“You’ve come a long way, baby,” wasn’t just an ad for Virginia Slims cigarettes during the late 1960s — it was also a dubious signifier for the gains women had made in society.
Since then, women have continued the march for progress, making huge gains in the academic and professional sectors. But have Western women lost something along the way?
“As women, we have spent so much time and effort living up to the standards of a patriarchal society that we’ve almost completely disconnected from our own deepest, authentic truth,” said Leela Francis, author of “Woman’s Way Home: Navigating Your Path to Embodied Power,” (www.WomansWayHome.com), which includes techniques and tools from her Vividly Woman Embodied Leader Tools and Training.
“‘What do women want?’ Sadly, many women today aren’t even sure; but by tapping the power of her inner wisdom, a woman can have the life of her dreams.”
One key component of birthing one’s own dream life is harnessing your intuitive power, she said.
This ability to distinguish between ego-driven wants and higher self-wisdom is crucial so that you are making choices in alignment with your personal integrity, she says.
So, just how does one accomplish that? Francis offers the following suggestions:
• Ego isn’t bad or wrong, but we do need to be able to distinguish its voice from that of our intuition. The ego has its place; it’s a necessary part of our self that allows us to function and strive, but we need to be able to identify what is driving us in each moment. Intuition is the awareness and acknowledgment of being more deeply and meaningfully connected to life. The ego is a self-advocating force that caters to external standards and often gets in the way of higher self-awareness. Learning to recognize the differences between these two voices is a profound way to create more ease and lessen suffering.
• Recognize when ego and intuition are pulling you in different directions. “Having witnessed the outcome of choosing ego over intuition enough times, I’ve seen how counterproductive ignoring intuitive wisdom can be,” Francis says. “I can’t help but notice that I sense the most friction when my ego is winning that inner tug of war.” The ego is a perpetually hungry creature, never satisfied, whereas higher intuition has a contented nature that aligns with your personal integrity. Wisdom’s signals are palpable, but we’ve become so masterful at ignoring them that we don’t recognize them when they occur. Both the ego’s plea and intuition’s nudging are able to be sensed in one’s body as distinctive body sensations. Listen inwardly for these sensations, for example, when someone is trying to sell you something questionable.
• Be available for those intuitive moments in which you can witness yourself, objectively, on every level. Intuitive power gives us a profound ability to see ourselves from a bird’s eye view on every level — sensually, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. These intuitive moments don’t have to be random; you can cultivate your mind to be more on the look out for sensations that are taking place in your body in each moment, and especially in situations that require you to make a difficult decision or choice. Be aware of your body as it goes through its daily activities and, at the same time, consider all levels of your self when doing so. This higher awareness enables women to have all aspects of their selves peacefully coexist and work together for a more whole and happy life.