An Ode to the Western Women

Beautiful painting by
Beautiful painting by

“The world will be saved by the western women.”  The Dalai Lama

People of a certain age might remember a commercial from the 1980’s for some sort of perfume.  This sexy woman comes strutting into view, singing sassily, “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan, and never never let you forget your a man, cause I’m a woman.”  If you want to refresh your memory go have a look-see here.

As an impressionable teenager I watched this, and things like this, with excitement and enthusiasm.  Yes!  I can have it all.  I can have a fulfilling career, a marriage, a family, and, happy days are here again, bacon!  And it was with this attitude that I, and so many like me forged ahead to create this utopian world for ourselves.

Fast forward 15 years.  I can bring home the bacon, but really, you expect me to cook it too?  And when that is all done, dishes dried and put away, then I get to bathe the baby, read stories, sing songs, try to fit a full day’s worth of parental loving into a few short hours, tuck her in bed, along with a healthy dose of motherly guilt, then throw in some laundry, set up coffee and lunches for the morning, pay the bills, and with my five free minutes before I collapse into bed I get to never, never let you forget your a man?  Oh lucky me.

The problem with being able to have it all, is that we ended up having it all.  My  cup literally was running over. My balls were in the air and I was juggling as fast as I could, keeping everything going, being the best superwoman I could be.  But baby, it was giving me a supersized case of the shivering fits.

Women of my generation (give or take a few decades) faced that double edged sword.  We juggled and danced and whistled and then we fell down.  The lessons came in so many ways, but the results were universal.  We needed to stop life as human “doings” and get back to life as human “beings”.  We were broken open in so many ways.  Our wake up calls came in the forms of divorce, losing jobs, sickness, loss, death.  There were tough times, impossibly tough, but we have finally been delivered to this moment in history and we are ready for what comes next.

In my spiritually inspired journey over the past couple of years I have travelled many places, attended many seminars and lectures, taken classes and workshops, all in the attempt to understand this existence.  In my travels I have noticed something interesting.  The demographic at all of these events is predominantly women.  We range in age from 20 to 102, but the vast majority of us are in those tender middle years, floating in our 40s, 50s and 60s.  We have softer skin around our jawlines, our curves are not as perky as they once were but we have grace and beauty in our souls that shines brightly.  And we find each other.

It’s like an old movie where the man and woman look across the crowded dance floor.  Their eyes meet and there is this zing of recognition.  But for us it happens with like minded souls.  We come to the workshops, we look around a sea of strangers and our eyes meet.  Wham-o!  I know you!   We introduce ourselves and start to talk as if we entered in the middle of a sentence.  We know each other instantly.  Our stories spill out and we hug and hold hands and laugh and feel like we’ve finally found our long lost sister.

First there was Katie from Australia, who had been healed of liver cancer at a Dr. Brian Weiss seminar.  She is intuitive and shares her truth in such a matter of fact way it inspires me to do the same (no matter how crazy I may seem).  Then there is Diane from Oregon.  She taught me about loving Jesus despite Christianity and let me practice doing a regression on her over Skype.  Joan, my beloved Reiki Master who has taught me so very much in such a short time.  She writes me poetry to support my journey and reaches out in love when I don’t even know I need her to.  And I always need her to.   There is also another Kate.  She and I attended the same past life workshop but didn’t meet until the not so random workings of the interweb brought us to each other and we discovered a kinship and commonality that continues to surprise me.  That same random internet brought others, people who have read my experiences and have felt inspired to reach out to me.  Their reaching out has allowed us to connect and build a network of likeminded people that literally spans the globe (and I’m not even exaggerating here).

And in this interweaving of relationships we have created a tapestry of love and compassion.  We are indeed greater than the sum of our parts.  Together we learn, inspire, teach and grow.  We gain strength through adversity, we laugh and bless each other, we journey and grow to greater understanding because of each other.

And we will save the world.  Of this I have no doubt.

90 thoughts on “An Ode to the Western Women”

  1. Oh, you know I relate to the human “doing” part so well. I was reflecting that there are communities of artists connected globally as well. As you said, we are all part of a sum that is greater than any of us…it seems that authentic communities of any kind underscores that truth.

  2. Great post. I”m reading a book right now, an older boo, that you might enjoy: “Drinking the Rain” by Alix Kates Shulman. It is about a NY activist, feminist who ends up spending summers, alone, on a kind of shack cabin next to the ocean on an Island off of Maine, living off the greens, fruit, berries, shell fish, etc. on the island and finding another part of herself in the process. Women have been through a lot since the Goddess energy was so condemned in most of the religions and cultures. I am very much looking forward to the new world.

    1. Heehee 🙂 You know, Rob, I was thinking today that some of my best friends have been men. When men and women become friends without all of the silly sexual tension it can be a wondrous thing. Despite what they say in When Harry Met Sally 😉

  3. What a wonderful piece you have written here. Thank-you for sharing it again! Your words, “We have grace and beauty in our souls that shine brightly. And we find each other.” resonated with me. As I scrolled through your comments I can see the post resonated with many. You are an inspiration Brenda Ann!

  4. This is such a great post. The most interesting thing is that the Dalai Lama said what he said – doesn’t he ever miss a trick ? Fabulous soul, travelling in the open, for us all to learn from. Brenda – Thank you for being there, and doing what you do.

  5. Poignant and hopeful. Perhaps we are not saving the world but rather disassembling the myths of Western culture to find the true simple values that will sustain a new paradigm for our grandchildren. Thank you for your words.

  6. I think Dalai Lama could have been more inclusive. My boss Dottie is a follower of Dalai Lama and she has saved and helped many with her work on Cancer. Our paths crossed and we connected despite having different philosophy of life. My mother is a great great woman and how she has supported my father’s business in Pakistan is unbelievable. She became more than a man, a wonder woman and that minuses her having a degree from university or a job

    1. I agree with you Maha. There are incredible women and men all over the world. The more we reach out and connect with each other, the greater our power to heal what is wrong and to bring greater light to the darkness. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman, as do you. Blessings.

  7. Hi Brenda,

    Thank you for sharing your gifts with all of us. It is so magical how paths cross and we each in our own way work to move forward, and yet we all are on the same journey together. I appreciate your interest in my blog and the spirit guides.

  8. Brenda:
    Thanks for the “follow” which brought me to see what you are writing. I came and stayed awhile. I am from the era when the Superintendent of Schools called me in every month I was pregnant (and teaching) to “see if I was a disgrace yet.” In this time, before your time, teachers could not teach in that school after 4 months being pregnant, for showing was unseemly. “Those who would give light must endure burning.” You nailed it! I have always admired generations that came after me for their spunky “can-do” attitude. Set your own limits based on priorities and “you go girl.” Let woman climb up alongside men.

  9. West or East – women around the globe have been saving the world. As it stands, the remark unfortunately sounds like a return to the Victorian notion of the ‘white man’s burden’. Without the labour of women in India, Bangladesh and many other countries the economy that supports the world would have collapsed. And unfortunately within the western feminist movement, there is/was a degree of ‘paternalism’ in ‘saving’ other women from oppression. Really the world can only be saved by a collective effort.

    1. West or East, Women or Men… I agree that the Dalai Lama could have been more inclusive because we are all responsible and capable of saving this beautiful world we live in. For me, the Western Women quote resonated because that is what I am. It is a rally cry for me.

  10. A lovely piece, full of all the friendship and bonding that I, even as a Christian of many years, can never quite seem to grasp. Like John the Baptist, I find myself living quite isolated in the desert, though my desert is a huge metropolitan area of anywhere between 2-4 million people, depending on which suburbs you count, and which you leave out. I’m not complaining, it seems the Lord fashioned me in such a way that I’m well-suited to isolation, and when I do miss closer interaction with people, there’s always my Blog, and my love of reading, which allows me to peruse all the Christian blogs I desire, soaking up the fellowship that is inherent in each. And yours is one of the best, becoming one of my favorites after just two readings. For that I thank you, I commend your skill with words, and the passion for writing that I sense in each and every word of yours that I read. Thank-you again, and may all your days be blessed.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I understand how a person can feel most alone in a crowd of people. I am happy that we have found each other in this wide wide world of web. I look forward to getting to know you better through your writing. Blessings, friend 🙂

  11. It is a privilege to know you, Brenda, and I agree with every word. I have always believed that the future of the world lies with its women, although I was not aware that the Dalai Lama had said so.

  12. Love your blog and agree women need to support one another. I have been lucky, and my spiritual journey brought me to my wonderful third husband. We support one another in our retirement. I do relate to all the work shops, that I participated in for several decades!

  13. So true, so true…and so well-written. The women’s revolution has created large, social changes and has given women many options. Like another well-worn phrase, “We’ve come a long way, baby” …but we still have a long way to go. I am glad that there are thinking, feeling people out there (like you) who are constantly re-evaluating and adjusting. Thank you for following me. I look forward to your posts.

  14. I’m old enough to remember well that bringing home the bacon, frying it and never letting him forget he’s a man commercial. I tried to do it all for years, but couldn’t keep up with the man part after the kids came along. I wish I could find the cartoon where an honest woman’s response after watching that commercial is: “That woman must be on drugs.” Thank God things are better now with help from nurturing women as you wrote about. Thank you for following me and encouraging good journeys. Thank you for the hope you inspire.

  15. I hated that commercial then and even more so now! No one can have it all, and certainly no one can do it all. And yet, often women seem to be expected to do just that. What a great post about women helping women be the women they are meant to be. Thank you.

      1. I would like to think that might happen but unfortunately I get more cynical about it as I get older. Still, things are as they are, and I have hope that our daughters (and sons if we have them) will make a better future.

  16. I’m so past taking care of the home, bringing home the bacon and making sure I give the baby her bath after a long day at work. I never wanted it all I always wanted to be a SAHM. Now I’m staying at home in my golden years and looking back and I don’t regret the early years. Thanks for following me I’m following you.

  17. Thanks for reaching out to me and allowing me to walk with you. This is a most inspiring post for me as a male, because women are indeed “super,” yet, many must recognize the kryptonite in their lives and take evasive actions immediately. There is indeed a difference between being selfish (taking care of self first) and inconsiderate (not caring about how we impact others).

  18. A beautiful post Brenda. Thank you for mentioning me. I am also amazed and delighted that you and I have connected via the internet. It is fascinating to me that we were at the same training at Omega all week and didn’t connect there. We share so many common themes, we must have planned our communication long before incarnation this time around!

  19. I juggled and danced and whistled along with you, being everything to everybody….except myself. Not only was I ALWAYS in last place, I didn’t even know I had a place. I love your clear-eyed summation of what set us in motion so long ago, and what has brought us together now in healing.

  20. I simply loved this post. You share such deep and touching insight, yet your humor makes it so relatable. I know just what you meant when you wrote about meeting someone with the same spirit as you, and how instant and special that is. I too believe that we will save the world. Thank you for sharing!

  21. I deeply appreciated your wide angle lens perspective on the journey that women have been through and the glorious discoveries of riding each other and their spiritual path. I look forward to creating a “tapestry of love and compassion”.

  22. I love all you wrote here. I’m in my late 60’s and for about two decades I’ve been creating a soul-satisfying life: poetry, music, my dogs, nature, chanting, prayer, spiritual growth, and have tried to move on from the demands of my ego that drove me for so many years, mainly wanting, though never attaining, a career that I wasn’t suited for anyway. So thank you for the encouragement to me and others to find the human “beings” that we are and come together to save the world.

  23. I really enjoyed reading what you wrote. We, woman, have set such high goal for ourselves with having it all. There are too many with illnesses that shows that our bodies can not keep up. Fibermyalgia, MS…. are just a few of those diseases that show it is not healthy to live under such stress. This message and discussion needs to be discussed among woman.

  24. And now there’s me, Brenda! I’m glad you found me at Spirituality Without Borders. This piece is extraordinary. I agree wholeheartedly. We thought we had to be like men. Wrong.

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