Putting the ‘Super’ in Superwoman…

Putting the ‘Super’ in Superwoman…

Putting the ‘Super’ in Superwoman…

Growing up in a small family with a handful of cousins and just one sibling, all the women around me were much older – by at least 10 years, if not more. My parents are the youngest children of their siblings by some 10 years or so and most of my cousins’ children are just a few years younger than me.

As a result, I didn’t grow up with a female role model that was close to my age, something which looking back now I realise that I craved. Somebody who I could ask questions which were relevant to my phase of growth; someone who was experiencing it in the same society as me. It is a bit difficult to explain, however, regardless of how open and down to earth our parents are, sometimes they just cannot bring this level of understanding towards what you’re going through as a teenager /young adult if they have not lived through it in a similar time or way.

When I met Natalie Benhayon I didn’t really see her as the ‘role model’ or ‘older sister’ type. However, I could not help but notice how at ease, settled and confident she was – in the way she dressed, moved and spoke. This is not something I have been so good at; I felt awkward and tended to go more towards the tomboy kind of girl – but this wasn’t who I was. I was never really good at doing my hair, make-up, nails etc., and whenever I tried it always just fell through; my nails would smudge, or my hair would just not stand how I wanted it – to a point where when I was about 16 I had damaged my hair so much trying to perfect it that if left untouched after a wash, each side of my head had a personality of its own.

What I have noticed with Natalie is that there’s a depth of honouring that she has for herself that I hadn’t seen prior. One particular moment when this became very evident to me was when during a presentation with Serge Benhayon, his microphone went out and she got up onto the stage to change the battery. In any normal circumstance, or if it were me, I would have rushed onto the stage, not even considering my safety in most cases, to make sure that the presentation could continue.

Although Natalie did not fluff around and take her time, she did not rush at the expense of her body. When getting onto the stage from the floor, she bent the knee that was already on the stage and with her hand supported the other leg to come on as well. I could sense in this move that she naturally prevented the imposition of any strain on her body. It was beautiful to see the lack of compromise, where all we see around us is a society which dictates to women that they have to perform at the expense of their body, that we have to push ourselves constantly in order to perform.

We are often compared to men and have masculine measure of success imposed on us. We are taught and take on the constant feed that we ought to perform like men in order to be equal to them.

In the past I have felt second best in society and pressured to put the needs of those around me before my own. I found that putting myself first can often even be considered selfish, self-centred, bossy and the likes. But when a woman honours her femininity in such a gentle way, everyone melts. Women and men alike crave for the nurturing that a woman can naturally bring, and let’s face it, if we cannot nurture and take care of ourselves, how on earth can we expect anyone else to have that depth of care and respect?

Also in the past there was almost a resentment to the fact that I was born in a female body. I too saw the female gender as weaker, constantly moaning about something or nagging men about something else. Why couldn’t women just suck it up and get on with it? Those were the thoughts and attitude I had towards femininity.

However, since observing Natalie for the past 4-5 years, I have developed a deeper connection with myself as a woman. I have seen and felt the gift of living in a female body that is nurtured and cared for. On many occasions while trying to lift something heavy or push something that is way beyond my means, I have stopped and asked myself whether a woman who honours herself would be doing this. The answer is usually no, which then brings a moment of stillness and settlement, a vulnerability which allows us to reach out to those around us and ask for support; a vulnerability which brings us closer to those in our lives be it colleagues, parents, siblings or strangers.

What is the point of being superwoman and being able to do it all on your own if at the end of the day you go home and feel isolated from the people in your life – if you feel alone and lacking connection?

Our first and foremost connection is with ourselves and if we do not honour that connection we will feel empty and no other relationship will be able to fill the void. It is true nobody can change us, and nobody can make us change. But the spark in another person can spark up our fire too and that is what can transform our lives, the beauty that we reflect and the gentle holding we can offer people around us.

Filed under

EmpowermentTendernessConnection

  • By Viktoria Stoykova, BSc Psychology and Business; Assoc. CIPD

    A young woman living in the heart of London. I love singing, writing, talking to friends, family and strangers on the tube.