What Does Empowering Women Really Mean?

From left to right: Dr Heather McKee, Jamila Askarova, Emma Cannon & Elaine Slater

From left to right: Dr Heather McKee, Jamila Askarova, Emma Cannon & Elaine Slater

“When we gather together, two or more great shifts in energy happen that have a far-reaching impact on the world.” Emma Cannon

This week we welcomed Emma Cannon, women’s health and fertility expert and author, to talk on a panel with acclaimed therapist Elaine Slater and habit coach Dr Heather McKee. Our founder Jamila Askarova, the panel and some of the audience discussed – frankly and honestly – what the overused buzzwords “Empowering Women” actually meant to them.  Find out more about what the experts had to say here…

Be True to Yourself

Having a sense of self-awareness and an understanding of who you really are was important to the panel. Heather described “living a life in line with my values, a life of growth, purpose and health” as making her feel personally empowered.

Finding Empowerment

When we asked Emma what empowers her, she explained: “It depends on the circumstances, but if in doubt I say to my higher self ‘do whatever makes you feel powerful’. It could be speaking the truth, aligning to purpose – something more than myself.” 

Doing It All

So many women think they should do it all – be the perfect wife and mother, have a career, tick the self-care boxes of healthy eating, meditation and yoga. “You can have it all, but not at the same time,” says Emma. “And constantly striving to do it all can be toxic as a role model for your children.” Instead, think about “who do I want to represent for me”.

Tune Into Your Shoulds

And then push them aside. So many of us live our lives based on a series of ‘shoulds’ that are often so deep-rooted in our background and upbringing that we don’t realise they are there. They can make us feel like we’re failing. It’s important to take time to listen to your internal chatter and break down what they represent.

What’s So Good About Control?

“Great things happen when you let go,” says Emma. So many of us are overwhelmed by choice and the pressure to make the right decisions. The antidote lies within us and we need to connect internally to who we are. Sometimes it’s important to remember that life is hard for everyone.

Power Balance

We also need to remember that feeling empowered is not that same as being overpowering. If one person within a relationship is feeling empowered then the energy balance can shift detrimentally. It’s important to be true to who you are but also to be mindful about how you express that to those around you.

Are You Controlling Your Phone or Is It Controlling You?

Most of us now touch our device more often than we touch our partner. Heather suggested we should all take time to look at our social media diet. Are the apps you use or the people you follow empowering or uplifting you? If not, then do something about it.

Be a Non-Perfectionist

Heather is a self-confessed perfectionist in recovery. She has set herself the challenge of embracing non-perfectionism – so, for instance, instead of sketching, a process during which she tends to be self-critical, she is taking an oil-painting class and has challenged herself to send a picture of her work each week to her family. Heather recommends Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You Are Supposed To Be and Embrace Who You Are to find out more.

Open your Mind to Learning and Giving

“I think giving others your ‘conscious’ time can be truly inspiring and empowering,” says Jamila. “It could be giving support to someone by hearing them, sharing a long hug or saying a meaningful thank you. It could be a dish you cook thought and love or a tiny present carefully chosen. It’s all about creating moments – the ability to create something, see the reaction and get inspired to go further, learn more and open your mind wider to do and give more.”

You can find out more about Dr Heather McKee here and Elaine Slater here. We also have something exciting coming up with Emma Cannon – you can join our mailing list here to be the first to know more.