Do you remember being a child and learning that only male lions have the large brown mane? I do, and I was so disappointed. I also remember writing her off as weaker, because she didn’t have the crown of hair that resembles a blow dried Afro. As an adult I have come to learn the contrary. The lioness is confident, resilient fierce and majestic. One of my favorite speakers, Lisa Bevere, has triggered my obsession with “embracing my inner lioness.” I once heard Lisa discuss how the lioness uses the same teeth and paws to kill prey, and nurture her babies. Lioness’ hunt together and provide for their pride. Isn’t that amazing?
The same way I viewed the lioness is the exact same way we see ourselves and other women. Without the manicured mane and nails or latest trends it is our nature to write other people and ourselves off as less than. Instead of not judging a book by its cover, lets think about not judging the lioness by her mane. Let’s embrace all of the facets of our womanhood, no matter what society and our culture may tell us. Here are a few ways to embrace your inner lioness.
1. Tell yourself that you’re stunning and answer, “I know.” Instead of waiting for validation from others, validate yourself. I realize that some of us may not believe it 100%, but with every self proclaimed call and response you’re building yourself up.
2. Don’t let fear and failure stop you. The lioness is indeed strong and ferocious, but she does not succeed at every attempt to catch prey. Imagine the decline in the lion population if they gave up after an Impala managed to escape the hunting pack. After we don’t succeed at something we must regroup and go for it again. There are people that need you to keep going. Your pride is counting on you.
3. Build Community. The lioness is cute and all, but she wouldn’t be as majestic on her own. She needs her pride and so do you. Find value in keeping a group of people around you that believe in what you’re doing and know what you are capable of. It can be family, a friend, co-workers or business partner. There is power in numbers and you’ll thank yourself.
The next time someone says “you fight like a girl” tell him or her that you know and give them a nice growl. I’m joking about the growl…maybe, but remember that your femininity is synonymous with strength, gentleness, fierceness and compassion. The same mouth that sings lullabies and cheers on her counter parts is the same one that you use to rebuke and speak up for what you believe in. Hold your head up, embrace your power and show the world what resilient and beautiful strength really looks like from the inside out.