I didn't always have a voice.
In fact, I was quiet and shy as a girl and felt pretty invisible growing up.
Beyond not having a voice, I didn't always know what I needed or wanted which made it hard to even ask for it when someone was listening.
Often using my voice looked like anger, yelling and be loud in order to be heard.
As you can imagine, this didn't typically work and it left me feeling terrible about myself.
I come from a family of strong, independent women who made many of their own choices.
But with a closer look I could see that they also weren't expressing their feelings.
I had no feminine model for how to do this properly.
I've realized that even strong women don't claim their needs or communicate their feelings.
My family of strong women often don't express what they feel or need, because we were never shown how.
Now, as a mother, I've learned that being a strong woman also means...
knowing what we need
asking for what we need
communicating our feelings
saying yes to what serves us and no to what doesn't
being my true self even if it means not being accepted by others
I've challenged traditional gender roles my whole life and my work is to empower girls and women.
But I still have more work to do.
I have owned this work with my mentor, Rosjke Hasseldine.
She is opening my eyes to the patterns in my motherline, the ones that started to be break open with my mother and then me.
But also the patterns that still need to be broken so that I do not pass them down to my daughter.
There is so much value in this work, knowing where we come from and what we do as mothers that impacts our girls negatively.
For example, how can I expect my daughter to confidently use her voice to express her needs when she doesn't see me doing the same?
As mothers and daughters we don't always see ourselves as people first, with ideas and needs of our own.
More often we are comprimising our own needs for others.
By starting with the mother-daughter relationship, we can learn how to listen to and accept each other's needs.
In turn, empowering mothers and daughters to see themselves as people first and have their needs met.
What would it have looked like if your mother's needs were met? And your grandmother's?
It's time for you to start your own journey through your mother-daughter history!