Strong of back. Soft of heart. #shepersisted No 75

No. 75 #ShePersisted Series – They said, you gotta be strong like us to change the world. She said, being strong like you won’t change the world for the better. We all need to be strong of back, soft of heart to create a better world together.

It is something I find fascinating about this dance with the muse I enter into every time I step into my studio, or sit at my desk, or go for a walk, or lie in the bath… OK. Maybe that should read, this dance with the muse I live everyday.

I don’t ask for her presence. She just is. There. Here. Everywhere. Within and all around me.

I also don’t ‘ask’ for ‘the words’ for the #shepersisted series to come. They simply appear. Sometimes, they come without need of editing. Sometimes, they form as a sentiment calling to be expressed, asking me to massage the words into deeper meaning. To find that meaning, I often have to go through the journey of creating the visual message first.

And then, there are days like yesterday when the words appear before I even enter the studio. They arrive in my mind, full of fleshy substance, carrying with them a deep compelling desire to be brought into visual being.

On those days, like yesterday, there is nothing I can do to dissuade or convince the muse I have other things to do.

I must heed her urgings. I must create.

And here’s the thing. While I don’t intentionally ask for or summon up the words, there is an intentionality to the creation of the artwork.

For example, beneath the layers of paint, the foundational background of No. 75 was created by using a rubber mat, the kind you put in the bottom of a sink to protect dishes. It’s all flowers and butterflies. To begin, I placed it on the blank white page and sprayed purple ink over it. When lifted, the page was covered in white flowers and butterflies between purple splotches.

The use of a kitchen sink mat is intentional.

It signifies that moniker I keep grating against yet still succumb to thinking is mine to take care of. That ubiquitous thing called…’women’s work’.

Yeah. I know. Division of labour and all that but the fact remains, while advances have been made over the past 40 years, women continue to do the majority of unpaid household work and continue to spend more time at it than men. Even more significant, COVID has caused many of women’s advancements to be lost, pushing women out of the workfoce, back into the home.

From kitchen mat to boardroom table, women continue to face obstacles that impede their rights, their opportunities, their independence, their health, wealth and well-being.

For me, the #shepersisted Series is my personal statement of ‘ENOUGH’.

Enough of playing by the rules. Of being, polite not forthright, assertive not aggressive, ladylike not badass girl-power running wild at the frontlines of making change happen now.

Seriously. Do men ever get told it’s not ‘manlike’ to ask for what they want? To be assertive, yes. Aggressive no. (watch for a yet to be created No. 76 on that one!)

The muse is not done with the #ShePersisted Series.

Neither am I.

But then, I’m not done with changing the world either.

How about you?

Have you had enough? No matter your gender identification, are you willing to stand up, give voice and make change happen for everyone?

None of us can do it alone. But together? We are a mighty voice. A powerful force. An unstoppable collective.

#choosetochallenge #speakupforinclusion #weareallinthistogether #strongtogether #womensvoicesmatter #girlpower

December Woman – She Does The Right Thing – #ShePersisted

There is a difference between being told, “You can’t do that” and doing it because you want to prove the nay-sayer wrong, and being told, “You can’t do that” and doing it because it’s the right thing to do.

The difference is found in your motivation.

Doing it because you want to prove someone wrong often arrives with an attitude of rebellion and defiance. Rebellion and defiance can be great motivators, as long as they are not driven by the ego’s desire to ‘be right’ rather than ‘do right’.

Doing it because it’s the right thing to do, even when people tell you that you can’t, is grounded in the belief that listening to the fears and limiting beliefs that lay at the heart of other’s beliefs on what can or cannot be done to change the world will only create a world of inaction.

Listening to the things that call your heart alive and doing them because they’re the right thing to do, can transform the world into a better place for everyone. Because, at the cornerstone of doing the right thing is complete faith in the principles of integrity. Fairness for all. Dignity. Trust. Kindness and the transformative power of Love.

Of course, if you set your mind to do something, block out all the nay-sayers and put your head down and work hard, you will most likely do it.

But, if you do not ask yourself questions like ‘Why am I doing this?” or “What’s the cost of doing it ‘my way’?” you risk losing your integrity or causing harm to others and/or the planet because you’re ‘doing it’ is grounded in ego.

When you ask yourself the tough questions, like, “Am I doing this to prove other’s wrong or because I believe it’s the right thing to do?” you create space for integrity, fairness, dignity and kindness to grow.

And when you dig even deeper by asking yourself, “Do I believe it is the right thing to do with all my heart?” you create space for your heart’s awakening.

And when the heart awakens, doing the right thing becomes the thing you not only can do, it becomes the thing you must do.

We can all do the right things. For the sake of humanity and lall ife on this planet we call our home, we must. The world depends on us.

Namaste

September Woman – She’s Got Attitude. #ShePersisted

September Woman – #ShePersisted 2021 Desk Calendar – to view more of the series click HERE

When someone states the obvious, and it’s meant to deride or mock, one of the best responses is to acknowledge it’s true, and move on.

Taking umbrage is the pain of the insecure. It reveals discomfort with being who you are, fiercely, fearlessly, authentically.

As the saying goes, “If ya’ got it. Flaunt it!”

And the transformative power of attitude is not to be denied. There is no need to defend your true self or try to tone it down. Celebrate it. Dance with it. Let it show up bright and shiny in the world. Anyway, acting like you’ve just received a compliment when someone says something as ambiguous as the statement, “You’ve got attitude,” is a much better defence than getting all defensive.

Attitude, like weather, is always present. And while it might feel good to get angry at the wind or to tell the snow in July it’s out of season, the weather will always be what the weather is. Itself.

So too with attitude. It is not to be shirked, nor hidden, nor denied. Especially if its purpose is to propel you on your path to changing the world for the better.

Every morning ask yourself, “What attitude fits me best today?”

Warrioress. Priestess. Defender of the people. Peace-maker. Righteous goddess. Quiet acolyte. Gentle heart. Disciple of Truth. Fierce celebrant of life…

Wear that. Wear it with pride, purpose, passion. You won’t wear it out, though you might just wear out those who would bring you down, or want to spoil your day with unbidden comments designed to stop you in your tracks and keep you from doing whatever it takes to bring your best to the world today.

Because, seriously, the statement “You’ve got attitude,” contains a river of passive-aggressiveness meant to drown out your voice and keep you in your place (that place being where ‘they’ think you ought to be.)

Live your attitude. The world needs you, your voice and your attitude to rise above the fray so that together we can create a better world for everyone.

Namaste

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