Guest Post: Empowering Women
by Christine Feehan
Empowering women isn’t just something I include in my books. It’s something I include in my life. I’ve always felt it’s very important for women to feel empowered and to empower each other.
I have been the woman who needed to be empowered. There was a time in my life when I felt as if I was at my lowest point; I was so down that it was hard to even make decisions. I was on my own and raising four young children by myself. I had lost who I was and struggled to find my way.
I wanted to be strong again and to know I could take care of myself and my children. I determined that I would learn martial arts to learn to defend not only myself, but my kids. I thought that by learning martial arts, I could become strong. Even then, it was difficult to show up to class and I knew no one.
“I learned there are people out there who want to see you succeed. There are people who want to help you feel empowered.”
I was fortunate that I met a man there who taught martial arts and helped women. He stood for women and without him encouraging me, helping me to feel safe, I don’t know what my life would be like today. For over 27 years he mentored me. He helped me become a stronger, more powerful woman. I acquired discipline and I learned to stand on my own. I learned that martial arts isn’t about fighting, but about becoming empowered and powerful in your own right. I was able to apply everything I learned in martial arts to all aspects of my life. I am forever grateful to the man who wouldn’t let me give up that first day I came to class. My mentor. My friend.
During the time I was learning I met other people in the class and slowly made friends. That time in my life influenced who I’d become, and those friendships have lasted all this time. I met two of my closest and dearest friends during my martial arts training. I learned there are people out there who want to see you succeed. There are people who want to help you feel empowered. When you find those people hold on to them. Cherish them.
Another thing I learned is that being determined to move forward didn’t mean you were unafraid. One can be both at the same time. It’s okay to be afraid. That’s human. Moving forward despite one’s fears, that’s courage.
I wanted to take what I’d learned and share it with other women. To me, that’s what you do; you pay it forward. I appreciated the help I received when I needed it most. Now, it was my turn to share that with other women so I became an instructor. I knew I wanted to specifically help women. Eventually, I would create a program for women who’d been victims of violence. And though I can’t share specific stories I can tell you that some of the biggest challenges during that time were also the most rewarding. Some of them I think back on today and still get emotional over.
“It’s okay to be afraid. That’s human. Moving forward despite one’s fears, that’s courage.”
When you work with women who’ve been so abused, they can’t leave the house, they can’t go to work, they can barely function, it affects you on a foundational level. It was my turn to be on the other side—to be the person empowering someone else. I needed everything I was taught along the way in order to give back. I can’t tell you how rewarding it was to see these women transform as they realized their own power.
No one can give you strength. No one can give you power. That’s inside you. What we can do for one another is encourage those things that are within us. We can remind each other that we are worthy and important. We can nurture that courage by being present, encouraging, kind, and standing there with an open hand and heart when it’s needed.
The first step to my own empowerment was telling myself I could do it. I could be strong. I could be brave. I could take care of myself and my children. In the steps that came afterward, I sometimes needed help along the way. I am grateful to everyone who was there for me.
My final words are to those who need to feel empowered now: You are worthy and deserving. You have strength and power within you. I believe in you. Believe in yourself.
Available November 10, 2020
#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan returns to her fan-favorite Leopard Series with LEOPARD’S RAGE. When dangerous Leopard shifter Sevastyan Amurov finds his soulmate, his love will be put to the test by the danger that stalks her.
Leopard shifter Sevastyan Amurov has an anger inside of him that burns so hot it’s almost impossible to control. His barely leashed rage threatens to break free, until he meets a woman who soothes his restless soul.
Sevastyan wants Flambe Carver with every breath. He’s determined that the fiery-haired woman will want to be his completely. But his would-be mate comes with strings attached—a relentless stalker who intends to claim her for his own.
They barely know each other, but with a very real threat looming just out of reach, Sevastyan takes Flambe under his protection. And as their connection grows, the embers of desire sparking between them soon burst into an inferno that will consume them both.
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