Resilient Kids? Let Them Play Outdoor

woman-and-child-playing-in-snow_Photo by Victoria Borodinova
Photo by Victoria Borodinova

Life opens up opportunities to you, and you either take them or you stay afraid of taking them. – Jim Carrey

Why do schools keep children indoors during recreation when the temperature gets too cold? Why do we avoid going out with our children if it rains or a strong wind blows? It seems an obvious statement, but children today no longer play outdoors as they used to, especially when the weather conditions are harsh.

What kind of adult will create this kind of childhood experience? What kind of adult are we today?

We all, and perhaps mothers, in particular, tend to remove most of the challenges, risks and obstacles from our children’s lives in an attempt to prevent something terrible and painful from happening.

Let’s think about the time our children spend playing at home and the time they spend playing outside: as little kids, depending on our work needs, we take them to the park to play more often, but as soon as they get older we let them play at home, where the children find the fun in TV, computer or video games.

Children who play outdoors, especially in adverse weather conditions, are more optimistic, more active and more adaptable. Why? Because they face challenges and find ways to overcome them; it’s nothing special for them. That’s normal.

It used to be normal for children to be outdoors

Adverse weather creates risks, both real and perceived, and risk creates challenges and opportunities for growth. Risks have indeed real consequences that require us to be aware of ourselves, the others and the environment. However, this kind of risk is a rare opportunity for children nowadays.

We probably received this kind of education ourselves, I certainly did. I remember well that I couldn’t go out if it were raining and cold, but I loved to walk in the rain with an umbrella and jump over puddles. Today I realize that I carry the burden of these conditioning believes, but I also learned to play with my kids, and to explore, to make every manifestation of nature fun. I took them, when they were just babies, to the beach even though it was windy, I dressed them well and took them outside in the snow, and today I take them to see the stormy sea. I do it despite everyone telling me not to do it because it’s dangerous.

Amazing Things Happen Outside

cute-little-girl-playing-with-stones-on-log-on-shore_Photo by Tatiana Syrikova
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova

We cannot pass on our fears and anxieties to our children. All we have to do is dress appropriately and then go out, to play or to walk around exploring a new place. In this way, we can help our children grow adaptable, creative, positive, aware, and above all, resilient; elements they will need to face their future positively.

What Is Resilience?

The term resilience comes from the Latin resiliens and means “jump back, bounce”. In physics, it means the ability of a material to absorb a shock without breaking. This term is used in psychology and indicates an individual’s ability to face and overcome a traumatic event or period of difficulty.

A great way to raise resilient children is to tell them fairy tales. Fairy tales are all about resilience; all fairy tale characters find themselves going through dramatic situations and face, albeit with fear and weakness, what they have in front of them.

This is what we must do: strengthen our resistance, our courage, our humanity and pass them on to our children.

Resilience Fairy Tale

I have chosen to tell you this fairytale by Guido Gozzano because it is about the love for life. Sometimes love for the other requires a separation, like us from our children, and this distance, even if painful, makes us grow as a person. It also speaks of snow and cold, and so we can venture out with our children even in lousy weather to discover the magic of nature. I have simplified and freely translated the fairytale from the original version (which you can find here https://mammaoca.com/2019/04/17/nevina-e-fiordaprile-di-guido-gozzano/)

Nevina and Fiordaprile by Guido Gozzano

young-woman-in-snow_Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

A princess called Nevina (= Little Snowie) lived with her father January.

Up there on the highest mountains, far from men, King January would prepare the snow; Nevina would model it and put it in a cornucopia, then, when the cornucopia was full, she would empty it according to her father’s command at the four points on the horizon. And the snow would spread over the world.

Nevina was as beautiful as a goddess, her hair was as bright as the North Star, her face and hands were brightening white, and her eyes were blue like glaciers.

Nevina was sad.

During the break, when Father January was asleep, Nevina leaned against the ice balustrades and stared at the distant horizon, dreaming.

One day, a wounded swallow, crossing the mountains to the Lands of the Sun, had fallen into her hands. Nevina had tried in vain to comfort it; in the shivers of agony, the swallow had deliriously sighed the sea, the flowers, the palm trees, the endless spring. And from that day on, Nevina dreamt of lands never seen before.

One night, while January was sleeping, she decided to leave. She passed cautiously over the flowing beard of January, left the ice and snow, and began to descend the mountain. She moved among the fir trees and the gnomes, who saw her passing, interrupted the dances, and asked her:

– Nevina! Where are you going?

– Nevina, dance with us!

– Nevina, do not leave us!

Even the Good Spirits tried to hold her, hugging her ankles, trying to imprison her light feet in ivy and fern branches.

Nevina smiled, deaf to the loving calls; took a little snow from the silver cornucopia, spread it around, and continued on the path, feeling bright, light and cheerful.

She came to the valley, on the main road.

The air was getting milder. A sense of breathlessness overwhelmed Nevina’s heart; to breathe, she removed some snow from the cornucopia, spread it around so that she could find strength and breath in the icy air.

She continued fast, travelled a long way, and at a crossroads she stopped, her eyes dazzled. An unknown space opened before her, a blue and endless space, like another sky lying on the ground, and waved at the edges by invisible hands. Nevina continued in amazement. The earth around her changed. Anemones, carnations, mimosas, violets, daffodils, hyacinths, jasmine were endless among the houses and trees.

Nevina turned her ecstatic eyes on things she had never seen before, and forgot to spread the snow; then the wheezing took her back, so she took the snow and formed a zone of white flakes and icy air around her that gave her breath back. The flowers, the olive trees, the palms looked with wonder at the diaphanous young girl who flew in a snow whirlwind and shivered at her passing.

A beautiful young man appeared before Nevina, staring at her with restless eyes, forbidding her to step:

– Who are you?

– I am Nevina. Daughter of January.

– Don’t you know, then, that this is not your father’s kingdom? I am Fiordaprile (=April Flower), and you are not allowed to advance on my lands. Go back to your glacier, for your sake and mine!

Nevina stared at the prince with such pleading and sweet eyes that Fiordaprile felt moved.

– Fiordaprile, let me advance! I’ll stay only a little while. I want to touch the flowers, I want to dip my fingers in that upside-down sky that you call the sea!

Fiordaprile looked at her smiling; and said yes:

– Let’s go, then. I’ll show you my kingdom.

They went on together, holding hands, staring each other in the eyes, and fell in love. But as Nevina was advancing, a grey area blurred the blue of the sky, a whirlwind of white flakes covered the beautiful gardens. They passed into a festive village; peasants danced under the blossoming almond trees. Nevina wanted Fiordaprile to make her dance: so they did, but people dispersed with a shudder, the music stopped, the air became frosty, and from the sky began to descend the icy petals of the snow that Nevina spread as she passed. The two of them had to flee among the peasants’ grievances. When they arrived not far away, they saw the village rejoicing again under the clear sky.

– Nevina, I want to marry you!

– Your subjects won’t want a frosty queen.

– It doesn’t matter. I will do it.

They advanced further, but suddenly Nevina stopped, covering herself with a more translucent pallor.

– Fiordaprile! Fiordaprile! …I’m out of snow!

And she tried with her fingers – in vain – the bottom of the cornucopia.

– Fiordaprile! …I feel like I’m dying! .. . Take me to the border…

Nevina would bend over; she’d fall apart. Fiordaprile tried to support her, took her in his arms, carried her running towards the valley.

– Nevina! Nevina!

Nevina did not answer. She became more and more diaphanous, and her face was as transparent as a bubble about to disappear.

– Nevina! Answer me!

Fiordaprile covered it with a silk cloak to defend her from the burning sun, continued running, arrived in the valley, to entrust her to the North Wind.

But when he lifted the cloak, Nevina was no longer there. Fiordaprile looked around, lost and trembling. Where was she? He raised his hands to his face in despair; then his gaze lit up. He saw Nevina on the other side of the valley, waving her hand outstretched in a smiling and sad farewell.

An old tutor of hers, the North Wind, pushed her along the snowy paths, towards the eternal ice, towards the inaccessible kingdom of her father January.

Everything you do is for the kids. Mothers do everything for their children.

Being afraid is a natural feeling, but the protagonists of fairy tales are always ready to start over. Why? Because they live following an unconditional love; because they consider existence itself magical and divine. The unexpected happens all the time, but it’s up to us to overcome it, and maybe we will find a sudden and unforeseen help where we wouldn’t have received it if we had been frightened and stuck in complaining and commiserating ourselves.

Then, let us overcome our fears, and accompany our children on the journey of life without depriving them of the dangers and risks, which teach us so much.

Now it’s your turn: abandon your fears, live life with a little magic and think about changing your existence, perhaps you could explore the digital landscape and launch your new career. Why not? There are plenty of opportunities to reinvent yourself so that you can finally have that time for adventures with your children while you still work and make your career in the background. Sign up HERE to get the Free Training and my motivational newsletters, which aim to unleash the positive energy and superpowers you already have inside you.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
https://mammaoca.com/2019/04/17/nevina-e-fiordaprile-di-guido-gozzano/
https://mammaoca.com/casa/

The Witch Within Us

shallow-focus-photo-of-woman-with-face-art-3163994_Photo by Paul Kerby Genil
Photo by Paul Kerby Genil

There is no animal more invincible than a woman, nor fire either, or any wildcat so ruthless. (Aristophanes)


The truth is, witches still exist. They never ceased to exist.

Men have tried by every means to destroy them, but they’ve never succeeded and never will, because the witch-woman is a fundamental element of this planet, like air and water.

Who are the witches? We can consider them in a folkloristic or childish sense as monstrous, grotesque and evil beings. Still, in reality, witches are women who cannot and do not want to conform to specific models imposed by society, if these constraints go against their deepest instincts.

The Woman And The Fire

woman-holds-lighted-sparkler-3135232_Photo by Rahul Pandit
Photo by Rahul Pandit

Originally there were matriarchal societies, the first divinities were statues of prosperous female figures, representing the concepts of life, abundance, birth and inner power. Fire, an element worshipped since ancient times, was often guarded and kept alive by women.

In Ancient Greece, there was a goddess who is now almost totally forgotten: Hestia (Vesta for the Romans). Hestia is the guardian of the fire, the accomplished woman who perceives her body as a temple and gives herself entirely. She is the shelter from darkness, protector of the hearth, and keeper of the secrets of fire. Her sexuality is free and selfless because she can light the fire; she doesn’t need a man to do it. Her symbol is the circle, which is a complete element, in the middle of which she welcomes other people to warm and comfort them.

Hestia ‘s flame never dies. It is the mystical fire from which all stories are born, Hestia is also the goddess of the stories around the hearth; the goddess of secret traditions, initiatory tales and ancient wisdom. This goddess is mysterious and forgotten, but in reality, her voice is always inside every woman, her warmth is what drives us not to fear anything, to endure pain, loneliness, and teaches us the art of love.

Hestia, like other powerful female divinities, has been forgotten because the destructive action of patriarchal society has imposed a strict and radical code of conduct. The concepts of giving, of listening, of universal love, have been replaced by war, conquests, ambition and passion for temporal power.

Over the centuries, patriarchal society has continuously tried to repress women and has relegated them to two rigid and opposing stereotypes: the angelic image of the mother (see the Virgin Mary), and the distorted image of the witch.

Such a sharp division of female identity has caused the cultural loss of women’s power and spirituality.

Witch Hunt

bonfire-burning-campfire-fire-270815
Photo by Pixabay

In Europe alone, as a result of Inquisition trials, there were nine million witches killed between 1500 and 1800; and there were witch trials also elsewhere, just remember the witches of Salem in what is now the United States or Joan of Arc in England.

The accusation of sorcery and heresy was addressed to those women who did not conform to the models imposed by society, and in particular, to the healers: in fact, only men could practise medicine.

The witches’ curse, therefore, lay in the knowledge. Witches were herbalists, midwives and body healers; they were free spirits, confident and fed by the flame of Hestia; they did not accept to be relegated to the submissive figure of being weak and silent. Witches spoke loudly or whispered true, and therefore, frightening words. All these are subversive elements of society.

The followers of sorcery have never worshipped the devil (not even today!). Satan is a figure created by the first Jewish and Christian sects and destined to debate with God about ethics and morals, to distinguish good from evil conceptually.

The witch-woman embodies the nature and the original power of the woman. Ann Belford Ulanov, Professor of Psychiatry and Religion, defines the woman as “the witch bursting with energy”, in a spasmodic search for the meaning of life.

The witch’s primary impulse is to be herself, to express herself freely and without limits, to seek the flame within herself and finally bring it to the surface.

Are You A Witch?

I am, or better, I am desperately trying to bring out the witch inside me, so long dormant and buried by years of conforming convictions that I thought were right. I diligently followed a path that had been traced for me, and in the end, also by myself, because for so long, I considered it appropriate, necessary. As a kid, I was really convinced that I was a witch; still, that sense of rebellion and life-force died out in years of work (not particularly loved) and due to the daily difficulties: children, duties, bills, responsibilities. Only recently, the goddess Hestia whispered in my ears to wake me up; she called me to feed the flame and recognize my inner strength.

Do you think I’m crazy? I’m not. After all, who are the witches?

  • They are independent women who love the freedom of expression and whose capacity for introspection is surprising, often frightening.
  • The witch-woman loves animals and especially cats, from which she draws energy, connection with deep instincts and relaxation. The cat has always been considered a sacred animal (see the Ancient Egyptians) because it is magical: it can be a bridge between this dimension and the world of the spirits.
  • The witch-woman loves the woods, gardens, flowers and plants. She feels good in the green because it’s part of her soul.
  • The witch-woman loves rainbows, but also rain, storms and thunderstorms: all the intense manifestations of mother earth that help connection and communication.
  • The witch-woman needs moments of solitude and silence and meditation to recharge and connect.
  • The witch-woman has a troubled emotional life, marked by pain, depression, sadness but also by the constant search for balance and self-awareness, which will eventually lead her to wisdom.
  • The witch-woman thinks with her head, and she will clash against the rules, the patriarchal society, the impositions.
  • The witch-woman lives on empathy, compassion and sharing. She talks and knows how to listen; she cries, despairs and laughs again, always reborn and renewed.
  • Witches are women on the path to constant evolution.

Sorcery is one of the oldest natural religions and represents a real lifestyle.

If we learn to feed the goddess Hestia who lives as an archetype within each one of us, we will achieve a profound inner balance. Hestia is the goddess of silence and light. Her voice can be heard in the crackling of the fire, and if we enter her magic circle, we can increase our inner strength. If we learn to free the woman-witch within us, we will be able to embark on our journey towards what we want to achieve, with determination.

We need to devote time to our inner fire. Let’s not let our temple become cold and desolate. Let’s melt the trapped emotions with our flame and let them flow, and with them, let us get rid of constraints and limiting thoughts.

On my path towards evolution and self-improvement, I decided to free myself from the shackles of a job I didn’t like and forced me to trade my time for money. I chose to work for myself and build my new career, using one of the most powerful means we have at our disposal: the Internet.

If you also want to reinvent yourself and try to be free and self-confident, register here to get the FREE Workshop. We will teach you step-by-step how to start your online business. Anything is possible if you decide to do it.

Women must always remember who they are and what they can do. They should not be afraid to cross the endless fields of irrationality, nor should they be afraid to hang on the stars at night, leaning against the balcony of the sky. They must not be scared of the darkness that sinks things, because that darkness frees a multitude of treasures. That darkness which they, free and proud, know as no man will ever know. (Virginia Woolf)

The Power Of Your Thoughts

Ocean -Photo by Emiliano Arano
Ocean -Photo by Emiliano Arano

The time spent listening to yourself, and getting into your thoughts is helpful – it’s an excellent approach for personal growth and creativity.

However, getting “in our head” can sometimes be hazardous; this happens if we follow negative thoughts.

We must be aware of the critical difference between introspection and rumination.

Introspection is a useful process of self-reflection and exploration, which is good for our well-being and our brain.

Rumination, on the other hand, can spiral us into a vicious circle of negative thinking that holds us back and hurts us severely.

What Is The Rumination?

Physically, it is a characteristic function of Ruminants, for which the food, after brief chewing, is conveyed into the first gastric compartment (rumen) and then rejected into the mouth where it undergoes a second, more accurate chewing.

Psychologically, rumination is a cognitive process characterised by a dysfunctional and maladaptive style of thinking that focuses primarily on internal emotional states and their negative consequences.

Thus, we take back our negative thoughts and turn them over and over in our heads, without advancing in any direction, but remaining stuck in negativity.

Our Constructive Self vs Our Destructive Self

Woman's Face -Photo by Nicolette Attree
Woman’s Face -Photo by Nicolette Attree

Each of us often has two attitudes: a constructive one, which is our desire to achieving a goal and positive self-assertion, and a destructive one, which is our self-critical, self-destructive, paranoid and suspicious side.

This inner criticism sometimes takes over our thinking and leads us to rumination. Rumination is dangerous because it leads to depression, anxiety and unhappiness.

When we find ourselves in this downward spiral, we absolutely must strive to avoid ruminating. We can use various tools to make us stop as soon as possible. First of all, we must be able to understand that we are entering into rumination. How? By analysing three factors:

1- If my thought is abstract and does not lead to action but leads me into other thoughts, then that thought is negative;

2- If the content of my thought is purely verbal, I do not visualise images but I “see” only words in my mind, then that thought is negative.

3- If my thought is repetitive and focuses only on adverse events that have happened or may happen, then that thought is negative.

It is not easy to understand when we are slipping into the spiral, but we can ask ourselves simple questions:

  • What is this thought bringing me?
  • Do I need it?
  • Does it help me get out of this problem?
  • Does this thought correspond to reality?

Mindfulness

Water -Photo by Ian Turnell
Water -Photo by Ian Turnell

Mindfulness is another healthy practice that we can adopt and which not only improves our quality of life but also extends its duration. Practically an elixir of life! When we learn to meditate, we learn to choose our thoughts. Therefore, we can move away from our destructive side better.

At first, this can be quite a challenge, because our inner critical voice enters our thoughts without us realising it. We can, for example, sit in meditation and start thinking, “You don’t have time for this. “It won’t help.” “You won’t make it.” Our inner critical voice may also attack our efforts to meditate or control our thoughts. “You’re terrible at this.” “You can’t stand still for even a minute.” “You’ll never be able to relax.”

Faced with this situation, we must persevere and practice. A few minutes every day, until we learn to be aware and to recognise our thoughts.

As my mentor says, we can even give these thoughts a nickname. Here it comes Miss I Know Everything, here it comes Mrs I’m Not Good Enough, here it comes Mrs I’m Cracking Everything, etc. This is fun!

When we recognise these thoughts, we can welcome them and let them pass: imagine we are in a room, we welcome our guests and let them move in the garden. Then, if we want, we decide to chat with our best guests, the charismatic and inspiring ones.

When we dedicate ourselves and meditate, we must always look for an attitude that is called COAL by Dr Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA. COAL means curious, open, accepting and loving.

In this way, we give meaning and direction to our lives without falling victim to the inner criticism that holds us back and prevents us from achieving balance, fulfilment and, in the end, happiness.

The Cat And The Mouse

Cat and Mouse
Cat and Mouse

Tarthang Tulku, a Buddhist expert, claims that when we reflect internally on ourselves, we react similarly to that of a hungry cat watching mice. Just like the hungry cat, we end up “swooping in” on any information that comes into our heads without questioning its validity”.

Asking the right questions is another tool that helps us get closer to introspection and move away from rumination.

  • To develop self-awareness, one must build a habit of asking what and not why.

When we ask ourselves “why”, we put ourselves in the position of “victim” and focus on our limits. When we ask ourselves “what”, instead we stimulate our curiosity and focus on the aspects that we can modify to achieve a more functional result.

Example: Instead of asking myself, “Why am I feeling stressed today?”, I’ll ask myself, “What am I feeling right now?” What can I do to feel better?”

I’ve always asked myself a lot of questions, too many probably, and I was for years prey to unhappiness because there were things in my life that I didn’t like and I didn’t know how to change them. I lacked the courage and the energy to do it.

Everything changed when I started asking the right questions and patiently searching for the answers. Still, now I fall into rumination, especially at night, but now I know how to recognise my “negative guests”, and I know how to find the strength to let them out into the garden.

Discover how I changed my life.

Gender Pay Gap: Why Women Are Paid Less

boy-and-girl-cutout-decals-1386336_Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels
Gender Pay Gap – Photo by Magda Ehlers

Recently, the Gender Pay Gap has attracted media attention. The 2018 MeTooMovement, which began in protest against harassment and sexual assault, led to the analysis of gender inequalities in the workplace in 2019, including not only pay disparity but also barriers to the advancement of women in leadership.

Facts: Women employed in the workforce:

  • are less than men;
  • earn less than men;
  • work about six more hours per week (between paid and unpaid work);
  • are forced to take more time off work to take care of children;
  • are still excluded from management roles;

According to a study by the International Labour Organization (ILO) conducted in around 70 countries – covering 80% of the world’s workers population – women earn on average 20% less than men.

Fact: In all countries of the world and most sectors, women are still paid less than men. This pay gap continues to represent one of the most widespread social injustices in the world.

What is Gender Pay Gap?

The Gender Pay Gap is the difference in salary between men and women and refers to the average annual wage of women, compared to men, for the same job.

The Gender Pay Gap is very complicated because different countries often use different indicators (for example, some countries measure salaries on an hourly basis, others on a weekly or monthly basis).

When they consider only the average salary of men and female, the Gender Pay Gap is called unadjusted. If, on the other hand, they take into account other factors that contribute to the gap – such as access to education, type of employment, number of working hours – the Gender Pay Gap is called adjusted.

According to a 2018 study, the average (unadjusted) Gender Pay Gap in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries is 13.4%.

Three lies they often tell us.

1. “Women earn less because they are in less skilled and therefore less well-paid jobs.”

Wrong! Women are paid less to do the same work as men, at all professional levels. The wage difference occurs in all sectors and types of employment. In general, the higher the professional qualification, the wider the gap.

2. “Often, women work part-time, which is why they earn less money.”

Wrong! The wage gap between men and women is calculated on a gross hourly basis. Working fewer hours a week means taking less money home at the end of the month, not earning less money every hour. Moreover, part-time work for women is not always a choice but comes from the need to take care of children and the family.

3. “Men study more; that’s why they do more paid jobs.”

Wrong! Today, 60% of graduates in Europe are women. In the United States, 36.6% of women have a degree, compared with 35.4% represented by men. But studying is not enough to reach the level attributed to men; management positions are reserved for men.

These aspects affect career opportunities and raise several questions about the distribution of the workload (paid and unpaid) between gender.

Recently published data tend to make us feel discouraged, but there is hope!

woman-holding-book-3747246_Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels
Girl Boss – Photo by Polina Zimmerman

Two very virtuous countries have already taken the path of real equality between men and women in the workplace: Iceland and Rwanda.

Iceland has become the first country in the world to enforce equal pay.

Iceland was the first state to elect a female president directly, and today the prime minister is a woman. Almost half of the deputies and company directors are women. Childcare centres and parental leave ensure that nearly four out of five women have a job.

Fríða Rós Valdimarsdóttir is the chair of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association; this association was instrumental in preparing a plan that led Iceland to become the first country in the world to impose equal pay legally.

As of January 2018, a law is in force according to which any public or private body, which employs more than 25 people, must demonstrate that there is no wage disparity between male and female employees. It must prove this through certification, which must be submitted every three years; in the event of non-compliance, the company will face costly daily fines.

Other countries also provide equal pay for equal work through human rights legislation, but the reality shows very disappointing data. Iceland was the first country to pass a specific law imposing rules and fines, making it possible to achieve true equality.

Rwanda beats the United States (and Europe) in gender equality.

About two decades ago, some 800,000 Rwandans dramatically died in just three months because of civil war. In the wake of these horrific events, women accounted for between 60 and 70% of the surviving population. They had no choice but to fill the roles once occupied by men.

A similar trend had occurred during the Second World War – when men went to war, the demand for female workers increased significantly, as did wages. But once the war was over, things quickly returned to normal. What did Rwanda do differently? It implemented policies to help keep women in employment.

Today, 86% of Rwandan women are employed, compared with 56% of women in the United States. In Rwanda, women earn 88 cents for every dollar that men earn; in the United States, only 74 cents.

Women in Rwanda benefit from three months of paid maternity leave (there is no such thing as paid maternity leave in the United States).  Women’s political participation in Rwanda is very high, thanks to a law that has required women to make up 30% of parliamentarians for the last 20 years. In the United States, it will take 500 years for women to achieve equal representation in politics.

Why is political representation so important? Because, when women work in politics, they put essential issues on the table that would otherwise be neglected. This event has a significant dragging effect for the benefit of women from all walks of life.

These actions can help create greater awareness and pave the way for fair gender pay.

For example:

  • Implementing pay transparency: knowing the salaries of all employees can reveal prejudices and stereotypes in organisations’ pay structures and enable employers and social partners to take tangible action towards equal pay.
  • Ensuring equal access to education: it is crucial to provide girls with accurate information about career options even in fields not traditionally associated with women. For example, by promoting science subjects among girls.
  • Supporting families: childcare and parental leave. Women are still primarily responsible for raising children; childcare costs prevent women all over the world from entering or re-entering the labour market and participating in politics. Therefore, childcare must be of the highest quality, and the state must also finance the cost. Parental leave must be shared and fairly rewarded. If men have the same opportunity to take a break from work to care for their children, the current structural discrimination decreases and motherhood is not a penalty.

I do hope that this process will accelerate over the next decade because there is no point in having to wait 500 years! It is ridiculous.

In the meantime, I invite you to think about investing in yourself, to break away from this system and professionally develop yourself in a free mode, not conditioned by society and full of personal satisfaction.

Think of a turning point and look at the digital landscape to reinvent yourself. The digital economy offers many opportunities, depending on everyone’s interests; it’s definitely the work of the future, so don’t risk to be left out and don’t remain behind men, again.

Click here to receive a Free Workshop that explains what opportunities you have and how to get started. Make a choice today!

“Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.” (Maya Angelou)

Women Most Powerful Weapon Is Inner Energy

Mother Earth. Image by @bktheartist Instagram
Mother Earth. Image by @bktheartist Instagram

“The healthy woman looks a lot like the wolf: vigorous, full of energy, great life force, capable of giving life, ready to defend the territory, inventive, loyal, wandering. Yet the separation from the wild nature makes the woman’s personality poor, thin, pale, ghostly.” —CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS

In recent centuries, women have believed that their role is passive by nature and men deserve a more active role. A woman is made to love, to feed, to heal, to cradle, to listen. Isn’t that right?

There is a truth that they have hidden from us (or have we forgotten it?): the woman is made to protect and defend, like the wolf, precisely, or the lioness, or the bear.

When a lioness wants to defend her cubs, she doesn’t do it passively. She attacks the predator without fear and with all her energy, no matter if the predator is a group of hyenas or the male lion itself.

We have long forgotten what the true nature of woman is. We must seek knowledge and inspiration in the past, in ancient matriarchal societies. And you know? There are some even in our times.

Ancient matriarchal societies

In our remote past, God was female. Throughout the Paleolithic, the primary divinity was female: In Europe and Asia, anthropologists found the so-called Venuses, abundant and pregnant women, symbols of regeneration and nourishment. The first sculpture of a goddess dates back 35,000 years; it is a pendant of ivory of mammoth, found in the cave of Hohle Fels, Germany. The figurine represents a fat woman with oversized breasts, large buttocks and an accentuated vulva.

In Neolithic times, and during the megalithic civilisations, again the chief divinity was female. Obese female deities were found among the Megaliths of Malta, where a civilisation built temples using large blocks of stone, in the 4th millennium BC. The megalithic settlements had no fortifications, a sign that the war was almost unknown. And they are not only found in Malta but also in today’s Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy and Central and Eastern Europe. Therefore, in old Europe, and not only that, there was a great civilisation before the Sumerians and the Greeks. A civilisation of women, equal, peaceful, who believed in a mother goddess.

The historian Johann Jacob Bachofen (1815-1887) assumed the past of humanity was matriarchal. He claimed that some Greek myths, for example, the Amazons or the story of Medusa, were not the result of psychological problems with the opposite sex, but the memory of real social conflicts, which then led to patriarchy (i.e. the domination of the male over the female). Bachofen believed that patriarchal society won when men took possession of the spiritual power reserved for women.

Dozens of ethnicities are still matriarchal today. For example, the Mosuo of Chinese Yunnan, the Bemba and Lapula of the forests of Central Africa, the Cuna Indians “isolated” off the coast of Panama, the Trobriandesi of Melanesia. And especially the Minangkabau of Sumatra, about 4 million people who still live today basing their society around the values of care and the needs of the community. The core of their organisation is life, not power.

How to recover this now forgotten ancestral bond?

Mother Nature-Canada Picture by Alamy
Mother Nature -Canada Picture by Alamy

We must retrieve the warrior within us. If we allow ourselves to meet the inner ego, to understand who we are, to harmonise the forces within us (male and female, active and passive), then we will respect our nature, and we will be able to live more authentic relationships.

We must dig within ourselves and understand, reveal, bring it to the surface. It is a complicated, painful, but powerful introspective work. Eventually, it will not only benefit ourselves: by rebalancing ourselves we induce men and society as a whole to do the same. In every woman, there is a warrior, and her most potent weapon is her inner energy. Let’s learn how to get it out.

La profezia della Curandera”, by H. H. Mamani is a book that I read recently and that helps to understand and exploit this energy.

“A woman’s most powerful weapon is the inner energy that protects her and everyone she loves,” continued Mama Maru. “It is for this reason that you will have to learn to enter your inner world: only when you discover your true essence, you can use all your inner energy. You are strong and endowed with a lot of energy, which is why you belong to the group of women who can move the world. And yet you have a limit: you don’t know yourself yet, and as a result, you don’t accept yourself.” (H. H. Mamani)

The power of women is to respect and protect life while maintaining harmony between humankind and nature. The path to recovering this truth is complicated, but we can start by following seven teachings from “The Double Goddess: Women Sharing Power”, by Vicki Noble.

1. Respect your body and yourself

The soul is directly connected to the body and communicates through it. When we pollute and poison the body with chemicals and lousy food, or with negative images, or distorted ideas of women, we lose contact with the soul and get trapped in the physical cage of our body. A healthy body is naturally beautiful. At all ages. And it is our best ally in the search for the divine.

2. Challenges are the transformative path to rebirth

In life, we all go through some transformative experiences; often, these episodes are unpleasant or fearful. For example, the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job or an illness. If we let go, we change. This is transformation. It means living as conscious actors and not as spectator-victims of events.

3. The power flows through your hands

“All artists experience, to some extent, contact with the realm of the invisible during the process of artistic creation, and call it muse or inspiration.” Let’s learn to create: a song, a drawing, a dress, a cake, a blog post, a dance; the important thing is to follow the inspiration. It is an intuitive, authentic creative process that nourishes the Warrior Woman, the Woman-Wolf that is within us and that demands our attention with a loud voice.

4. Free your sexual energies from dogma

One of the main characteristics of the ancient female figurines found in archaeology is the evidence of their sexuality, which assumes it was both sacred and actively expressed. In modern society, women are defined primarily as sexual objects and/or reproductive machine; therefore, any process to transform a woman into a subject (not an object) questions her sexual role. Let’s get rid of stereotypes.

5. Intuition and instinct are parts of you: get to know them

Not listening to our intuition is a serious mistake: our instinct allows us to avoid dangerous situations and deceptive people and, above all, it guides us to find our way, to understand who we are and what “labels” do not belong to us.

6. Know the mysteries of the menstrual cycle

The menstrual cycle is ‘sacred’, not sinful. To awaken our feminine power, we need to regain contact with our menstrual cycle, know the mystery of the synchronicity between woman and Moon and the power of the tides and nature. Let’s not ignore it, let’s not hide it, let’s not blame malaise or irritability on crazy hormones. If we listen to our body, we will discover many surprising facts.

7. Responsibility, awareness and action as key points

We need to get in touch with our essence, our inner depth and our ability to act effectively in the world. The world will never be balanced until women can rediscover themselves, respect their nature, express themselves and take actions with freedom and awareness. Let’s take actions.

To free ourselves from the stereotypes and cages imposed by society, we have to learn, improve and release our creativity. To be very practical, today, the digital economy offers us the opportunity to express ourselves following (or finding) our passion.
Sign up here to get your Free Workshop to explore your potential and start your path towards transformation.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
La profezia della Curandera, by H. H. Mamani
The Double Goddess: Women Sharing Power, by Vicki Noble

From Comfort Zone to Learning Zone

Comfort Zone
Comfort Zone

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” (Neal Donald Walsch)

The comfort zone is a state of mind based on the repetitiveness of living conditions. It is a reassuring routine, made of choices that have become established habits challenging to change, precisely because of the feeling of utmost security they give us. Everything seems perfect; why should we change? Because there is a lot to lose in this condition. Living always in the comfort zone involves a slow and almost imperceptible waiver of change, and with it, we give up the possibility of having an active role in our life.

In short, we put ourselves in an existential cage.

To understand immediately what this means, just think of our personal history, or people close to us, or successful people: every significant success in life happens as a result of a change in the status quo.

Crossing the line that delimits our comfort zone is difficult, generates anxiety and insecurity and unleashes immense fears.

We proceed in tiny steps but with determination, aiming to find a balance between comfort and discomfort, the state that allows you to leave the comfort zone and enter the so-called Learning Zone. It is the zone where curiosity takes over, a sense of familiarity and security is left behind, and real growth begins.

In “The Power Of Moments“, Chip and Dan Heat explain how getting out of your comfort zone is essential to living memorable experiences, and to grow.

“Getting out of the comfort zone is no guarantee of success, but it allows us to learn, to discover what we can do, what we want to become and what we can endure […] success comes if we push ourselves towards the finish line. The intermediate stages are fundamental and stimulate us to give that push because, on the one hand, they are within reach, and on the other hand, they are worth reaching”.

The Learning Zone

The Four Circles
The Four Circles

The learning zone is an ideal zone for learning and self-improvement.

Imagine the comfort zone as a circle around us of varying sizes (depending on our adaptability and flexibility). Outside it there is another circle, larger and frightening: it contains our fears, everything that keeps us trapped in the first circle. Lack of self-esteem, negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, fear of failure, fear of the judgment, just to name a few. It’s a circle populated by our demons.

Getting out of this circle requires enormous courage, and first, we will experience chaos and stress.

What awaits us outside of it is another circle, the Learning Zone. The Learning Zone provides us with beneficial stress.

Nowadays, the term “stress” has taken on a negative connotation; in reality, it has not. It has allowed the evolution of the species, for example, by allowing our ancestors to escape ferocious animals. Within certain limits, therefore, it has positive aspects. Stress determines a total activation that helps us to improve, learn and brilliantly face new situations.

This third circle represents the optimal zone, the one where we can learn new things, improve, overcome our limits and make the best of our performance.

In this circle, we learn new skills, and above all, we reinvent ourselves. I think that in these trying times, plagued by the health emergency called COVID-19, entering this circle is not only essential but vital.

We are in an era of transition; everything is changing around us: travel, social relations, family relations and especially work. Thousands of people have already lost their jobs, and tens of thousands will lose them in the next two years. Some could manage to work from home.

Do you know why they call it “smart working”? The truth is that working from home is brilliant because it has many advantages, especially if you do it on your own. Don’t think about the inconveniences we’re experiencing today, mainly related to the closure of schools and the challenge of homeschooling. Think instead about the possibility of working from where you want and when you want; for yourself and without sacrificing your family. Is this a dream? Nope, it’s smart!

The first thing to explore when we are in the Learning Zone is the Digital Economy. COVID-19 only accelerated the process that already began, which leads to the slow but inexorable death of the traditional economy and the expansion of the digital economy. They call it the Fourth Industrial Revolution, so much so that it is impacting.

The Internet has changed the game. Usually, we call it: “cyberspace”, “worldwide web”, “blogosphere “, “big net”: the idea is that it is a vast space that surrounds and contains us. One of the most popular navigation systems is called “Gopher” (= go far), it means the Internet is projecting you far away.

Entering the Big Net means experiencing the almost magical sensation that the computer monitor is, as in some paintings by Magritte (cit. Marco Longo, psychoanalyst) a window on the world that allows a universal contact and dialogue and gives the idea that everything is possible.

Internet access activates or reactivates curiosity and the desire to experience new possibilities of learning and working. The Internet, thanks to its high degree of interactivity, provides a context in which we can reinvent ourselves and escalate; it increases the expressive abilities of each of us and provides us with a launching ramp.

Any activity (or passion) can be monetarized on the Internet: yoga classes, healthy eating, cooking classes, photography, sewing courses. E-commerce stores are now much more profitable than the traditional ones, we have seen this during the pandemic crisis, and be sure that this trend will continue to escalate.

Where The Magic Happens

Going back to our circles, outside the Learning Zone, there is, finally, the fourth circle: the one where the magic happens! We grow, we reach goals, we enrich ourselves, not only in material but also spiritual terms, we (re)find passion and finally live the life we have always dreamed!

The path through these circles is painful, and it starts with one great act of courage. You already know that your life depends on it. So, don’t give in to fear, take the courage and take the first step out of the comfort zone; book your Free Workshop here to start exploring new opportunities and reinvent yourself. You can do it!

“Courage Is A Muscle.
The more you demand it within yourself & take action, the more you grow and transform.” (Tony Robbins)

Ten Verbs To Start Your Journey To Self-Improvement

colorful-color-play-concentrationby Pixabay
Rubik’s Cube by Pixabay

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” (Aristotle)

The power of thought is real: every thought transforms into a physical state.

For example: if you have to face a frightening situation such as having an interview with your boss, a few hours earlier your body starts shaking; some tremble with fear, others sweat profusely or struggle to breathe.

Likewise, when we are about to meet our loved one, we feel joyful and excited even before we see her/him, we are exploding with joy!

Unfortunately, we are never fully aware of the power of thought and, above all, we ignore that, by directing thought, we can achieve significant improvements in our lives.

More often, however, we focus on everything wrong, and we manage to attract inevitable misfortunes, almost in the form of self-prophecy. We think we will experience suffering in the future, and we are already feeling it in the present.

The first step is to be aware of everything that happens inside us and lead our thinking towards the positive. The ability to create and focus internal images is one of the most powerful learning techniques available to us. Many studies show that an image kept alive in our mind tends to be perceived as real to the body.

Mental images produce effects in the body.

The major problem is to produce images that are truly meaningful and appropriate for effective brain communication.

The mind does not distinguish between an objective experience (really lived) and a subjective experience (powerfully imagined). Bearing this essential element in mind; therefore, we can organise our thoughts positively and improve or change certain personal habits. Of course, thinking is not enough to achieve concrete positive results. If all our thinking remains desire, then we live in anxiety. We need an intermediary, which is involvement. Through involvement, ideas come down to the material level and materialise. Involvement means action, through which the image is stored as if it were a real experience.

A first action we can take is to carefully choose the words to point the brain in a positive direction.

I especially like ten verbs, and I find them very useful on my journey towards personal self-improvement. They are also mighty in children’s education. Again, in my search for information and cues to be a good mother and educator, I found the tool to improve myself in the first place.

Here are my favourite verbs:

  1. Inspire: to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence.
    We see our best version of ourselves when we are motivated and inspired. We must, therefore, feed on stories and people that inspire us to take positive action.
  2. Empower: to give power or authority.
    The easiest way to do this is to avoid using negative words like “I can’t”, “I’m not capable” and start saying to yourself, like a mantra, “I can do it”, “I am capable”, and take action.
  3. Encourage: to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence.
    Let’s stop criticising ourselves all the time, as, in doing so, we become increasingly insecure, and we increase our fear of failure. Let’s congratulate ourselves, even on small wins.
  4. Understand: to perceive the meaning.
    To understand, we have to listen. So, let’s listen to ourselves, to our thoughts; and let’s try to understand what is the root of our anxieties and fears.
  5. Affirm: to state or assert positively.
    Let’s think about what we’re good at; there’s always something! Reading, driving, painting, organising, running, writing and so on. Let’s recognise that we’re good at something and appreciate it.
  6. Value: to consider with respect to worth, excellence, usefulness, or importance.
    Let’s learn to respect ourselves because we have value. Self-pity or humiliation is very dangerous because, above all, it exposes us to lack of respect from others. If we respect ourselves, we will lead others to do the same.
  7. Engage: to occupy the attention or efforts of a person.
    Let us take action coherently and systematically, we must sincerely focus on what we want to achieve and devote ourselves to it without procrastinating.
  8. Enjoy: to experience with joy; take pleasure in
    Let’s not take ourselves too seriously and learn to have fun! Laughter is a powerful way to strengthen our body and mind. Let’s play with our children, or with our partner or friends. Let’s take some time out just for fun.
  9. Coach: to give instruction or advice in the capacity of a coach.
    We can decide to coach ourselves, but if we are not ready yet, we can rely on a person or a book or an online program to guide us on the path of self-improvement. There are many options now, look for the one that suits us best.
  10. Believe: to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something.
    Let’s believe in ourselves and what we are or can become. Life is not over at 40 or even at 50 or 60, etc., we can all still change and become what we want, but to do so, we must firmly believe in it.

I like these verbs very much, and I have transformed them into my daily spiritual guide, and I encourage you to live these verbs to the best of your ability to begin each day with a renewed spirit.

Print it out and display it well on the fridge or bathroom mirror; using them every day works wonders!

The good idea is to rely on some books that are a classic for self-improvement and are compelling and valuable tools for personal growth. I recommend five of them, but there are many more. Some of them are dated, but they always remain current. Why is that? Because, even if society evolves and habits change, these books continue to motivate millions of people because they are not about the outside world. These books focus on the individual; and man, with his complex but wonderful inner world, does not change. Human nature cannot change: it has been, is and will always be the same.

  1. Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill
  2. The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino
  3. How to Win Friends & Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
  4. The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne
  5. Rich Dad Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter

“Our minds create the world we live in.” (Shinjo Ito)

Take action and learn more: Send Me The Free Workshops Today

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
PSYCHOLOGY TODAY.COM
DEVELOP GOOD HABITS.COM