“I remember having goosebumps and tears the whole time.”
This is a small slice of an enlighting conversation about the meek kicking ass and women learning how to be safe in their own skin. Meet Shelley Hayes-MacDonald and Lynn MacDonald of Empowered Warriors.
S: I remember the first time I saw Lynn at work, seeing about 40 women all around college age walk in a room, a little bit scared, a little bit closed, a little bit turned in on themselves, and then watching the process of how they slowly began to crack open and light up as Lynn talked with them and taught them how to use their voice and how to break through some of the fears they had around physically protecting themselves. I remember having goosebumps and tears the whole time.
S: We work towards creating empowered warriors in ourselves, and the women we work with. I believe that’s why we make such a good team. Lynn is the embodiment of an empowered woman – literally embodies it; she’s very confident. I think that I bring more of the smoochy side, the softer part of the deeper work.
L: We do a lot of work around the word NO, in fact, we have T-Shirts we wear that say, “No is a complete sentence.” We work from the very beginning, helping women find their own voice. It’s so huge having the ability to stand up for yourself and be able to set clear boundaries.
S: We encourage women to reconnect with their instincts and intuition; to trust themselves. Women aren’t taught that. We see women talking themselves out of their own intuition and instincts, which are two very different things. Instinct is an animal reaction where the hairs on the back of your neck go up. It’s fight, flight, or freeze, a human-animal reaction. Intuition is a spiritual connection, an insight we have, like a feeling that you’re really going to like a person you just met. Intuition is more an inner knowing, it could be connected to spirituality, while instinct is more grounded in our body.
S: I believe that the objectification of women separates them from their bodies, their instincts; women are taught to be nice, told to go hug uncle Fred even when instincts are telling us that uncle Fred is creepy. It’s teaching a child, especially girls, not to listen to their instincts.
S: We don’t teach from a fear-based place, always from empowerment first. It’s never about doing things out of fear, it’s doing them because you’re empowered and feeling confident, feeling bad ass. It’s about self-worth.
We teach people who have kids and sometimes they’re afraid, they don’t feel they have what it takes to stand up for themselves. So we ask them how they would feel if someone was trying to hurt their child, then suddenly this female beast comes out. We turn that around to ask them if they’re willing to do that for their kid, why aren’t they not willing to do it for themselves so they’ll be around for their kid. That’s when the light bulb goes on and the beast comes back out. Sometimes it’s finding a connection to what’s important in life that’s worth fighting for.