Many a questions arose in my mind when I was given the opportunity of being a Circle Leader under Lean In, IGDTUW at my university.
For those who don’t know, Lean In is a book authored by Ms. Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook, that aims at helping women achieve their dreams. It has got circles all over the world, one at my university too. That’s where we do what we do!
We were told about an Orientation Session that was to be conducted soon, to brief the freshmen at college. It was quite fascinating seeing everyone planning so enthusiastically.
We were then given a task to publicize the orientation session so that more people can attend it and be a part of the great league!
I did start publicizing, and I got a really good response. An old friend of mine whom I hadn’t talked to in years, texted me and asked what it was about. He did know a little about Lean In, though wasn’t quite well versed with the happenings.
That became a motivation to write this post.
So this post shall tell you exactly what Leaning In is all about. Read it to the end and you’ll surely find a difference in your motivation level, just like I do when I am with those lovely ladies working day and night to help all women realize their dreams!
All us girls are still facing issues with the society. We have rapists, eve teasers, male chauvinists, we-shall-not-stop-talking society, and what not! But the only reason for not being able to get through these social hindrances is a ‘weak will‘!!
Feminism talks about men and women having equal rights. When is that going to happen? When each and every girl, each and every woman regardless of her age, caste, creed, body shape, background and ethnicity takes a step ahead. A few men and women trying to help other women realize their goals is not how it should be.
It’s got to be – ‘me’ working to realize ‘my’ goals. Period.
You can only take the horse to the river; cannot make it drink the water. Same is with us. My family, my friends, my colleagues; they can all support me, provide me with resources, but unless ‘I’ decide to use all that strength, I can never be benefitted.
That’s when I have to lean in!
So if I put it up as what your question may be, I guess the following should be it.
Is ‘Lean In’ about feminism?
NO! It is ‘not’ about feminism. I guess, I should put it as it was told to me by the founder of the Lean In circle at IGDTUW, Ms. Sanya Khurana.
“Feminism is about women seeking equal rights as men. Lean In is about how to break through the internal barriers and make your dreams come true.”
This is probably the simplest way to tell you how different this is from seeking feminist rights! (Men may relax now!)
More often than not, whenever I come across some post on Facebook or somewhere else, I have noticed many people saying that “Feminism is making women rude.”, “Independent women are not capable of raising a family.” This is so disheartening.
Fulfilling my dreams does not make me rude. In fact, ignoring the negativity in life and absorbing everything positive is supposed to make me a better person altogether; and that is not rudeness!
When I learn to love myself, I learn to love others too, for who they are.
When I push my limits and help myself grow through the barriers, I can appreciate the efforts that other men and women are putting in, to make ‘their’ dreams come true.
When I can understand ‘nothing is perfect’, I can get over people wanting me to look perfect, and eventually focus on what I want.
When I can stand on my own, I can help others stand.
Working hard to achieve our goals is supposed to teach us humility.
And all these traits can very well make me a good person!
There are so many ladies in our lives who are freely chasing their dreams, loving us like anything, pouring affection on us, happily leading a family life and what not! We have to learn from them. And not just women, but even men should learn from the way these ladies strike a perfect balance between personal and professional lives.
I was going through a post on the blog of a senior, Divyasha (tokissthefrog.blogspot.in) and I read a line that went like:
“Your body is like a blank slate when you’re born; you sketch it with your stories.”
That is so true. Let your body reflect who you are from the inside. Let it show if you like chocolates. Let it show if you love hitting the gym. Let it show if you love the waters that you swim in. Let it show if you love to play and fall down at times. Let it show how beautiful you are and that no makeup can ever make you more beautiful. Let it show how thankful you are for what you have and let it show how determined you are to achieve what you don’t have!
Love yourself. Love your being. Love your existence. Love your body. Love the scars, the cuts, the bruises it has. Love your soul. Love your smile. Love the love that people give you. Love the air around. Love the freedom you have. Love the privileges you get. Love the efforts you put in everyday.
Only then will you realize what ‘you’ are capable of doing.
That is what ‘Leaning In’ is about. That is what we teach you at the end of the day!