The September issue of O Magazine is AMAZING! It features a diverse group of women sharing their defintiions of power. Oprah writes about spiritual power in her What I Know For Sure column:
“For me, there is no real power without spiritual power. A power that comes from the core of who you are and reflects all that you were meant to be. A power that’s connected to the source of things. When you see this kind of power shining through someone in all its truth and certainty, it’s irresistible, inspiring, elevating. I can feel it in myself sometimes, mostly when I’m sharing an insight that I know will have an impact on someone’s life and I can see that they “get it.” I get real joy from helping other people experience aha moments. That is where my power lies.”
Buddhist Nun Pema Chodron talks about the power of the pause: “Pausing is very helpful in this process. It creates a momentary contrast between being completely self-absorbed and being awake and present. You just stop for a few seconds, breathe deeply, and move on.” http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/omagazine/200909-omag-power-list/6
Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, explores power as an equation that is rooted in persistence, preparation, compassion, courage, and connection: “Follow your passion with persistence, magnified by intense preparation. Use compassion and courage to weave a strong web of connections. Use focused excellence to drive achievements and gain wisdom. It is through the combination of all these things that your power will reveal itself. The magnitude and reach of your power is up to you. You must be prepared; you must commit the time, energy, and effort required to achieve. Be persistent. The passion you exhibit for your ideas and ideals and the compassion you show for others will further enhance your power. Connectivity is key; it is what creates and strengthens your web of opportunity. The more connected you are, and the stronger your connections, the more effective you will be in obtaining and using power to achieve your goals.” http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/omagazine/200909-omag-power-list/9
Kara Walker, an artist whose work is featured in Ananda Leeke’s debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com), reflects on the power of image: “The work began by thinking about my own body as it encountered the mythologies of the world: I was fed up with the expectations of what a black girl ought to be, but instead of rejecting them outright, I thought I would embrace every concept out there, sort of flouting the notions and taunting those who held them at the same time. I’ve met people who feel they are in complete cahoots with the work, and with my bizarre imagination; people who don’t know what I’m trying to do, who don’t see any irony in the work; and people who take it as a personal affront. There’s something beautiful about that discomfort, and about the potential for images to contain such raw emotion. These pictures—they’re the way history sees us; they’re derogatory images of blackness with deep psychic pain attached, and I use and mess around with all of it. But I’m not looking for conclusions, or meaning. I’m not interested in that. It’s about unleashing the unmentionable, the antisocial, the sociopathic—and then walking away. To let these images work their magic, their horror, their power—that’s tremendous.” http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/omagazine/200909-omag-power-list/12
Author Elizabeth Lesser, co-founder of The Omega Institute, shares that she finds true power when she trusts her soul’s voice: “I feel peaceful yet strong, gentle yet courageous.” http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/omagazine/200909-omag-finding-power
What is your definition of power?
What makes you feel powerful?
Writer Winifred Gallagher
Writer Asha Bandele
The August issue of Real Simple (www.realsimple.com) includes a great article: “What makes me feel beautiful.” It features essays by women writers such as Winifred Gallagher, author of Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life and Asha Bandele, author of Something Like Beautiful: One Single Mother’s Story, Daughter, and Prisoner’s Wife. Below are excerpts from the essays written by Winifred and Asha. Winifred wrote about how being active every day makes her feel beautiful. Asha wrote about how writing makes her feel beautiful.
Winifred – “That exercise makes me feel beautiful, struck me around age 40, right after I had taken a quick run… The way to stay lively is to stay active.”
Asha – “Writing requires us to take the world on more slowly, to notice its harshness as well as its richness. Writing reduces the chaos in my mind. As the gospel song says, it orders my steps and makes me feel in control of myself and therefore appreciative of the world.”
To learn more about Winifred and her books, visit www.harpercollins.com/authors/3432/Winifred_Gallagher/index.aspx. Click here to learn more about Asha and her books: http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Asha-Bandele. She is on Facebook too: http://www.facebook.com/asha.bandele.
What makes you feel beautiful?
Please share your thoughts in the comment section.
Welcome to Sisterhood, the Blog!
Happy International Women’s Day on March 8th!
International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th of each year. It honors women’s economic, political and social achievements. International Women’s Day was first celebrated in 1911. For more information, visit www.internationalwomensday.com.
Sisterhood, the Blog is sacred space for twenty-first century women to explore self-discovery through sisterhood connections and communities, spirituality, self-care, self-expression, storytelling, social media, and social justice advocacy.
Sisterhood, the Blog will offer twenty-first century women a road map on how to creatively plug into online and offline practices, tools, experiences, and communities that encourage them to maximize the quilt of infinite possibilities they have inherited from the women’s rights, spirituality, self-help, and technology movements.
Sisterhood, the Blog will launch in June 2009 with the following Sisterhood, the Blog social media projects:
Until then, read the twenty-first century women’s manifesto below and let us know what you think.
Twenty-First Century Women’s Manifesto by Ananda Leeke
Copyright 2009 by Madelyn C. Leeke
(Excerpt from That Which Awakens Me: A Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery by Ananda Leeke – published by iUniverse, Inc. in Spring/Summer 2009)
Women living in the twenty-first century are the beneficiaries of four movements that have defined and expanded their individual and collective power of choice. These movements include women’s rights, spirituality, self-help, and technology. The women’s rights movement empowered women to:
- claim, demand, and exercise their equal rights in all facets of society;
- live their lives on their own terms;
- document and educate themselves and others about their experiences, accomplishments, and history through art, literature, music, film, and other forms of cultural expression; and
- establish organizations, coalitions, and campaigns that advocate their interests and concerns.
- communicate and maintain relationships in the midst of their busy lives with the support of e-mail, voicemail, cellular phones, and text messaging;
- document and tell their life stories with social media tools such as blogs, Twitter, Utterli, Flickr, and YouTube;
- connect with like-minded people for support, sharing moments, and professional networking in online communities such as Blogher, Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, Ning.com, and CollectiveX;
- become members of local Meetup.com interest groups that interact offline;
- expand their pool of eligible dating and life partners with support from online dating sites;
- distribute original content with social bookmarking tools such as AddThis, reddit, StumbleUpon, and Delicious;
- create and participate in Internet-based radio and television programs;
- launch businesses and nonprofit organizations;
- obtain and barter housing, services, and goods on Craigslist.com and other sites;
- publish books, e-zines, and other publications;
- conduct e-commerce and solicit donations with Paypal.com and other tools;
- identify and secure new careers with employment web sites; and
- spearhead and actively participate in advocacy efforts, political campaigns, and other movements.
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