As I sit here at 58 years old, I can look back at the life I have lead to this point and see the hundreds and thousands of tiny steps that I and countless of other women before me took to get where we are today.
One personal journey became a collective journey that started at the beginning of time.
There have always been strong, independent women, all throughout the ages.
Catherine the Great, Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, Madame Curie, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Sacagawea, Nellie Bly, Bessie Coleman, Indra Gandhi and so, so many more.
When I read about many of these women in high school, it was from the context of history in war, or science or computing, but never was it from the context of HOW or WHY did these women manage to be accepted in a work world of predominantly males and become so revered for their skills and knowledge?
They were all trailblazers with two things in common;
They didn't think or act like other women of their day.
I learned something in high school, reading their stories, and that something was reinforced by my father.
He always told me that if I wanted something bad enough I would find a way to go over, around or under any obstacle to make it happen. "All you have to do is have a fire in your belly and a determined heart and mind. There may be some things that are physically impossible for you to do that a male counterpart can, but there are in many cases tools that will aide you, you just need to be smart enough to use them."
And truth be told, as I look back now, the only person who has EVER truly held me back in anything was me.
Whenever I have wanted something bad enough, put my imagination, skills, heart and soul to work, I have succeeded at anything I truly wanted to do.
Did I face discrimination? Yes.
Did men rape and bully me? Yes.
Did women bully me? Yes.
Did women act petty and catty and try to rip me down? Yes.
Did men threaten me that if I didn't sleep with them I'd lose my job? Yes.
Did any of those things change me?
YES - they strengthened my resolve, they helped me find my self worth, find my backbone and learn to defend myself and stand up for myself.
I lived in a family, that like many, was very dysfunctional but the dysfunction was hidden behind closed doors, always whispered about, but never brought out in the open. My life became a series of contradictions, my father telling me I could be or do anything I set my mind to and my alcoholic mother beating me unmercifully. There were girls and boys in my school that were such bullies, that between them and the crap with my mother and father that I was constantly being involved in, I was on nerve pills and tranquilizers by the time I was 16.
When I first left home at 18 I was partying a lot, I finally settled down a lot by 19 and by 23 was living in the US, and sadly in a really dysfunctional marriage.
When I left my ex husband I was very ill, in fact, I spent 9 months in hospital with doctors working to save my life. During that time my daughter was kidnapped by her father from my mother's home where alcohol was still a big problem and I was helpless to protect her or stop any of it. When two and a half years later she finally came home to live with me at not quite four years old, we started counselling.
It was there, trying to help her, to give her better tools and skills than I had been given, that I learned how to help myself. Since those days as a young 28 year old women, I have learned about the universal laws which govern everything in our lives and this includes the Law of Attraction.
What you give your focus, attention and energy to, is what you will attract to you.
Learning to live by these laws has become my mission in life!
If there was one thing I would wish for young girls on their journey to womanhood, it would be for them to learn meditation at a young age.
To learn how to turn that negative chatter in our heads off and find relief. I would also love for them to learn early on that they are only responsible for their reactions to how others treat them.
If we as parents, as influencers in children's lives could simply give them the skills to believe in their own dreams and the tools to reach for those dreams, image, how much faster than us, that our girls can become the strong, loving, capable, joyous, balanced, happy people they deserve to be.
For those of you ladies who ride, there is a world wide Women's Motorcycle Relay Ride happening now.
If you want to see joyous, empowered, strong and loving women in motion, join them on Facebook:
WRWR - Women Riders World Relay.
AND IF YOU CAN - support this amazing world wide statement by riding in the relay, sponsoring it or simply cheering them on!
If you are blessed enough to live where you can be riding today, PLEASE remember to ride like everyone around you is blind and cannot see you.
Belt Drive Betty,
Editor & Rider