Being a woman is not a one day event but a lifetime experience
so let us heed that call together and resource the future

female-statueWeaving a Vision of Hope
Living the Life of our Dreams
Journeying together to realise the Greatness and Power within US

This selfless embrace gives us ENERGY, ZEST and the deep UNDERSTANDING that we have all the KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM, and POWER in order to break barriers…. this is our divine gift…. only if we follow a few simple rules.  Any one of us can win!!  The beauty is that no degree is required, no particular social status, no nationality or religion, just an honest heart that blooms under the Creators light.

This God given opportunity can make any one of us not only feel great but makes us live our GREATNESS.  When the Divine calls you to service, there is no need for a qualification because the calling is a gift to you from the Divine and automatically qualifies you.

  1. What is the dream inside you that you will live for or die for?
  2. What stands between you and your journey?
  3. What actions, steps and resources do you need to make it happen?

To acquire some feminine qualities…. And just see, all qualities are feminine: love, compassion, sympathy, service, sharing — all qualities are feminine.   Even if a man wants to function at the highest peak of his intelligence, he will have to be guided by his heart.  The role of women in the development of society is of utmost importance. In fact, it is the only thing that determines whether a society is strong and harmonious, or otherwise.  Women are the backbone of society

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

So great women, incubators of life, the essence of creation:  let us seize our power.  But what is the pin code that will help us access our power?

Courage is the quality of mind or spirit that enables us to face difficulty, danger, bravery and pain without fear.  It is also having ‘heart’ which remains a common metaphor for inner strength.


  • Organisational culture, management styles, lack of opportunity and discrimination are one of the reasons why we do not strive to break through  into top and board-level positions
  • The battle to break through the glass ceiling into the boardroom leaves many of us negative, worn down and disillusioned that we are not being used to our full potential
  • Many companies may talk a good talk around gender equality, but research argues that men get more fast-track management coaching at more junior levels than we do in the workplace.
  • Men are also much more likely to be offered the chance to shine in multinational leadership roles and are more likely to be offered access to talent pools, mentoring and during the transition to more senior roles.

Published in March 2010 the 2010 Women in Business in Australia, Canada South Africa and the United States statistics says that:

In all these countries, women make up at least 50% of the population
Of this 50%, the labour force is made up of:

  • 45.5% in Australia
  •  47.3% in Canada
  •  46.0% in South Africa
  • 46.7 in the US

The point is that there are opportunities out there for women so what is stopping us from getting to the top given that at Board level, South Africa is at 14.3% which is more or less the average compared to other countries but even more challenging is that at CEO level, South Africa is at 13% compared to 21% in Canada and 15% in the US.  Conversely the good news is that at Executive and Corporate level we as South Africans are flying high at 25.3% compared to 10.7% in Australia, 16.9% in Canada and 13.5% in the US.


  • Creating space, platforms and moments to have conversations with each other and draw from each others strengths thus co-creating our own solutions
  • Having 100% commitment, taking responsibility, having extraordinary presence in full awareness and acceptance of everything
  • Formalising succession planning, as those organisations that make formal plans to replace senior staff have more women in senior positions.
  • Recognising performance equally to help close the continuing pay gap.
  • Giving women equal access to training and other opportunities.
  • Providing women with mentors, whether formally or informally, which will help encourage female managers to proactively seek opportunities and broaden their horizons.
  • Making sure female employees have access to international opportunities, as there are still assumptions women will not want to use opportunities abroad, despite the excellent development this provides. In addition, it has been noted that workers with families can be more successful on expatriate assignments.
  • Making sure support for staff during times of promotion or role change is better and equal.
  • Making HR policies more family-friendly. We as women are mothers, daughters, community and church leaders and wives and thus we need these policies to encompass everything that we are

Us women, in turn, could also help ourselves by making our intentions known, as many senior leaders assume we would not want to take on roles higher up the ladder.

We could also do more to push ourselves forward for multinational assignments to counteract preconceptions of “feminine behaviour”.

Similarly, women in the workplace need to be more proactive and not wait for opportunities to land in their laps.

Formal and informal networks have a large role to play in helping men gain influence and access to high-ranking positions, as women we often find it difficult to break into male networks and there were few networks available specifically for women. Furthermore, the scarcity of women in senior positions means that any networks that were formed were unlikely to be as effective as those of men.

More of us women suffer from a lack of self-confidence than men do.  Low self-confidence hampers our career progression in several ways.

We are less likely than men to make speculative job applications for posts for which we do not consider ourselves fully qualified; self-confidence is also a factor in the significantly lower salaries negotiated, on average, by women compared to men.  As women we are more likely than men to be averse to self-promotion, which also impacts negatively on progression and rewards.

Coaching could help with confidence building, with providing a sounding board for ideas and for dealing with organisational cultures.

At the same time, it could improve our networking capabilities, help us to identify our vision, values and goals, give us better access to development opportunities and assist us in making the right impression.

Finally, ongoing coaching could help us to cope with a new role, encourage achievement of specific goals, juggle any work-life balance and, ultimately, allow us to focus on what is personally important and what our unique genius and calling is.

Coaching should be offered as early as possible, as well as at key career transition points, and that coaching for men who are the key gatekeepers to board-level positions – should focus on what they can do to help move more women into senior positions.

On a lighter note, as mothers we should raise our sons to be the type of men that we would like our daughters to marry and we should raise our daughters to be the type of wives we would like our sons to marry.


Let’s draw from the wisdom, knowledge, teachings and inspiration from women who have already walked the journey.

In our day-to-day lives, the virtue of courage doesn’t receive much attention by women. Courage is a quality reserved for soldiers, fire-fighters, and activists. Security is what matters most today.

Perhaps you were taught to avoid being too bold or too brave. It’s too dangerous. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Don’t draw attention to yourself in public. Follow family traditions. Don’t talk to strangers. Keep an eye out for suspicious people. Stay safe.

But a side effect of overemphasizing the importance of personal security in your life is that it can cause you to live reactively. Instead of setting your own goals, making plans to achieve them, and going after them with gusto, you play it safe. Keep working at the stable job, even though it doesn’t fulfill you. Remain in the unsatisfying relationship, even though you feel dead inside compared to the passion you once had. Who are you to think that you can buck the system? Accept your lot in life, and make the best of it. Go with the flow, and don’t rock the boat. Your only hope is that the currents of life will pull you in a favourable direction.

No doubt there exist real dangers in life you must avoid. But there’s a huge gulf between recklessness and courage. I’m not referring to the heroic courage required to risk your life to save someone from a burning building. By courage I mean the ability to face down those imaginary fears and reclaim the far more powerful life that you’ve denied yourself. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of going broke. Fear of being alone. Fear of humiliation. Fear of public speaking. Fear of being ostracized by family and friends. Fear of physical discomfort. Fear of regret. Fear of success.

How many of these fears are holding you back? How would you live if you had no fear at all? You’d still have your intelligence and common sense to safely navigate around any real dangers, but without feeling the emotion of fear, would you be more willing to take risks, especially when the worst case wouldn’t actually hurt you at all? Would you speak up more often, talk to more strangers, ask for more sales, dive headlong into those ambitious projects you’ve been dreaming about? What if you even learned to enjoy the things you currently fear? What kind of difference would that make in your life?

Have you previously convinced yourself that you aren’t really afraid of anything… that there are always good and logical reasons why you don’t do certain things? It would be rude to introduce yourself to a stranger. You shouldn’t attempt public speaking because you don’t have anything to say. Asking for a raise would be improper because you’re supposed to wait until the next formal review. They’re just rationalizations though – think about how your life would change if you could confidently and courageously do these things with no fear at all.

Courageous people are still afraid, but they don’t let the fear paralyze them. People who lack courage will give into fear more often than not, which actually has the long-term effect of strengthening the fear. When you avoid facing a fear and then feel relieved that you escaped it, this acts as a psychological reward that reinforces the mouse-like avoidance behaviour, making you even more likely to avoid facing the fear in the future. So the more you avoid asking someone out on a date, the more paralyzed you’ll feel about taking such actions in the future. You are literally conditioning yourself to become more timid and mouse-like.

Such avoidance behaviour causes stagnation in the long run. As you get older, you reinforce your fear reactions to the point where it’s hard to even imagine yourself standing up to your fears. You begin taking your fears for granted; they become real to you. You cocoon yourself into a life that insulates you from all these fears: a stable but unhappy marriage, a job that doesn’t require you to take risks, an income that keeps you comfortable. Then you rationalize your behaviour: You have a family to support and can’t take risks, you’re too old to shift careers, you can’t lose weight because you have “fat” genes. Five years… ten years… twenty years pass, and you realize that your life hasn’t changed all that much. You’ve settled down. All that’s really left now is to live out the remainder of your years as contently as possible and then settle yourself into the ground, where you’ll finally achieve total safety and security.

But there’s something else going on behind the scenes, isn’t there? That tiny voice in the back of your mind recalls that this isn’t the kind of life you wanted to live. It wants more, much more. It wants you to become far wealthier, to have an outstanding relationship, to get your body in peak physical condition, to learn new skills, to travel the world, to have lots of wonderful friends, to help people in need, to make a meaningful difference.

So how do you respond to this voice that won’t shut up? What do you do when confronted by that gut feeling that something just isn’t right in your life?

What’s your favourite way to silence it? Maybe drown it out by watching TV, listening to the radio, working long hours at an unfulfilling job, or consuming alcohol and caffeine and sugar.

But whenever you do this, you lower your level of consciousness. You sink closer towards an instinctive animal and move away from becoming a fully conscious human being.

The way out of this vicious cycle is to summon your courage and confront that inner voice. Find a place where you can be alone with pen and paper (or computer and keyboard). Listen to that voice, and face up to what it’s telling you, no matter how difficult it is to hear.

See if you can reduce that voice to just a single word or two. What is it telling you to do? Leave. Speak. Write. Exercise. Move on. Let go.

Now you have to take the difficult step of consciously acknowledging that this is what you really want. It’s OK if you don’t think it’s possible for you. Now you have to take the difficult step of consciously acknowledging that this is what you really want. It’s OK if you don’t think it’s possible for you. It’s OK if you don’t see how you could ever have it. But don’t deny that you want it. You lower your consciousness when you do that. When you look at your overweight body, admit that you really want to be fit and healthy. When you light up that next cigarette, don’t deny that you want to be a non-smoker. When you meet the potential mate of your dreams, don’t deny that you’d love to be in a relationship with that person.

Get yourself out of denial. Move instead to a place where you admit, “I really do want this, but I just don’t feel I currently have the ability to get it.”

Now that you’ve acknowledged some things you’ve been afraid to face, how do you feel? You probably still feel paralyzed against taking action. That’s OK.

The most important point I want you to learn from this is that real courage is a mental skill, not an emotional one. Neurologically it means using the thinking neocortex part of your brain to override the emotional limbic impulses. In other words, you use your human intelligence, logic, and independent will to overcome the limitations you’ve inherited as an emotional mammal.

Courage, however, doesn’t require that you take drastic action in these situations. Courage is a learned mental skill that you must condition, just as weight training strengthens your muscles.

So grab a piece of paper, and write down one of your fears that you’d like to overcome. Then number from one to ten, and write out ten variations of this fear, with number one being the least anxiety-producing and number ten being the most anxiety-producing. This is your fear hierarchy.

Now start by setting a goal to complete number one on your list. Once you’ve had that success (and success in this case simply means taking action, regardless of the outcome), then move on to number two, and so on, until you’re ready to tackle number ten or you just don’t feel the fear is limiting you anymore.

By following this progressive training process, you’ll accomplish two things. You’ll cease reinforcing the fear/avoidance response that you exhibited in the past. And you’ll condition yourself to act more courageously in future situations.

Fear is not your enemy. It is a compass pointing you to the areas where you need to grow. So when you encounter a new fear within yourself, celebrate it as an opportunity for growth, just as you would celebrate reaching a new personal best with strength training.

No matter how difficult it may seem, make the choice to live consciously. Do not succumb to that half-conscious realm of fear-based thinking, filling your life with distractions to avoid facing what you feel in those silent spaces between your thoughts. Either exercise your human endowment of courage and progressively build the strength to face your deepest, darkest fears to live as the powerful being you truly are, or admit that your fears are too much for you, and embrace life as a mouse

Don’t die without embracing the daring adventure your life is meant to be. You may go broke. You may experience failure and rejection repeatedly. You may endure multiple dysfunctional relationships. But these are all milestones along the path of a life lived courageously. They are your private victories, carving a deeper space within you to be filled with an abundance of joy, happiness, and fulfillment. So go ahead and feel the fear – then summon the courage to follow your dreams anyway. That is strength undefeatable.

Let’s not die with a song in our hearts

Drawing from the wisdom of Bronnie Ware:

After too many years of unfulfilling work, Bronnie Ware began searching for a job with heart.  Despite having no formal qualifications or experience, she found herself in palliative care.  Over the years she has tended to the needs of those who were dying.  Bronnie’s life was transformed.  Later, she wrote an Internet blog about the most common regrets expressed to her by the people she had cared for.

These are the 5 regrets of the dying as witnessed by Bronnie:

  • I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
  • I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
  • I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
  • I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
  • I wish I had let myself be happier

As we walk out of here let us remember the wise words of the Chinese Philosopher, Confucius:

When the heart is set right, then the personal life is cultivated.  When the personal life is cultivated then the home life is regulated.  When the home life is regulated, then the national life is orderly.  And when the national life is orderly, then the world is at peace.

Let us take the S: drive together to our unique DNA

  • Savour the moment
  • Sense the wonder in now
  • Sing your song
  • Service is key
  • Sound your strength
  • Shape up for the marathon of life
  • Strengthen your resources
  • Stand up and be counted
  • Satisfy your thirst for life
  • Seal your divine contract
  • Share your wisdom
  • Stop and listen:  Smell the roses
  • Soothe your inner self daily
  • Sparkle and shine your light
  • Steer yourself in the right direction
  • Spray your genius generously
  • Stretch your mind, body and soul
  • Strip away the small stuff
  • Strokes of grace in everything you do
  • Switch to the truth

Love, Light and Laughter.  It is Done.  Let it Be and So Be it

Source: Odyssey Magazine

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