Are You Ready for the Feminine Revolution?

 

Are You Ready for the Feminine Revolution? Ms. Magazine by Lisa NiverAre You Ready for The Feminine Revolution?

I have been told that I am too sensitive or too emotional. I’ve been told that I use too many capital letters. I have been told repeatedly that my emails scared someone, that I should tone it down to appear professional. (I was even named “Most Likely to Clap Her Hands for No Reason” in my high school yearbook.)

It’s true: I have always been enthusiastic and had more obvious feelings than others in a room. That’s why I loved reading The Feminine Revolution: 21 Ways to Ignite the Power of Your Femininity for a Brighter Life and a Better Worldby Catherine Connors and Amy Stanton, which flipped the narrative—and encouraged women like me to reframe old standards that have claimed that “traditional” feminine traits are weak or bad.

Catherine Connors and Amy Stanton, The Feminine Revolution Dance Book Launch“Femininity isn’t some pre-determined, universal condition,” the authors assert, “nor is it a set of one-size-fits-all rules about ‘what it means to be a woman.’ Femininity is an experience that flexes and moves and evolves according to the terms of the person who is living and defining it.” The definition Connors and Stanton offer throughout the book’s 21 sections is radically subversive—and illuminating.

“Femininity is powerful,” they write. “It’s really powerful. And being in that power doesn’t only feel good and lead to better relationships and a more fulfilling life—it can change the world.”

I cry in public. I love stickers and emojis and being a cheerleader for my project teams. I am tired of people trying to shame me for being a sensitive person who shows her emotions, and I am ready to claim my own feminine power and admit that those very traits that others have disparaged are some of the very reasons I have accomplished so much.

Connors envisions sensitivity as a superpower in the first chapter of Feminine Revolution, which felt personally revelatory. I notice things, but I often do not share them—because people have tried to convince me that it is inappropriate. Now, I can see that I have superpowers: that what I observe is special, and that I have the upper hand in many situations because of what I can see.

“Your emotional sensitivity connects you to the world,” Connors and Stanton remind readers. “It gives you insight into your own experiences and those of others. It is both a means (a tool and an ability that helps you get what you want) and an end in itself (the rich experience of being in tune with the world and with others is its own reward). Cultivate and enjoy it.”

I am ready to openly own my powers.

Nearly every chapter in the book spoke to me—from “Cry Openly” to “Flirt Freely”—but the fifth urged me to continue considering one of the things I have been focused on since my divorce: how to “Own Your Intuition.”

I have not always trusted my inner voice, but it has always been the right path. Clarissa Pinkola Estes urged readers of her legendary text, Women Who Run With Wolves, to “practice listening to your intuition, your inner voice; ask questions; be curious; see what you see; hear what you hear; and then act upon what you know to be true.”

Catherine Connors Amy Stanton Lisa Niver Feminine Revolution
Catherine Connors, Amy Stanton and Lisa Niver at The Feminine Revolution book launch event

Connors and Stanton pick up where Estes left off in chapter five. “Why should we trust these powers?” they ask. “Your ‘sixth sense’ isn’t extrasensory—it’s supersensory. Your ability to draw insight from what seems intangible or mysterious is in fact just heightened sensory ability: you’re using your finely honed skills of observation to pick up on cues that others miss.”

This is something I have always been good at as a teacher, a speaker and a writer. It is part of what makes me great. It might look like magic, but it is possible.

More than ever, I am determined to listen to myself. That determination continued to resonate as I worked through chapter six: “Express Yourself.” I have been told repeatedly and by many people that I am “over-expressive.” I have been told to “contain and control it” if I want to be taken seriously. Connors and Stanton urged me to do just the opposite.

“As social animals,” they clarify for readers, “we crave meaningful communication and are gratified when it is embedded with clear cues and signals. Especially in today’s digital world, when there’s so much room for miscommunication (in texts and emails), we would all benefit from more awareness, attention, and intention in how we communicate with each other.”

I am going to continue to express myself in my enthusiastic way—with colors, capital letters and even stickers. I am going to insist the world take me just as seriously anyway.

Connors and Stanton also continue to channel Estes in a later chapter aptly entitled “Unleash Your Wild Woman.” I’ve traveled to 101 countries. I once lived on a ship for seven years. For 18 months, I traveled in Asia on one journey; in another, I traveled for 11. I have been often been in the state the authors describe as “being free-spirited.” I am the woman they describe who can “go with the flow.” And I agree with them: “It’s wildly powerful.” I know that we need to roam and wander.

My choices to leave graduate school or work on a cruise ship seemed extremely poor to many family and friends, but they were the right choices for me. I had to follow my inner voice and create a path that worked for me. The authors suggest more of us do just that, as much as we can and in every way. “Do something that scares you every day,” they prompt us. “Push yourself to the limit. Know that it’s going to be uncomfortable. Embrace the experience. Be emotional and overwhelmed.”

When I left my marriage in Asia and returned to America alone, I joined a performance salsa dance team in Los Angeles. I wasn’t sure it was a good idea, but it turned out it was one of my best ideas. I was part of a group, part of a functional team. I had to show up every time and work as hard as I could. These were things that had stopped happening in my relationship, and I was practicing them on the dance floor. These were the things I remembered as the book closed out, and I reached one of the last chapters: “Sing and Dance.”

“Singing and dancing allow us to let go, to share ourselves, to be truly in the moment,” Connors and Stanton note. “The freedom we experience from taking time for ourselves and letting ourselves go physically and emotionally is distinctly feminine.”

I have my own advice for you: Be more wild. Dance more. Use as many exclamation points as possible. And grab a copy of The Feminine Revolution today, right after you hit “send.”

The Feminine Revolution

Read this article on MS MAGAZINE

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.5 million views. After three months on TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts, she had over 500,000 (1/2 million) views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers”

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