why women and girls find it hard to speak up


Dear soulsister,

Presently I’m reading ‘The Climb – conversations with Australian Women in Power’ by Geraldine Doogue. I don’t know why I was surprised to read that most women Geraldine spoke with (I’m only half way through) have experienced obstructive, arrogant, bullying behavior towards them by men in their workplaces, particularly in meetings.

I googled “why women find it difficult to speak up” and at least a dozen articles came up on the first page saying exactly the same thing. We are living in 2015 right?

I don’t move in those circles, thankfully! And these are the so called ‘movers and shakers’ of our world? These are the places of politics and business.

Recently a friend told me that she had just realized that she had been in a friendship (with a man) for over 20 years that had been straight out abusive. She had endured regular criticism, threats (that he could get any woman he wanted – she wouldn’t sleep with him) (I’m wondering why he still hasn’t found that perfect woman!), mocking, belittling, embarrassment and disappointment after disappointment that he just wouldn’t step up and be the person she believed he could be and treat her with the respect she so desperately wanted and felt she deserved.

Isn’t it interesting that she wanted him to treat her with the respect she craved and felt she deserved? She knew she deserved better. She knew he treated her wrongly. Yet she stayed in this friendship craving that which this man couldn’t give her.

It reminds me of my post yesterday. We don’t ask ourselves the question ‘Why?’ Why is this person treating me like this when I know I don’t deserve it? Because that’s how they are. Why don’t I speak up or move on? Because um ?????

There are many reasons we don’t speak up or move on but the main ones coming to my mind are a mix of being predisposed to:

lacking self respect

being dependent, and


From the moment we come out of the womb, and possibly from the moment we are conceived, we are labeled. We have grown up being called that label and we very quickly know and understand our own selves as that label. Due to tradition there is ‘baggage’ that comes with the label. With the ‘female’ label comes the baggage of all manner of weakness and inability. The need to be provided for and protected. The idea that men are better and more than women. Yes, there have been changes that have altered these concepts to some degree, however the baggage still does remain and won’t change until the girl or woman herself changes it for herself and supports other women in making the changes as well.

Girls and women need to do the work of developing deep and iron-strong self respect themselves. We can state, demand, fight, revolt and argue till the cows come home that we should be respected for no other reason than we deserve it, but that will NEVER happen until we love and respect ourselves first.

Women will not be able to stand up in board rooms (or anywhere else) and tell men (or other women for that matter) to back off or to stop, and neither will they receive the support of other men and women, until it is so obvious that women love and respect themselves so much that no-one would dare treat them badly. They just wouldn’t be able to.

The second thing girls and women need to work on is their ability to depend on themselves for their comfort – and I’m not talking about material comfort. We need to be able to enjoy being with ourselves. We need to be able to feel completely fulfilled by things we generate ourselves in our lives. If we feel the need or calling to be creative, we need to do that. If we feel the need or calling to be academic, we need to do that. If we feel the need or calling to be whatever – we need to do that. We are here to play a role in the drama of life. All of us are. And we need to play THAT role, not a role that someone else tells us directly or indirectly, we should play. Playing OUR role will ensure that we will feel completely fulfilled because we are using our talents and skills and abilities to their fullest. We are burning our OWN fuel and not someone else’s who will resent us sooner or later for it. If we don’t burn our own fuel (the energy within us) we will stagnate and slowly die inside and thereby be the label – weak, hopeless, pitiful, victim, unable……

Lastly, fear. Just as darkness is the lack of light, fear is the lack of feeling fearless and courageous and brave and strong. Girls and women need to imbibe these feelings and experiences and make them a part of who and what we are constantly. We need to face fear head on, remember it is nothing but the lack of feeling fearless and courageous and adopt the feelings of being brave. The more we practice this, the more it will become natural. And we ARE these things naturally.

The human soul is genderless and within it it has the whole spectrum of qualities and abilities. This is what we need to remember. We are the soul – genderless – and therefore we have all qualities and abilities.  Therefore, we can do anything.

Its as simple as that! We just have to remember and practice, remember and practice, time and time again.

Then we will be able to speak up – if we need to.

“I’ve come to believe that each of us


lots of love,

Rebecca Signature


Let the Sun Shine In



My lesson today is all about letting go of the ‘old’ world and invoking the new. I was reminded of the song in the musical Hair “let the sun shine in” and I was seeing the image of the sun, red and yellow, being centre stage in the world.

After all the sun is life’s source isn’t it? I love having it around. Though only in doses I can take. Too much, I need to close the curtains. Too little, it becomes depressing.

In my life, the sun is symbolic of God. I love having him around too – but only in doses I can take!

Anyway, my morning meditation class was about letting go of stuff that, let’s face it, regularly hurts us. But we’ve become used to it! As I sat in meditation before the class I was aware of tension in my chest and throat. I know what its from – unexpressed hurt – anger, hurt, sadness….emotion. And I was thinking just this, that I really need to let go of all of this. But I and my body are so used to being this way. So I was contemplating “yep, it’s a hard road all this spiritual transformation stuff”. But, I am DETERMINED!

Just to let go and trust that I’m not going to fall into an abyss of, I don’t know what. But that’s what it kind of feels like. So I was just sending my body and my heart and mind lots of love because I think that’s what it’s going to take to shift it. I’m impatient though. Though I had ‘glimpses’ of the feeling of safety and security (i.e. love), I want it all to end and to be feeling all relaxed and happy. So that’s another thing I’m learning – i.e. patience. And, I am DETERMINED!

But one other thing I wanted to share with you was this beautiful metaphor for cyclic change. In the class, reference was made to how the rivers flow into the ocean, the sun evaporates the water and then it comes down as rain into the mountains which then flows into the rivers again. I was just thinking before, I’d like to hold on to this image as well. Nothing remains the same. Energy changes its form all the time. All I need to do is get into the ‘flow’ of what cycle I want to be in.  Old or new?


So, the images of the sun and the rivers and the mountains and the ocean! Yes, that’s the kind of ‘flow’ I want to be in.

Don’t you love it?

Lots of love,

Rebecca Signature


are you feeling stuck in your spiritual practice?


hola beach club (1)


Dear soulsister,

I have just spent the last 5 days on a silent retreat exploring the practice of Vipassana, a meditation practice in Buddhism.   Vi means ‘through’, passana means ‘seeing’. Which ever way you translate the word, “through seeing” or “seeing through”, both translations are profound and I would think, acceptable.

“Through seeing” suggests to me that the practice enables self-awareness and self-transformation by seeing what it is I need to learn, know and change in myself. “Seeing through” suggests to me that the practice enables me to see through anything that is not true – the illusions, misunderstandings, false beliefs, etc that I have and get to what is real and therefore true.

My own meditation practice is Raja Yoga. I therefore believe I am a soul, that is, a spiritual being. My form is a tiny pin prick of light energy, situated behind my eyes in the middle of the forehead. Within me (the soul) is my mind, my intellect and memory of all things I have ever experienced in my eternal life. Then there is my body, the ‘human’ or material part of the “human being”. My body is of the 5 elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether.

The foundation of Raja Yoga meditation is awareness of self. We call it ‘soul consciousness’.   It is practiced by focusing on my ‘light’, that is my qualities, my beauty, my truth, and also focusing on the ‘light’ of the Supreme, or Divine, or God. It is a universal meditation and can be practiced anywhere, anytime as it requires no particular postures and is taught as an open eyed meditation.

The practice we followed over the weekend was to alternately sit alert either cross legged or seated with feet flat on the floor, back straight, chest open and hands arranged loosely in the lap or resting on the legs, eyes either open or closed and then walking in meditation.  Each exercise was for 45 minutes, all the while practising Vipassana. The basis of the practice is to remain in the present and follow the breath with the mind, watching the breath move in and out of the body. If thoughts of anything else came including pain or irritation in the body, we were to ‘breath through’ those thoughts and feelings as much as possible until they faded away, recognising things like “that’s what irritation feels like”, and then coming back to being in the present and watching the breath.

For me, this practice heightened my concentration, opened me up more to my surroundings, and the breath became the connection, or the bridge, between me the Soul and my body. It was the balancer and the space where I could be no matter what was going on in my mind, my heart or my body. The soul and body could remain connected.

Often whenever discomfort or difficulty is felt either in the soul or in the body, the impulse is to detach from it or move away from it by distracting ourselves by doing something different or injecting a different type of thought – a positive one or an affirmation – into our mind’s processes.

But what happens to the energy of that discomfort or difficulty?

I wrote about a few weeks ago about learning the technique of facing and loving what is painful or uncomfortable (click here to read). For some reason there is something I really like about facing what I would generally rather not. Its like a challenge, for my purpose in studying and practising spirituality is to change what is not good about myself. Not just by inputting positivity and goodness, but also actually standing up to the ‘demons’ and honouring my self-sovereignty and the attributes of the Spiritual Warrior such as inner strength, courage, wisdom, faith and success.

Sometimes we can get a bit ‘stuck’ in aspects of our lives, including our spiritual practice. I support safely and intelligently broadening our horizons, being open to newness and moving out our comfort zones. As is said “change can be as good as a holiday”, and as my friend shared with me a dream she had had, as we travelled to the retreat over the weekend, in which she was told “don’t define your Church by these walls”.

I thought about these words a number of times on the retreat.  Its easy to get set in our ways and fall into mediocrity and complacency. It was refreshing to learn something new and I was thankful that this newness was aligned to where I am moving in my practice.  I now feel energised and an expansiveness and excitement that I’m moving towards something wonderful – though I have no idea what that is!

If you are feeling a bit stuck or flat in your spiritual journey, or in your life in general, try listening to your heart as to where it needs you to take it. If things need to change for you, your heart will let you know.  All you have to do is have faith and follow.

A few tips that could help you along the way are:

1.  Get Creative

Creativity, whether its drawing or painting, changing a room around, weeding or planting a garden, or baking a cake, opens your heart and relaxes you.  Creativity is a great way to get out of a rut and shift some energy.

2.  Create some Stillness in your Life

Creating some special times just to be Still is very healing.  Stillness allows us to be more in touch with Ourselves.  It allows us to be able to Listen and Hear what our hearts need to tell us.

3.  Do Something Different 

Change gives us new perspectives on our lives.  We meet new and different people, see new and different places.  We begin to see with new eyes, hear with new ears and understand with new hearts.  Again, energy shifts.  Change brings newness not just physically but emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Wishing you success,

Rebecca Signature


letting go of the need to be mean

Editor’s Note : This piece is by Nikki Starcat Shields at her blog “Starcat”LETTING GO OF BEING MEAN

Dear soulsister,

I love this piece posted by Nikki Starcat Shields on her blog at Starcat.  Our negative traits are so subtle, and as Nikki says, “At first I was thinking, sure, no problem, I’m a pretty kind person in general. But…… read on 🙂

I recently read an article titled Could You Go 40 Days Without Being Mean? (thanks to Spinster Jane for the link). At first I was thinking, sure, no problem, I’m a pretty kind person in general. But the article has been rattling around in my mind, and I started thinking about the various aspects of being “mean” that the author explores. I’ve noticed how I do some of these things, especially in groups of people, without really thinking about it.

The most interesting part of the article, for me, was the idea that we (often unconsciously) use sarcasm, complaining, and criticism to gain attention and bond with others. The same with gossip. When you deliberately set out to let go of those behaviors, you notice the reason why you’re using them to begin with. The author of the article observed that it’s often when we feel awkward or vulnerable that we’ll start being flip and critical. By the end of her experiment, “instead of trying so hard to be fascinating, I was forced to be more fascinated, to ask a lot more questions, and to listen more.”

The same holds true for practicing the Law of Attraction (LOA). I’ve been working on staying focused on what I do like and desire, rather than what I don’t. In the process, I’ve noticed how much we as a society focus on our troubles.

When a group of people sit down to chat, they seem to naturally focus on their problems, concerns, and what’s going wrong in their lives (and the lives of others). It makes sense to have that type of conversation when you’re actively seeking support for an issue, but what I’m talking about is when it becomes an ingrained habit. Going against the flow of conversation and trying to focus on the positive can make you feel awkward or boring.

I don’t think that has to be the case, though.

“Evil is boring.  Cynicism is idiotic.  Fear is a bad habit.  Despair is lazy.  Joy is fascinating.  Love is an act of heroic genius.  Pleasure is our birthright.  Receptivity is a superpower.” – Rob Brezsny

If you want to let go of the need to be mean or negative, then what takes its place? Here are some ideas on how to relate with others when you’re working on uplifting your vibes and attracting more joy and positivity.

Be a better listener. Even if your friend is in complaining mode, listen carefully, without trying to change the direction of the conversation. Look for the glimmers of passion and desire in what she’s saying. When you respond, reflect those aspects back to her. Don’t try to give advice, unless that’s what she’s seeking. Just observe what she’s truly seeking, behind the habit of complaining.

Look for the joy. If you’re in a group of people at a party or event, look for those who are having a fun time. You can tell the difference between genuine laughter and the mocking kind. Find the people who are really enjoying themselves and go start a conversation with them.

Do fun things together. Invite your friends to go hiking, take an art class, or plant a garden with you. When you’re engaged in a fun activity, it will uplift everyone’s spirits and keep you in the moment. You’ll have a shared experience that will encourage more bonding than gossiping about the neighbors.

Talk about your passions. We tend to avoid talking about what we love, because we feel like no one cares. But passion is infectious! Tell your friends about that new song you’re learning, or the plot twist you came up with for your novel. Talk about your marathon training, or the new recipe you tried. Tell them the cool things your kids have been up to. Sure, you don’t need to ramble on and on until their eyes glaze over. But don’t be afraid to share what you love with those you care about.

Release the need for approval. Yeah, this is a big one for many of us. But if people don’t like us because we’re too positive, well, too bad for them! Seriously. Screw that. If you’re not cynical or hip enough for your group of friends, it might be time to find some new pals. Don’t ever feel bad about having a good life. That’s just silly.

Could you go 40 days without being mean? I think I probably could. I might take the challenge. Or maybe I’ll just continue to work on being more positive in my life in general, and see how it ripples outward.

I hope you enjoyed!  Visit Nikki at “Starcat” for more interesting thoughts 🙂

Much love – have a great Easter.  See you next week,

Rebecca Signature


pushing through the fear


Hi there soulsister!

This morning I was having one of those ‘full-of-fear’ moments, feeling overwhelmed by everything I need to do and by everything I don’t know how to do.  I managed to push through it by adopting a determined and focused attitude, talking to myself about it, talking to God about it, and getting on with things.

One of the thoughts I was having was “when do you know when to just quit?”  The answer I’ve come up with so far is when it is just too painful.  But how do you measure that?  How do you know that?  It seems many things are painful, but then we are encouraged and we encourage each other…..”just keep going”.  The pain, the hurt, the sadness and the fear are broken through and we are the stronger and the wiser for working through it.

So, I thought I’d post about this today.  Then as I was checking through my social media platforms I came across two significant posts.  The first one was this wording in a tweet by Marie Forleo @marieforleo via @disneystyle ….

Sometimes the right path

Yay!  Serendepity & Synchronicity visiting again 🙂

And the second post was a tweet by Delece Ford @storytelling4u via @coachbarrie about fear!

Barrie has listed 7 ways to get unstuck and take action if you are experiencing fear…..I have listed the 7 ways, but you might want to click on the link (in italics above) to see how she expands on each point – its good!  She says…..

“If you have a fear of failure that holds you back, here are 7 ways to get unstuck and take action:

1.  Recognise that fear is just a feeling.

2.  Assess the risk that fear spotlights.

3.  Take small, manageable actions.

4.  Expect fear to spike at big hurdles.

5.  Reframe your perception of success and failure.

6.  Surround yourself with positivity.

7.  Challenge your thoughts.”

I particularly liked no. 4.  Which one/s do you like?

I hope you find this as helpful as I did.

With much love,

Rebecca Signature


facing and conquering weaknesses

Crimson Batik

Dear soulsister,

Ah, the wonderful world of self-change. The world where it is imperative to face our weaknesses and get the better of them – conquer them, tame them, destroy them, be the master over them….

A few weeks ago I came across a methodology I really liked.

In the past, when any of my weaknesses came up – say for instance I felt angry or panicked, I would suppress it, ignore it, scold it or in some other way violate it. I’d get angry that I was angry or scared – how weird is that? It had never occurred to me to welcome it and love it. Accept it. Befriend it. To me weaknesses were always something I didn’t want and I certainly didn’t want anyone else seeing that I had them! No. They would be chased away or hidden as soon as possible. Often this didn’t work! Or, I was too late!

So, I learnt this new method of welcoming, acknowledging, accepting and loving my weaknesses. I came to understand that my weaknesses are just the good parts of me all screwed up. All twisted and dirty and sad, lonely and very very unhappy, and in need of understanding, compassion and love.

And I’ve been practising. Whenever I feel something negative arising in me I face it face on. I walk right up to it…..sometimes it can be hiding a bit, but when I coax it out I treat it gently, say hi and give it a sweet hug. I tell it I love it and I’m sorry that it’s in so much pain and I know all it really wants is for me to acknowledge that and give it love. I give it love – lots of love.   And you know what? It goes away. It just dissolves. I don’t have to go through those awful feelings of suppressing, ignoring, being bossy, hiding and shame…..adding to the problem.

They may not go forever, but then again they may. It depends on how deep and strong the weakness is. But I know that the next time they appear there will be a little less of them. Because of the love I gave, they have softened and lightened up. We have become friends, no longer enemies. They are teaching me to relax and be easy, to be patient and compassionate…..and to have FUN on the journey of self-change. That can’t be bad!

If you are on this journey, give it a go, or share what works for you when you’re confronted by your weaknesses.

Tomorrow I’ll share some inspirations I took from a movie that I watched a little while ago.

Until then, take care.

much love always,

Rebecca Signature