International Women’s Day ~ 10 Ways To Empower All Women

 

Happy International Women’s Day! It’s March 8th 2018, a day to celebrate all women.

The best way to celebrate women is to use your skills, abilities and opportunities to help and empower other women, especially those less fortunate than yourself.

All around the world there are women living in poverty, forced into the sex trade, sold into marriages to men decades older than themselves, owned by men, beaten, given no human rights, given no opportunity to have an education, marginalized, stranded in refugee camps, trying to raise their children in war zones, watching their babies die from easily treatable illnesses – the list goes on.

If you don’t fall into any of the categories above, congratulate yourself on your good fortune and then do something to help.

When you empower another woman you help build a better world for all of us to live in.

Every now and then a girl need to reinvent herself. To shed the skin of her former self and write a new rule book for life” ~ Cara Alwill Leyba, Style Your Mind

10 Ways To Empower All Women

How To Empower Women

Volunteer.

You have time so use it to help others. Volunteering to help other women on any level helps both them and you. Help out at abused women’s shelters, help homeless women, help the disabled. Read to old people, take food to the infirm. When you start searching there are endless ways to volunteer and make a difference in the lives of women less fortunate than yourself.

Donate.

Give until it hurts. Pack up clothes and household goods that are not being used and donate them to Goodwill. Buy non-perishable food items and donate them to a food bank. Find female centric charities and write them a check. Give and give and give and you will receive and receive and receive.

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Sponsor.

Find a girl child to sponsor. There are so many countries in this world where by virtue of being a girl a child is unable to get an education. Whether you find a girl child to sponsor in sub Saharan Africa, Palestine, Pakistan or India – or anywhere else, your help can change a life. Change one life and you can impact hundreds. Studies have shown that when you educate the women in a village the infant and child mortality rates drop drastically.

Find women owned, women run micro businesses in impoverished countries and sponsor them. A little help goes an incredibly long way.

Refuse To Engage In Gossip.

Men seldom gossip. Gossip is mostly about women demeaning other women. When you refuse to partake in gossip you begin to elevate all the women.

How To Empower Women

March.

March for the causes you care about. March for pro life or march for women’s rights. March for the female causes you support and believe in. March for gun control, march to further causes that involve women’s rights. Whatever beliefs you hold, get out there and march with other women supporting that belief. The way to have our voices heard is to stand up and be counted. March/walk/run for breast cancer. There is power in numbers.

Be Supportive.

Be kind to other women. Be supportive to other women. Encourage those that are working toward a better life. When women are supportive instead of demeaning or dismissive they empower all women.

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Stop Competing With Other Women.

Life is not a competition. Be happy for the success of others and work on your own success. Don’t judge other women, don’t be bitter, don’t compete.

Support Women Owned, Women Run Businesses.

Make a conscious choice to support women owned businesses. Choose fair trade every time the option presents itself. Buy from brands that create opportunity for impoverished women.

Refuse To Buy From Sweatshop Brands.

Flat out refuse to buy from brands that make the choice to use unaudited sweatshop factories such as those in Bangladesh. Money talks – if brands suffer financially from using sweatshop factories that further abuse the world’s most impoverished women, then they will be forced to raise their standards. Your purchasing dollars are the only way to make a change.

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Vote.

Know that you are lucky to live in a place where as a woman you have the right to vote. Your vote does count, so make sure you exercise that right at every election. Do your homework and make sure you do not support someone who wants to take away women’s rights. The way to create a better world for women and to empower women is to vote.

“I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” ―Malala Yousafzai

How To Feel Calm, Be Strong And Totally Smash Stress

International Women’s Day is March 8th, so here on the blog I’m spending the week celebrating the empowerment of women. Yesterday it was 10 Ways To Boost Your Self Confidence, today I have 10 powerful tools to help you beat stress in your life.

Stress is an energy vampire. It sucks the life right out of the joy you are supposed to be living. We all face stressful situations in our lives, no one is immune. In life there will always be another bump in the road ahead, so we might as well build our skill set to manage it.

The situation we face is not the issue, the issue is how we react to, process and deal with the situation. Beating stress, getting out in front of stress, comes down to having the right tools up your sleeve.

 10 Powerful Ways To Totally Beat Stress

Breathe.

When you find yourself in a stressful situation use your breath to calm yourself. Breathe in through your nose to a count of 10, hold it for a count of 10, blow it back out to a count of 10. Your body can’t focus on being stressed and deep breathing at the same time!

Do Yoga.

If you start your day with sun salutations you set up your whole day to function with balance and calm.

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Take a Walk.

Unplug your devices, turn off your phone, clear your mind and take a walk in the park. When you step outdoors and create a space in your mind the Universe will race to fill it with something, most often the solution to your problem!

Meditate.

You don’t have to sit on the floor with crossed legs and palms pressed together – you can meditate any way that works for you. Even if you just meditate 10 minutes per day you will change your life for the better and gain the mental strength to calm your thoughts in moments of stress.

 

 Focus on the funny.

You can’t be busting out laughing and be stressed at the same time. Your brain will make you pick just one, so choose the funny! Think about the most hilarious moments in the funniest movies you’ve ever seen and let your laughter lighten the moment.

You Are What You Eat.

Processed foods, sodas, sugars and alcohol all make stress worse. Eating healthy foods, drinking lots of water and avoiding all the bad stuff can help you get through life’s stressful moments

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Sleep.

Lack of sleep not only makes coping with stress more difficult but can also be a stress trigger. Make sleep a priority in your life and try to get 7 to 8 hours sleep per night.

Listen To Podcasts/Ted Talks

You get to choose what you fill your mind with when you are commuting to work, working out, walking the dog or going about your life, so fill it with something good! Listen to empowering podcasts and Ted Talks, and hear the stories of regular people who have overcome all kinds of obstacles and gone on to do great things. If you keep your mind inspired it will naturally seek out solutions and spend less time on stressing.

Use The 5 Year Rule.

Stress makes us lose perspective. In the moment it can feel cataclysmic, but in reality most of it is just a waste of energy and time. As you face a stressful situation ask yourself if this will matter in five years’ time. Will you care about this five years from now? Probably not. Try to remember things that stressed you out 5 years ago – most, if not all of them will seem like a complete waste of time and energy now.

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The Mantra I AM.

Everyone needs a mantra, a series of words to string together and repeat over and over as we breathe our way out of stress, quiet our minds and deal with the situation at hand. The most empowering words you can use are the very simple but very true I. Am. Because You Are.

All images courtesy of Blake Bonillas, www.blakebonillas.com

10 Easy Ways To Boost Your Self Confidence

It’s International Women’s Week – the week that holds International Women’s Day. This year International Women’s Day is Thursday March 8th.

How To Boost Your Self Confidence

Most women and girls walk through life feeling dis-empowered, or not in control of their own power. Maybe not in every moment of every day, but enough to make them miss out on life’s wonderful opportunities, to make them scared to take risks, to make them settle for less.

A big part of being able to own your own life, attract opportunities to you,and feel happy and content within yourself lies in being able to boost your own self confidence. Self confidence is not about how much money you earn, how thick or thin your thighs are, how many followers you have on social media or what you do for a living.

Self confidence is all about feeling centered, appreciating just how fantastic you really are, and not being afraid to fail. Self confidence makes you a magnet to others. It is sexy and alluring, at the same time it is repellent to bullies and mean girls.

Whatever age you are, where ever you are in your life, there are always reasons to develop, boost and enhance your self confidence

 

Here are 10 easy ways to boost your self confidence

1. Use Your Body Language

Self confident people walk differently. The carry themselves differently. And here is a little secret – it is impossible to maintain self confident body language and feel insecure at the same time. Your brain can only put you in one state at a time, so choose self confidence!

Self Confident Body Language

  • Stand up straight, pull your shoulder blades together toward your spine, then slide them down your back. This will square your shoulders and give you a nice, straight spine. Squared shoulders are the first sign of self confidence.
  • Square your hips. As girls and women we tend to balance phantom babies on our hips, throwing our weight to one side or the other, or we curl our hips into each other, both of which make our shoulders curve and slump downward. Squared hips and squared shoulders signal self confidence.
  • Keep your chin parallel to the ground. A chin that angles downward indicates subservience or a lack of confidence. A chin that is parallel to the ground, paired with squared shoulders and squared hips, inspires confidence, makes you look honest and aware and ready for every great thing that is about to come your way.
  • Make eye contact. Watch the people around you for more than 5 minutes and you will see their eyes bouncing around, looking everywhere but directly at the person they are speaking to or with. When you maintain eye contact with the person you are speaking to it says that you are confident both inside your skin and in what you are talking about.
  • Smile. When your shoulders and hips are squared, your chin is parallel to the ground, you are making eye contact and you are smiling it tells the world you are confident, happy and content in life.

Just for fun try maintaining the body language of self confidence and feeling insecure or scared or stressed at the same time. It is impossible! In order to feel less than confident you have to adopt a different posture.

2. Breathe

When ever you are feeling less than confident use your breath to calm your mind and re-calibrate your thoughts. Close your mouth and breathe in through your nose to a count of 10, breathing all the way down to the base of your belly. Hold the breath for a count of 10 (or work your way to being able to hold it for 10) then blow your breath out of your mouth to a count of 10. Repeat this over and over until you feel at peace.

If your brain won’t stop running in a million different directions then quiet it back down by silently saying “I breathe in” as you inhale, and “I breathe out” as you exhale. (I learned this from a yoga teacher years ago. It works!)

3. Stop Being A People Pleaser

Self confident people are not people pleasers. Put yourself at the center of your universe and then act kindly towards everyone, but know that it is OK to say “No”. Don’t try to please others. Don’t say or do anything because it is expected of you or because it will make someone else feel good, regardless of whether that is your boss, your co-worker, your lover or your friend. Don’t do anything because you think it might make someone like you – it will just make them think they can walk all over you. Know that you were not put on this earth to be a people pleaser. You were put on this earth to shine!

4. Put Yourself First

This ties in with not being a people pleaser. Self confident people make a point of knowing what they want and putting themselves first to make sure they get it. As women we tend to put our own wants and needs behind everyone else’s. Without being unkind or unfeeling, a self confident person will assert themselves and make sure their needs are met. You don’t hear self confident people say “I really wanted to see that movie but, I had to do all these other things for other people first and so I didn’t have time. ” or “I really wanted to read that book but by the time I had cooked dinner, done the dishes and the laundry, picked up the house and helped with homework each night I was too tired to read anything!”.

A self confident person will  divide and assign tasks to others so that everything gets done and there still is time to sit down and read that book.

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5. Meditate

Part of being self confident is being able to quiet your mind, shut out the distracting noise, control your thoughts and emotions, give your brain the time and space it needs to think up the good stuff! Meditating doesn’t have to take a long time and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Find some 10 minute meditations on You Tube, separate yourself from distractions and if nothing else just listen to one over and over each day. Sometimes they will just bore your brain into quietness.

Once you learn how to meditate – quiet your brain for a few minutes, you will be able to handle the more difficult or stressful situations in life, just like a self confident person does. Sometimes confidence is about being able to step back from a situation, see it for what it is, make a decision and move forward.

Self Confidence Boosters For Girls

Image of model Cash Warren by Brad Olson

6. Get Quality Sleep

When you don’t get enough sleep or enough quality sleep you get anxious, more easily stressed out, manic. All of which are the opposite of confident.

Make getting enough sleep a priority. Minimize the distractions that make sleep poor quality. That may mean wearing earplugs to block out the traffic noise or wearing an eye mask to black out the neon lights that shine into your room. It may mean turning off TV or video games early so that your brain can quiet itself down. It may mean soaking in a bath with epsom salts or assigning yourself quiet time before bed. (Confident people allow themselves the time they need to quiet their mind before bed. It is a necessity, not an indulgence.)

7. Acknowledge Your Weaknesses And Embrace Your Strengths

Very, very few people if any are really, really good at everything. Self confident people understand that. Not only do they know what they are good at and where they are not strong, they have no problem admitting to their weaknesses or asking for help. Confident people embrace their strengths and are proud of them. They put their weaknesses or things they are not strong at in perspective. How important is it? Is this something they need to work on and turn into a strength, or when put into the bigger picture is this issue/trait/situation not worth worrying about?

Serena Williams is really great at tennis. She is the best. Do you think she would lose any sleep over not being able to flip a crepe, or sew a dress, or make an excel spreadsheet? Of course not! If it was something that really mattered to her she would learn how to do it, but chances are she would look at it and decide it was not worth her time or energy.

8. Take A Digital Detox

Remember that the perfect lives we see on social media are not real. No one’s life is that perfect, so don’t compare yourself to the people and stories you see on social media. One of the most empowering things you can do to boost your self confidence is to take periodic digital detoxes – put down the phone, stop checking social media and just focus on enjoying life.

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9. Learn To Accept Compliments Graciously

Self confident people accept compliments graciously. If you compliment them on their outfit they will never say “What? This old thing?”, instead they will smile and say “Thank you.” If you compliment their makeup they will never say “It’s a pity my hair won’t behave.” or “I just threw this on, it probably looks awful!”. Instead they will smile and say “Thank you”.

If you compliment them on their work they will never say “I could have done it better”, or “I should have done it more quickly”. Instead they will smile and say “Thank you”. Not only will a self confident person graciously accept a compliment, but they will appreciate the compliment and know it has merit and is deserved.

10. Focus On What Makes You Happy

Self confident people don’t waste a lot of time focusing on people or things that annoy them, upset them, or bother them. They understand that negativity just holds them back.

Self confident people focus on the things that make them happy. They devote time to pursuing their hobbies, put  effort into surrounding themselves with people and things that make them happy, keep moving forward in a positive direction.

images in this post are courtesy of Brad Olson at Brad Olson Photography