Women are particularly prone to using their circle of friends and colleagues to air what they are going through at any moment, especially during tough times. And you may agree that the year 2020 was somewhat trying, with the quick turn of events also cutting us off from our usual socializing.
As it happened there was a network of women from all over the world feeling the same need as I did and we met every Friday morning for a virtual ‘cup of coffee’. We called the group simply “Coffee Morning Live”. Other than all of the healing and deep friendships we experienced as a result, we now a have a tangible outcome. I herewith proudly announce the global launch of a collection of life stories each told courageously and candidly, stripped to the core in I AM EVERY WOMAN.
How this Book came about
Writing about one’s life is an excellent and profound way of understanding one’s life. Having myself already dabbled in the practice, it turned out many had done the same or longed to do so. They were just waiting for the push. And suddenly they had the time too.
A co-author Anja Loetscher put it, “I always wanted to write my story, for my daughter and my grandchildren and as a thank you to my mother who made me what I am today. But whereas writing a whole book on my own might have made for a boring book, I just loved the idea of being part of a communal writing project.”
Amanda Winwood, another of the 15 co-authors, refers to the peace and acceptance experienced by spending time revisiting events that she had “packed away in the suitcase of life”. At the other end of the spectrum Sharan Patel felt a lot of trepidation revisiting certain past events. She did re-live some of the pain, supported by the collective, and feels better for having done so.
Community can help us see that we all have our battles to fight and that we can help each other carry the burden.
So Many Commonalities
Reading all our stories I can clearly see the common threads that run through this patchwork. There is the obvious one: we are all women. Here are some more that don’t apply to all of us but to many or most:
We have the feeling of having been trapped running in the “hamster wheel”.
We are well travelled, and in many cases were born in exotic locations (Africa, India, the Caribbean…).
We have been relatively well to do, whether by birth or many of us by hard work focusing on our careers and businesses.
We have all experienced challenges (overwork, divorce, sickness, death…), and although of a more subtle kind than the obvious external hardships such as war or famine, the stories touch on serious topics such as domestic abuse and terminal illnesses.
We enjoy reflecting on what it means to be a woman.
We have been much shaped by our families and especially by our mothers.
We are very perceptive of what it means to be treated differently due to being women – be it by feeling we have to work harder, by being naturally more caring or by being expected to be so.
We have experienced synchronicities and come across people that have supported our growth – at times surprised at how much intuition has actually guided us.
We go against the grain, for example by seeing through the hollow trap of materialism or taking the leap into the unknown even when terrified; refusing arranged marriage and coming out are both touched upon in this book.
Why I AM EVERY WOMAN is such a Brilliant and Unique Book
To conclude on the list of commonalities above, we are all brilliant, we are courageous and vulnerable at the same time; we are different – and yet, alike. So many of our experiences are similar and easy to relate to, and yet each life is unique.
Reading about what unites us, this collective of women, you may almost get the feeling that we are all one. And that you are one of us too, that you will recognize yourself in these stories.
The best thing about I AM EVERY WOMAN to me is how well it expresses the universalities of all these varied experiences of women, and how well it meets the needs of today. We need change for women and change by women.
This book is testament to what a strong and resilient species we – as women – actually are. We did not get to this point in life or history by resting on our laurels – though at times we did precisely that. And if you too have seen the deepening of shadow work by others (especially women) around you, perhaps you can feel that this is indeed a book suited to these times of transition. If you are already digging or are ready to dig deeper yourself, I can promise you that it will enrich and empower you greatly to read this book.
One of the greatest strength of women is their capacity to dare to share about what they are going through. We embrace vulnerability as courage and strength. I AM EVERY WOMAN is testament to the fact that such sharing can be done in a wider format than the tried and tested face-to-face setting, one that wasn’t available to us for most of last year.
The Coffee Mornings were a tool that helped carry me through the lockdown, and see what sprouted! We found ourselves held by a genuinely supportive and caring network, and we want to share our tales with you. Working on them brought much joy and healing to us and hopefully they will create ripples.
Perhaps You Feel Inspired to Tell Your Tale?
As Christine Hale, another of the I AM EVERY WOMAN collaborator puts it, “I want to inspire others to open themselves up to themselves, first and foremost.” She found that during the writing she learned to not allow the writing to be censored by the potential thoughts or judgments of others as well as her own judgements. She learned to look more lovingly at herself and people in her life.
Justine Clement also reflects on how she realized that her story is not just her story but the story of many other people. Although our stories are all interwoven, others in our lives may not want to be so open about events, and it is important to respect that too. Justine hopes she managed to be true to her call to be brave and honest, but not at the expense of others not ready to be ‘exposed’.
Even if we write for the desk drawer just the process can be helpful. Two women decided not to publish their stories in the end and that is also ok, yet the writing process led to healing past wounds.
How the Book can Inspire You to Write
If you had not guessed it already, the idea of I AM EVERY WOMAN is also to inspire others to write their stories too. That is why we have ended the book with a chapter on how to do this, called Write Your Own Story.
Writing facilitator and author, Mary Ellen Sanger is certain that we all have a story to tell. At least one! And that it is all within us, created by the lives that we have lived. In this book she gives detailed instructions on how to begin, how to set an intention for the writing, and how to pull it all together. Without giving too much away, here is what Mary Ellen suggests, in short:
Close your eyes and reflect on your life. What stands out?
What are the turning points? Often linked to breaking free, manifesting self-power, major life event … Write them down!
Zoom in on and write about the person who has supported you the most, with gratitude.
Finally, write down why you want to write your story – your intention with it. This will inspire the rest of your writing.
Intrigued to read our stories and try it yourself?
We invite you to join I AM EVERY WOMAN global book launch (via Zoom) on 13th May! Register HERE.
Also, consider following the closed Facebook page to hang out with the authors and be a part of our community HERE.
With Love & Light to all Women especially,
More about the Author:
It was at the height of Claudia’s high-fly corporate career that she arrived at a turning point. A meeting in the forest of a spiritual community in the south of India presented her with a vague notion that she was about to depart from the highway of business success. Little did she know that her life was to radically change.
Claudia now dedicates her time, wisdom and knowledge to support people who want to live a heart-centred life. In her work, she draws on a lifelong interest in how our energy field is influenced by our thoughts, beliefs and emotions and how this in turn influences our lives.
Claudia runs a global community which holds space for conversations exploring a future based on a new and deeper understanding of self. Working with individuals as a Quantum Energy Coach, she also facilitates retreats and offers personal change programmes. Her guided journal Your 28 Days to Self Love is available on Amazon and other major book retail platforms.