movement and healthy nourishment. Take breaks in your day, and in your life. Connect with nature, animals, your inner voice, the god of your choosing, or all of the above. If you do not believe in an external Source, then serve pleasure. In the end your joy will enrich you, and the world through you.
When nothing else in your life is working, when your path is unclear and the voices of reason, fear, anxiety, desire and obligation are a deafening cacophany in your brain, go back to your Source. Find a center in yourself, get grounded, meditate, pray, look at flowers, bathe, scream, go for a run…do whatever takes you back to that primal core of your Self, and start back at the beginning of this list. Know your power & protect it. And work from there.
--Sheryn Bruehl © 2008
Well, this one gets my vote.
I quite don't see how this all applies to just women. :confused:
Maybe these articles are designed to be some empowerment trip, just language is different to appeal to the average male/female person. :p
And I kinda don't like the statements in #2 that women are so and so and men are that and that. But then again I haven't slept with enough women to make any conclusions. :p
This one gets my vote too
There are a lot of submissions. Hold your votes :)
of course, and it's all a generalization, some women never have orgasms, some men are multiorgasmic... so pleasure it's a especial thing of women :confused:, neither the attunement of senses, no woman have had some musician's ears. And the same goes for "your body is exquisitely designed to give and receive pleasure"... so men.. or not.
Everything is great except for the parts when there are arguements about women supposed to be better in anything just for the sake of being a woman.
What if a "how to be a man" went like.... "You're taller that the other sex, and stronger, and faster...." it's not neccesarily true, so it's false.
But the rest is great. :)
"The strongest swords are made of tempered steel, fired to the melting point repeatedly." ftw
Amazing read. Nurture your spirit & the rest will come.
|All times are GMT. The time now is 08:14 AM.|
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.1.0
Copyright © 2010 by Pavlina LLC