We may think we are the women of today’s equal opportunity movement. And I will be the first to acknowledge there is tremendous unfinished work of global gender-equality throughout the world. But the most influential women in my life are the women who have come before me. Women with an entrepreneurial dream. Women willing to grow a movement, one step, one day, one generation at a time.
And it is as a result of all of the work that has been done by women whose shoulders we stand on that we have incredible opportunities to break out of traditional roles. We’re free from many of the pressures, and we can, in many ways, be, have … anything. Why? Because we carry on the baton of the movement for women as dreamers living their dreams. The barriers to our own flourishing are no longer outside of us.
And what’s happened with all of this freedom and power? Women have very quickly moved up Maslow’s hierarchy out of the need for achievement into actualizing these higher possibilities. So women are the majority of self-help and spiritual programs. Women are growing this generations-old movement. Women are starting and launching businesses at higher than the national average. Women are becoming entrepreneurs.
In many ways, we need to create structures for ourselves to be able to be ourselves. The structures don’t yet fully exist in the world for us to give our gifts, to make a living in ways that are true to the new values this movement has awakened.
Women who are in leadership roles are actually catalysts of success. The movement we see waking up is a higher flourishing, this actualization of greater possibilities. It’s not just managing what is. It’s creating the future. It’s creating what could be. So it’s an incredibly exciting time to be alive, and it’s probably the most exciting time to be a woman ever in the history of our world.
I invite readers to consider, if you are feeling these yearnings, you’re part of this incredibly exciting movement and this incredible moment in time. Its part of a much larger story of what has been awakening inside of women from the beginning of human culture. For every generation of women, the sole context of life has been about surviving so the next generation could have a better life. Taking care of kids. Serving the family. And sacrificing so everyone could survive.
It has been a very recent shift that women are able to choose the number of children they had, or decide not to have kids. If we imagine lifespans were as they are today, it would only be 2,100 generations back to the beginning of human society and culture. That’s a figure we can imagine.
I want to invite you to take a moment just so you can begin to locate yourself in a context bigger than your own life. Imagine standing behind you, your mother, and behind her, her mother, and behind her, her mother, behind her, her mother behind her, 2,100 generations behind you.
For virtually every woman in the lineage, her North Star was taking care of the next generation so that they could have a better life. And then there’s you. There’s you who is the fulfillment of the dream for a better life of these 2,100 generations of women.
You are the one who has been freed up from your life just being about survival. You’re the one who has the opportunity before you to become all that you can be, to use your intelligence, your creativity, to find your voice.
You’re standing on the shoulders of these women behind you, whatever your relationship to them. You are the momentum of their sacrifice. You are living the dream of their legacy.
I invite all of those women who have come before us into our DeW circle. Look at what your dream has become. We are your dream. We are the fulfillment of the dream of the better life, of the higher thriving, and we are holding in our hands an unprecedented opportunity to go into uncharted territories, to bring forth our talents, our gifts, that you’re part of something incredibly meaning, beautiful and powerful.
Take a moment to take this in. Look ahead to the growth of this movement for generations to come. Whether or not we have our own biological children, we are probably the most significant generation for many thousands of years in terms of our choices, our actions, the opportunity rippling outward and forward. Together, I suggest, we get present to that and say yes to the opportunity that’s in front of us.
Kristine A. Berry (Hodsdon) RDH, MSEC
CEO, Women Rocking Leadership