“What Happens When A Woman” is a beautiful song-video that communicates what happens when a woman takes power.
The feel of the song suggests that “taking power” isn’t about seizing power from someone or something. Taking power isn’t a reaction or a solution. It is not “Me, Too” or feminism or working toward equal rights. It’s something entirely different.
Taking power is a stand alone. It’s a personal foundation.
Taking power is a groundswell from within us that rises and, if we are aware and willing, it brings the best of ourselves forward to interact with the world. A woman who takes power brings who she is and what she naturally contributes into her day.
What happens when a woman takes power? First, and most importantly, she leads herself with love.
Leading herself with love prepares her to lead her intimate relationship, her family and her business with love as well.
LYRICS (by Alexandra Olsavsky):
What happens when a woman takes power? What happens when she won’t back down? What happens when a woman takes power? What happens when she wears the crown? What happens when she rules her own body? What happens when she sets the beat? What happens she she bows to nobody? What happens when she stands on her own two feet? Woah, we rise above. Woah, we lead with love. Woah, we have won. We are one. We’ve just begun.
My daughter’s dog Baguette treats every dog who shows up in her life as if that dog is there to play. My dog, Jackson, is the opposite. He’s typically aggressive toward other dogs. He’s a rescue, eleven pounds, a long-haired Chihuahua, and thirteen years old. I was never able to find out his history, but I’m sure he has good reasons for what he does. He’s not great with small children, or changes in routine, either.
I had no clue about the root of his
aggressiveness until the day a friend of mine invited me to bring Jackson over
to meet her six small dogs. My friend said she might be able to help him get
along with others and play nice, even late in his life. With her assistance, I
was happy to give Jackson a test, or more accurately, a pup quiz.
My friend is experienced with dogs and wasn’t as concerned about his aggressiveness as I was. She said it was important that no dog be on a leash for this event, that we should allow the dogs to work things out naturally with each other. But just in case the experiment went awry, her husband was poised (water hose in hand) to break up a fight.
After Jackson had acclimated to her yard, she let all six of her dogs out of the house and they ran toward him in a friendly pack, happy tails wagging. Jackson was overwhelmed. He fell completely silent, and his body language spoke volumes. He sat down. He cowered.
My heart went out to him. Until that moment, honestly, I had no idea he was so terrified. That moment taught me about the true nature of aggressiveness, that aggressiveness is fear masquerading as authority or power.
Now, back to Baguette.
Up to this point, my daughter, MacKenzie, and I
had mostly kept our dogs apart because, frankly, it was a lot of work to have
them in the same room. But after that revealing encounter with six small dogs,
I wondered how Jackson might do with another chance with Baguette.
We scheduled a rendezvous at my house in the country, so that Baguette and Jackson had plenty of room to get to know each other better. We introduced them to each other outside, with no leashes. I took a deep breath and figured if anyone could make things turn out happy-go-lucky, Baguette could.
Top dog Baguette was a little surprised about Jackson’s style, but she took him in stride. She played his way. She was faster and much bigger than Jackson, and able to get out of his way easily, or take a flying leap over him if necessary, which she did once. She did whatever it took to play with his lunges, and did so happily and at full tilt. It seemed to Mac and me that Baguette was having great fun, almost as if she found Jackson’s aggressive moves hilariously entertaining! He certainly offered a new game for her. The more Jackson ran after her, barking and upset, the more Baguette invited it. How brilliant!
Then Baguette did an amazing thing. She began to imitate Jackson. When he barked, she barked right back as if to say, “Oh, so that’s how you like it!” If Jackson ran after her, she’d run away, and then turn around and chase him right back. This caught him off guard at first, because he didn’t interpret it as playful, and it threw him into a little more fear. Usually, his fear propelled him to run after her again, which is exactly what she was after. Essentially, Baguette welcomed whatever Jackson did and turned it into play.
Jackson wore himself out expressing his fear. It
required a great deal of energy to run, bark, defend, and pursue. Eventually,
he slowed down. When Jackson rested, Baguette hunkered down in a playful way
about ten feet away from him, gazed at him, and waited. She gave him time to
catch his breath. But after a bit, he didn’t come after her, so she barked a
happy invitation. When that didn’t rouse him, she went directly to him,
smelled him, and poked him gently with her paw to encourage him to go after her
and continue the game.
Baguette is clearly a four-legged Aikido Master. She never resisted him—she welcomed Jackson’s actions and turned all of it into fun. She received him right where he was, inviting him to do more of the very thing he was already doing. She didn’t overpower him, manage him, reprimand him or growl. She bounded about as if Jackson was the most delightful and interesting friend she’d ever met.
Eventually, her play and his fear turned into
play on both sides. We noticed Jackson’s tail wagging happily as he barked.
Jackson was tired and happy after it was over, as if his fear had been drawn
out of him like a long ribbon. He seemed lighter and less concerned, more
relaxed and confident. We thought he seemed quite pleased with himself about
how things turned out.
We could all learn a little from Baguette, don’t
you think? And from Jackson as well.
We could apply Baguette’s built-in brilliance to our own lives. We could learn how to be authentically playful, for instance, instead of aggressive, impatient, flippant, or even hateful, with partners and ex-partners. I watched the practically impossible happen with Jackson and he’s a better dog since Baguette ran circles around his fear as if his fear was un-seeable and therefore Jackson’s fear mattered not at all to her. She could only decode his actions as reason to express herself fully—to play in a light-hearted way.
Around Baguette, maybe Jackson’s fear
transformed. Maybe it lifted. Maybe it emptied out of him or some kind of magic
alchemy occurred. Who knows? But what I saw, heard and felt was the wonder of
how she decoded his actions: he was playing with her. And so, eventually, he
played. Gradually, he matched her interpretation of him. Jackson was able to
experience being with her in a happier state than he had been accustomed to
around another dog.
Baguette played with Jackson in a way that demonstrated he was friendship-worthy, and that their time together could be enjoyable. She decoded his actions in a way that blessed them both. And by the way, what a good and fortunate thing to have a friend who can’t see your fear, or see your actions as a problem. What a wonderful thing to have a friend who knows how to play, even when you’re afraid. How full of grace is the moment when a friend knows how to include everything and love anyway.
One evening in my local grocery store, I was shopping in the Italian food section. A few aisles away, a child was in the middle of a loud tantrum. Just as the extra-loud part of the tantrum revved up, a southern grandma walked by me. She was wearing a frumpy sweater and odd-looking pants, and walked with a slight limp. She had heard this child (along with everyone else in the store) and commented aloud as she passed me, “Somebody oughta just whoop that child and teach him a thing or two.”
You know how a whole lot can go through your mind in a few quick seconds, including detailed visuals?
To me, this grandma was a little
scary. I found myself thinking maybe she was limping ’cause she had whooped a
few too many in her day. Or maybe she had underestimated one
“whoopee” who had whooped back. Maybe she’d whooped so many, she’d
over-exerted. Perhaps it was her calling to whoop. Maybe she was a grandma that
whooped her whole family regularly, and had done so that very day even, and now
she was tired and limping.
I wondered what it was like to be a child in her home. What was her point of view on cruelty and kindness? How had her parents treated her and what had she concluded from that treatment? Had she changed over the years, and if so, how? As you can see, I was on a roll in my imagination. She seemed disgusted, angry, old and tired.
Then I noticed my Inner Guidance kick in—and it threw a flag on the play. A whistle blew right there inside me in the grocery store and my awareness snapped to attention. “Oh, there it is!” I thought. “I’m manufacturing a negative story about this grumpy grandma.”When I imagined her possible past evils, I felt negative emotion.
How did my Inner Being throw a flag on the play? By me experiencing a negative emotion. The grandma’s some-body-oughta-whoop-comment in passing required nothing from me. I could have received it, accepted it, let it go. However, I made up a judgmental story in my mind about her, and my Inner Being let me know (through negative emotion) that I did that.
Because I was paying attention
(good for me), I noticed the negative thoughts (judgments about Grandma) were
followed by negative emotion (ouch in my heart). In other words, it hurt to
think what I was thinking. My thinking caused me to come to conclusions about
her, which created an outcome—I felt stressed. Afraid. Worried.
Imagining the grandmother’s past
actions showed up as a tight heart in me. Wasn’t it good of my faithful
guidance system to alert me about my thinking? Believing my thoughts about Grandma
(my made up, stressful opinions) wasn’t going to help me or her, or any of
those already whooped children in any way.
I stood still for a while after she walked on. I didn’t respond verbally to her, but she knew I heard her—we made direct eye contact. I took a moment to notice I was not in a state of love or acceptance. I also noticed that I preferred to return to a more loving state within myself, if at all possible. My way of finding my way back to center, to God, to Love, is to get quiet. So I got quiet. No use having two people in pain.
Limping Grandma reminded me of a truth: thinking unloving thoughts is like giving yourself a good whoopin’.
Silently, I thanked her, and said a
little prayer right there in the grocery store holding the pasta sauce that had
not yet made it into my cart. It must have looked a little odd, me holding
marinara sauce in quiet contemplation. In these ordinary moments, a grandmother
in pain becomes an unlikely angel. After all, she gave me one of the best
reminders possible about how to be gentle to myself, and I listened.
What a beautiful gift this unhappy, oddly dressed, limping, stern woman with missing teeth gave me. She reminded me that I have access to wisdom within. Because of this grandmother, my thoughts turned to masters like Jesus and Buddha and Muhammad and the blessed Mother Teresa, right there in the middle of an ordinary evening of food shopping in my local grocery store.
One thing I was pretty sure of:
this grandmother was doing the best she knew how.
I thought about how Mother Teresa visited the sick and suffering and simply opened her compassionate heart. She received them with love, nothing but love. I decided to become Mother Teresa—at least give it my best shot. I can tell you that pretending to be Mother Teresa relieved the pain of my judgment.
Grazie, sei molto gentile. (Thanks, you are very kind.)
Today, I’m sharing a story about how I accidentally accomplished something on my bucket list. I ran through an exit gate while looking the other way. The hood of my car is scratched up, and one windshield wiper is a mess, but let’s have a good laugh about how we never expect what “getting what we want” includes!
It seems to be a growing fad these days to call someone a narcissist, or declare they are toxic.
Political name-calling is similar—we assign politicians and voters to categories, and brush them off as if they are unintelligent, inferior, or even worthless.
By labeling others, we miss their humanity. We gloss over their struggle, their best effort at dealing with life. We dismiss them.
We do to them what we believe they are doing to others.
Look past a label, and in the soft light of day, there stands a person like you or like me, coping as best they can. At the end of the day, no friend, parent, or lover making conscious choices intends to be mean, or to ignore, or to embellish. There is always more to the story.
If we label others, then for sure we label ourselves. We trap ourselves into believing we are less than. Or not enough. Or we don’t give ourselves the time and forgiveness to work through our “stuff.” Maybe, if we stopped accusing others of narcissism, we could forgive ourselves for those moments when we were narrow-minded, inconsiderate, or afraid.
When it comes to labels, nobody wins.
So, my dear people, I suggest we peer a little deeper into ourselves to investigate a need to separate ourselves from others by tacking them with a label filled with disdain or scorn.
It is my wish that you view this video and take it to heart.