As part of our month of celebrating women in the arts, Susanna Lewis encourages women to speak their truth with these practical tips…
The 8th of March is celebrated as International Women’s Day annually – a day when we look at all the achievements of women but also to highlight the fact that, in many parts of the world, gender equality and freedom is still yet to be achieved. Women have been oppressed for hundreds of years and there is a lot of evidence of this, even here in the UK. Historically, women have not had the same rights or freedom as men and, of course, who can forget that sordid period in history when thousands of women were tortured and burned as witches merely because they were feared by men.
Thankfully, times have changed and now women can occupy top jobs, vote, have their own bank account and can burn incense without been called a witch. Of course, there is always room for improvement in some male dominated sectors of society but the biggest change has been that women have now found their voice.
Women are no longer afraid to speak their truth, to voice their opinion, to enter into passionate discussions or to simply disagree with something. However, I do believe that culture and historic traditions still hinder some women from expressing their true feelings. This is especially true for those of us who are over the age of fifty, who still remember our mothers and grandmothers living and working in a society not always welcoming to women. Fear of speaking out or having an opinion can be a difficult cycle to break and is often passed down to us through generations.
But it is never too late to speak your truth or make your voice heard. Yes, it takes confidence and assertiveness but it can be done and remember: women are experts at gathering support from each other and sometimes we need this community to help us in our quest to find our voice.
So how can we start to change the tide, to speak our truth, instead of keeping quiet and letting our emotions and thoughts eat us up inside. Doctors have frequently stated that suppressing our emotions can have an adverse effect on our health, causing our immune system to weaken which then allows disease and other health conditions to creep in. This very fact is scary enough to jolt us into changing the way we express feelings, but I understand that change is hard, especially after years of been expected – and sometimes forced – to stay quiet.
Here are my thoughts and ideas for breaking the cycle that will allow you to speak your truth:
- Try and let go of negative thoughts and worries. Try not to worry what people think of you. I must admit as I get older I care less and less about what people think. If you can let go of negative thoughts then you free up space to create peace and harmony in your life which will help you to become more confident.
- Love yourself first and foremost. Accept yourself for who you are – pat yourself on the back (no one else will do it for you) and just continually affirm that you are a lovely person who deserves the very best in life. Loving yourself sends messages to your brain that you are worthy, which in turn creates more self-confidence.
- Choose friends wisely and stay in the company of people who make you feel good and build you up rather than judging you or pulling you down. Certain people can cause our self esteem to plummet, which can really hinder us when we are trying to be assertive.
- Finally, really start to analyse what your truth is. The best way to do this is to write it down. Start a journal and make notes about what you REALLY want in your life and what changes you need to make to get to where you want to be.
It isn’t easy to speak your truth and to feel such freedom that you can TRULY be yourself, but it is possible and it is most definitely worth it! Women have come a long way in the world since those dark days of oppression and there is no time like the present to change your life for the better.
Why not explore this topic further and join me on Monday 20th March at 12pm for a reflective writing session here at The Joy Club.
If you’re looking to have any truths you’d like to pitch to The Joy Club’s blog, please do so via firstname.lastname@example.org. We pay for everything we publish!