A Monthly Awareness Song and Blog with Kristin Hoffmann
I Am Woman
I Am Woman
I Am Grace
I Am Oneness
I Am Faith
I Am Mother, Sister, Soul
I Am Present
I Am Whole
I am Peaceful
I am Calm
I am Love and I Belong
I’m supported in my dreams
By my Empowered Family
Human Agency…Is the…
Spark that lights our Destiny…and
I hold the strength in Me
To Imagine and Create the life I see
I can Live and
I can Breathe
I can Share the best of Me
I can Learn and
I can Grow
I can Teach and
I can Know
I can Nurture
I can Love, I can Believe
I can build Community
With my Empowered Family
Human Agency…Is the…
Spark that lights our Destiny…and
I hold the strength in Me
To Imagine and Create the life I see…
To Imagine and Created the life I see
What does it mean to be Empowered???
We hear this word quite often in our society, but I wonder how many of us have really taken the time to think and inquire deeply into its important meaning and role in our evolution, both as individuals and as a collective.
On the occasions that I have conversed with others about the word Empowerment, I have noticed an overall sense of dis-ease. There seems to be an almost universal dormant fear, lingering somewhere in the subconscious, of truly embodying its wisdom and stepping into our own fully realized expressions of ourselves.
The next question I naturally ask myself, as I sense the dis-ease set in, is “Why?!”
Why this fear? Why this aversion to such a core component in our ability to thrive?
Three possibilities come to mind:
1) We don’t fully understand the meaning of “Empower” and confuse it with the word “Power,” which can feel overbearing and invoke negative connotations.
2) We don’t know what it feels like to truly be Empowered and have no reference points from our childhood, parents, and immediate surrounding elders.
3) We feel the responsibility of stepping into our Empowerment would be too much to handle. We can’t see exactly what it would look like to take this step, but we sense that it would require change and a lifestyle shift. Our systems register this information as daunting, thus we stay in what we know.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Even though the words Power and Empower ultimately hold very different frequencies, they have been connected to each other throughout history as gender games have perpetually played out on the Earthly field.
Male energy has an innate tendency to be driven and inspired by the pursuit of Power, especially when adequate guidance and balance are not learned during early impressionable years. Again and again we have seen men throughout the ages push ahead to attain this seemingly precious commodity. The drive to acquire more power usually leaves much devastation, suppression, and oppression in its wake. As female energy tends to be rooted more deeply in emotion, empathy, nurturing and creativity, it is largely women who have continuously been controlled, governed, and left Dis-Empowered by the male Power Quest.
I understand that I am generalizing a bit here, but I am following my intuitive lead to the roots of an issue that, in the end, effects us all, as well as the planet we live on. Female Dis-Empowerment on a wide scale leads to continued over-population, lack of health and well being for women, children and families, and a deep wound of suppressed sadness, anger and depression that is carried into, and by, the next generations.
Hardly anyone understands this issue better than Gail Straub and David Gershon, who started The Empowerment Institute back in 1981. For the past 35 years Gail and David have been actively leading individuals and groups worldwide in the Empowerment process. In June, 2012 they began the Imagine program (A Global Initiative for the Empowerment of Women), to focus efforts and bring the Empowerment workshops to women in Africa, India, Afghanistan and the MENA region (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia). Many of the women they serve through Imagine live, on a daily basis, in the most challenging of life’s situations and conditions.
The Empowerment Institute’s Definition of Empowerment is:
“The Expansion of a person’s capacity to create positive behavioral change by working directly with their own visions and goals.”
When women take part in the Imagine program, they step into a space where Human Agency, meaning “the capacity to develop Inner Resources,” is addressed first and foremost. Once Empowerment can take root with the Internal Self, then, and only then, can a woman truly live and see her her full expression in the outer world.
Specifically, “the Imagine program’s 4 day workshop leads women through a review of 7 important areas of their lives: Emotions, Relationship, Sexuality, Body, Money, Work and Spirituality.”
Guided by facilitators who are there not to preach, but rather to offer, reflect and grow further in their own experiences, women are able to share their life stories, listen to each other about past traumas, and practice a new framework for Empowerment together. Mind, Emotions, and Spirit are shifted through these experiences, enabling real change to be possible and lasting.
Gail shares, “The emotional despair that so many women experience as a result of centuries of oppression is something that they must feel and express in order to heal. Many have survived the unspeakable horrors of war, genocide, or rape, as well as witnessing the brutal deaths of family members.”
When we hear the deep, and brutally shocking, truths that many of our Earthly sisters have endured and carried, it is easy to wonder if significant healing is really possible. However, spend some time on the Imagine website, reading the personal accounts of the many women who have attended the 4 day workshop, and you will immediately be filled with amazement and inspiration at the incredible resilience of the Human Spirit. Here are a few accounts that particularly touched me…
“In the Empowerment Workshop I felt safe in sharing my most inner thoughts and fears and this does not come easy for me. Only my closest family knows my deepest fears. I felt comfort in knowing deep down we are the same . . . from wanting to be loved and cherished to wanting to be successful in money and work matters.”
“My Empowerment Workshop trainer took me from a place where there was so much sadness; now, I cry from joy. I had so many people close to me who died, and the memories of them kept me sad all the time, memories of both those who died and also those who left me. I really let the loss affect me. I was always so sad and depressed. It was not easy, but I really worked on myself in the workshop. For the first time I can see that the past is not my entire life. I am hopeful.”
“My relationship with my husband and my children was the greatest change for me in this training. Before the Empowerment Workshop I was dealing with my husband and my children in the same way as my mother dealt with her husband and family. I used the same body language and the same way of interacting. It was the old traditional way. I was always being silent, not saying what was on my mind, not moving freely, and only taking orders from my husband. I was always under my husband’s control. After the training, I acted differently based on different situations. I began talking to my husband and telling him my thoughts. I began talking to my children and taking more control.”
My heart and soul are lifted to new heights when I hear these beautiful, strong female voices, speaking from a place of true Empowerment. These women are energetic pioneers, shaping their destinies and breathing new life and inspiration into the world for future generations to thrive. We have so much to learn and remember within ourselves by listening to their voices. When we believe in ourselves, and our ability to express and create from Self, then we are more likely to take action to change our lives and personal conditions for the better. As each of us steps into this bright space of Empowerment, we send a ripple of healing light throughout the world!
I would like to express my infinite Gratitude to Gail and David for their ongoing commitment to bringing Empowerment to our lives. I would also like to thank their newest supporter and team member, Josie Maran (CEO of Josie Maran Cosmetics), who has made it her mission to support the Imagine project with proceeds from her company (for every view of the Imagine video, which I will link to below, Josie Maran Cosmetics will donate 10 cents to Imagine).
It is my hope that my new song, “I Am Woman,” can serve as another juicy boost on this journey…an Empowerment theme song that can help to lift spirits and assimilate growth.
Next time you hear the word Empowerment, have no fear! Step into it, try it on. You will glow from the inside out with a new sense of lightness and purpose, singing… “I hold the strength in Me, to Imagine and Create the Life I see!”
CLICK HERE to learn more.