Dr Tererai Trent … Sharing Stories, Empowering Women
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I recently discovered Dr Tererai Trent’s book, The Awakened Woman.
As is the way with internet discoveries – one of the many things I love about this amazing online space we’re in! – I came across Marie Forleo’s interview with Tererai in a post shared on Facebook. Along with SO many comments about this being one of Marie’s most inspiring interviews and one of the best ever MarieTV episodes.
I watched Marie’s interview with this incredible woman – named by Oprah in 2011 as her favourite guest of all time (of the 37,000 guests Oprah had interviewed throughout her career).
And I bought the book. Of course I bought the book. (If you know me, you won’t be even a little bit surprised that I bought the book!!)
Tererai Trent’s story
I read Tererai’s story of being married at the age of fourteen. Of having four pregnancies before her eighteenth birthday.
The stories of the abusive men she’d married. Of escaping from her first abusive husband. And then her second …
I read Tererai’s ideas about the silencing of women throughout generations, and not just in Africa and other third-world countries …
I read about the “Great Hunger”, our soul’s longing, the source of our calling:
You will know you’ve found that place when you are aligned with a purpose that makes you come alive, when you feel harmony between your Great Hunger and the needs of others. When we find this place of deep contentment where the Great Hunger resides, then we have awakened our sacred dream and we find abundance and great joy.
~ Dr Tererai Trent, The Awakened Woman
And I read about a young Tererai writing her dreams, placing them in a can, and burying them. And of the practice and symbolism of women burying their baby’s umbilical cord after birth.
I read of Tererai’s experiences on coming to America. Of the struggles. And of her great achievements. Of seeing each of her dreams fulfilled.
And I read Chapter 5. The story of Seynabou’s cousin …
Sharing the story of Seynabou’s cousin, at book group
If you subscribe to my email list, you might know that I recently joined a book group, started by one of my closest friends.
Ours is not an ordinary book group – not the sort where everyone has to read a particular book and come back next month to talk about it!
It’s more a group where we share the books we’ve read and loved, and get ideas from each other about what we might like to read next.
And it’s a small book group! Just four of us. Just three of us the last time we met.
So in our small book group … with two women who are my friends … I wanted to share the story of Seynabou’s cousin.
I told them first: “This is not really a story about sex.” (Because sharing stories about sex is NOT my strong point!)
I let the conversation go on, talking about other books and other things, long after I first spoke of sharing the story.
Despite these women being my friends, I was nervous. I knew this was a powerful story I was about to share.
As I started to read, my voice shook. As I continued to read, my voice continued to shake.
And as I reached the powerful ending of that story, I cried. SO many tears.
Because I suddenly realised that I was reading my own story. And very possibly my friends’ stories too.
I was reading SO many women’s stories in that moment.
For me, as I read through my tears, the story of Seynabou’s cousin was the story of suffering through an abusive marriage.
And yes, it was, and it is, a story about sex. It’s a story about the power of sex and it’s liberating effect for women.
But for me, it was first a story about suffering. And about the silence of women that enables and prolongs suffering.
I’m not going to tell her story to you here …
I cried enough buckets – and used up so much of my courage – sharing this story with my friends.
And I want you to read this book. I really do!
So it’s a story I’ll let you read for yourself. And maybe you can share this powerful story with your friends.
Empowering women: sharing our stories
What I do want to share here though, is the power of sharing our stories.
Because sharing our stories is the place where we connect with other women.
Sharing our experiences is where we learn from each other, and where we inspire each other.
Our stories of success and triumph provide hope and inspiration for women who need to see a better future.
Our shared tears and pain, our vulnerability, allow us to connect at the deepest level, and to remind each other that we are not alone.
Allowing women to share their stories – and truly listening to those stories – is an important way that we all play our part in empowering women.
As you might imagine, my sharing Seynabou’s story (which you’ll find in Chapter 5 of Tererai’s book) and the tears that flowed freely with it, led to more sharing of our stories. Of the pain and struggle of our married years. Of our struggles as mothers, and the legacies we’re creating for our children …
And in that sharing, I know for myself, I felt less alone. And I felt stronger.
The Awakened Woman: A reminder to live our Sacred Dreams
There is no doubt in my mind, The Awakened Woman is a powerful book for women. It’s a book that I hope SO many women are able to read.
I haven’t yet finished the book.
I’m yet to read of all the amazing work that Dr Tererai Trent is doing, working towards her goal of providing universal access to quality education through her work with Tererai Trent International.
Honestly, I’ve barely touched in this post on the amazing wisdom, encouragement and inspiration that The Awakened Woman contains for women in particular, but for men as well.
I feel like I have so much still to learn from this book!
Tererai’s stories, her life, her work, are a reminder to each of us to live our sacred dreams.
“Together, we can do great things.”
Sharing our stories is one way that we can help and inspire each other to do that, to live our sacred dreams.
There are a lot of reasons why I’m passionate about helping women create successful businesses – especially in this online space – and about creating this for myself and my own family.
Perhaps my biggest reason, is that creating financial freedom gives women choices. It gives women power where perhaps before they had none.
And as we share our stories, of our successes and failures, the things that worked and didn’t, our struggles both past and present, our celebrations, our fears, our doubts … and yes, even some tears … we grow stronger ourselves, and we grow stronger together.
And in the words of Mother Teresa: “Together, we can do great things.”
Where to buy The Awakened Woman online:
The Awakened Woman can be purchased online at the links below, or through any other favourite bookstore.
If it’s better on your budget though, ask at your local library if they have this available and place a hold. (Or if they don’t yet have it, put in a request so that they can get the ball rolling to get it on their shelves!!)