There are 2 religions in this world. One of them is the experience of being a woman. This is the religion which intrigues many through its enigmatic nature. What does she truly want..?? Is there a way to understand her better..?? Let's look at every aspect that makes her what she is and see If we can..!!
Physical Composition: She has it in her to Nurture
When it comes to physical composition, men and women differ in quite a few things. Woman’s body reflects her prime purpose in the existence. Main difference here is with reproductive system and hormonal generation. While men mainly have the hormones facilitating physical strength & sexual instincts which focus on creation, women mainly have the hormones to make her body and mind conducive to build, maintain & nurture. This is the prominent difference at the level of sex.
Social Structuring: Roles she play in the society
To begin with, we humans started as hunter gatherers who lived in forest. Here men who were physically stronger & aggressive could compete with other animals and hunt for food. They got everything that is required from outside, home. Women who could nurture, engaged herself in management of home with tasks like cooking food, home maintenance, caring for her family etc. In this equation, man and woman played equal roles of provider & nurturer. If he cared for her & respected her through his activities, she complimented with hers. Eventually when humans evolved & started making their lives comfortable, they invented 101 ways of engagement including the concept of money. Everything which was done outside the 4 walls of house, became a profession with different amount of money associated with it. More the number of people who embraced the profession, lesser was its value. Lesser the money associated with a profession, lesser was it respected. In all these developments, we forgot one thing. There was another religion called woman, whose existence was mainly inside 4 walls. In the beginning we couldn't come up with a way to decide the value of work done inside home. We thought her role as an overall manager of household is invaluable & priceless hence cannot be gauged however eventually it became undervalued & priced less because there was no money associated with it. This concept of value got established in general psyche. Eventually she started to engage in caring & nurturing professions which as well tend to be invaluable in their nature & undervalued. At this point, with the concept of value shifting to work involving analysis & reasoning rather than physical, men & woman hold equal probability of flourishing at them. However, household management still happens to be our basic need which is undervalued and taken for granted by many progressive men & women alike. We all wish to be fed & cared for however it’s all expected to happen by itself somehow...??
Emotional Strength: She can sustain longer without appreciation?
Every one of us need food to sustain. Most important food we consume is that, we feed our mind & heart with. Our heart and mind survive based on the way rest of the world treats us. We all are seekers of attention. Most of the things we do is for the approval of others in one way or the other. When we engage in a profession, first aspect of the recognition we get is the money and the second is the appreciation. We decide our own value in this world based on these 2 factors. In a man’s life, by engaging in a profession, he at least gets money if not appreciation however in an average woman’s life, she has the probability of missing both if she doesn't engage in a recognized profession..? Just the way we consider a man working outside for a family to be his duty, we consider woman toiling for family, inside home as her duty and fail to appreciate her. Cooking could be a profession or a responsibility. whenever it’s done outside 4 walls, it becomes a fancy profession however at home it’s just part of the concept of home. Here both men & woman suffer from lack of appreciation however weight carried by woman tend to be higher because her role itself could be overlooked. It might make her insecure & show it in one way or another.
Intellectual Flexibility: She embodies Change
Woman is the religion which embodies change. She has all the seasons of the year, within her. Changes of environment in her body is reflected by her menstrual cycle. She prepares herself to hold another life every month. These hormonal changes might reflect in her mood & behaviour. Her capacity to hold & care for life makes her sensitive to people around her. She is flexible & adaptable to any environment if treated with a little love & respect. Her changing body gives her a chance to understand changes in oneself & the other. You could express 101 of your thoughts to her and she can point out that one which is most important to you by capturing emotions. Her sensitivity for emotions lets her see the meaning behind thoughts. She can explore her inner world better while men are equipped to explore the outer world.
Striving for Security: Coping with Course of Life..!!
Constructive engagement is the basic need of every single person. If she could create a beautiful family through her roles, she has it in her to engage in any sort of profession & create value for society. In today’s world which mainly speaks & understands the language of money; she might be required to engage in a recognized profession, not just as an expression of herself but also as a means for survival & security. It is the best scenario when a woman or a man could engage in a profession, which is mainly their self-expression and a means for further self-exploration. Woman’s mixed engagement pattern however might leave her more confused & stressed than clear about where she stands.
Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter: What’s her role in Your Life?
We have experienced her in different roles. There is one who has raised you to be so beautiful & another who grew playing & quarrelling with you. There is one more who has been your companion for life, who is a teasing lover/caring mother/playful daughter in one. There is one more looking at you with such a devotion in her twinkling eyes that your heart explodes with pride. You have been experiencing her beauty, her sensitivity, her love, her expectations, her emotional turmoil & her vulnerabilities in all these roles.
As a Woman Is She Feeling Valued?
Amidst 101 things a woman manages, she runs the risk of not managing her own value & space. Rest of the world looks at us & treats us the way we treat our selves. Women tend to nurture the whole family forgetting to nurture themselves. Person who is neglected and belittled by self tends to be neglected & demeaned by others as well. She ought to Start owning her life & respecting what she does. It sets a standard for others to respect her. Being a woman, one ought to give herself some space when she creates space for everyone else in the family. She need not do anything she doesn't want to do to prove a point. Any work is a celebration in itself and a means for development if it’s done with whole heart. She ought to truly love, respect & cherish what she is doing. That way, people in her life will understand her and look at her from her perspective. It's difficult to change the way world treats us however we can change the way we treat ourselves with a little effort in turn reinforcing social change. Let's look at women in our own life and check if they realize their value. Self-empowerment is the beginning of social empowerment.
Hope we understand & appreciate this most discussed religion called woman a little more now. If she is special & unique so is the religion called man. Even he is misunderstood many a times. I would love to write about him, may be another time..!
Photo Credit : http://www.1dental.com/blog/2011/02/25/tooth-loss-cancer
"Anything we want to Change, We got to Understand First"
Samay desperately wishes to say adios to smoking. Ruby would give anything in the world to lose those extra pounds. Shalu is wanting since years to start with an exercise regime. Romy doesn’t understand how he can stay away from weed, which makes his life seem magical. Shahid doesn’t get tired dreaming about a job which isn’t anything like his current job. All their worries are around one powerful word, Habit. Every one of us resolves to break few habits & construct few others. What’s our success rate? How about improving the success rate in few steps? As a first step let’s understand the nature of habits.
Instinct driven Habits, when Body takes the Driving Wheels..!!
Joey has a tendency to wake up around one in the night hungry. He sneaks into kitchen looking for a snack, while his wife is sleeping like a baby. He has been like this since a while. What would you do when you are hungry or thirsty..?? How long can you control them..?? Every one of us has experienced the power of hunger & thirst. We will be habituated to eat at certain interval or drink certain quantity. Other instinctual tendencies are the need for sex & the need for rest. We were born with these instincts, generated automatically by body to address its basic needs. Being body driven & primitive; instinctual habits are the toughest to master. There are many industries that thrive by triggering one of these instincts within us subconsciously. Few of the strong addictions we wish to get rid are at this level.
Pleasure or Pain driven Habits: the World as Experienced through Senses
Think about yourself during childhood. Did you love going to school & listening to teachers..?? How about studies? Was it fantastic to study? What did you really like to do?
Well, most of us would have preferred to eat junk food, watch our favorite shows, roam around & mostly play. Then why did we go to school or how did we manage to..?? Childhood is when we develop different habits from brushing our teeth to sleeping at a certain hour. If we checked our routine and listed all the habits, the habits we created & loved were the one’s which made us feel good. All the activities which were pleasurable for us were our choice.
The strongest of the habit was that where most of our senses were involved like playing a game or watching television. The habits which we liked least but obliged anyway are the one’s which were created out of fear of elders. It could be something like waking up in the morning, taking a bath, eating our vegetables or doing homework. Strong Emotions guided by instincts are the motivation behind most of these habits. Even later in our life we continue to be pleasure seeking beings & most of the things we do is to multiply pleasure & divide pain. These habits are to immediately satisfy the emotional urge. Once a certain emotion is generated we just want to generate more of it or reduce it based on its nature hence the pleasure based habit strengthens just by repetition. Most of the addictions we want to get rid of are at emotional level. It’s just a balancing act between pleasure & pain just like studying after playing or to play after studying.
Goal driven Habits, What gives satisfaction in Life
Roshan puts in tremendous efforts on every project to ensure that he climbs up the corporate ladder soon. He is sure that one day he would be one of the directors and every day is taking him a step closer to his dream. What Roshan is looking for here is not an immediate pleasure. He is working hard just to satisfy his need to be a prominent person. Every goal driven habit is driven by a need, lying deep within us. It could be the need for money, comfort, name, fame, status, prestige, power or anything that needs one to work for it & later keep working to enhance it or save it from waning out. Goal driven habits are futuristic in nature hence come with a common component of seeking something. It might be individualistic in nature or involving the needs of family, community, country or the world. Goal driven habit is one of the indicators of agency because one has a persistent goal only when he could manage pain or pleasure driven habits to an extent. Goals here are associated with stronger emotions, strong enough to overcome the need for immediate pleasure/pain.
Love driven Habits, Ones that Make Every Moment of Life Valuable..!!
When Abdul Kalam took his last walk recently, whole India walked with him. If not for Lincoln, there wouldn’t have been the USA, Anand remains in many hearts though Rajesh Khanna is no more. One’s in a while we come across people who seem to be thoroughly enjoying what they do. It could be a carpenter, a shop keeper, an artist, an athlete or a scientist. This person works for the sake of work and nothing else because he/she is drugged by what he/she does hence high on it. These habits do not need any other motivation because there is love connecting what they do and what they are; hence what they do becomes what they are. They either do what they love or learn to love what they do. These sorts of habits are seen in those who shape their profession through their very presence.
How to Create a Habit that stays and How to get rid of unwanted Habits..??
Our life is nothing but an outcome of our habits & patterns. Now that we have a rough understanding of the way habits function we are ready to take the leap and see how we can create and sustain habits or lose unwanted ones…Stay Tuned for the next article in the series..!!
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“You are the bows from which your children
As living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
And He bends you with His might
That His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies,
So He loves also the bow that is stable.”
Kahlil Gibran, On Children ~ The Prophet
Parenting is a beautiful experience. Parents play the vital role in helping children grow. In their role as creators and providers can we compare parents to the sun..?? As we know sun is the sole provider for earth who maintains whole existence here, by giving tirelessly without any expectations. How about role played by children..?? Can we compare children to the moon; who continuously receives from the earth, to sustain it's existance, without giving back much..?? It doesn't sound like the whole truth and there has to be much more to this relation than what it seems like, at surface level. Let's go ahead & check the role played by both parents and children in the course of life and see If parents are just the giving entity or are they also recieving simuntaneously..??!!!
Bringing a Life on Earth…Creation Phase
A life is conceived when the creation & nurturing forces come together as father & mother. From the moment a life is conceived, every cell of the embryo or to be a child is formed from the body of the mother. How a child looks like is decided by how father, mother or the ancestors looked like. The health of the infant is the reflection of the health of mother & father because she gives the infant what is very own her and he gives the genes and creates a conducive environment. The conditions in the womb are just the reflection of mother’s food habits, mindset and the moods which shape that of the child to a great extent. Mother herself is very much reflection of her own outer environment and inner strength.
Raising a Child….Maintenance Phase
Parents are the representation of the society to the child. A child would start and advance exactly from the point parents themselves stand. If parents feed child, she’ll have food. If parents can recognize child’s emotions, she would learn to recognize and understand her own emotions. If parents respond to her needs appropriately and create a secure environment, she would have security in her heart as well as life. If parents recognize her talents, capacity and inclinations; she would develop them. Child would invest herself continuously in any intellect developing medium like school only because of the will of parents. Through their will she would eventually develop her own will. She would learn from the values parents’ project, observe the way they live and make those standards her own. Parents are the lens through which child looks at herself as well as the society. Overall growth in every aspect of the child from physical to spiritual is just the reflection of her parents. Child carries her parents throughout her life. The impact of parenting on child is projected further in the article about effective parenting.
Adulthood & Marriage…The Learning Phase
This is the phase where initial growth has happened and individual can take care of himself in every front. He can earn his food, contain and express his emotions, think & analyze rationally, make his own decisions and most importantly has developed a will; which helps him to set goals and work for the goals without any immediate reward in vicinity. This is the phase where he learns to look at his belief system from different angles, consider the bigger picture rather than a single perspective and take his own stand. He hastens his exploration and expansion as an individual. Once a certain amount of development is in place, he is ready for marriage.
Marriage is the coming together of two people on the foundation of commitment to contain the attraction and expand the intimacy, within its very own boundaries. So far, the person has been mostly a receiving entity; with marriage he starts to give, to accommodate and to walk with. The success of any marriage is the reflection of the extent to which two people involved can respect each other give unconditionally & appreciate what’s received. This is the beginning of Love or self-expansion where one starts realizing the joy of giving. More about marriage is discussed in the article on role of romantic love in marriage.
Giving Birth & Raising a Child….The Shaping Phase
Once couple can contain each other in a trusting environment, they are ready for further self expansion in the form of parenthood. Conceiving and parenting a child gives an individual the opportunity to give unconditionally, which is the meaning of real love. Children are the answer to a parent’s craving for an eternal Life. Children strengthen the bond of parents with universe by teaching them to love truly. Responsibility towards children is the will that motivates parent’s to work harder. By helping children gain agency, parents strengthen their own confidence, esteem & agency. So parenthood; by driving Love, motivation, & responsibility drives the higher order growth of men. Parents shape the future of children & are in turn shaped continuously during the process. They expand self, attach themselves to children as if they are one with them and then detach from children eventually; gaining wisdom in the process. Parenthood teaches understanding & develops inner strength which in turn creates a bond of trust and caring towards society .
Late Adulthood….the Testing phase
This is the phase where the outer strength which was taken from someone else diminishes however inner strength which was built so far is tested. The person is happy to the extent he has managed to expand. If he gave everything he could to life unconditionally and received all that parenting & parenthood gave him totally, he would be more content than insecure. He would be even with life because he would have received a lot & given unconditionally. His body becomes less important to him than his emotions, emotions lesser than intellect & intellect less important than mastery & will. His concept of home expands.
Are We like the Sun or the Moon as Parents & Children..??
In the journey of life; we are the past, present & the future. Any phase of Life isn’t independent of us. We were the children who received from yesterdays, we would be the parents who shape tomorrows by giving & we are the individuals who are evolving the present day. If we received directly from some, we would be giving some others. When we gave, we already would have received at a higher level. Life has been flowing through us throughout yesterday, today & tomorrow towards eternity. Be a parent or child, we are the links for life to flow & we ourselves are the life.Hence We neither are the sun who is all giving & nor the moon who is all receiving. We are the earth who takes from the sun & gives to the moon while sustaining Life & evolving every day during the process. Let’s cherish the interdependence and connection we share with everyone/everything & grow together...!!
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