From Limitation to Liberation: How Stoic Principles Can Empower the Modern Woman

LISTEN TO THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: HOW STOIC PRINCIPLES CAN EMPOWER THE MODERN WOMAN
(WARNING CONTAINS LANGUAGE)

Dear strong women, this one is for you. In a world that constantly challenges and demands so much from you, while societal expectations feel ever-changing, it’s time for you to start living a life that you demand for yourself. You’ve been feeling it for a while. That feeling of discontent. Perhaps it’s about your health and fitness or, simply the need to carve out time for yourself. You know something has got to give but you are not sure exactly what it is. Well, lace up those boots girl, and get ready for a rocky but rewarding path towards self-discovery. My name is V and I’ll be your captain today giving you an introductory lesson on the Ancient Wisdom of Stoic Principles –  a path that will surely take you from limitation to liberation.

The unexamined life, is not worth living.”

socrates

At its core, Stoicism is a philosophy for life. It provides individuals with guiding questions, moral maxims, and practical exercises. It aids in shaping one’s character and armors you with an empowering rational response to life’s challenges.

And trust me when I say — it beckons to empower women in the present day.

In this article, I will unveil the treasure of how exactly adopting the philosophy of this ancient wisdom can help create a remarkable transformation in just about every part of your life. Stoicism is not a religious doctrine or a set of strict rules one must adhere to. Rather, it serves as a valuable complement, amplifying the virtues and values you most likely already embrace in your daily existence. The role that philosophy plays in your life is “care for the soul”.

*External links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement of any of the products, services, or opinions of the corporation or organization, or individual.

THE MODERN PURSUIT OF EMPOWERMENT 

As contemporary empowerment coaches pave the way to overcoming self-limiting beliefs, lionesses like Brene Brown, Marie Forleo and Byron Katie (just to name a few) are making substantial contributions to guiding women on incredible transformative journeys. Each woman specializes in her niche area with her own set of teachings. Yet, in the chorus of their empowering voices echoes a timeless model of wisdom that is making its way back to the mainstream. But for women, it still remains to be overlooked.

Stoicism’s philosophical foundation sets it apart from the teachings of these influential and brilliant figures by addressing a larger array of a woman’s life. It offers the modern woman something remarkable—introspection. A path to healing her past. A rewiring of outdated and conditioned responses. The clarity to be the woman she always wanted to be.

Stoicism’s framework is designed for more than just overcoming self-limiting beliefs in a singular area, but to cultivate a deeper understanding of how she approaches decisions, relationships, her health, wellness, and dot dot dot. The list goes on.

The modern woman’s pursuit of empowerment encompasses the art of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and the pursuit of meaningful goals. Something she will find in Stoic philosophy. And it was also the same pursuit as the Stoics over 2 millennia ago.

As you retrace the steps of this ancient wisdom you will find very quickly that when it comes to human nature and the human mind –not much has significantly changed over the last two thousand-plus years.

BEYOND THE SURFACE

Every woman’s journey of self-discovery is unique, and shaped by her experiences, aspirations, and the challenges she faces. But right up to the point of embarking on such a journey, each woman shares 1 common denominator: she is driven by her struggles. She has reached the point where she has said, “Fuck this, I’ve had enough. Something needs to change”. 

That is the invitation. It is how you reach the door to where your journey begins.

It can sometimes resemble the iconic scene from Beetlejuice, where Gina Davis opens the door, only to discover that it is suspended in mid-air and she finds herself on the brink of falling onto the desert sands where it appears to be a giant-headed sandworm looming in the distance.

That’s how my journey began. I hit the (sand) floor real fast one day after grasping the air as I was falling, looking for something to catch on to. It was when I found myself drawing a picture of a bird trying to extend her wings in a small cage. Meditating on the fact that if the dove was confined to such a small space for too long her wings would no longer work. Feeling such emotions from a doodle it made me realize: I was drawing myself. 

I  needed to be free. But I didn’t know from what. I only knew what I felt. 

It wasn’t until I had the courage to start taking a good look at my day-to-day life. A thousand books and podcasts later I came across Stoicism. And that was it. That’s where I stayed. I had found the medicine that started the process of healing my soul.

Through this philosophy, I learned that being free wasn’t my physical state. It wasn’t my status or my role in life. It was my state of mind.

SAY YES TO YOUR DISTRESS

Experiencing hardships and adversity in life often compels us to seek something meaningful, urging us to uncover and fortify our inner selves.

Through Stoic events and conferences, I have been fortunate enough to connect with remarkable women who embody the principles of Stoicism. Seeing other women at Stoic events happens to be very exciting. For they are unicorns in a field of wild Stallions. You instantly feel a connection and are curious how the other found her way to the philosophy.

Each of the inspiring women that I met generously shared with me their personal struggles, and I them, drawing a parallel between the obstacles and setbacks we faced which ultimately led us to embrace Stoic philosophy. 

From navigating through heartbreaks to embarking on new career paths, each woman discovered that Stoicism elevated her from limitation to liberation. It provided support and solace in times of loss and bereavement, enabling them to find their way through challenging situations.

Each woman realized that this philosophy empowered her beyond her initial reasons for embracing it in the first place. Each woman saw herself in a new light after the adversity she faced. Including myself, we all seemed to have developed a keen interest in continuing the practice of following Stoic principles that only seemed to empower us more and more.

Instead of running from disasters, you may find yourself now asking for the universe to throw some shit your way.

When you say yes to your distress it doesn’t mean you acknowledge it and then sweep it under the rug with last month’s dust you’re hoping no one finds (okay okay that’s me!), you are accepting an invitation to take bold steps in claiming your aspirations. When you look at it from the Stoic’s point of view, you look at it as an exercise. A test. A challenge to make you stronger. To prepare you for the much larger hardships in life.

In other words, living the best possible life, or a life truly worth living, might involve some pain.”

david fideler | breakfast with seneca

THE FABRICS OF EVERYDAY LIFE


Over the past few decades so much has changed in terms of opportunities for women. However if you take note of the last few years since the #metoo movement, and the Roe v. Wade, it seems like we still have a long way to go. 

Despite those much larger issues in the world being brought to light I am happy to see women at least living the life they want to for the most part.

Women are having babies later, keeping their last names in marriage, and are even walking into retirement single and or never having children at all. But not because of circumstances, but rather by personal preference. 

DON’T STOP GET IT, GET IT!

However, with the faint footsteps of women who have come before them, without established role models to compare themselves to, although women keep taking action in living how they want…many are lacking confidence in how these uncharted territories will shape their future.

As if that wasn’t enough to cause cognitive dissonance, for women in general, as we continue to move our way through life, each stage of our womanhood continuously presents new challenges. 

  • Body image and aging
  • The balancing act between work and career
  • Transitioning from children to empty nest syndrome
  • Caring for aging parents
  • Relationships and dating
  • Maintaining social connections
  • Health and wellness
  • _ _ _ _Enter your challenge here _ _ 

With that being said, for the woman who embraces the core tenets of Stoic principles, your reward will be so much greater than just getting to a place where you too can obtain freedom as a state of mind….

 You will revolutionize the narrative. YOU, will be the trailblazer that future generations will look to emulate. 

THE PRINCIPLES OF STOICISM

SO WHAT IS STOICISM EXACTLY: A BRIEF OVERVIEW

This ancient philosophy created by the Greeks only to later develop in Rome, has been experiencing a revival in our era today. Embraced throughout history by men and women, and picked up by early pioneers of behavioral psychology, Stoicism is used today as it always was: For the daily life of men and women trying to navigate a confusing and chaotic world. 

In the context of modern womanhood and how it relates, Stoic principles can provide valuable tools for facing the unique challenges that women often encounter on a daily basis. And don’t even get me started on what happened with Covid, and what is going on in the world today politically, economically, environmentally, and socially. I mean the Barbie movie alone this year opened up its own can of whoop-ass in conversations that needed to be had.

Phew, we have a lot going on ladies!

When times seem out of control, this is exactly why philosophy was created. For when it comes to training in “the art of living” Stoic philosophy not only encourages studying but also emphasizes practical application, with one of its most important practices being: to focus on what is within our control and to accept what is outside of it. 

It does not offer up an easy fix, but if you are honest with yourself then you know that nothing worthwhile ever is. By weaving Stoic principles into the fabric of everyday life, you craft a life of purpose, authenticity, and empowerment—one that transcends superficial concerns and embraces the essence of what truly matters. You will cultivate resilience,  embrace personal responsibility, learn to practice mindfulness, find real purpose, and learn to just love the shit out of yourself!

Althewhile lessoning the amount of fucks you have to give. 

APPLYING STOIC PRINCIPLES TO EVERYDAY LIFE

Stoicism in its entirety was built as a framework consisting of a few different core tenets that make up Stoic principles.

The Stoic’s main goal: To reach the state of Eudaimonia. To not merely survive, but thrive. To flourish despite being presented with all the things that come with being a human in your lifetime. 

One way to reach that state was to approach all matters using virtue. But not the virtue you and I know today. There are four Stoic virtues: wisdom, justice, courage, and temperance. They are not just about moral standards and being an all-around Saint instead, they assist in piloting life’s challenges with more control. Giving you greater composure, clarity, and sound judgment as things come up. You can learn more about the four virtues here.

In addition to the life stage bullet points mentioned earlier, let’s explore some other aspects of your daily life where Stoic philosophy can be applied.

And Ladies, might I add….this is just the tip (wink wink) :

Decision-Making:

Both in a woman’s personal or professional life, before making choices, a woman might reflect on what’s within her control and what’s not. She will take her time to come to a conclusion, having control over impulses, and making sure she gives a rational response over an irrational reaction. 

Relationships/Interactions:

Women can cultivate a strong sense of empathy and understanding when it comes to the behavior of others. She becomes a strong communicator and has the ability to have a bird’s eye view– viewing situations from multiple perspectives. This gives her an advantage in both her professional and personal life navigating conflicts with grace and compassion while empowering her to foster meaningful connections.

Daily Tasks:

In the world we live in today it’s so easy to turn on autopilot early in the day. But with her new sense of awareness, she can focus on the present moment, especially in doing mundane tasks. Whether it is cooking dinner or tackling household chores, to completing projects at work, she will easily channel mindfulness and find contentment in a process rather than fixating on outcomes or zoning out altogether. 

Self-Care:

Guilt-free trips alone to anywhere will get easier. Boundaries will be set unapologetically. As she starts to understand and redefine what balance in her life means, self-care will start to be a priority. Without even knowing it as she starts to put herself first she will be building upon her self-esteem and self-worth. You might even catch a glimpse of her passing her partner in a hallway and whispering as she walks by “I don’t need you” (Ha true story – that was me actually. But for different reasons. I was using a drill one-day hanging things and my Ego got a little sassy).

Fashion and Makeup:

Oh yes…. For you fashionistas you can also apply Stoic principles here! Especially as women are trying to be true to themselves, embracing the lines upon their faces over filters on social media. She will exercise detachment when it comes to appearances (and she might save some money too). Instead, she will seek elegance in simplicity, recognizing that true beauty arises from character and confidence. Applying Stoic wisdom here means using fashion and makeup as tools for self-expression rather than a source of external validation. She can own and love whatever brands and luxuries she has afforded herself – the difference is she will know if she is doing it for herself or someone else. 

Practicing the philosophy of Stoic principles is not something you will learn overnight. It is not something you will ever reach the end of. It is a lifelong practice. However, I must emphasize that its transformative impact on one’s perspective and lifestyle becomes apparent relatively quickly.

YOUR DESTINATION  

I am so sad to say that we are nearing the end of this tour. However, what lies ahead after hopping off this wagon is entirely in your hands. 

But keep these things in mind to take with you. Stoic philosophy encourages us to seek improvement, not perfection. It empowers us to face life’s challenges and embrace our true purpose, benefiting ourselves and those around us.

Our family, our friends, and most importantly children. Future adult human beings.

Imagine what you could do if at a young age, you saw an opportunity in failure and you walked hard towards it.

Envision not being on autopilot all the time, or letting the cortisol from fear and stress pump into your hips (yea I’m talking about me again).

Imagine coming to the realization earlier in life that happiness was never a destination. It’s been a mirage the whole time and we’ve been killing ourselves in trying to reach it.

Happiness is a state of mind, and self-discovery my friend is the key to it. 

. . . 

If you choose to delve into the depths of Stoic philosophy, it does not imply that you should disregard or undervalue the contributions of remarkable women such as Brene Brown and Byron Katie. Personally, I am also an avid admirer of these incredible women. As I mentioned earlier, Stoic philosophy is compatible with any and all approaches that empower women to become the individuals they aspire to be.

If there’s one thing I hope you can take away from this article, it’s this: there is no singular correct path to living your life. Nor is there a wrong one.

Your life is yours alone, and only you have authority.

Stoicism just serves as the conduit for realizing that inherent power. By adopting Stoic principles, you can tap into this power that has always resided within you enabling you to finally lead the life you want.

If you enjoyed this article or have questions and topics you want to hear more about please send me a shout-out in the comments section below!

You can also send me an email here with your question or topic you’d like to hear more about : hello@stoicdahlia.com

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