Ana Cristina Jurczyk, MS, RD
Ana Cristina Jurczyk, MS, RD
As a woman who works in health, an active pursuer of wellness, and a believer in holistic approaches – I find myself constantly using words like “improving,” “transitioning,” and “bettering." I realized I am always trying to improve my health, transition towards a higher quality of life, and better myself. Duh, these are positive aspirations! But I recently began to ask myself: am I taking the time to simply BE? Taking the time to live in the present not just as a human being, but more importantly a woman-being.
I want to live in the now as a badass female. That does not mean that I turn down focus on my future goals or stop reflections of the past, but it does mean that I seriously dial up my appreciation for living in the present. I want to enjoy my life in its current state, both the turmoil and the turn-up. And it was not until recently that I noticed a significant pattern.
We all know a woman who never cries and is relentlessly vocal with her thoughts and opinions. She is probably thought of as being strong-willed and exudes a masculine energy. We also know a woman who is more emotional and less forth coming with her opinions. She is probably thought of as a “classic girl” and exudes a feminine energy. Who would be the one we are supposed to choose to guide us in crisis? Who would be the one we are told will “make it?" I’ll say what we are all thinking: the first girl, the one with the masculine energy. I am part of this wildly inaccurate school of thought (along with most of our society) that by being a “girl” I will lessen my chances of success -- whether that’s professionally, in romance, in athletics… you get the picture.
For the better part of my life I’ve found my sensitivity to be so annoying. Why do I have to be so sensitive to others opinions? I should be able to “turn off my emotions” and think logically. Why do I emotionally shut down in confrontations? I should just “man up” and be strong. Why do I cry when I am sad? I should “stop being a girl and get it together”. AKA I am constantly putting myself down and frustrated with my innate female energy!
I have decided I am changing my inner conversation as part of my journey in becoming a woman-being. My sensitivity towards others is empathy. I shut down in confrontation because I choose the path of non-reactive conversation. I cry when I am sad because I am in touch with how I feel and am expressive. Changing the way I mentally react to my behaviors is helping me be more present, because, let’s be real -- it takes a lot of awareness in the moment (and is effing hard) to change long-standing and automatic thought patterns!
Tuning into our womanhood can be difficult if we’re used to ignoring our bodies, downplaying our emotions, or toughing out our hormone swings. Part of BEING means getting used to checking in with yourself and not ignoring the answers you get in return! Thinking about things like our responses to foods: do we feel a boost of energy? Bloating belly? Brain fog? Thinking about what best serves our physical body that day: is it a high intensity boot camp workout? A restorative yoga class? A nap? Honoring our mental state in that day: do we skip the party for self care? Or do we plan a brunch with all of our besties?
By taking pride in my feminine energy and embracing the daily differences in my unique female body, I am taking control of the now. I am embarking on a quest to be a woman-being that truly is living life to the fullest and embracing my female essence.