Every woman has stories about being asked to be less than she is. Don't act too smart, don't draw attention, don't take the last dessert...
Well, for this weekend, I say: forget that.
This weekend is Romancing the Capital and it is a celebration of loudness, laughter and, of course, achieving happily ever afters in all aspects of life. Romance is the genre where women can win. Heroines can definitely have it all. She can have an exciting, profitable and fulfilling career, a loving and supportive family, and a partner who adores her and is devoted to her pleasure and joy. (And if he happens to be a shapeshifter, vampire, or superhero, all the better.) Heroines remind us that every woman is a Goddess inside.
Reclaiming that Goddess can be a challenge in the face of all the messages pushing women into narrow boxes or driving us to put off our happily ever after until later (once we lose weight, once we buy new clothes...). I've come up with a three step system to help us celebrate our Goddesshood:
1) Do something brave.
Women are taught to be afraid. We are taught to constantly be aware of what's around us and how others might be perceiving us. We get blamed for how others see us (dressing too sexy, being too emotional) and so we tend to lock ourselves down and avoid risks.
For this weekend, take the risks. Talk to a stranger, be the first one on the dance floor, dive in to one of the "naughty" panels, whatever you would normally want to do but tell yourself not to because it might not be appropriate. It doesn't have to be big, but releasing ourselves from the restraints of fear can be incredibly freeing.
Goddesses don't have to be afraid because a Goddess is a proud, strong and amazing person.
2) Accept your rightful worship.
Every woman has been stuck trying to curl herself into a ball while a nearby man takes up at least a seat and a half. Part of not being noticed means physically restricting ourselves. It also means refusing to take our due, lest someone decide we have asked for too much.
For this weekend, say "yes" instead of "I couldn't possibly...". Take that extra helping, talk loudly and with wide gestures, don't be afraid to laugh until you snort. Or take the opportunity to take care of yourself with something indulgent.
Because, like the old commercial says: Goddesses are worth it.
3) Follow your dreams.
Most women have huge levels of responsibility. We still take on most of the household and childcare work, often on top of demanding jobs. It becomes too easy to put ourselves and our dreams on hold.
Take this chance to say yes to a dream. Small or big, it doesn't matter. Take that first step or the hundredth. But tell yourself yes.
None of these are huge but they can make a big difference. We are Goddesses and we never should forget it.
And if you're at Romancing the Capital and would like to try taking on your inner Goddess in a fun and sexy way, please stop by my RTC Basics of Burlesque workshop on Saturday at 11 in Kanata B. I promise a camera-free, PG-13 safe space for women of all body shapes, bravery levels and mobility to connect with their inner Goddess.
You can also enter my draw for a gift card and share your Goddess-reclamation with me on Twitter at @jclewisupdate (hashtags #IAmAGoddess and #RTC2018).
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