Are you a Feminist?

I sat in a week long Intensive class “The Psychology of Women”.  The professor’s opening statement for the class “Raise your hand if you are a feminist.” I was the only person in the to raise my hand. Powerful!! Of course the closing statement for the class was “Raise your hand if you are a feminist.” Twenty-four people both men and women, raised their hands (the entire class).

My first thought. The importance to educate others on the subjects feminism and empowerment of women.

My second thought. Write about it!!!

“The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.”
Gloria Steinem

Feminist: the term replaces the former phrase “womens’  libber” that was often used in a derogatory manner. A feminist is a person who favors political, economic, and social equality of women and men, and therefore favors the legal and social changes necessary to achieve that equality.

Feminism has helped to change the more traditional perspectives in many areas.

Through the years feminist activists have campaigned for woman’s legal rights including the following: 1.) rights of contract- property rights, and voting rights, 2.) a woman’s rights to bodily integrity-abortion and reproductive rights, 3.) protection of women and girls from sexual harassment, domestic violence, incest, and rape, 4.) economic matters have also been a focus- workplace rights, equal pay, maternity leave and gender-specific discrimination against women.

The movement came in waves, each having distinct purpose and outcome.

First wave ~ Women’s Suffrage. This occurred during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the focus was on legal rights, property ownership and the right to vote. In the forefront- Florence Nightingale and Susan B. Anthony

Second wave ~ Women’s Liberation Movement. Focused on the unofficial rights of sexuality (birth control), family (abortion) and workplace (equal pay).

Third wave ~ Continuation Movement. Moving forward in reaction to the perceived failures of the first and second-waves of feminism, beginning in the 1990’s.
You might find this website informative www.feminist.com. There are some fascinating and intriguing interviews with feminists that include: Eve Ensler, Carol Gilligan, Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinheim, Melissa Etheridge, Annie Lennox, Natalie Portman and many more.

Important Facts

It was only 38 years ago (1972) that congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment.

The amendment reads: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

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And it was 32 years ago in 1978 that they passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

This act bans employment discrimination against pregnant women, stating a woman cannot be fired or denied a job or a promotion because she is or may become pregnant, nor can she be forced to take a pregnancy leave if she is willing and able to work.

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Also in the 1970’s came legalization of abortion with the court case of Roe vs. Wade in 1973.

The Roe Court deemed abortion a fundamental right under the United States Constitution, thereby subjecting all laws attempting to restrict it to the standard of strict scrutiny.

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“We’ve come a long way baby.”

Life/Health Coaching

If you have been reading our blog since the beginning, you may recall I will complete my Life Coaching Certification (through UNH) and my Health Coaching Certification (through B1 Community) next month.  When I decided to sell the yoga studio it was important to only let go of that if I had something equally as meaningful to do, something of value.  By listening to my intuition, thinking about what I would be good at and considering how I could integrate that with all I know about yoga – I decided to explore coaching.  The worst case scenario (yeah, I PLAN and think worst case) would be that I learned about myself during the coaching classes and the best case – I would explore it as a career.  I am still uncertain about coaching as a career because I need to be certain I will be very good at it, however I encouraged because my friends and family tell me I am a ‘natural’ at coaching.    I will have a better assessment after I practice coach 3 people this summer.

What I do know is this – coaching is about listening, coaching is about paying attention to what the coachee is saying and what they are not saying.  It is about being present in a way where I can help the coachee discover their strengths, uncover behavior patterns that are not working for them and utilizing their strength and inner wisdom to make changes that will decrease stress in the body, mind & spirit.  And most important, it is about walking the journey with another person in support of the choices they make to live authentically.

There is much more to coaching and I will share additional information in future blogs and on the new websites (www.twosistersjourney.com and www.livinglifemakingchoices.com) in the coming months.  If you are interested in life/health coaching and want to be part of my summer practicum, please email me:  mmillernh@comcast.net.

Namaste,
~Maureen

EXHALED AGAIN!!!

The “Two Sisters Journey” once again included  the Saturday 1:00 yoga class at Exhale Mind/Body Spa in Boston, led by Emily Philips.

The slow and steady pace of the class was a great workout both mentally and physically. I feel pretty confident with my postures in this class, making modifications where necessary and carefully making note of what I need to do to strengthen my practice.

Today, I set up a home studio and over the course of the next few weeks I will be focusing on developing my postures and achieving better balance. The asana that I had the most difficulty with Saturday was “the tree” (Vrksasana), it is all focus and balance, so my initial goal is to perfect this pose, well I will try anyway!!!

FYI….Emily did comment at the end of class that my practice has blossomed, that made me feel good and is incentive enough to realize that I should move forward with my practice.

SELF EXAMINATION III: STILL LEARNING

If there is one thing that I can take away from this journey it is that “learning is endless.”

As I (we) continue to learn/grow in self awareness it becomes clear that we must reconnect with ones SELF.  Once we do this, we become empowered to move forward making our life our own. We learn to accept who we are, making adjustments we feel are required or desired. Cultivating wellbeing is a positive experience; it creates “self love” aka “self esteem.’

So, you are now asking: What does yoga have to do with all this?

The answer: Yoga helps us to be more sensitive to our natural awareness by listening to our body and trusting our intuition.

Remember…”Yoga is vast; it is so much more that asanas (poses), it is about finding your center, personal transformation and over all well being.

LOOK AT ME by JOHN LENNON

Look at me
What am I supposed to be?
What am I supposed to be?
Look at me
What am I supposed to be?
What am I supposed to be?
Look at me
Oh My Love Oh My Love

Here I am
What am I supposed to do?
What am I supposed to do?
Here I am
What can I do for you?
What can I do for you?
Here I am
Oh My Love Oh My Love

Please look at me My Love
Here I am-Oh My Love
Who am I?
Nobody knows but me
Nobody knows but me
Who am I?
Nobody else can see

Just you and me
Who are we
Oh My Love

Oh My Love

Check out this video————–

YOGA MANDALA, WINCHESTER

Last Friday we, the two sisters, ventured off to a local studio, Yoga Mandala located at 6 Mount Vernon Street in Winchester center.  I loved the location (convenient and plenty of parking) the atmosphere of the studio (inviting and relaxing) and the instructor/studio owner Nicole (knowledgeable and experienced).  FYI…perfect lighting as well!

Yoga Mandala is a small community yoga studio that offers a variety of classes, including but no limited to; Restorative, Basics, Vinyasa, Astanga, and Ivengar all scheduled at convenient times. Also offered at the studio: a Yoga Exploratorium series, which studies Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutra’s.  I am considering signing on for the next series. (There I go again adding another thing to my already crazy schedule!)

The class we attended on Friday was a Chakra Basics for all levels. Nicole instructed the class effortlessly, able to guide all in attendance to practice at our own experience levels.

After class we briefly (ok we do nothing briefly) chatted with Nicole, giving us an opportunity to get a sense of her direction and dedication for both her personal practice and the future of the studio. Nicole is extremely motivated and passionate about both.

In closing, I have to state that I could not uncover one thing that I did not like about Yoga Mandala studio or Nicole.  Therefore, I have decided that in the fall when Maureen and I complete our “summer on the road yoga series” I will consider Yoga Mandala in Winchester my home base. I suggest that others consider it as well!!