How can we empower women?
What does Women Empowerment mean to you?
Leonie: We are happy to have with us Marie Sonnekus. She is joining us, and as part of our celebration of women’s month. I have just decided to, just invite some people and ask them what they see as empowerment, especially empowerment in women.
With us today we have Marie Sonnekus. She has a background in Psychology, she works with play therapy and children’s psychology a lot. She has completed her masters in Practical Theology.
She is also a guide and a life activation practitioner in the MMS and I have had the pleasure of working along side her for many many years.
The reason why I invited Marie to join us is because there is something about the mother goddess, the safe mother energy that she carries with her that I have always admired, sometimes from afar and sometimes a little closer, and often I have had the honour the experiencing the safe space and the healing that she shares with the world so freely.
So Marie I am very honoured to have you with me today and thank you for making time available out of your very busy schedule to join us on this call.
Marie: Thank you Leonie, thank you for inviting me, it’s a wonderful project and a wonderful opportunity for me.
Leonie: So Marie if you think of empowered women, what do you see as an empowered woman?
Marie: Well I gave it a few minutes of thought before the call and what stood out for me was independence.
An empowered woman should have worked through her issues in life to be 100% independent. If we are dependant on someone or something there is always the pressure to be compliant to this person or this process or this thing and you will never be free if you are not really independent.
So, for me, independence stood out.
A woman, an independent woman that rules her world and decided consciously what she allows and who she allows in this world. Empowerment is not just tolerating someone, or tolerating something, it is really deciding and taking control over your life. And this empowered women never asks permission to be herself and to express herself and never says sorry for the way she opened her heart.
So, for me, an empowered woman is really 100% being yourself.
The empowered woman surrounds herself in my view with supportive people, people that encourages her and supports her in ruling her world and expressing her in the way that she wants to.
And very important, an empowered women is very creative. Whatever that means for her, expressing her in her relationships in her work, in the way she creates or makes a living in this world, this must be totally her, never having to say sorry for this is who I am, this is what I am doing.
So, in a nutshell, this is an empowered woman and that’s a happy woman.
We all go through phases where we are not happy, or there is upset, but overall, the empowered women work through her stuff to get to a place of happiness quickly.
Leonie: WOW Marie that is a mouthful but so so relevant. For us not only as SA women but for women across the world. You know, its so often we hear from society and people outside of us that we are too much, or we feel we are hard work when we demand something of ask something or we drive for something, and it is so often misunderstood. You know, we have to pull down to such a deep resource and have such a profound connection to our purpose to actually not be washed back to all these external voices all the time, right?
Marie: Exactly, and I think for the empowered women its work in progress, we should never think we should be perfect and reach that and stay in that, it’s a process, there will always be challenges, there will always be that stuff coming into our lives and into our kingdom and then we need to deal with it. but that voices you talk about is so important.
We have been trained by our childhood, by our parents by society, we have been programmed in a way for what is acceptable and who we should be and we will only be loved if we are this way or that way. We should really work on our true self and express that.
And the interesting this is when you get rid of all of that voices and really step into your power of being 100% yourself, that’s is where the magic is, that is where the most success is, on the other side of that fear of being judged.
Leonie: WOW – I like what you saying, it almost sounds like you are equating our lives as us being the queen and us having a kingdom with our creators or partners, where that is male or female. And just like a king or a queen would protect her boarders of her kingdom, we should be looking at protecting our space and what comes in and out, but also active choice about what I want to create and being cognitive about what I want to create in my life.
Do I want joy, do I want happiness, do I want a big house, do I want a small house, do I want to have a garden, whatever it is that you want to create, you are the curator or the director if that?
Marie: So true. And to get to a point where you actually allow yourself to think about these things that you really want, and what you won’t allow and what you don’t like. For any women and me personally it took many years to get to that point of well this is how it is, I am allowing myself to drive this and it’s our birth right.
Leonie: Marie, just off the cuff of that, you know it sounds to me also like being a women and embodying that empowerment is also kind of a little bit of footwork between sometimes wielding the soft motherly agenda and sometimes being the assertive warrioress to say up until here and no more, I think we are lured into believing we should just accept and roll over instead of just really saying this is what I want and having our voice out there.
Marie: Yes, an empowered woman is a very very strong person, and women overall is forces to be reckoned with, and we misunderstand that strength, we think, you know, that we have to go to the male side to get this strength but its not true, a woman that puts her foot down can do it in the nicest way and no one knows what to say.
So that strength is there, we have to connect to it and also allow ourselves to flow that.
Leonie: And talking about strength, what do you think is a woman’s strength? Maybe you have answered it already but maybe you can summarise it for us?
What do you think is a woman’s greatest strength? What is it inside of us that we carry, that we have that gives that ability to create the dream, to think of ways to expand our family, to create a beautiful earth, a beautiful life?
Marie: Woman have so many strengths, but for me personally, being a mother, a mother to our children, having the ability to birth a baby into this world but also to birth new ideas and new ways of doing, birthing a new world, because the world we live in is pretty screwed up sometimes. We the mothers have that power to change things, the way we can gather our family together, we are also the mother of teh children of teh world, we can really change things f we really become that mother and flow that unconditional love we have in our hearts. A mother can get angry and she can put boundaries there but she can give unconditional love, a woman who will never turn her back on her child, and I think that if we as women can really step into that and allow ourselves to let go of teh judgement and separate all of that and really be mothers we can create a whole new world.
Leonie: And we need that right? I think it’s time for women to really step up. I think we have waited long enough for things to happen to us and for us. So perhaps its time for us to reconsider, join hands and create something different.
Marie: Exactly, and sometimes you know it’s a process to get to that place where we join hands and stand together because that ego inside of us comes and says NO, this person let her go, judgements and all. Sometimes, someone else pushes our buttons and puts their finger into that deep hurt that we have for so many years.
The surprise is that when we heal that wound, we let go of that hurt through hard work and no one is able to push your buttons, then we can really take hands and change teh world.
Leonie: So what you are saying is that healing is also part of that empowerment process, and sometimes healing means prioritising ourselves and our own needs above the rest of our family which is so counter what we are told as a society or what we so often have been take up and always go children first, my needs last. If you think of an aeroplane what do they always say, put the mask on your own face first before helping someone else, and that is maybe that programming that you are talking about?
You know, we thought a good mother is self-sacrificing, they do not have a life of their own, they vicariously live through their children, they never oppose their husbands, “she’s difficult if she does”, those kinds of things, maybe its time for us to let those kinds of things go.
Marie: Definitely, that kind of programming does not serve us in this time anymore, and a real empowered woman that does what she loves and sometimes put herself first and for her inner joy is the best mother their can be. You know when we go to the spa or have tea with the girls, that kid can have tantrums it does not matter because we are calm relaxed and happy.
Leonie: Well I can do with a cup of tea right now during COVID….
Marie: For sure
Leonie: Marie, as I have said, I have worked with you a lot over the years and in my personal capacity I have worked with you with my children and you have given me amazing guidance and I have always admired you , always felt that you are the kind of woman that, there’s a power, an innate power that you carry. Who if you had to look and name someone, who would you see as someone that is empowered? And why?
Marie: Aww thank you Leonie. So, I have a very interesting role model for an empowered woman, it’s a Japanese lady I met many years ago in Canada when I travelled there and her name is Osusa Yoda, and she is a very interesting person. She thinks out of teh box, cannot speak a word of English, and if she can she has not revealed it to anyone. She teh lead singer of a heavy metal band and she is just doing her thing.
She drives this very fast black car, and you can see she answers to no one. It does not matter what teh norm for society is, this girl does her thing and its so interesting when I met her, there was obviously no English so I could not communicate.
But just being in her presence was so overwhelming, and I felt her leadership and its almost as if that I am her …… and i rubbed off a little bit on it. That was for me an amazing experience to have met this woman, so yeah for me, that’s an empowered woman.
Leonie: Yes, being unapologetically yourself, and almost resting and relaxing in knowing that that is who you are.
Marie: Yes, yeah, so that is some of teh qualities I would love more. I do not even listen to heavy metal music but this woman is just amazing.
Leonie: But it sounds like you know, if the energy as you say, you guys could not even properly communicate but teh way she carried herself. I mean I do not know her personally but I can see what you are referring to, I can almost see her driving around in her car and you know…. I can even get that energy transmission through you.
Leonie: Often times we don’t have words and we have to say the right thing, and sometimes it has nothing to do with words and speaking.
Marie: Exactly, and I think for us, being empowered women we should really carry that energy, and if we really step into that power of empowerment, we won’t need to say a word.
Leonie: WOW, Marie you have given me some great great food for thought, some soul food. I can see and feel our enthusiasm. Thank you for spending the time with us, I look forward to connecting with you soon.
Marie: Thank you so much for inviting me, it was a wonderful experience for me.
Leonie: Thank you for your time Goddess
Marie: Thank you Goddess