There are extraordinary women around us. We just need to take a deeper breath and look around, become open to the novelty ideas, people and events to enter into our personal experiences. This act alone – reflecting upon a moment of truth in silence – can be an eye opener. It can be liberating. It can be life-changing.
Author and entrepreneur Kelly McNelis is one of those women who takes a breath and empowers thousands of women with her leadership of thought and action. I like the way Kelly puts it in front of us:
“There are some things that we will perhaps never understand about the nature of the world, and that’s OK.
When we focus instead on transforming our lives and serving humanity through genuine compassion, we do our part to end the cycle of victimization and terror that has so many people in its clutches.” – Kelly McNelis
Here are some thoughts to empower you today, this year, without waiting for another course of events or coincidences. You have the power to change. And do it beginning from within. I would love to share some inspiring and very effective pieces of thought offered by Kelly specifically for our women in the audience.
As the founder of Women For One, I am grateful to be connected to my global community of women from more than 50 countries. And it’s no secret that, given the time we live in—a time in which ecological disaster, war, and many forms of oppression and injustice prevail – that we need each other more than ever.
We are finding that we are on the precipice of massive global changes, which is why I’ve received several letters from my community asking some of the big, messy questions that are probably on all our minds: How do we create a world in which every human being gets to live with dignity and freedom? How can I impact the kind of change that spreads far and wide? How can you, as a teacher, lead the way?
It’s important to ask these questions, but also that it’s critical to look within when we are asking them. We as women have the power to change the world—one person, one story, one voice at a time.
But this also means we have to keep asking the big, messy questions – without expecting any easy, immediate answers…especially from the people that we look up to.
The messy truth is: We’ve all been seeking the how since the beginning of human history. And it’s clear that no one person has the answers. Maybe believing that some elite group of people in the “know” holds the keys is part of what has kept us stuck and continuing to re-create the most devastating aspects of history.
It’s what keeps us in a state of continually giving our power away.
So…what to do in a messy world where we can’t depend on easy answers or others to take the lead and pave the way to something better?
For starters, we can wake up every day with a commitment to ensuring that our actions are connected to our values. Instead of falling prey to cynicism or despair, we can find inspiration in beauty, love, friendship, connection, and the millions of small yet overlooked things that can offer us strength and make our dedication to the world more consistent.
I am committed to my dream of living in, and helping to create, a world where people’s individual voices and truths are honored, but I also know I can’t get bogged down by perceived “progress.” I know that so many changemakers work to advance ideals that never come to fruition in their own lifetimes—but that doesn’t make their pursuits pointless.
Lasting change doesn’t happen with a snap of the fingers. It takes determination, work, and the willingness to get up even when you feel life has knocked you down.
Instead of sitting and watching the world go to hell in a handbasket, we can respect that our cumulative actions – the ones that come from the core of our messy brilliance – have real results in the world. Our individual actions matter. Whether we choose to turn a blind eye to injustice, get overwhelmed by the daily news, or continue stewing in our perceived victimhood, we must remember one thing: We actually have a choice as to what we are going to do.
I won’t lie – sometimes those choices don’t feel easy or clear-cut. But when we offer ourselves compassion and sit with the discomfort of just being here – in our messy, ugly, beautiful, devastating, infinitely complex world – something extraordinary happens. We see where we have judged ourselves and others. We feel every single feeling that’s inside us, from rage to grief. And when we are patient and don’t try to escape or numb out those feelings, we discover our blind spots. We embrace our imperfections and frustrations as gateways to our gifts and our unique contributions.
So, breathe. Be present with yourself. Understand that the messiness is part of the journey.
We can change the world through our individual daily actions – but we also need each other. There is great power in numbers – especially when it comes to women around the world uniting to share their stories of pain, triumph, and illumination. So let’s sit in those stories, from the most joyful to the most despairing.
Most importantly, focus on the power of your individual choices rather than attempting to convert others to your way of thinking.
Modeling the world we wish to create by example is truly the most effective thing we can do.
So don’t lose hope; the world needs you to live your values. To be your messy brilliance in vibrant action.
— Celebrate Woman (@DiscoverSelf) November 7, 2017