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Why This Book
Who needs another female self-empowerment book? Consider the following:
If any of the above rings a bell deep inside your head, this book is for you.
I dedicate this book to every woman who has ever felt sad, frustrated, alone, scared, unsatisfied, compromised, or depleted. I know how it feels — I've been there, too. But I also know how it feels to be completely satisfied, self-aware, respected, confident, and powerful because I learned some very profound truths along the way. Think about it. Who are you really living your life for? What forces are influencing your decisions? How did you come to be the woman you are today? If your answers don't lead straight back to you, if you are living someone else's version of your life, the truths I share in this book are invaluable to you.
This book is about your inherent power — that internal flame you've either fed or stifled for most of your life. Your power is your life force, and you must learn about it and honor it if you want to be a whole woman. Do you remember the essence that sparked your dreams and imagination when you were a child? The natural instinct you took for granted that quelled your fears and gave you the confidence to express the real you? By rediscovering that spark, and then maintaining the fire that grows from it, you can reclaim your power and live life on your terms. There is no reason your desires and goals should ever be beyond your grasp, because, ultimately, you hold the key to your future. You can choose either to fuel your fire or to allow others to diminish the flame to a flicker, perpetuating everything that's holding you back.
If you want to control your own life, you must learn to make your own decisions. If you want the ability to bring your purpose to the world, your first commitment must be to reclaim and protect your life force, which is your power. Women who own their power are beautiful losers in the sense that they have lost all fear of shame, embarrassment, and criticism. They have lost all unnecessary inhibitions and concern for what other people "might think," and they take risks they have weighed carefully because they have no choice but to honor their inner voice.
It's every woman's dream to find success and happiness. I am here to tell you that all things are possible — even if you are on the verge of giving up. Women who have made successful changes in their lives have had to fight. I know from experience. And by studying the lives, mind-sets, and habits of empowered women, I learned just how similar we all are. Every woman has a unique story, though we've often been taught to keep our thoughts and opinions private. If you can break free from negative cultural messages and see yourself in a new light, you can be unstoppable. When you analyze your past and the influences that affected your development, you can learn to break patterns that are holding you back from realizing your true potential. There is a diamond in the rough that lies deep in your soul — teach it to sparkle like the precious gem it is. Once you recognize the impact your subconscious mind has, you can use your own power — in the form of intuition, faith, courage, and self-respect — to become the writer and director of your own life story. When we are given the opportunity to learn about ourselves, we turn the power on, we realize our dreams, and we pass our successes to future generations.
To all women whose hearts are aching for courage and inspiration:
We need to begin sharing our pains, joys, and challenges with one other. We need to stop feeling ashamed of our experiences, no matter how awful they may seem, and we must stop judging. We need to work to discover how to command respect — from our families and spouses, from our communities and colleagues. It's only by talking, by considering, by opening our eyes, hearts, and minds that we can control our own destinies. But like everything in life, this is a decision that you have to make. Be prepared to take a journey of self-discovery and self-love, and know that ultimately, you, too, can create your own self-fulfilling prophecies. ¡Adelante mujer! You go, girl!
Copyright ©2001 by Yasmin Davidds-Garrido
Why This Book
1: This Is My Life
An American Dream Poster Family
A Family Shattered
Miracle at Rocky Bottom
The Will to Survive
The Whole Ten Yards
The Millennium Approaches
When I Thought It Was Safe to Get Back in the Water . . .
I'm Still Here
2: Where Have All the Powers Gone?
What Is Power, Exactly?
Giving Away Our Power Versus Surrendering
Power Zappers Versus Power Enhancers
Family Power Versus Personal Power
How We Give Our Power Away to Men
Culture and the Media: Lies That Bind
What's God Got to Do with It?
3: If I Had a Hammer: A Tool Kit for Self-Empowerment and Spiritual Growth
A Woman's Work Is Never Done
The Seven Empowerment Principles
Principle 1. I Own My Life
Principle 2. I Know Who I Am and What I Stand For
Principle 3. I Create Beliefs That Empower Me
Principle 4. I Live in Truth
Principle 5. I Never Feel Guilty About Being a Strong Woman
Principle 6. I Respect Myself
Principle 7. I Do First What I Fear the Most
Your Journey Toward a New Spiritual Self
4: May the Power Be with You
Luz's Story: Never Too Late
What "Owning Your Power" Means
Whose Life Is It, Anyway?
Five Steps to Freedom and Personal Power
The Not-So-Secret Formula
5: Killing Me Softly: Sex as a Weapon of Mass Obstruction
Prisoners of Sex
The Connection Between Sexuality and Self-Esteem
Do You Have Low Sexual Self-Esteem?
The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth!
You Don't Have to Be Sexually Active to Be Sexually Aware
The Attraction-Versus-Affection Dilemma
What Kind of Woman Are You?
Creating a New Belief System About Your Sexuality
6: Who Can Stop You Now?
R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find Out What It Means to Me
Boundaries Demand Respect
Claiming Respect in the Business World
The Empowered Woman
The Secrets of Their Success
Becoming an Irrepressible Woman
7: Women on Top: Highly Successful Women Bare All
8: Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Exercises to Get There from Wherever You Are
Step 1. Write Your Life Story
Step 2. Find Out Who's in Control
Step 3. Determine How Tight Are Your Family Ties
Step 4. Locate Yourself: South or North of the Border?
Step 5. Learn the Difference Between "Want" and "Need"
Step 6. Overcome Your Fears
Step 7. Dare to Dare
Step 8. Quash Your Inner Critic
Step 9. Determine Your Sexual Shame Index
Step 10. Abolish Shame and Celebrate Your Sexuality
Step 11. Rewrite Your Belief System
Step 12. Implement Your Newfound Beliefs
Step 13. Write Your Own "Bill of Rights"
Posted July 20, 2011
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