As We Rise

As We Rise (Written for a St. Maarten Magazine)

Moving from the Surface, Going Soul Deep.

So the Women’s World Magazine is celebrating the achievements of St. Maarten’s women. Their intention is to inspire younger women to believe more in themselves and to lead, while also creating awareness for gender equality!

I love that!

And, I want to raise the bar.

In my opinion, we’ve achieved gender equality in particular areas and we understand it’s importance. We have got deeper work to do however; first as individuals and then as a collective.

As women we’ve proven more than ever that we are equals to a certain extent; there is no doubt that we get the job done plus more.

As a transformational coach and the creator of Truthversation, I thought it would be nice to write about what I consider to be the next level of “consciousness” that us as women should be aware of and ultimately transform into.

Moving from the surface; going soul deep. What does that even mean?

Well let me start off with this, the fight for equality has been an ever-growing process within the human race.

Although equality is something we have been striving for, for hundreds of years, moving from abolishing slavery to women’s rights, gender equality and now same sex marriages; we must recognize and admit that the fight would have never even started if there wasn’t an acknowledgement of the “negative impact” it had on the mental, emotional, physical and therefore spiritual wellbeing of the people involved.

If we zoom into different parts of the world, each place will have its own story to tell, each man his and each woman hers.

The truth is, there is always a story and each narrative will always embody a different perspective. What’s interesting is that even though each man and woman has their own story to tell, those stories within themselves represent a whole collective.

Moving from the surface means looking past what we’ve been able to gather at face value and searching for “the more” because there is more!

Going soul deep means looking at the things you are doing or not doing that is keeping things as is.

So let us take a helicopter view for the sake of this article.

Many of us started creating our life based on a number of different factors and circumstances. Basically, our starting point began somewhere in the middle of our parents and/or caregiver’s journeys.

Frankly, the life we live today has a lot to do with the foundation that has been laid within us without our consent. Think about it, for the first decade of our lives we didn’t choose anything for ourselves, at least not from a place of deep consciousness.

What we saw and heard, we registered, literally, in our minds. We didn’t choose where we were born, our parents, our homelife, our primary education or experiences. Yet every single thing we have seen and heard has been stored in our subconscious mind.

We all started with an “image” of what we thought we wanted in life and/or what we were taught it should be like. So, life took its course and there was an automatic flow of accuracies.

If you believe in astrology, there is something that’s called “Saturn Return” and the story behind it is simple.

The planet Saturn was at a specific spot in the universe when we were born. It takes Saturn approximately 30 years to make a full circle in the universe and return to its starting point. If this is true, it means that many of us experienced a shift within ourselves between the ages of 28-33, where we felt a need to change a few things in our lives.

It was in that moment that life intended us to move from the surface towards our core.

I bet you might be wondering why this is all so important. Well, this is how I see it. We are all granted a personal restart; a chance to change things up that no longer serve the life we want to create!

Let’s go back in history, our ancestors have been rising and fighting for change. They did what they had to because they trusted the guidance of their most inner being; they went soul deep. That’s why we are able to enjoy the privileges we do today.

So what are we working on now for the future generations to come?

I believe that the fight for equality should begin within ourselves; the equality to be respected for our own individual journeys and supported as a human being.

What do I mean by that?

We can all look at the imbalance in the world and complain, get frustrated or even angry about all that is happening. But what are we doing about it?

There was a time I spoke to a dear friend of mine, Barbara Emmanuels. She said something that stuck with me, which I would like to share here. She said “Erika, there are people who discriminate, people who do not and there are people who are anti-discrimination”.

I remember asking her “what’s the difference between someone who doesn’t discriminate and someone who is anti-discrimination?”. She said, well there are people who will see discrimination happening and disagree in their minds, and then there are people who will see it happening and will say or do something about it. Well, that hit home for me, because I realized that I was someone who would disagree in my mind. Question is, “is that not being part of the problem?”

We all can have valid reasons for the things we do and do not do. Chances are, a lot of what we do and don’t do is directly linked to our belief system and related to things we have experienced; whether it is personal or through someone else’s story.

Most of the time, the things we do not do is because of fear. Fear holds some of us paralyzed keeping us trapped in the situations we’re in. We want to do something…_BUT!

Ever recognized how often we use the word “but”?

This is where we should move from the surface and go soul deep! Change starts within. We have to acknowledge, learn, understand and admit that fear gets the best of us at times. Once we can reach to that point, we will be able to see the choices we have in front of us and decide upon what we want to do with them.

A few questions for you to ponder, “Do you really want to lead?” “Do you want to influence others positively?” if yes, how are you a reflection of what you want to achieve?

So here is yet another perspective;

The status of people in general differs considerably across classes and districts.

This is so due to the uneven socioeconomic development of a country. What people have to deal with on a daily basis significantly affects their neurological system. If their stress levels are high over longer periods of time, they function very differently as opposed to someone who does not have to deal with stress to that extent.

When we aspire to lead others, leading them will require us to acknowledge that these factors play a significant role in what is needed in order to create change.

Let’s rise my sisters! Let us first raise our awareness, let us then raise our consciousness and be mindful before we say and do things, let’s rise from the automatic-ness in which we live and let us dive deep into our souls and live from that place we are all honored to live from.

We all engage in different relations;

Our men need us in different ways, some of them need us to stop taking the bullshit so that they can change their own bad habits while other men need us to be more loving, patient and reassuring.

Our children need us to heal our own wounds, as some of us are not yet fully mindful of “how” we hurt our children through the pain we carry within us. They need us to be patient and guide them through their own little experiences rather than being told what to do.

Our fellow women need us as well! Sometimes we break each other down in different ways, every so often by “passing judgement” and other times by simply remaining silent. There is an Ubuntu proverb that says “If you want to go fast, go alone and if you want to go far; go together.

My fellow ladies, we can lead more effectively when we are healed.

We must heal our emotional wounds and scars; which are rooted in the “bad things” we have experienced. These things make us react, rather than respond; these bad things make us hard. Many of us put up walls as a form of protection; little do we realize that those same walls prevent us from living freely. We become caged by our own choices and at the same time long to be free.

We must heal all the things that stand in our way of living fully and freely. We can only heal when if we are brave enough to go soul deep.

Remember that life happens for us, not to us. When we take a stand, and rise from that deep soul space, we will embody equality and will no longer have to fight for it!

Written by: Erika van der Mark