As women, we are taught from a young age to value and listen to the wisdom of others, usually (cis) men because patriarchy tells us that men are the authority, that they know everything. This prevents us from listening to and trusting our own wisdom and intuition. We’re often criticized for being too emotional and sensitive and dramatic. The systems of oppression (patriarchy, White supremacy, capitalism, etc..) doesn’t value empathy, sensitivity, intuition, listening. Thus, tapping into our intuition might feel scary or like unknown territory because it's not what we've been taught. Following our intuition and trusting our inner wisdom (or authority) requires that we go against the status quo, challenge what we've always been taught, and undo the taboo and stigma we've subconsciously taken on.
A lot of girls and women have received messages from the media that they need to be saved or taken care of and protected. While these messages have been slowly changing, they have messed with our heads getting us further away from our intuition, from trusting ourselves and our authority of our life. If we’ve received messages that we need saving or protected, then we’re going to look to others, particularly cis men for answers, for authority, wisdom, and control instead of ourselves.
It's not just patriarchy that has steered us away from our own authority though. White supremacy teaches us that White folks are the authority figures. Ableism teaches us that non-disabled folks have authority. The gender-binary teaches us that cisgendered folks have authority. Capitalism teaches us that our bosses or society have the authority. So on and so forth. The systems of oppression greatly influence who we perceive as having authority, who we perceive as "experts," and what kind of relationship we have to our own authority and intuition. Because of this, there are many messages that we have internalized to keep us from listening to and following our inner voice and wisdom.
Becoming more aware of what the systems of oppression have taught us in relation to authority, and how we have internalized these messages is a key to our liberation. Not only do we need to change the structures outside of ourselves and outward oppression, but also inward oppression, the unhealthy and unsupportive thoughts and beliefs we have latched onto about ourselves that aren’t actually a part of who we truly are. The more we hold onto internalized oppressive beliefs, the less we truly are ourselves, and therefore the less connected we are to our intuition. Connecting to our intuition can help us realize more the oppressive beliefs that we’ve been taught and internalized, and vise versa; the more we confront these oppressive beliefs, the more in touch with our intuition we can be.
Are you following someone else's authority on how you "should" live your own life, run your business, or do relationships? We constantly get messages from outside sources that we should be doing this, should be doing that in all areas of our lives. We're told that we have to fit someone else's mold and follow their model thus keeping us further and further away from creating our own model, and doing what feels right to us.
It is scary and confusing to create our own model because there's no other structure to model after when we're tapping into our creativity and wanting to make something different. A lot of times, we end up re-creating the same structures that we've always seen, been a part of and experienced because those are the models that we know. But, this can be detrimental and not serve us or those around us in our communities and world. Often times, the structures we end up re-creating have oppressive foundations that reinforce hierarchy, patriarchy, White supremacy, capitalism, individualism, heterosexism, etc...
How can we move away from these oppressive structures and create new ones that work towards a model of liberation and justice?
It can be messy and complex creating our own new models of "success", how to love and do relationships, what decisions we make for ourselves, where we want to work, how we want to run our business, and how we want to build community. It's an exploration that doesn't have a destination. A journey of liberation is one that is always evolving; it is fluid.
What if you listened to and trusted YOUR authority, instead of someone else's? What if you listened to YOUR intuition and how it wants you to live your life and manage and market your business? How do you keep yourself in check, coming back to myself, and listening to your intuition, listening to yourself?
What do YOU want? What do YOU desire? What is YOUR intuition telling you? What feels good to YOU?
When someone gives you advice, whether it's unwanted or not, pay attention to how what they're saying feels in your body. Does it feel good? Not everything will resonate. Sometimes, nothing will resonate. Sometimes, much of it will resonate. Take what resonates and leave the rest. You can tell what feels right to you, what ideas and decisions feel right to your body and intuition.
I don't believe that there is one blueprint or model for everyone. There is no one "right" way for everyone. I believe that when you listen to what feels right to you, then you are living in alignment with your genuine self (and not someone else's). I cannot promise that all of what you want will come to you, that you will achieve everything that you want, that you will attain specific results. I cannot promise you anything, in fact. What I can do is support you, hold space for you, reflect back to you, ask you insightful questions that help you connect deeper to yourself, your desires, your intuition/soul and listen to your own voice underneath. Your own voice underneath all of the layers that you've been taught of things you "should" do in order to achieve x, y, z in your business and/or life.
I do believe we can and do learn from each other, and that we are always influencing each other. We have A LOT to learn from and offer one another. We each have interesting, incredible gifts. We can teach one other. We are influencing one another all of the time. And I think that's different than preaching a one-size-fits-all model and saying the "shoulds".
What if we all supported each other to listen to our own authority on our own journey instead? How do you connect with your intuition, your own authority, to hear the answers that want to come through you?
P.S. Did you like this post? I think you'll like my FREE guide that I created for you to Getting Free From These 7 Patriarchal Beliefs. You can grab it by clicking below.