I’ve been reading a wonderful booklet titled, “Meditations For Women Who Do Too Much” by Anne Wilson Schaef.
Living In Balance
We’ve discussed at length all of the ways black women in particular are forcibly trained to go against human nature to self-sacrifice life and limb for “community”. Many women go overboard and it might be reflected in how they relate to others. Being domineering, pushy or sneakily manipulative instead of straightforward are ways that women try to compensate for abandoning their inherent power or compensating for misplaced priorities.
We carry stress in our shoulders and neck, wear a spare tire of excess flesh around our middles or control what we may eat to the point of extreme. We promote the idea of being equal to men in the sense that acting aggressive is considered progress. We have contempt for many of the things that uniquely make us who we are: women, female, feminine, womanly. Not lesser than, but different and able in other ways.
Like those who lack ethnic or racial pride, eschewing our gender is just as self-hating and misogynistic as those many advocates claim to be opposed to. In order to live authentically, we have to like ourselves first. Sometimes being busy is just an excuse to deny ourselves self-care or resolve inner conflicts.
One way to realign being off-kilter and to create space for self-reflection and build awareness is to meditate. Prayer and Meditation is not the same thing, but they do work in concert with each other. Meditation can be part of a spiritual practice or used separately.
Applying meditation techniques can have different goals and play multiple roles in our lives. There are numerous health benefits. For women who are mothers, daughters, CEO, under-employed, studying or caregivers – or somewhere in between – meditation is an essential component in a woman’s life. Proper reflection, clarity and action (especially releasing burdens) helps women overcome personal and professional issues associated with living well.
Meditation calms our racing thoughts, our constant inner chit-chat and distractions. Taking in deep breaths improves circulation and loosens tight muscles. We can receive information better and have energy to choose several options to catch ourselves in a moment (anger, despair, boredom) before we let something negatively impact us.
Since women are dealing with so many situations and have to function at higher levels, we tend to be tired. If we were to slow down, the wheels might fall off! That’s not living. Not really. So we need to find ways to relax that don’t involve eating, drinking, medicating or bullying. Take a step back, a deep breath and don’t try to snap at your child for being unruly. Don’t be catty with another woman. Don’t blame yourself for not being “enough”.
What’s Your Meditation Style?
Active or still? Walking or talking. Listening to instrumental or songs with OM. Exposure to nature or sitting on the floor in your bedroom. Whatever works best for you is the best means for you to get in touch with yourself again.
Remember: this is not something to check off a list!