In the final blog of this series, I wanted to share with you a music video that has very recently been released. The song is written and performed by two of my friends – Tina Kopa and Catherine Wood. Together they form Sounds of Soul. The song was written about Natalie Benhayon – a woman who lives true to her essence. A woman who has inspired women all over the world (including me) to always put ourselves - the woman - first, to constantly deepen our relationship with ourselves, to express everything that we are, to not hold back, to bring it all.
Natalie is the woman in the film clip. You can feel in the way that she moves that she has a deep love, care and appreciation for herself. She knows who she is and honours this in all that she does. Her movements are graceful, sexy and in flow.
All of this possible because of one choice after another to honour the woman that she is. To not be ruled by societies expectations or ideals of how a woman should be. To express what is there to be expressed. To act on the impulses she receives. To not hold back.
Enjoy, it is indeed so very lovely.
(You can buy the album at https://www.soundsofsoul.com.au/ - I highly recommend it, so much sass!)
Where to From Here?
When I finished Part 2 I wasn't sure what was coming next in Part 3... but then it was clear.
I needed to share my Number 1 Life Tip.
So, here it is.
The shower for me is my absolute sacred space. It is, if everything else fails, the place where I commit to coming back to me and making my every movement about loving myself and exploring how much more tender, gentle and loving I can be with myself. How much more of me is there to be expressed. To let go of any hardness. To remind myself that I am simply lovely.
I remember when my son was born and the absolute tenderness and delicateness in which I bathed him in, the way I dressed him, the way I gently moved his tiny legs, and hands, and so very very carefully put his clothing on him. His bath was run so that the temperature was just right. I had extra face washers to put over his body while he was in the bath to support him to feel warm, safe and secure. And I had his towels warmed, ready to wrap him up in at the end of the bath so that his body wasn’t shocked by the cool air when he came out of the warm bath.
Every movement was deliberate and conscious, ensuring that he was held and loved throughout the whole process. I knew how precious and sacred he was.
Then one day it occurred to me – why don’t I take this time and care with myself? Am I not as deserving of the love, care and attention that I gave to him? Am I not also this precious and sacred?
So I began to experiment with it. Setting the shower temperature just right before getting in. Having everything I needed, right there in the shower, right where I need it. Washing my body with the same delicateness and gentleness that I was washing my son with. Enjoying the feeling of the warm water running through my hair and over my body. Heating towels ready for me when I got out of the shower. Using every moment in the shower as an opportunity to just love me.
It was a bit rocky to start with – especially with a young babe always nearby, potentially crying because I’d had to put him down for a moment to get in the shower. But mostly it was my own thoughts, my own hurried-ness, my own desire to get on with something else and hurry through the shower as quick as I could, that made it rocky. My own lack of self-worth we could call it. There were (many) days where I ‘couldn’t be bothered’ with the warm towels, or even being present in the shower!, days where I rushed, days where thinking about what I had on that day and all of the things that I needed to achieve and get done were my priority and I didn’t give myself a look in.
Yet, even in all the rockiness and imperfectness, I was start to give myself space to be with me. I was giving myself the space to connect to myself, to love myself (even if at the time I didn’t feel particularly loving towards myself) and to nurture me.
And gradually, things began to shift.
What was happening was simple. This space in the day for me was opening me up more to what was already so naturally within me. It was giving me the space to connect to, and honour, me - as a woman. A moment in the day where I said ‘I’m a woman first, before I am anything else, and I deserve to be cared for’.
That space then allowed me to feel more of the love that I am. The consistency of doing this over time supported me to accept that I am that love, and not all of the other ideas/images/pictures that I held myself in.
What was magical about this was… what started as just a 5-10 minute (15 maybe!) shower, began to filter out to other areas of my life. What started as many days of forgetting my commitment to me in the shower, developed into days where I had not just committed to me being with me in the shower, but while I was washing the dishes, cleaning the house, at work, at the supermarket, in the car, while I was exercising – everywhere.
The love that I began to know myself as then expanded to me feeling how deeply beautiful, sensitive, lovely, tender, delicate, joyful, playful and super sassy I am. And did I mention sexy?
And to now, absolutely knowing without a doubt in my body, that there is not one single thing in this world that is more important than me honouring the woman that I am first and foremost.
From this, I am now more open, loving and steady as a mother. I am more focused, committed and ‘switched on’ at work. I am more honest, open and real in my relationships. I have so much more space in my day and am capable of doing more than I ever thought was possible. I don't need as much sleep and more often than not - I don't feel the need to check out at the end of the day with alcohol, TV or other. I don't need entertainment to stimulate me or music to 'take me on an emotional journey'. I am so very content being with me. And mostly, I know that I am completely imperfect with all of it and that that is very OK.
So… I encourage you to give it a try. There hasn’t been one person that I’ve suggested it to that hasn’t commented on how different their day (&/or their sleep) was by having given it a try.
With enormous thanks to Natalie Benhayon & Serge Benhayon for inspiring me to connect to and live the woman that I am.
Ideals, Beliefs & Pictures
In our first blog in this series, I posed the questions – do we buy things to keep up with the latest trends, or do we buy to honour our own personal style? And do we buy things that support us or do we buy things that purely look good?
My feeling is that for most, our purchases are being driven by external influences and not as a true honouring of ourselves.
I recently had a woman selecting jewellery from my stall at a market. She was very taken by the silver items but kept moving back to the gold. She then mentioned that she had always preferred silver jewellery but her partner preferred gold. As a result, she had started wearing both.
Not an uncommon occurrence – and in situations similar to this, it would also not be uncommon for the woman to start wearing only gold. How many times have you heard a woman say “I really want to get my hair cut but my husband/boyfriend/partner prefers it long”? I’ve heard it more times than I would care to recall and I’m pretty sure I’ve once said the exact same thing.
Our choices on what we wear and how we wear it are being constantly influenced by everything and everyone around us. Our look or style – be it glamourous, understated, chic, casual, sporty spice, grunge or ‘I really don’t care what I look like - look how much I don’t care! See these baggy clothes that don’t fit me properly, that’s how much I don’t care’ – is all to either meet the expectations of the world around us, or to challenge it.
We then take on these expectations and add this together with other life events, situations or circumstances we form beliefs, values, opinions, ideals, pictures and images 'of our own' about who we are, how we should be and what we should look like. This is all then directly reflected in our choices of what we wear and how we wear it. And indeed, how we present ourselves to the world.
So where are we in all of that?
My feeling is we are buried somewhere underneath it all. Itching and busting to come out of it all. Desperate to feel, and live connected to, the true woman (or man) that we are. Busying ourselves and keeping ourselves distracted from feeling the emptiness that results in not living in connection with ones self.
In Part 3 we will look at how we can support ourselves to live truer to ourselves, establish a connection with ourselves, what that could look like and what might possibly come from that.
FASHION TRENDS OR FASHION TRUTHS
This blog was originally published on my other website: www.brooketaylorjewellery.com
When we shop for clothing, accessories or even make up – do we buy things to keep up with the latest trends, or do we buy to honour our own personal style? Do we buy things that support us or do we buy things that purely look good, or happen to be the latest trend? Do we even know what it means to buy things ‘that support us’ (I’m not just talking about a Berlei sports bra!).
By support I mean - does our clothing sit well on our bodies, feel comfortable to move in, confirm the woman you are, reflect your own inner beauty, keep you warm, allow you to move in the way that you need to move in in those clothes, do not grab or pinch or make you feel uncomfortable? Does our make up feel nice on our skin, match our complexion and confirm who we are, or does it leave your skin feeling dull, damp, itchy, blotchy? Are we wearing lip colours that feel right for us and suit us, or are we wearing the latest shade of red that we saw someone in a magazine wearing? & when it comes to accessories – do we wear things that reflect and confirm the woman we are, or do we wear things to make us stand out more, embellish us, take away from our natural beauty or perhaps don’t even suit us?
These are interesting points to ponder. We are so often fed pictures and images of who a woman is supposed to be, what we should be wearing and unfortunately, more commonly these days – what we shouldn’t be wearing. There are magazine pages dedicated to rating, naming and shaming women for their choice of garment at a particular awards night.
Be it from magazines, TV, movies, billboards, our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, our circle of friends, partners, – we are given constant messages about who we should be as women and what we are supposed to wear and look like.
This is translated not only into the way we dress, the accessories we choose or the way we wear our make up, but in fact, our every movement, thought and action. Our lives become dictated by these images and ideals and leads us into an endless rat race of trying to fit these – at the constant expense of our own selves and what feels true for us.
Feels like a pretty miserable way to live to me.
What if, there was a way to live where you could say ‘to hell with the expectations, this is me, and I’m going to make my every movement a commitment to honouring me, to going deeper with my relationship with me – understanding myself more’ and every movement, action, thought, purchase etc – comes from that?
How would that impact the way that we moved? How would that impact the purchases we made? How would that impact our clothing/makeup/accessory choices?
In Part 2 of this series, we will explore this topic further…
Image: Natalie Benhayon. Photo Source: Iris Pohl via Natalie's Facebook page.
If there's one woman who has inspired me to be the woman I am today, it would have to be Natalie Benhayon. (There are lots of other women too,... and perhaps I'll write about them in time!, but today's shout out is for Natalie!)
I first heard Natalie present on a recording I purchased through Universal Medicine's website in 2011.. It was on the ovary massage that Natalie specialises in. From the very first few words she spoke, I was deeply moved. The quality of her voice stopped me in my tracks, it was a mixture of being soothing, but also calling me to attention. It spoke to something deep within me, and as my body began to register what was being presented, I settled deeper in my body.. and my ovaries began to ache. At this stage, Natalie would only have been 21 years old.
I don't remember the exact details of the presentation, but the overall gist of it was that our ovaries hold energetic imprints of how we live as women... and what is going on with them (i.e. painful periods) is a direct reflection of how we feel about ourselves as women and how we live. I learnt more valuable information in that short presentation than I did my whole however many years at school.
Over the years since then I have seen Natalie present at a range of different events - women's groups, to groups of 400+ at retreats, festivals and community events. She delivers power-packed presentations each and every time. She does not skip a beat.
I have gained such valuable insight, and a very true reflection, of what it is to be a woman living in her essence - not succumbing to the pressures of society, to my own ideals and beliefs, to others expectations of me, not being put off by jealousy and comparison. I've learnt how to care for myself and be with myself in a way that honours me - I've learnt what it actually is to honour me! I've learnt that I am deeply precious, sensitive and delicate... but that is not weak, meek & mild, or fragile... in fact the opposite! Natalie radiates love. She expresses herself in full and does not hold back - and I am so deeply inspired by her.
Recently she stayed in my home for a couple of nights. From the moment she arrived, we very much knew she was in the house. In fact, 15 minutes before she arrived I could feel her coming. She lifted the quality of our home for the time she was with us, just by being in her essence, in our home. This is the absolute power of what living as a connected woman can be. After Natalie left, every time I used the bathroom that she had been using during her stay, I felt her still in it... her absolute divine quality, still there. That is one massive imprint!
Natalie is pioneering the way for Women's Health. In her very simple analogies and presentations, she is teaching us that it's ok to be sexy, but not objectified... to express ourselves, to be all that we are, to not be afraid of jealousy, to live as connected women. She has taught me how to be responsible for my choices and how they impact my body. She has supported hundreds of women world wide to deepen their relationships with other women. To look at our own jealousy and comparison issues.
I know the profound impact she has had on my life, and I see it in the women around me that have also been inspired by her - as they get more gorgeous every day, letting themselves shine and absolutely going for it!
Nat B is definitely one to watch...
A few of Natalie's projects are listed below.
Esoteric Women's Health
Our Cycles App
Women in Livingness Magazine
Girl to Woman Festival
& a Biography of Natalie can be found here:
I was recently reflecting on what it is to be an empowered woman. There are many versions of this portrayed in the media, movies and out there in the real world. And there are different spins on it, depending on the social groups you belong to and what sorts of ideals and beliefs they subscribe to.
One thing I know for sure, is that there is always an element of 'toughness' or 'hardness' in there, a sense of being absolutely in control of your own destiny at no expense. There's often a rivalry with men, and a fight to have what is rightfully 'ours'.
Once upon a time I would have said that I was an empowered woman for subscribing to that image. I was a business owner, super fit, financially independent, with a wide social network - I was making my own way through life and doing it in style. I had high levels of motivation and could pretty much kick myself into gear for anything that needed doing. I was a master at doing... and not stopping.
It wasn't until I came across the work of Universal Medicine, via regular esoteric healing sessions with Sara at Living Stillness, who then pointed me in the direction of Natalie Benhayon (see previous post), that I began to truly understand what it means to be an empowered woman... and really started to feel the impacts that my hard, driven ways were having on my body... and how false this idea of empowerment was.
Creating an image of being together and having it all is not empowerment. Running myself on nervous energy to create that image is definitely not empowerment. Willing myself to run for km's on end is not empowerment. Boxing hard, tough, often paired up with men - is not empowerment. Lifting heavy weights and smashing goals was not empowerment. It is being a slave to societies expectations and the images that are portrayed to us... and none of this is true.
The thing is, I didn't know it at the time. I didn't know that's what I was doing, and I wasn't even aware of the images and ideals and beliefs I had. I certainly didn't know I was running on nervous energy, and I was barely even aware that I lived with a low-grade anxiety all the time. I was just doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing. What everyone else was doing. Fitting in with the crowd. And I just kept on doing it. Talking myself into it. Pushing myself to keep on going with it.
What I have learnt from the work of Universal Medicine, Serge Benhayon, Sara Harris, Natalie Benhayon and many others... Is that true empowerment comes from a connection with ourselves. Imagine the greatest love you have ever felt for another being (or animal if you're a puppy person)... and then magnify that, towards yourself, one hundred fold. That is what it feels like to live in connection. But it's not flighty or emotional. It doesn't switch to hate the moment you get hurt. There is a stillness to it, a gentle rhythm. There is no need for drive, motivating oneself and there is definitely no kicking oneself into action... for in the stillness is an impulse, that moves me and inspires me to act, do and be.
True empowerment is also about knowing that everything in my life is a direct result of my choices - and I am responsible for these choices. The choices we make day in, day out, week after week, month after month, leave an impact on our bodies, on how we feel about ourselves and about how we feel about our place in the world.
Making self-loving choices is empowerment in action. Going against the crowd and saying no to drinking alcohol (as it left me feeling scattered, depressed, and so totally not myself) is being empowered. Leaving a party early to put myself to bed because I'm tired is being empowered. Saying no to going somewhere or doing something I don't feel to do, rather than being peer-pressured, or guilted into it, is being empowered. Taking time to lovingly get myself ready in the morning, paying attention to the details, nurturing me and my body in the process - is being empowered.
True empowerment comes from seeing the pictures, ideas and images we have as women (& men), and saying no to these... and choosing instead to connect to ourselves and feeling what's true. It is allowing ourselves to surrender, to be gentle and delicate, without giving our power away. It's to appreciate the qualities of the female body, and how these differ to a mans body. And it is about loving and seeing men as our equals - for we are no more or no less than they - yet with much different physical make ups than ours... and not feeling the need to equal them. (Oh yes, I know that one well!).
True empowerment comes from within. And when we live in connection with us, as empowered women, we begin to radiate that outwards into the world.