After the Finnish presidential ball, the tabloids are full of stories commenting on the prettiest, most impressing, and even worst dressed guests. I love looking at those gorgeous ball gowns myself, and while today’s post isn’t actually about the president’s do, I feel it is still currently relevant.
For a while now, I have been thinking about our common energy as women; our attitudes towards one another, and how we speak to each other. I would like to inspire people to come together and help each other to succeed. The world is full of wonderful, creative, talented, genuine and beautiful women, with strong passions and great dreams to realize, but success rarely comes without a supporting network. We can help and collaborate with each other in a number of ways, and not all of them have to be literal.
Lately I’ve sensed a desire in women for collective creation, but also a competitive, unsupportive, even jealous atmosphere. Insecurity, in other words; something which not many of us dare to show outright. But whether we like to admit to them or not, most of us have these insecurities, and this is why mutual support and encouragement is so important.
Last Friday I attended a party to which my friend had invited me. Once there I became engaged in conversation with a friend of my friend’s. Halfway through our chat, she told me, very straightforwardly, that I was a lovely and stunning woman. I was blown away. There I’d been, staring at her throughout our conversation, thinking what a stunning woman she was – but I hadn’t told her so. Her words warmed my heart and touched some little center of womanhood within me. They held amazing power. I thanked her although I actually felt like hugging her, I felt so empowered by what she had said. Not because she complimented my looks, but because she was exhibiting genuine feminine strength, the unconditional desire to share something positive. I later found out about all the great things she had done, helping others to succeed while succeeding herself – never putting herself on a pedestal, but doubtlessly knowing her own worth. I have such respect for this kind of authenticity and honesty. It is empowering and creates a sense of community.
Doing and creating with authenticity stems from a connection with our inner self, and a faith in our own strength. It is not something that can be found externally, but I do believe that being firmly connected to our own energy source, and connecting to another woman with similar energy, will multiply that energy and cause it to vibrate outwards.
That same night my friend and I went on to another party, and once again I was faced with a baffling situation. A woman I had never met before said to me: “How is it that you’re so stunning?” I was stumped. I thanked her for the compliment and felt another rush of empowerment.
I spent the following day pondering all of this. I wish we, as women, would share the complimentary thoughts we have about each other more often, preferably all the time (note to self). You can’t imagine the power those words can have. Beautiful and genuine words cannot cause negativity. On the contrary; when you say them to someone else, you’re saying them to yourself, too.
This fall, I have gained some gorgeous new female friends and become closer with a few old ones. It has given me more strength to carry myself and more belief in what I’m doing; it has given me inspiration and a bit of healthy peer pressure; a willingness to recreate myself. Most of all, it has made me realize how important it is for us to show and accept all sides of ourselves, our full spectrum, because if we don’t, we are not complete and we are not expressing ourselves genuinely. I am thankful for the sense of connection I have with many women, and I hope we can learn to network, support each other, stand up for each other, and rejoice in each other’s successes, instead of silently admiring yet excluding one another.
Photos Katja Kokko
Translation Katja Nikula