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Archive for April, 2009

Are You A Powerful Woman?

“Power With” and A Partnership Model

Are you powerful; are you a powerful woman? I think all of you are.

Perhaps the better question is “how are you a powerful woman”?

Many women I talk with as a coach, have almost an aversion to saying “I am a powerful woman”. We, the collective we has been conditioned to equate power with “having power over”, with autocratic, unilateral decision making, with paternalism and a “dominator model”. We, the collective we, have been conditioned to “be nice” not powerful.

As I said last week, when I talk about you being a woman of power, the kind of power I am talking about is “power with”, “power and connection with your internal wisdom”, “personal power”, “your personal place of power”, you know the place where you feel strong and happy and together and in alignment and in balance. This is your personal center, your personal still point, the place where you feel your vital force, your chi. This is the place where you have dominion over yourself and your life. This is part of your “shakti-ness”.

In relationships, it is “power with” or a “partnership model”. It’s you and your women friends planning a surprise party for another friend, it is two women coming together to form a business partnership either formal or informal. It’s using a child-centered model in the family. In “power with” relationships, you are drawing on the “collective power” of more than one person. Other words for “power with” are collaboration, co-creation and “win-win”.

Many women struggle with describing themselves as powerful, yet I see examples of powerful women all over the world. There is the mom who calmly and gently advocates for her child within the school system, there is the female entrepreneur who is so passionate about her business that she patiently and persistently moves forward toward her dreams. There is the female artist who is amazing in her creative work. These are all examples of powerful women!

An additional “power” thread in the brightly tapestry of your life, is the “divine feminine creative power” quality of the “shakti”. Shakti power or “power with” is not ego-based power, it is “divine feminine” power with a deep spiritual grounding in gaia and in the “heavens”.

So this week, lovely shakti sages, the self-care enchantments build on the idea of you being a powerful woman.

Finish the following sentences:

1. A powerful woman is….

2. A powerful woman is not….

3. Think about, describe, and write down how it feels to “stand in your personal power center”. Ask and answer “how am I a powerful woman”.



Zoey Ryan?
life & business coach for women
?inspiration * clarity * wisdom * enchantment?
?”Coaching for your heart & soul & the heart and soul of your business”?

Re-Introducing Shakti Sage!

Re- Introducing Shakti Sage

What we have not known is how to begin from our own centre, how to begin from our own experience, how to make ourselves as women the subjects of the act of knowing”

– Dorothy Smith (A Canadian Sociologist, known for her work with feminist theory and women’s studies)

This quote is a wonderful reminder that each of us women, has a center point, a still point, an internal place of equilibrium, of power and energy that can fuel us, feed us and inspire us. Inspire us, to get to know ourselves intimately and to get to know each other intimately. I say, this is our “shakti sage” place! I coined the term “shakti sage” and am excited to use this term to re-name my e-bulletin as it feels timely and in alignment with my values, principles and age as well as the current considerations on the planet.

“Shakti, from the Sanskrit meaning “divine feminine creative power and empowerment” (source Wikipedia)

“Sage”, a “wise woman, a woman of gravity and wisdom” (adapted from Wikipedia)

For a long while I have yearned for a formula for “how to be in the world” as a woman of our times. We are living longer, stronger and healthier. We are raising families, running businesses and collectively changing the world; well into our elder years. We are not the “blue rinse” older women of our mother’s generation.

Through my own reading and reflection, and in meeting and learning more about amazing women all over the planet, I started to consider the flex and flow between the states of power and wisdom as a “guiding principle” for “how to be” in our world today.

Many women I talk to as well as some of my coaching clients have difficulty with saying that they are powerful. Yet, when we discuss that this does not mean “power over” anyone of anything (which is the older “dominator” model), but “power with” and “power within” (which is the newer “partnership model”, it becomes a concept that is “easier to wear”. Combine this with wisdom, which comes naturally with age, with life experience, with softening and mellowing and sometimes also comes in an “old soul” in a young body and you have a “shakti sage”.

So here are my designed “shakti sage” qualities and I invite you to take these on, wear these, talk about them, use them in your life and business and embrace them. I have designed the self-care enchantments around these qualities this month. Foundational shakti sage qualities are power and wisdom, infused with the following secondary qualities: courage, fire, boldness in one’s uniqueness, balanced by unconditional love, integrity and gentleness.

I believe you are all shakti sages!

Self-care Enchantments for this week build on and duplicate some of our past exercises and are meant to help you find your experienced, felt “shakti sage” place.

1. Explore the concept of power and your place of power. Try to find this place inside your body and get acquainted with how it feels, the thoughts you think, the shift and change in your energy when you are in your place of power.
2. Explore your place of wisdom. How do you feel wise and when do you feel wise? Where do you feel your wisdom in your body? Write about all of this in your journal.
3. Think of a woman you know or have heard about who you think demonstrates and embodies the “shakti sage” qualities. How can you learn from her?



Zoey Ryan?
life & business coach for women
?inspiration * clarity * wisdom * enchantment?

?”Coaching for your heart & soul & the heart and soul of your business”?

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