On honouring Women’s Courage


photo-1461709444300-a6217cec3dffEvery time I open my eyes and see the light of a new day, I feel inspired. I look around and within me and see the images of all the great Women who compose my life now and in the past and in the future. They shine through the distance of miles and cross all boarders of space and time that are(n’t) between us. Women in my life live within me, I am them, they are me, same flesh and bone, same soul and heart. Together we are stronger.

I feel inspired by their Courage of being and living. Courage to challenge the status quo and elegantly move behind mental and real barriers in a men’s world. And because Courage is not the absence of fear, but the action despite the fear, I admire all of you, Women in my life. Every day each and every one of you, bravely and wholeheartedly overcome your fears, build your personal power, our Women’s power, advancing another step in the path towards deeper equality.

I honour your Courage my beloved Women friends and I dedicate my life to you.

To you who dare to raise your child alone in face of an absent father, assuming the responsibility of love and education. To you who daily care for those who come from far away fleeing war and trauma, facing your own trauma and your own flee. jean-michel-basquiat_a-painting-by-him-used-posthumously-in-a-1993-poembook-by-maya-angelou-called-life-doesnt-frighten-meTo you who left an unfulfilling job to search for your soul and for your joy. To you who look cancer in the face and say yes to life, once and once again. To you who fly like a butterfly with your babies in your stomach, dancing graciously the dance of life. To you who work night and day to bring money home, you who raised me to be this Woman writing this words. To you who dared to challenge costumes and, with two kids in your arms, divorced an unfaithful man. To you who were silent and humble, allowing your man to shine. To you the queen making your dream come true. To you who love your body despite all the hate around Botticelli women. To you who left your comfort and travelled far away in search of professional fulfilment. To you who live in the dark shining all your way through. To you who faced violence and got out of it by yourself. To you who said enough to an unfulfilling relationship to walk life with a smile. To you who love with maternal love all of us, while waiting to be a mother. To you you survived family addiction and transformed your pain in strength. To those who died so that us, Women of today, may enjoy all the rights we do. To those who fight every day to make sure we may enjoy full equality one day. To those who will take the future burden and joy of activism and keep the memory alive.

photo3Sometimes I feel scared of my own internalised sexism, that taught me subordination and lack of confidence. I fight every day, I fear every day, every day I challenge my mind and other people’s minds. I struggle so that I am respected and seen through the lenses of equality. I feel the danger, the anger and the punishment, it seems small, comes silently, subtly loud and evident to my soul. It is painful and I feel my own pain like electricity through my body, drowning me of my best energy and joy, distracting me of important things.

And every day, I am Courageous, I am powerful. Because, “life doesn’t frighten me“!


Life Doesn’t Frighten Me
by Maya Angelou

Shadows on the wall
Noises down the hall
Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Bad dogs barking loud
Big ghosts in a cloud
Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Mean old Mother Goose
Lions on the loose
They don’t frighten me at all

Dragons breathing flame
On my counterpane
That doesn’t frighten me at all.

I go boo
Make them shoo
I make fun
Way they run
I won’t cry
So they fly
I just smile
They go wild

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Tough guys fight
All alone at night
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Panthers in the park
Strangers in the dark
No, they don’t frighten me at all.

That new classroom where
Boys all pull my hair
(Kissy little girls
With their hair in curls)
They don’t frighten me at all.

Don’t show me frogs and snakes
And listen for my scream,
If I’m afraid at all
It’s only in my dreams.

I’ve got a magic charm
That I keep up my sleeve
I can walk the ocean floor
And never have to breathe.

Life doesn’t frighten me at all
Not at all
Not at all.

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.


About Ana Rodrigues Afonso

I am a woman with a strong creative drive and I engage in foundation processes with my whole heart, head and hands. I am passionate about women’s empowerment, spiritual and self-development, and non-formal education. I work as a freelance trainer and consultant. My main fields of expertise are women’s empowerment, leadership, self-development and love. Linkedin: https://pt.linkedin.com/in/anarodriguesafonso

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