3,769,600,000.  That’s the approximate number of women on the plant right now that we know of*.

 

When we consider how women experience life, we most often think about similarities or differences based on age, relationship status, family, wealth, colour of skin – possibly one or two other factors like beliefs and health, but that’s probably about it.  
 
Three billion , seven hundred and sixty-nine million , six hundred thousand women are, more often than not, reduced to just a handful of variables.
 
Consequently, the collective awareness of what it is to be a woman, by and large, falls light-years short of the reality.

Sunday morning, whilst in downward dog trying not to think of anything but “ohm”, the below list began to write itself.

 
Have a look down it and see how many are true for you.
  
My experience as a woman is:
  1. to have known my parents
  2. to not know who my parents are
  3. to have siblings I grew up with
  4. to have siblings I’ve never met (I want to, they don’t/they want to, I don’t/it’s not possible)
  5. to know what it is to be an only child
  6. to have had an education (free, private, fought for)
  7. to have had no education
  8. to know what it is to be a woman with ‘X’ colour skin
  9. to know abuse (emotional, physical, mental)
  10. to interact with the world as a gay/straight/bisexual/transgender woman
  11. to know what it is to have a faith I can be open about
  12. to know what it is to have a faith I’m persecuted for
  13. to know being healthy, fit and well
  14. to know illness (from mild to life-threatening)
  15. to have had to care for my parents as a child
  16. to know what it is to be in love
  17. to have never known the feeling of being in love
  18. to know heartache from loss of love
  19. to know what it is to be married (once, multiple times) 
  20. to know what it is to have had my partner chosen for me
  21. to know separation and divorce
  22. to never be short of finance
  23. to know being broke
  24. to live my life providing for my family 
  25. to have been able to pursue my career
  26. to have amazing friends
  27. to know what it is to feel alone
  28. to be at the top of my game
  29. to know peace
  30. to know war
  31. to physically be able to do anything I want for myself
  32. to need other people to do things for me because I am unable 
  33. to be able to see the beauty of the world I live in
  34. be unable to see a sunset
  35. to be able to hear the world I live in
  36. to live in a world void of sound
  37. to be able to speak
  38. to be unable to use my voice
  39. to know freedom
  40. to know being imprisoned for a crime I did/did not commit
  41. to know slavery
  42. to have rights
  43. to feel like I have no rights
  44. to have children
  45. to have had my child die
  46. to want children but to be unable
  47. to not know where my children are
  48. to know a blissful state
  49. to know what it is to not want to be alive
  50. to be able to have a break or go on holiday
  51. to have never been away on holiday
  52. to know what it is to be homeless
  53. to have a vehicle I can get to wherever I want
  54. to have to use public transport everywhere I go
  55. to have no other choice than to spend every day looking after others 
  56. to have no one to look after but myself
  57. to have a dominant feminine energy
  58. to have a dominant masculine energy
  59. to know what I want
  60. to not have a clue what I want
  61. to feel beautiful
  62. to feel ugly
  63. to feel fat
  64. to feel thin
  65. to feel indifferent about how I look 
  66. to feel I fit in
  67. to feel I stand out
  68. to be extroverted
  69. to be introverted
  70. to be ambivert
  71. to know what it is to be celebrated
  72. to know shame
  73. to have a sound mind
  74. to feel a mess and not know how to help myself
  75. to know mentall illness
  76. to live near my family
  77. to live thousands of miles away
  78. to not know who my family are
  79. to know rejection
  80. to know love and support
Λ
 
You can probably think others I’ve not listed, but it’s a starter.  Had you picked just ten  (I picked almost 40), the following is the number of possible combinations you could have selected.
  
One trillion,
six hundred and forty-six billion,
four hundred and ninety-two million,
one hundred and ten thousand,
one hundred and twenty.
 
That’s more variables than there are women.

Add to the eighty listed all the specific nuances of each option, (which I have done in brackets for a few), plus all the possible ways of reacting to each of them, and the numbers get really elaborate (I had to get Google involved)!

 

Our personal experience of being a woman is SO INEXPLICABLY UNIQUE as is that of the women we meet, read about, see on the T.V or are stood next to at the checkout.  The alchemy that takes place on a daily basis as a result of both our present and past reality means we experience and frame the world in more numerous ways than we may think or believe. 

Women are not only from Venus but there are trillions of different Venus’s. 
Though some will favour the extent to which this shows just how individual we are, some will prefer to look at the commonalities we share.  What can we do personally to show up for other women?
 
How we connect and empathise with lives we’ve not lived

1. We listen without judgment.  We hold space for the rich diversity which has shaped and moulded not just womens’, but every person’s life.   We see every journey experience as real and valid to the individual as we consider our own to be to us. 

2. Awareness of our journey, especially our privileges, means we recognise that our unique micro realisation applies to a macro reality.  We acknowledge and honor the experiences others face daily.  

3. We choose to not buy into narrow-minded stereotypes which do not take into account the voices of those who have none.  A helpful measure is that relative truths mean it is true for me and those who also believe what I do.  Universal truths are true for all people!

The collective story of being a woman, which will be much talked of this week, is all the more true to reality if we can listen to, acknowledge, honor and speak up for, in truth, all those it represents. 
..|..
 

 
*based on 7.6 billion people in the world & the female population being 49.6%
 

One Comment on “The Alchemy Of Women

  1. Pingback: 8 Powerful Practices For Surviving Uncertain Seasons – A PLACE WITHIN

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