In 2012, I decided to stop being a doula and childbirth educator. After an exhilarating birth experience with my youngest daughter, a friend of mine suffered a tremendous tragedy in relation to serving at another woman's birth. My friend went through a loss of her whole present and future dreams. She went through 10 months of being locked away in a county jail without a trial, and without seeing the light of day. Ultimately, the original charges against her were dropped. She never faced trial.
Watching the sisterhood within my friend's community become so divided, and at the same time witnessing the rallying of sisterhood that was shown to support her innocence, I realized that in order to empower women to stand fully in their strength - fearless and bold, it was the feminine power of the sisterhood that needed healing. Being a woman is not easy. Despite all the work our mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers have done to make the experience of being female in this world easier for us, there is still so much work to be done and most of that work is inner work.
I didn't know what my place was in regards to reaching out to women. Healing THE sisterhood is a huge undertaking and no one person can affect enough change to accomplish that task. One person, plugged in to the right things, and in the right time and place however, can "be the change we wish to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi didn't say those words exactly, but he did say this:
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do.”
It was in the shower one morning that I came to the decision to quit my job as a radio journalist. In a matter of minutes, I concluded to leave behind steady $15 an hour pay and full benefits to once again venture out on my own to chase a calling I've had since I can remember as someone who shares information with others. I'd teach yoga. That was the only thing for certain. But, over the last few months, more work has presented itself to me as well as more education. To be a "teacher" you must forever be a "student".
This week, I'm going to Nashville, TN to become certified to teach BUTI Yoga. BUTI is a style of yoga that combines primal movement, dance, power yoga, and kundalini activation. BUTI is geared toward self-love and sisterhood. Founder Bizzie Gold says the following:
"The beauty of the experience is that we don't have to be exactly like each other to BE sisters."
Another way I've stepped out of my comfort zone is that I have become a Younique presenter. Younique is a direct sales cosmetics company that offers a top quality product with the mission to - Uplift. Empower. Validate. women. Women are coming together around the art of self expression through beauty, forming teams, and working with each other to create businesses that fit our individual lifestyles. Younique also has an active role in fighting sexual abuse through the Younique Foundation and the Defend Innocence campaign. I never dreamed I'd want to be involved in direct sales or with makeup at that, but I was inspired by the mission and when I tried the product, I found I really didn't want to use any other brands, so why not be a presenter. Now, I'm working with an amazing team of women called - Graceful Beauties. Our team is led by a nineteen year old woman! She's a rock star. And, I'm inspired daily by the women on the team, including Carrie Campbell a long time friend of mine who is my sponsor.
What I know for certain is that in supporting one another in being holistically healthy and feeling free to express our inner self outwardly, we will learn empowerment. Empowerment will come naturally. We will know there is room for all of us. Bizzie Gold says, "Our vibe attracts our tribe." If we are putting out there our authentic selves, those sisters who roll with a similar energy as we do, will come out to tribe with us.
Sure, it's a risk. There are other yoga teachers and makeup reps. It isn't about competition. It's about creating space for all of us to thrive. We succeed when we uplift the good work of one another. When we acknowledge our individual gifts, and come together to support those gifts being made available in our communities. I'm willing to be brave with my life. Happiness is a choice they say. In some ways, I agree. We can choose to see the positive in everything. I try to understand that to everything there is a season. Happiness doesn't come with steady money. Happiness can come with being of service. In the end though, it's one step at a time, without judgement, and with a willingness to see that we all have a story and a gift to share.
The look pictured above was created with these Younique products:
~Moodstruck Minerals Concealer in Fabulous
~Touch Minerals Pressed Powder Foundation in Velour
~Moodstruck Minerals Pressed Blusher in Seductive
~Moodstruck Addiction Shadow Palette #1
~Moodstruck Precision Pencil Eyeliner in Perfect
~Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes
~Moodstruck Precision Brow Liner in Medium
~Moodstruck Precision Pencil Lip Liner in Pouty
~Moodstruck Splash! Liquid Lipstick in Stately
To shop my Younique website visit www.truly-express.com or connect with me on Facebook.
Kelli Hansel Haywood is the mother of three daughters living in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. She is a writer, weightlifter, yoga and movement instructor, chakra reader, and Reiki practitioner.