There will be a few blog posts with my personal responses to some of the questions found in each chapter of this book. I urge you to follow along with me as we experience the Goddess within.
The second chapter is about Athena and you can find the questions I will be answering in this post on page 55 of the book.
When I look at the photograph above my first feeling is of curiosity. I want to know why she joined the military. Did she have a parent who was military? A sibling? What is her job in the military? I believe that my first idea about women and power came from my mother. She was a very independent woman. She moved out of her parents home at a young age and established herself with a job and apartment. I find however that as she grows older she relies more and more on my father and appears less empowered than I imagined her to be. I think her own fears an insecurities which I thought were not there when I was a child are more evident to me now that I am an adult. I don't think my mother is as powerful as she pretended to be.
I see nothing wrong with a woman who is comfortable in a powerful position. I believe that we can be strong and feminine. I am unafraid of power as well as conflict. I don't necessarily seek out power but I do not shrink from it either.
As a child, how did you react when threatened or challenged? How do you react today? If there is a difference, when did you begin to change and why?
As a child I can recall feeling badly when being threatened but when challenged I stood my ground. Honestly it would depend on who it was that was threatening me and/or challenging me. I remember being teased in school but usually my tormentor usually did it behind my back and was usually friendly to my face. There is a difference for me now. I don't usually feel threatened any longer. I believe this is because I am comfortable in who I am and what I am about. I understand people better now and realize the reason they threaten is because they feel powerless. My reaction to those who try to threaten, intimate or challenge others is more of sadness then the feeling to retreat.
In what ways were you physically active as a child? Are you still physical in that way? If not, when did you begin to change – and why?
When I was a child I used to play jump rope with my friends, do cartwheels and flips (things like that). We played outside a lot when we were younger because there were a lot of children my age in the neighborhood. I am not really active in that way any longer. I do like going for walks whether in the city or in nature. I think it is because I am older and less flexible. I allowed my lifestyle to become more sedentary and more intellectual.
Take the following list of words and write down your responses to them: fierce, angry, defensive, strong, powerful. Which words would you feel uneasy about if they were applied to you, or to a woman you care about? Why?
- Fierce: I think of actions used to overcome obstacles and challenges fueled by the emotions of anger.
- Angry: For me this emotion or state of being is dangerous because years ago I used anger as a weapon. While I see no issue with the emotion of anger in and of itself for me it is a place that I can easily slip into and I find it is an unhealthy place for me to be.
- Defensive: When I think of defensiveness I think of a state of being that is not allowing and instead withdrawing into oneself.
- Strong: Being strong is being confident and sure of oneself (our actions, thoughts, emotions).
- Powerful: Being aware of one’s own energy flow and ability to do whatever they desire.
I think the words I would feel uneasy about would be: angry and defensive because of the associations I have with those words. If they were applied to a woman that I care about would still be those two words as well because I feel they are words that are associated with a negative vibrational frequency.
Have you ever attempted to protect yourself and failed? How did it feel? How did others react to you?
No, I have never failed at attempting to protect myself. I don’t believe I’ve really been in situations where I had the need to protect myself.
Have you ever been physically assaulted? Were you able to protect yourself? How did others react to you when you told them about the assault?
No, I have never been physically assaulted.
Have you ever taken a martial art form for self-defense? If so, how did it make you feel? If not, why not?
At present time in our group we are learning some basic self-defense techniques but honestly, I have never felt the need to learn a form of self-defense.
Have you known women friends or relatives who have suffered physical assault? How did you react to their situation?
I have one friend that I know of that has suffered a physical assault. When I discovered that it had occurred years prior I was surprised that she hadn’t shared the information with me. When we discussed it, she had admitted that she was ashamed of the event. Knowing that she felt this way made me sad. So much of our lives we live in fear and shame when I feel that it really doesn't have to be this way.
In your work life and your personal life, are there areas where you feel frequently invaded or beaten? What do you do to stand up for yourself? How could you be more effective?
I do not feel invaded or beaten in any area of my life. I am comfortable in standing up for myself: my beliefs, my words and actions though this wasn’t always the case. As a child I was frequently berated and teased for my body size. It was frequently suggested that I was never slim enough which for me equated to worthiness. It has taken me many years to overcome this idea about myself but at this point in my life I believe that it truly doesn’t matter to me what anyone thinks of me except me. And I am pleased with who I am.
Are there times when you have hurt others, either physically or through words, because they provoked you? How did you feel afterward? How do you feel about the event now?
Yes, there have been times when I have hurt others because they have provoked me. I believe that it takes a lot to provoke me and I warn people when I am at the threshold but I have had individuals continue to push. As I stated earlier anger is my motivator and words are my weapon of choice. I know I have a sharp tongue and I am able to hurt with it.
How I feel after an altercation depends on the situation that has occurred. There are time when I have felt vindicated in the situation and other times when I felt badly for hurting the other individual. Now when these times occur they are infrequently and I generally choose to walk away understanding that the issue is with the individual trying to provoke me than myself.