On March 8th, all around the world, the qualities and achievements of women are proudly celebrated. As daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, grandmothers and friends, we all deserve huge recognition for these parts in civilization. Being a woman in today's world can be rather exhausting, we tend to put pressure on ourselves to do everything for everyone because we are natural care givers. Well, this March I invite you to pause, reflect and realise who you are in addition to the roles you already have.
This year the Women's Day theme is 'Choose to Challenge' which I believe compliments perfectly the experiences we have all just lived through. We have faced challenges one after the other during this global pandemic, so firstly, let us all take a moment right now to congratulate ourselves on how we have moved through and survived this period of time.
Perhaps you went into lockdown handling the difficulties with nothing but poise and grace, which if so, I curtsy to you. However, personally, this year I haven't been able to escape feeling like a hot mess and the greatest lesson has been learning who I am and getting clearer on want I genuinely want to do with my life. This breakthrough with my mindset has not just happened out of the blue, here are the communities that have helped me on my self-growth and development journey.
Challenges are thrown at us constantly, that's not something we can control but choosing how we react or handle life's little tests are within our power. Having faith and conviction in your choices can give you all the confidence you need to continue living without being crippled by fear and anxiety in the future. The practise of yoga teaches us to trust in the universe and enjoy the process of discovering our Dharma (purpose). Your purpose should be something that brings you joy and cultivates a passion within you, so get trying everything and see what ignites you. I have found balance through my yoga practise by slowing down my routine and truly listening and learning about my body. Taking care of myself is now in the form of daily habits that I have formed during the last few months and they are proving very effective. I have embraced my shadow side, embraced my light side and now gently remind myself every day that I am human with permission to feel exactly as I do.
During this year, even with the restrictions, the U.K pageant industry has grown remarkably. By developing the categories and guidelines, pageants are now more inclusive than ever and there is an event for everyone! I started competing two years ago when I learnt there were no age restrictions, no body type requirements and no talent round (I assumed there would be due to the Miss Congeniality movie). My first time on a pageant stage was nerve wracking but overall, the benefits of joining this sisterhood community have been life changing for me. The social aspect is a huge positive for anyone looking to make new friends, during this year everyone has stayed connected through social media and online occasions. Being a pageant contestant is not all about wearing the fashionable clothes (so if you live in a sports bra like me, there's no need to worry). Behind the glamour and fabulous dresses is the hard work that is put into charitable giving, acts of kindness, fundraising and volunteering. We all donate what time and effort we can to support and spread awareness on certain topic's that are close to our hearts. For example; I raise money for mental health charities in my local area so they have more funds to reach more people in need, I also volunteer for the crisis helpline. This is my way of giving back to society and sequentially boosting my own self esteem. By having a platform and goal to strive towards I have found the motivation I needed, the tribe of women I am grateful to know and I am constantly learning new skills which are proving useful in all areas of my life.
Throughout history women have fought hard to ensure equality between genders, the purpose of International Womens Day is to honour these ladies and the world they have created for us to live in today. The rise of women is absolutely not about the fall of men, in fact finding a balance between genders can positively affect the economy and ultimately change the world.
Women have the ability to empower others, to lead others and advocate for a healthy way of living. We can choose to challenge, to teach and be taught by all generations and praise each other on the way. We are superhero's, we are champions, we are inventors, we are cheerleaders, we are caregivers, we are beautiful, we are WOMEN.