It’s about female empowerment and cultivating femininity. This is something Life coach Ly Aunapu knows a thing or two about. Originally from Estonia and living in Australia, Ly coaches women from all over the world in the art of staying feminine in a masculine world. I’ve asked her about her take on the subjects – and why she feels they’re so important.
Why did you decide to help women through coaching?
I never dreamed of becoming a coach, it almost feels like it happened by itself. I see so many women suffering and holding themselves back, not because they don’t have what it takes, but because they just hold onto their fears and limitations. I feel it’s my mission to help them. If I was able to change my life and become so much more confident, I know that every woman can do the same – if they just decide to take the first step.
Most of my life, I was missing something. I always had some kind of empty feeling inside, no matter the circumstances. Then, one day, a seminar completely changed my life; it opened so many doors for me and also caused a lot of pain that I had tried to suppress my whole life. The past 5 years has been such a transformation for me, everything changed from inside-outside and I feel like such a different person now. So once you see what works for you, you naturally want to spread the message with the rest of the world!
Do you think it’s harder to be a woman today than it was in previous times?
Women have so many new roles in today’s society – it’s definitely more challenging to feel confident! Let’s not forget that women have had the right to vote only little over 100 years and in some countries, they’re still not allowed to! With new responsibilities come new doubts, insecurities – and definitely more pressure. Furthermore, the comparison game is bigger than ever. We’re so exposed to other people’s lives, so of course, checking your social media feed can cause a lot of pressure, cause it tend to showcase ‘a perfect life’ We tend to believe that low self-esteem and confidence is a problem for teenagers, but if you don’t work on your underlying issues, it will show up even in your fifties. Things just don’t disappear because you get older, they disappear when you work through them.
Why do you think that women so often compare themselves to others? And what do you think it really means?
I think that men also compare themselves to others, but it might be a slightly different comparison. Women often compare their looks with other women because we’re raised with beauty ideals since childhood. No 3-year-old girl looks into the mirror and thinks that she’s not pretty enough; she learns that behavior along the way. She listens to her mother speaking and she listens to what her father is saying about women – and then there’s the influence from all the movies, the magazines and the social media. Women will always be exposed to this, but we can certainly educate our little girls and also help adults, cause low self-esteem really has no age restriction.
What is female empowerment really about?
It’s about providing women with tools to help them feel confident and powerful, so they can choose for themselves regardless of the outer circumstances. People often think that female empowerment is a radical feminist movement, which opposes masculinity. It’s not about creating barriers between the genders, though! It’s about co-existing and co-creating. I feel it’s time for women to fully own their power and stop making excuses.
Do you think women in the Western world have lost their femininity? Are we becoming more masculine?
Yes, I think women in the Western world are becoming much more masculine, and a lot of it is related to having different gender roles. Women are leading billion dollar businesses and no longer need men to take care of themselves. I don’t think that being feminine means being dependent and vice versa, but I see how big responsibilities and independence has definitely affected women. We toughen up and start behaving like men, cause that’s how you survive, right? This is not necessary at all, cause true feminine power is strong in itself. Women have lost touch with their bodies and instead they’re living in their minds. That’s the reason why so many women are led by fear, anxiety and control – they feel it’s impossible to soften up.
What does it mean to be in touch with your femininity? How can we cultivate that side of ourselves?
Being in touch with your femininity is being in touch with your intuition. It’s about being in flow and allowing things to happen. Let me make this clear; there’s absolutely nothing wrong with masculine energy, we all need this side as well – we’ve just lost the balance.
Masculinity is often linked to our analytical and rational side; this is crucial for our survival. Our femininity is about feeling and creating, and it’s definitely a more playful energy. Our energies have nothing to do with our gender – women and men both have masculine and feminine sides. To re-connect with your feminine side, you must re-connect with your body. Practicing yoga and meditation can be very very helpful tools as well as spending time in nature and slowing down.
What’s your best advice to women, who feel like they’re struggling in their everyday life?
Try to be as brutally honest with yourself as you can. Keep asking yourself; “why am I in this situation, and how can I change it?” We all have the power to change our lives and make things better for ourselves, we just need to have the right tools. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and surround yourself with good people who can support you when life feels challenging.
Also read: An Inner Coaching Journey with Ly Aunapu
Read more about Ly and her coaching on www.zensualwoman.com