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The Hero Within - A Woman’s Journey to Leadership

Defining role models through becoming.

"Before the moon I am, what a woman is, a woman of power, a woman's power, deeper than the roots of trees, deeper than the roots of islands, older than the Making, older than the moon."

—Ursula K. Le Guin, Tehanu


Dear reader, this article is about the need for female role models at a time when we are in dire need of balance in our cultures worldwide. This article is for everyone, not only women (wrongly considered a minority despite representing half of all humans).

The need for balance within each of us has never been greater; if you are a man reading this, please share this article with the women in your life.

Both men and women contain elements of masculine and feminine power. Words of power are seldom written for women by women, and descriptions of balanced female power in action are scarce. Society benefits when its members are whole, balanced, and able to actualize their full potential. Imagine the world built by and for the representative body of humankind. Now, let us begin to realize this vision.

See The Gap

There are many points on any long and arduous journey when one might wish to turn back and return to the safety and familiarity of the once-known. These moments of tired doubt are when we must call in our heroes.

But what if, for example, you are a woman blazing your trail in the entrepreneurial field, and there aren't many examples of women doing what you do in the way you do it? This absence of representation can feel lonely and lead you to doubt your belonging. Across all domains and disciplines, particularly in those that are male-dominated, women at the top of their game will be difficult to find.

A young woman with vibrant purple-to-blue hair, wearing pink-rimmed glasses, a teal blazer, and a floral scarf, sits at a desk with a laptop and documents in a modern office with a scenic mountain view in the background.

Many of us grew up before there were so many compelling novels about strong and fearless female heroines, like Catness from The Hunger Games. Without a female to identify with in the many stories of male protagonists, we identified with the male characters and had adventures through the male character lens.

This identification made the stories readable, at least, but never imbued a realistic female hero into our imaginings. Additionally, the relatability of the hero never truly sank in as we did not identify with him but instead were able to live vicariously through him, much in the same way as the classical expectations once placed upon women in Western society allowed a vicarious existence through the lens of the husband and married life. Thankfully, those expectations have outlived their shelf life.

Evolve to Empower

At any moment on the planet, there are people representing one of four living generations, from the very oldest among us to the youngest. If the women of each living generation are empowered to become the heroes of their own journeys, these women will raise empowered children and grandchildren. Empowered mothers know how to raise sons and daughters who respect and empower all genders equally.

"The one person who will never leave us, whom we will never lose, is ourself. Learning to love our female selves is where our search for love must begin."

Expected to value and preserve beauty while being criticized for being superficial, women are placed in an impossible position to meet expectations; men are not. What kind of hero are we supposed to be?

A vibrant classroom scene with a woman in the foreground wearing a light blue blazer, black-rimmed glasses, and styled purple hair, smiling warmly. A second woman with braided hair and a blue and white uniform sits in the background along with others engaged in study or group activities.

The Fully Embodied Woman

The fully embodied woman is necessary to bring the balance of power in our species to equilibrium. Female power, when balanced, is the generative force; masculine power is the determined and singular focus, which we must also bring to harmony. Both forces reside within each of us.

For a deep-dive into balancing masculine and feminine energies, read my article on achieving innovation through attaining this balance.

The fully embodied woman heals the imbalance in those they interact with simply through being, not with effort. We sense the natural order in the energy of those in balance as we are made of matter, which is composed of energy. We, thus, are unconsciously highly sensitive to the energy fields of those we come into contact with. Imbalance can manifest as the contagious symptoms of fear, anxiety, and depression, and we don't like to be around this energy.

Balanced male and female power is not all that familiar to us, as it is typically split between genders and serves gender roles (as society dictates). Simply walk into any toy store in America, and you will experience the binary divide of gender roles. This reinforcement remains as unchanged as it was in the 1950s.

A large, brightly-lit toy store with two distinctly different sections on either side of a central aisle, half of the store is pink and half blue. One side pink for girls and stocked with gendered toys (dolls, kitchen play sets, dress up), the other side blue for boys and stocked with weapons and sports, science and vehicles.

Lacking heroes on both sides to represent the balanced man or woman, men can avail themselves of role models more readily. Simply due to the odds, men have more hero archetypes to choose from, as men dominate leadership in domains from sports to politics and art.

Balanced men, however, must be sought out; being the victor or dominating the arena in your field does not imply balance. We live in a time when aggressive masculine energy is still the go-to problem-solving function in our species; this is an error, as we can see by the fact that so many conflicts drone on across the world without any end in sight. There are multivariate options for harnessing power, and how power manifests is not one-dimensional. It will be an evolution of our species when more of us realize and act on the truth of our power.

We don't have to wait for a definition that society allows when we can decide to create the archetype of a modern female hero now.

A dynamic scene of a women's basketball team in an urban setting. The foreground player, wearing a light blue jersey with number 43, black-rimmed glasses, and a headband, moves determinedly with a basketball. Other players in blue and maroon jerseys are seen in the background, highlighting teamwork and competition against the backdrop of city buildings and street lamps.

Find Clues in Role Models

We know the impact of not having female role models. Women's health is under-researched, meaning we don't fully understand the female body, the body that carries all new life into the world. Everyone is impacted by how healthy our mothers, sisters, and daughters are. Health is only one sliver of the impact of not having female role models.

We need clues to dream above our current horizon.

Clues come in the form of role models. Role models might be people or a person you know or a person or people you will never meet or can never meet, e.g., a person from living history, such as the legend Coco Chanel.

For me, it was Val. She is and was a musician, dancer, polyglot, and my first female computer science teacher. Val made me see that I was all of the things I wanted and could dream of being. Most importantly, she gave me clues (in the form of believing I could and should) when I negotiated for a salary more significant than I dreamed of asking for. These are life-changing clues. Role models are life-changing.

A young girl with pink-tinted hair is wearing a white and blue astronaut suit with an American flag patch on the sleeve. She is seated in a spaceship, holding a pencil, and appears to be writing or drawing on a desk. Her helmet is on, and her face is illuminated by the soft, ambient lighting of the spacecraft. The background features a porthole window with a view of outer space and some green plants, adding a touch of earthiness to the otherwise technological setting.

When You Find a Gap, Be the Bridge

So you must see that you have the right equipment after all. You must trust the gifts you came into this world with, which are uniquely yours.

Learn to listen to the voice within yourself; this is not the critical and analytical voice that passes judgment and often places limits on your potential. This is the voice you know is truth; it is YOU, without the cloudy vision we cannot help but suffer from.

Our world is chaotic; it always has been, but it was an escapable chaos. Now, we can only escape the chaos with serious and deliberate effort, i.e., no phones, email, etc. But the importance of embodying our whole selves is worth serious and deliberate measures.

Deliberate measures can include taking the journey inward and learning your triggers, where they come from, and how to overcome them. Inner work will reveal personality traits that no longer serve you and allow you to affect change through awareness. For example, many women find it difficult to ask for what they need, and we might not even realize we struggle with this until we are in a context that shows our conditioned behavior patterns.

You might experience anxiety in the context of asking your intimate partner to help with more of the household chores, for example. This pattern likely stems from your childhood and the degree to which your primary female caregiver felt empowered or disempowered in her relationship dynamics. For many generations, we have passed our fear from mother to daughter, and this fear is a seed within each of us that only germinates when the context matches our specific fear pattern(s).

When you cannot find the strength to do it for yourself, make the change for your children, grandchildren, and all of your descendants. Be the first to break the cycle of fear dependency that your ancestors could not see. Be the bridge to empowerment and embodiment of the full feminine power. Become the role model you seek; don't be shy about it. The tendency to minimize our value is an indoctrinated habit we need not hold onto.

A striking digital painting of a woman with vibrant purple, pink, and orange hair, adorned with blue and teal tattoos on her face. She wears turquoise glasses and yellow flower earrings, standing against a scenic coastal backdrop with cliffs, ocean waves, and a golden sunset. Yellow flowers are in the foreground."

Upgrade your vision of a possible future.

Support one another on this journey, whether you are a man or a woman. Made as equals, we cannot escape our current plight as a species until we are collectively more balanced.

Emerging from our fight or flight response (reactivity, anxiety, and fear-based decision-making) will take more than one generation to be sure. Everyone who takes up the mantle and lives by their born potential contributes to a version of history realized beyond primitive instincts (fear, hatred, cruelty, etc.). Above our primitive instincts is a realm of higher knowing, compassion, and connectedness. Humanity can only attain higher levels of awareness through collective inner work and enlightenment at scale.

In the intensity of our present moment, we fear computers will replace us, but we cannot get beyond our primitive mindset to see a world in which we are the leaders of our destiny. Technology reflects us; as we evolve, our technology will evolve alongside us. We are in control as long as we participate.

Conclusion and Call to Action

It is time we find the answers we are looking for within ourselves. Become the role model you wish you had at every difficult step on your own journey. You don't need to be perfect; just live your life authentically. Do it for the little girl inside you who needs to believe her dreams are possible.

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Let's innovate together to transform challenges into opportunities and embrace discomfort in the name of fearless and transformational growth.

Thank you for reading, — Sonia, a.k.a SuperSonic 

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