In order to understand why visibility is important and why it’s an issue for women particularly, you have to remember the particular time and space in which we’re running our businesses.
Obviously we’re in the 21st Century and if you’re in the West, there are a lot of freedoms that women have today which we haven’t had in the past. So it can be easy to assume, Well nobody is stopping me from being visible. And if you look on social media for example, you’ll see some truth in that statement. There’s an explosion of people sharing about themselves through blog posts and YouTube and podcasts and various other media.
Yet there’s a limit to the effectiveness of all of that self-expression. Because many people are speaking just for the sake of speaking and that kind of self-expression just contributes to the noise without really benefitting anyone.
I’m interested in people who share the essence of themselves.
Not their raw wounds and deepest secrets.
Their essence. Their soul’s fragrance. The messages that only they are here to share with the world.
When you speak from that place, you’re not just a noisemaker.
You make a difference. Your voice becomes helpful.
- It’s helpful to the people of the world who are hiding out and very frightened of doing that themselves.
- It’s helpful for people who are excessively sharing in a way that’s unhealthy for themselves or disrespectful of others.
- It’s helpful for people who are talking from the mind rather than talking from the heart, the soul, their intuition, and/or the more grounded parts of themselves.
At this point in my life, I’m conscious of grounding all of my communication. Of drawing it up from the healthiest parts of my base and sacral chakras and of starting my conversations from there.
Of course, in order to speak from that place you must be connected to it, which is how embodied expression becomes possible.
Embodied expression is the end game of any visibility work you might do.
It’s so easy to be seen speaking up for things you don’t really care about or don’t affect you deeply. It’s so easy to share ideas that you’ve learned from others, rather than speak about new and unique ideas you’ve arrived at yourself. It’s so easy to share thoughts without sharing yourself.
That’s not visibility.
Embodied expression is something else entirely and it’s very rare.
It’s rare for a reason.
Because those parts of us that ground us to Mother Earth – our base and sacral chakras, our energetic spaces of safety and belonging, of creativity, and emotional health, and sexuality – have been disrespected, disregarded, silenced, ignored, and severely damaged for a looonnng time.
Here are just a few examples of how that’s happened:
- There’s been the literal silencing of women in our history books.
When I was growing up and studying history in school, I can’t remember women being featured as heroines at all. They certainly didn’t feature as change-makers or as the people who actually made a difference in society.
I studied man, after man, after man, and as a girl and a young woman, that impacts on you. It impacts on the story you create about what is possible for you and about what you can do in the world.
(Women aren’t the only people who are barely visible in the history books by the way. If you’re a member of any minority group, you’re pretty much invisible in the official history of the world.)
If you’re not showing up in the books, it’s very difficult to imagine something different for yourself. You probably know the saying, You can be what you can’t see.
This is why it’s so important for women, and people of colour, and people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTIQ community, to be Presidents and Prime Ministers and leaders of industry.
It’s imperative that children see people like them represented in television and movies in roles other than as the criminal or the bad guy, as the person who’s responsible for the chores around the home and who doesn’t earn any money for that work, or only ever as the minor, token character.
The message you receive when you’re a footnote in the official history of humanity is this; you don’t matter. And that message has been seeded deeply in the psyche of all women.
- We’ve been written out of some of the big spiritual texts and our own spiritual wisdom has been denigrated. As the patriarchy established itself as the dominant societal and governmental system throughout the world, women not only lost their rights and their voices, we also lost our identity as spiritual leaders, as wise women, as authorities in the realm of the divine.
We moved from being revered channellers of divine inspiration and wisdom, to watching the Goddess and the sacred practices that celebrated her, dismissed entirely from religions like Christianity. At the same time, women were re-categorised as second class citizens in the Church; mere participants, not leaders but supporters and followers, and certainly not vessels through which the divine expressed itself.
This didn’t happen overnight. We fought hard to maintain our wisdom, our authority, and our power. Four hundred years it took for them to really bring us to our knees.
Four hundred years of witch hunts.
At the end of that time we were left broken, terrified to speak up or be seen at all, and questioning everything we thought we knew; our intuition, the wisdom of our bodies, the significance of our emotional worlds.
- In conjunction with the silencing and the gendercide, women have continually and ruthlessly been attacked in the most sacred part of our bodies and being; our vaginas, our wombs, our uteruses, our creative and sexual selves, our base and sacral chakras.
Of all of the damage that has been done to women throughout time, the place that we’ve been most violated is in relation to our sexuality. We’ve been attacked repeatedly in the core of our feminine power, our Shakti energy, our reproductive capacity and wisdom.
So often our attention is drawn to the violence in the world, to the wars that men have been waging with each other for centuries.
What’s spoken about far less is that they’ve been attacking us too. And not just during times of war. Every. Single. Day. They’ve been targeting the source of our power and they’ve been seeking to annihilate it. Consciously and unconsciously. In ways clear and deliberate, as well as incredibly subtle.
But what has all of this got to do with being visible in your business?
When you live in a world where a woman is sexually assaulted every few minutes, that seeps into your psyche.
When you live in a world where violence against women is so normalised that the former President of the United States thought it was appropriate to tweet a doctored picture of himself hitting Hilary Clinton in the back of the head with a golf ball, then you’re being programmed each and every day with one clear message; stay quiet, do as you’re told, don’t step out of line or we’ll hurt you.
When you read horrific stories of women being attacked on the streets and of other women being kidnapped by men and then raped and murdered, that cannot help but affect the way you think about the world.
It puts you into space where your first and foremost concern is ensuring you’re safe.
And the way to be safe is to be invisible, to not be seen, and not be heard.
To not be too outrageous or too controversial or too opinionated.
With all of this swirling around in the individual and collective consciousness of women, it’s a miracle that any of us speak up at all. It’s not surprising that women are fearful of promoting themselves or speaking up on social media or of spreading their ideas, particularly if they could be perceived as different or challenging in some way.
I believe that clearing your visibility blocks is the single most important thing that we can do as a female entrepreneur to change the world.
Hillary Clinton has declared many times that the rights of women and young girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century. I also believe that to be true, and I think the way that we address that unfinished business is to find our voices and speak up.
We need to re-speak the deep truths that have been lost to the world through the suppression of women’s voices and wisdom.
We need to speak about the power of the feminine; a path of receptivity and inclusion, of collaboration and connection.
We need to speak with courage and we need to show the world what embodied expression looks like.
Your voice matters. Your decision to step out of the shadows, matters.
Your decision to be visible or not, matters.