26. July 2011 · Comments Off on Womanism – The New Feminism · Categories: Self Improvement · Tags: , ,

I am sure I am not the first to question this but is feminism still working for our higher good? How accurate is the word feminism for women in 2009? Its roots are founded in a century with circumstances that surpass the memory of today’s modern woman. I personally am not sure I want to wear my feminist badge with pride anymore.

Firstly, lets get clear on what we are discussing here; according to the Oxford dictionary: Feminism means the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of sexual equality.

Earlier this year I attended a celebratory lunch for International Woman’s Day. I honestly (and now I realise naively) believed I was about to be showered with the energy and wisdom of successful women, publicly sharing their unique journeys of life ascending the corporate ladder. And then, if I was lucky enough to be seated at an inspirational table, to indulge in the mutual joys and tribulations of our own personal journeys as a woman in 2009.

However, the reality was slightly different. I am the first to appreciate woman are still competing in a man’s world on many different levels. I personally have been reproached by men for ‘looking a bit too young’, ‘too blonde’ and for my ‘non-suit’ business dress code. But surely when approximately 1000 women are all gathered in a huge conference room to celebrate the simple fact we are women, there should be a sense of unison and celebration?

Apparently not from where I was sitting. The speakers were highly accomplished women. Their success, as described during their introduction, would leave any impressionable 15 year old girl either giddy from excitement at the possibilities of life or nauseous at the societal benchmarks to be classified as a female success.

As lunch was served, the room lay motionless in anticipation for the pearls of wisdom from each speaker. It soon became apparent their words were not to be seeds of acknowledgment for the feminist journey travelled to date, but rather a bleak prediction for the long winding road that still lies ahead. So with this dark shadow cast over dessert, I turned back to my table in the vain hope of igniting some inspirational conversations to salvage what I believe to be a victory thus far on the feminist road. Yet to my horror I witnessed a synopses by each woman in turn on the performance of the speakers. One was encouraging, others scaling. I found myself holding on to my seat for support as I listened in disbelief to the judgments and verdicts sentenced to each speaker by their fellow women.

Admittedly some of the speeches weren’t the most spectacular known to mankind but doesn’t this lack of camaraderie simply add mileage to the long winding road ahead? We are all entitled to our opinion but would that opinion be better served working with other women rather than against them? Doesn’t feminism suggest men are suppose to be the persecutors?

Success for women is such an interesting concept. Our grandmothers and great-grandmothers deserve medals for the freedom they safeguarded for us. But do you think they knew they were fighting for this modern concept of “successful women”? A success whereby I must earn over $200K p.a., pop out two beautiful children, be happily married, ensure my business is growing to the next level, graduate with honours, monitor my figure, bake with Nigella’s grace and ensure my roots aren’t showing to earn the societal title of being a success? Okay, so this is a little far fetched but really, what is it one is supposed to be doing to be successful?

Only yesterday a colleague reminded me of the pressures on a woman with a university degree. Goodness help the graduate who just wanted to settle down and have a family. It is a brave and courageous woman who acts against this unspoken decree that “your education would be wasted if you don’t ‘use it” or “what was the point of 3-5 years of study if you’re not going to earn a big salary?” or “have you heard about my friend Sally’s daughter who was asked to assist the company’s CEO – she’s only 27 you know!” Don’t get me wrong, education is an essential part of life, but how you use it should be based on fulfillment and happiness not guilt or pressure.

Despite my luncheon experience of doom and gloom, from where I stand it is quite plain to see that we, women have come a very long way, an extremely long way indeed. We only need to be on the circulation list of an incessant email ‘forwarder’ to read the old exert from a 1960’s woman’s Good Housekeeping Guide about ‘How to keep your man happy’.

Enter the definition: women’s liberation; the liberation of women from inequalities and subservient status in relation to men, and from attitudes causing these. The topic women’s liberation is something that can really liven up a dinner party, be it fireworks of praise or criticism, every one has their own opinion and experience of how far women’s liberation has really come.

However, I am curious. If feminism has liberated us from the inequalities, attitudes and subservient status in relation to men, then why do I feel so trapped as a 30 something year old woman with the world as my oyster? Don’t get me wrong, I am not ungrateful for the opportunities that lay all around me, but I am simply unclear on how this liberation from men has magically shifted to wanting to be liberated from women?

Stop! I think I made a mistake. I need to exchange my feminist ticket for a different journey. Actually I already have. And I know several other women who have. My ticket to life now reads Womanism not Feminism. One way only. An amazing friend of mine who was also sat at this fateful table summoned this term to describe her similar belief that women aren’t always a member of the same sisterhood and men aren’t always the enemy. This is not to say issues such as the glass ceiling no longer exist. It simply stating we must not lose sight of all the other parts that make up being a woman and how we can approach life from another perspective.

For me, Womanism is about being authentic to who you truly are in this world. To be able to know where you stand in life and be able to build a world around you that reflects your values, beliefs and most importantly honours who you are on the inside as well as the outside.

Womanism is authenticity. Womanism leaves space for sisterhood as well as our male friends. Womanism is unique to each of us. We all bring our own different palette of colours to this world. Why aren’t we embracing this?

Imagine if we as women, decided universally to just stop. Stop with the ‘how far we still have to go’ talk, stop with the liberation fight, stop with the negativity, stop with the balancing act, stop with the bitching, stop with the glass ceiling battle, stop judging our sister who too is striving for happiness, stop with the need to be perfect, this list is endless.

And what if we all decided to just be who we are. Not who we should be, but simply who we are meant to be. Imagine if we all wore clothes that made us feel ultra feminine in the professional arena, imagine a variety of vibrant colour and sensual fabrics walking down a city street at lunchtime. Imagine bright red nail varnish, ‘just because I felt like it today’ or imagine shoes that expressed a glimpse of who you are rather sensibility. Obviously there may be consequences to any extreme make-over but the point is in being the full you and not a muted down version of the fabulous you.

I think it is time to stop and imagine. What life am I choosing for myself? What life am I subscribing too? What is my very own personal definition of success, liberation, feminism and even womanism? Do I really want to adhere to the fruits of feminists labour? Am I obliged? Ungrateful if I don’t? Is this what I want for my daughter?

I honestly feel we have come to a cross roads and being a woman is harder than ever before. Our identity is up to us, individually and also collectively. Who you choose to be, how you choose to spend your time, education, money, happiness etc is down to you. Please choose it wisely as our daughters need pioneers to lead us forward into a safe future of light, not darkness.

I know for me, I need to lead an authentic life. I choose to wear a badge of Womanism and welcome any woman who wants to join me. I want to confidently turn to my daughters or nieces in years to come and with my hand on my heart encourage them to embrace who they are, be true to what they believe and to ensure that the term “success” is clearly mapped out and defined according to their personal values. As they learn about the great achievements of feminism, I want them to hold on to the woman inside and proudly stand tall as the world is honoured with her true authentic presence.
About the Author:

Check out more information on search at google

11. July 2011 · Comments Off on The Celtic Sister Symbol · Categories: Arts And Entertainment · Tags: , ,

The ancient Celts used knot work symbols as a unique and highly artistic way to express and pay homage to their interconnectedness with each other, to nature as well as with the Gods and Goddesses. One Celtic symbol that contains continuous looping knot work showing no beginning and not end was used to represent the eternal love that sisters shared.

The ancient symbol is the Celtic Triskele is also a symbol of sisterhood as it represents the trinity of three such as mother, daughter and grandmother, or the three stages of women. Otherwise known as the triple spiral symbol that is very closely related to the Triquestra, the Triskele is composed on three interlocking spirals. The three spirals in ancient Celtic symbols are related to the sun, the afterlife and to reincarnation and some believe to pregnancy as well.

Triskele’s are very common in this art work and can be found in a variety of different styles, both ancient and modern. These three conjoined spirals evoke the Celtic concept of three domains, namely earth, water and sky and how they relate to each other. These spirals signify the special connection between sisters, how their lives are forever intertwined, no matter where the twists and turns of life take them.

The Triskele emblem is commonly found today in such things as tattoos, stationary, clothing, glassware and pottery as a way to depict Celtic symbolism. It is a triple spiral Celtic symbol with no open ends, a continuous line in other words, each one fluidly spiraling in the same clockwise direction. The continuous line of the spirals signifies the never ending cycle of life, something that is easily synonymous with sisterhood.

In Celtic and pagan folklore, the Triskele is connected to the mother goddess.

The Sisterhood of Avalon

The official logo of the Sisterhood of Avalon has as it central image a Celtic Triskele, moving counter clockwise which is meant to depict the energies of the Divine Feminine. The arms of the Triskele are shown as stylized ‘9’s’ meant to honor the ancient nine fold Sisterhood of Avalon.

At the center of the Triskele is an apple cut in half, revealing the five seeds of wisdom which is the core of the Avalon tradition. These five seeds seen in the cut apple reveal the mystery of the five fold cycle which brings us to the wisdom of the Heart of Self.

The nine pointed star is the primary symbol of the sisterhood of Avalon and honours the Nine Morgens, the Honored Ancestress of Avalon and the Guardians of the Avalonian Tradition. The silver apple itself signifies the otherworldly island of Avalon and the mysteries kept by her priestesses, or sisters.

Celtic Knots

One Celtic knot in particular that is accepted as being a symbol of sisterhood is the Triquestra. It takes the form of a three sided triangle intricately crafted out of interconnected loop knot work. The Triquestra was often used in Celtic metal work and jewelry to symbolize the interconnection of special things or people such as mother, daughter and grandmother as well as other concepts that fit into the idea of a unity such as sisterhood and family. A common representation of the Triquestra can be seen with a circle in the center of the triangle which dissects the three interconnected loops. This circle is meant to emphasize the unity of the three elements.

Modern representation

Today the Triquestra can be seen as one of the quintessential design elements of Celtic artwork, and many use it to display their heritage or culture. The symbol has become so popular that it can even been seen in use by the rich and famous. For instance, in the popular TV program “Charmed” which features three witch sisters working together as one unit to defeat evil, the Triquestra is seen adorning the Book of Shadows.

The symbol of sisterhood when depicted by either the Triskele or the Triquestra is a popular work of art used by many, and while many Celtic knot work patterns and designs are hard to define, the spiritual and physical elements depicted in these two symbols are easy to understand. The interlacing strands are said to represent the never ending pathways of life itself as well as emotions of love, friendship and faith.

07. July 2011 · Comments Off on Relax – Observe Butterflies Day · Categories: Holidays · Tags: , ,

May 15th is observed as butterfly day. It is not only for children, but elders must also observe this day. To relax. All of us are always tense. It is either work, or family and social commitments, or something else. It will be difficult to find an adult who is not tense. We are always under so much of stress and pressure that most of us have lost the essence of living. The essence of living should be to live with joy and give joy to others. But that joy is no more present in our life because of unending

work or commitments or something else. Sometimes, even social gatherings cause stress to us.

For observing the butterfly day on 15th of May, it will be essential for us to go in a garden or in the country side. Butterflies do not love the concrete jungles that we all love so much. They love open spaces, gardens and jungles full of blooming flowers with a cool breeze blowing across. That is the setting for the butterflies to dance and fly from one flower to another flower, have a small hello and go forward. The butterflies all look so beautiful, bright and colorful. No man ever craft something so cute. It is only mother nature who can do that.

So on this butterfly Day, go out in a garden and sit. Sit and look around, with no purpose in mind except to absorb as much of the nature as you can. Look at the flowers. Observe the leaves. Every thing is perfectly made. And then try to locate butterflies. you will find one, no doubt. Look at the way it flies around, fluttering its wings and dancing with joy without any worries. It has no worries of completing an assignment or filing a form or any such thing. It just lives in joy. Observe that joy. Talk to it. say hello. It may not return that hello, but will surely understand that you are trying to talk to it. Enjoy with experiments of talk and try to run behind it and catch it if you can. Spend an hour and you will find relaxation of the kind nothing else can give you. Enjoy the butterflies day.

05. July 2011 · Comments Off on The Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park · Categories: Travel And Leisure · Tags: , ,

‘Long haul’ has to be the only reason Steven Spielberg didn’t choose the St Lucia wetlands in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, to shoot his epic dinosaur trilogy Jurassic Park 1, 2 and 3.

Here, the unspoilt rivers and streams, lush swamps, infinite dunes and beaches, never-ending savannah grasslands and a breathtaking marine underworld of coral reefs and canyons look the same as the day the dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Not surprisingly, the area inspired many names in the hopes of finding one appropriate enough to do the paradise justice before the early Portuguese explorers eventually settled on Santa Lucia, or St Lucy’s.

A stitch in time

One of the reasons for St Lucia’s adjacent thriving eco wealth may be attributed to a portion being declared a Game Reserve back in 1895. Today, St Lucia Park has been proclaimed a world heritage site and most recently, The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (the Iranian equivalent of Japan’s Kyoto convention) also proclaimed this Maputaland coastal area with its turtle beaches, coral reefs and lakes, of International Importance.

The area was thus protected from a century of development post the onset of the Industrial revolution, giving it the world heritage site status. This chain of events lead to protecting the habitat of a vast and invaluable list of plant and animal species. On a trip to this most magical wetland, you will encounter a myriad of fauna, including hundreds of birds, marine life such as dolphins, turtles and whales as well as big game such as rhino, elephant and the intrepid Nile crocodile.
About the Author:

Check out more information on article marketing software