7 Ways to Cultivate Empowerment — Part Two
In this second of two-parts, we explore three of seven ingredients which cultivate empowerment. Excerpted from Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment. The messages are universal, so if motorcycles are not your “thing”, substitute whatever works for you.
Independence. Riding a motorcycle is a solitary pursuit. When we’re riding, it’s us and our motorcycle. Even when we’re riding with a group, we’re alone with our thoughts, our fears and our beliefs. When we ride, we alone make the decisions about how our motorcycle is ridden and where it goes. As we deal successfully with progressive challenges, the successes are ours to claim.
Community. We all seek like-minded spirits, whether physical or spiritual, visible or invisible. Most new riders are amazed at the instant bond and the camaraderie and compassion among riders. Sometimes we’ve been searching for years for the right tribe to join. When we find our clan, though, we discover a common bond from which we not only derive strength as individuals, but also gather that strength to increase the cohesiveness of the community as a whole.
This change may begin within a group of motorcyclists, but the effects soon spread to other areas of our lives. This helps explain why motorcyclists tend to contribute extraordinary amounts of time and effort to charitable causes, nurturing the less fortunate and sharing with the community.
Balance. Regardless of our DNA, we all carry feminine and masculine psychic characteristics, distinct from our biological gender. Both are essential to a vibrant life. Their dynamic tension must work together seamlessly in balance and harmony, or we lose power.
Historically in our culture, however, we have separated these two energies in men and women to the detriment of our authentic selves. Just as the masculine has been bred out of females, the feminine has been bred out of males. So, we have the phenomenon of yin and yang. Yin, the female energy, is the receptor: dark and in some ways passive. This is the energy we relate to home, nurturing and community, and to being quiet and still. It gives birth to our creativity. Yang, the male energy, is the aggressor, outwardly focused and goal oriented. Its restlessness calls to our desire for adventure. Yang is the spark that ignites our creativity and brings our ideas into being. Both need to be in balance in order to create a whole.
At first glance, a motorcycle is male psychic energy at its finest. It thrusts us forward, it’s forceful, directed, strong and dynamic, and it satisfies our need for adventure. Without a rider, though, without someone to channel its energy, it is powerless and goes nowhere.
Riding fulfills a psychic need for women and gives their masculine energy an outlet. The motorcycle then becomes a receptor of direction, instructions and the attributes of the feminine psyche. The perfect psychic balance of feminine and masculine creates the whole and is the power that moves us forward. Even the relationship between rider and machine is a dynamic balance between feminine and masculine energies.
To read more, including stories and collective wisdom from a diverse group of women, purchase signed copies of Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment through my website. You can also order a print or kindle copy directly from Amazon.com. Links for other retailers and ebooks here.
Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment
Copyright © 2011 by Liz Jansen. All Rights Reserved.
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