Female Empowerment – Relationship Health

by Dr. Karen Ruskin on July 28, 2017

It was such an honor to be the first and only to date Relationship Expert invited to speak at the Women2Women Leadership Conference held by Empower Peace. On Thursday July 27th, 2017 I educated 100+ young women from over 30 countries on topics such as: empowerment, self-esteem and confidence, and achieving one’s goals as it specifically ties in to relationship health. Relationship health, and these topics within are special to my heart. It was so fun and meaningful to provide concrete tips and practical tools for how to remain true to one’s passion amidst the nay-sayers (and they will keep on coming). During this interactive speech I explained how to positively navigate the challenge of negativity, remain true to one’s beliefs and vision, and have the courage and determination to achieve one’s goals. 

What is relationship health?

100+ Young Women from 30+ Countries Women2Women Leadership Conference – Dr. Karen Ruskin Guest Speaker on Female Empowerment & Relationship Health

Relationship health many believe is simply about the relationship you have with one significant other in what some may refer to as a “serious relationship”. I explained to the attendees that once we share our ‘serious’ information (e.g., our goals, our vision, our hopes) with another (e.g., friend, significant other/lover, parent, family member, via social media), then that becomes a “serious relationship” in that it has the potential to affect you (i.e., affect how you feel and therefore how you think and thus how you act). For example, if you share your desire with another, and that person has a negative reaction (AKA a naysayer), and you sponge in their negative perspective; you are now feeling down about your idea, and thus may no longer take action on your vision. Because, what we think affects how we feel, and thus how we act. Just as how we feel affects how we think, and thus how we act.

The plan: Live your life, your goals, your vision. Do not live someone else’s life through their negativity.

Think – Feel – Act

In essence, a significant ingredient to success is the relationship one has with one’s self.  If one says kind and compassionate statements to one’s self, words of encouragement and love, that will of course affect how one feels and therefore the action one takes. What another person says can effect how one thinks, feels, and therefore acts. Whether that person is a separate life form from you, and/or whether that person talking to you is YOU. Thus, being consciously mindful of what you are inputting into your brain from the words and reactions of others is indeed of note. And, being consciously mindful of what you are stating to your own self, the words you speak to your own self is quite important.

When to end a relationship?

What to do if there are naysayers in your mist?

There are some people in one’s life we may need to disconnect from, disassociate from, and even dump – (‘The 3 d’s’). Additionally it is helpful to surround one’s self with supportive players in our life. With that said, we cannot always implement either or both of these two points. Therefore, one must recognize that what someone else says is coming from their context, not yours. If we can accept someone else’s statement, accept that is their context, their truth, their reality, and not embrace it as our own, simply accept it AND at the same time remain committed to what is important to you – then you shall rise to achieve your vision.

With that said, does that mean that you can still be friends with someone who is a naysayer? Can you remain connected with a family member who is a naysayer? Yes. Acceptance by understanding the context of the other person, while remaining committed to your own vision (as your context of you is different then that person) – if you can do this, then absolutely! As there are some people in our life of whom are keepers, though they may have naysayer tendencies.

Does this mean remaining in a committed relationship with a significant other of whom you are considering spending the rest of your life with, and this person is a naysayer – that is the route to take? There are others of whom come into our life, and they may need to be someone of whom we decide to not remain in our life. Choice. We have that choice to implement The 3 d’s, or not. This is of course your decision to make. When it comes to a significant other, meaning, your mate, your main squeeze, the person you are thinking about spending the rest of your life with, is not a supportive attitude about you and your vision an important factor? I think it is, I know it is. Of course though this is your decision to ultimately make, so make it a consciously aware one.

During this interactive speech I discussed the topic of unhealthy significant other relationships. The fact is, if you are in a relationship with someone that is your “main-dating relationship”, if this person is not a supportive player and is quite the opposite, a naysayer, likely you are going to need to consider one of The 3 d’s. To remain in a committed relationship with someone of whom is supposed to be your main partner, your main support, if that supportive partnership is not existent, you are going to feel in conflict and in emotional turmoil. The conflict will be between your inner voice of passion to achieve and your mate’s voice of naysayer, ultimately leading the relationship to feel unwell and you as an individual to feel unwell. Emotional relational un-wellness is often due to a conflict of some kind, and when it is a conflict about going forward to achieve one’s healthy vision or not, then you have a serious decision to make.

Please note: sometimes one’s mate is not going to have the same perspective and thus may disagree or find it hard to imagine how you can achieve your vision. Of course that shall happen in any relationship from time to time. There is a big difference between the mate of whom thematically is a naysayer about you, who you are, and your ideas vs. the mate of whom thematically is supportive of who you are and your ideas though sometimes does not agree with your ideas. Also, there are some mates of whom consistently cannot imagine how your idea will work and possess naysayer tendencies, but… is super supportive of you as a person and believes in you and thus believes that whatever you set your mind to that you will accomplish even if he/she cannot imagine how. Thus, consider this difference if you feel your mate is proud of you and supportive of you even though your mate does not have your vision. For a supportive mate need not always hold the same opinions as you. As a girl entering womanhood in a committed relationship, these are points to consider as you try to determine whether your mate is a keeper or not.

The plan: Make a mindfully conscious decision and listen to your inner wisdom voice. If you have a healthy relationship with yourself and are in touch with yourself, you will always find the answer to all of your pressing questions.

Empowerment Techniques

What we input into our mind, matters. For what we feed our mind is what grows, and if we water our plant of self, oh what a beautiful, strong, smart, and accomplished flower we are and thus shall be. Who we desire to be is who we are, and thus who we shall be – is the message I imprinted in my speech at the W2W conference. I provided specific techniques to incorporate connecting with one’s conscious healthy self, the power of the mind and body, the use of one’s inner voice while remaining relaxed and energized, calm and excited, experiencing one’s passion, and remaining focused and in touch with one’s self.

A few of the tools I educated attendees to help them on their journey of experiencing empowerment, being in touch with one’s self, courageous, a proud sense of self, and remaining positive and forging ahead succeeding, even when there are those around you of whom are naysayers (e.g., negative, put you or your ideas down, hurtful) included:

  • Daily choice statement
  • Daily power statement
  • Mirror technique (method to look deep into one’s self and truly see self in a positive way and move forward)
  • The use of writing
  • Spoken statements with power stance
  • Words and body power alignment
  • Sponge technique (squeeze out the negative/naysayers statements, soak up the positive)
  • Meditative breathe
  • Positive meditative breath
  • Positive self list and others positive of you list
  • Positive self talk – Identity of self (knowing who you are with full presence and consciousness, this is the opposite of victimization identity)

Empowered Identity

Question and Answer Session

One of my favorite things to do is answer questions. As it allows me the opportunity to go directly into the worry-mind of the person asking the question, where I can help them to emerge into their empowered-mind. For if you think about it, often questions are coming from a place of worry. The struggle is due to a lack of feeling empowered and rather feeling stuck. Sometimes humans will place themselves in a victim identity role which is an identity of self where they feel stuck, they feel like they do not have control nor power, and rather believe that another and/or others have control and power over them. When one holds this view of identity of self, this ultimately often in turn leads to a lack of achieving what one set out to accomplish with the belief that the non-achievement is due another. This not uncommonly results in feeling un-well emotionally, and emotionally reactive against self and/or others. Rather than feeling at peace within one’s own self and uplifted.

Although females and males will experience this feeling of such a depleted defeated sense of identity, in my work with both genders I have found it to be more common that females will report this struggle then men will. I believe that we have the power and control over our own selves. To blame another places us feeling small, and does not lead to generating empowerment. As a woman helping other females, I believe my mission is to help these girls to feel their inner power, not to believe that the external can stop them. Taking ownership of what one can do and believing in one’s self, being in true connection with one’s identity as an empowered female is of great significance if one is to feel energized and achieve, rather than blaming another. It is our choice everyday what we allow our mind to embrace.

The question and answer portion was exciting as it allowed attendees the opportunity to ask me anything they wanted, which further allowed each attendee to grow from one another. The theme I observed from the questions asked were directly related to empowerment or the lack thereof in one’s identity. Below are listed a few of the topics the girls asked questions about that concerned them/they were struggling with:

  • How to handle powerful men in the work environment (Emotionally internally and verbally interactively)
  • Relationship addiction (What to do when in a committed relationship with a male that you know is not healthy for you but you really like him and feel addicted to him)
  • Increasing self-confidence/self-esteem
  • Helping uplift fellow females
  • How to accept compliments vs. not obsessing on the negative another has said to you
  • How to know the difference between someone who cares about you and is just worried vs. a naysayer
  • When to listen to vs. when not to listen to another person’s opinion that your vision will not work when they have more experience then you (Examples attendees stated included: male colleagues, parents)

Empowerment – Males and Females

Although this speaking engagement was focused on the empowerment of females, after all, the organization that invited me to speak is: Women2Women, I wanted to make it a point to note that many of the concepts are of value for males as well. Although most certainly there are differences between females and males, let us embrace those differences, and it is important to note that we all as humans, female or male, are on a journey of self discovery. Empowerment plays an important role on that very journey whether you are a female or a male. I always welcome the opportunity to further educate females and males of all ages on how to be in touch with their true inner self, their passion, and how to be the successful person that they have within them to be discovered. As it is our relationship with our self that is at the core. 

Learn more about Women2Women 

Clip from the conference

If you wish to learn more about Women2Women, watch this quick video clip that includes a soundbite from my speech.

Learn more about empowerment and goal achievement

If you wish to learn more about any of the tools and concepts mentioned in this summary of topics included my Women2Women speech, don’t hesitate to contact me directly to schedule an appointment.

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