The shape, the form and the structure of our life right here right now, is a series of choices that grew and expanded consciously and unconsciously, intentionally and unintentionally over the years.
What choices do you engage in every day?
What do you do everyday that either reinforce power or drain power out of your choices?
Who is leading your choices? Are these your choices? Are you living someone else's choices?
Choosing comes from a space of deep power ownership. Power is owned fully when there is awareness about the intentions and the driving forces behind the choices.
In two years, I will turn 40 and I see empowerment with different lenses. I see women empowerment unlike what I saw, believed and acted as 10 years ago. I see, live, feel, hear and experience empowerment as choices, a dance of negotiation of where, when, why, who, what and how I choose to focus my energy and resources.
I have danced the wave of “I can be and do it all.” And today I see how I joined a movement of burn out women. Today, I understand that my full presence differs and oscillates daily and despite myself many years ago, I bought into the dream of “be and do it all”.
Telling women that, “ you can be a mother, an amazing writer, a fully present daughter, a great lover, a committed sister, a dedicated community member and add in more and give your hundred percent.”
Most women will not admit the sense of overwhelming and utter shame and guilt at acknowledging that we are unable to meet up to these dreams and aspirations.
I have been reflecting on how women shout that they can be it all and yet most women are cycling the never ending cycles of burn out.
I say these words for the women spread across the globe, cycling the burn-out cycles, screaming at the lack of structural support. There is lack of structural, community, societal and global support. Support to enhance one’s quality of life along with one’s choices. This lack of support is beyond the not-enough involvement and lack of presence and engagement of partners, communities, families and networks in women’s life. Infact, there is nothing on earth that can support women who have taken on board more than what is humanly possible.
In time of great transition, this is a needed conversation.
Our full presence to our choices will differ everyday through every breaths and through every moves.
For every choice we make, we will have to bargain, negotiate, put to rest, park aside, let go of other aspects of our lives.
From choosing how much time you dedicate to your life, there will be choices that will impact on your family life, on your presence with your children, your partner and your close ones. From choosing to complete a project, you may miss out on an important family gathering.
I choose where to focus my energy and how much energy I can invest. A choice that I go back to every day, every hour and at times every minutes. I have had to practice learning to choose, to decide and to commit. I have had to learn to muscle my power to choose. Through each choice that I activate and engage in, I experience a mix of comfort and discomfort.
All my choices came, come and will come with a share of negotiating. Going to bed early means I miss more time in my family evening gatherings. Running sunday morning yoga classes means I will not have late sunday mornings. Focusing on my studies means that I spend my weekend reading and documenting. Maintaining my personal practice means I miss afternoon walks on saturday afternoons with my close ones.
I have learned on the way to ease out from doing and being more than what my focus could allow me. I have learned that I will fool myself if I am ever to take hundred items on plate believing that I could give my hundred percentage to each item equally.
Had it been not for the health issues, I would not have learned this lesson. I do not feel limited, I do not feel less. Instead I feel great ownership of my power as I am learning to choose intentionally and to practice where to focus my energy, how much energy to focus, why, when and how to focus my energy, my resources and my attention.
I have often been told “you can have it all. Have children, study, travel and work a full time job.”
I can still have it all but I am honest with myself. Whatever wherever and whyever I will choose to focus my energy on, it will be an ongoing dance of negotiation, a mix of guilt and innocence, a sense of I did my best and I missed on parts.
I am one of the exceptions of the millions women spread across the globe, I believe in a different story, a story where I will choose where to focus my energy instead of wanting and dreaming to “be and do it all”.
We are millions surfing the wave to reclaiming our worth and through this process, we have joined the stride of doing to prove worth of belongingness. This was a needed walk at one point. Women of my generations, my mother’s and my grandmothers’ generations have been birthed by neurotic burn out mothers who did their best, who did it all on their own and we have inherited the patterns of “never enough”.
I have witnessed tired mothers, aunties and grandmothers. Their nervous system overflowing tiredness and rest never came and for many of us, rest may never come.
The individual and collective tiredness experiencing by women across generations is carrier of a message of imbalance. This tiredness is purposefully driven by a higher conscience and it’s a call to begin to choose and from a space of choice to act with foresight on resources, to begin with oneself.
May women stop telling themselves that they can be all at the same time. We are digging the drench to burn out.
May we stop telling women that they can be all at the same time.
May we begin the truth path, where we put women and men facing life as it is,
For every choices, the negotiating dance with the mix of comfort and discomfort.
Sisters, you can be it all.
What is the “all” that you want to be?
What is driving your choices?
What are your intentions?
What do you believe in?
What do you want to choose?
What you choose is what you leave behind for your daughters.
Within the field of knowing, we leave messages for our daughters.
What messages do you want to leave for your daughter?
How do you want your daughters to remember you?
Love from my heart to yours
Graphic Works @ NyameDua 2021
Post © Megha Venketasamy, 2021. All rights reserved.