To influence outcomes, aka own your power, you are going to need resources. Resources include things like time, money, and space. They include personal resources such as health, courage, and resilience. They also include outside structures such as social capital and a network of supporters and mentors. This is why women need their own space.
Why Women Need Their Own Space
The first resource I want you to lay claim to is space. I want you to literally take up space.
In her 1929 novel A Room Of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf declared,
“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
While Woolf’s novel is problematic in that she excluded the working class women in her feminist call to action, her message is absolutely relevant for us all regardless of class, career, or any other factors. Women need a space where they can be uncensored and unburdened by the emotional labor of being aware and considerate of everyone’s needs and desires.
“When your conscientiousness impels you to take on more than you can handle, you begin to lose interest, even in tasks that normally engage you. You risk your physical health. ‘Emotional labor,’ which is the effort we make to control and change our own emotions, is associated with stress, burnout, and even physical symptoms like and increase in cardiovascular disease.”Susan Cain in Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
This is why women need their own space.
You need a space where you never have to consider if your SO, roommate, or children will approve of, or break, your things. You need a space where you can leave out your notebooks and not fear someone will pillage your most intimate thoughts. You need a space you can fill with everything that brings you joy, motivates and inspires you, reminds you of who you are – not as a mother, wife, daughter, grandmother, or aunt – but as a human here to do the work you are here to do.
You need a space where you can get shit done. Or perhaps finally sleep without interruption.
Your Mission: Claim Your Space
This week I task you with laying claim to your space. Maybe there’s a spare room you can make yours or a room you can repurpose to become yours. Closets count. Perhaps there’s a corner of a larger room that is now your future office, writing nook, craft corner, or studio. It may be that with your current circumstances a shelf or cupboard is all you can manage. Whatever the case I challenge you to claim the biggest space you can possibly manage.
It is from this space that you will build a bridge back to yourself. This is your homebase for reclaiming your power and effecting great change in your life and the lives of those you love and care about. You have gifts and they need space to grow. This is why women need their own space.
Should feelings of guilt arise, I want you to remember this. I want you to remember are here to create something incredible and you need the space to think, be, and do. Unfettered and unburdened. You are worthy of your own space and all the resources you need to do your work in this world.
I also want you to know it’s ok to not feel guilty. It doesn’t mean you’re selfish, cold, or uncaring. You are doing great work in this world and I am so proud of you for the courage to cultivate your gifts, share your talents, and claim the space you need and deserve in order to do this brave work!
Be sure to take a photo and share with us your point of reclamation. This will be your “before” photo as we’ll be taking steps in the next few weeks to ensure your space is built to support you specifically in your life outside of that space.
You can bravely claim the resources you need and deserve. We are in this together, we are rising up together, and we are stronger together. Let’s do this! You can join the Women Rising Alliance to follow along with our week-by-week, step-by-step plan to reclaiming power in order to make an impact and create positive change. That will look different for each of us, and those differences is what will fuel our creativity and innovation. Women and power can be creative, hopeful, spiritual, progressive, and inspiring. And you can help make that happen.
Once you have your space, read more about the next steps you can take to clear, clean, and create the most supportive space for your vision!