'What Indian women manage is truly remarkable and heroic'
Peggy Dylan, motivational speaker and the originator of contemporary Fire Walking and founder of SUNDOOR School of Transpersonal Education and The Sundoor International FireWalking School gives tips to women about managing professional and professional life.
Peggy Dylan was in India recently to conduct FEMME VITAL -- a unique self–discovery workshop for women empowerment.
What exactly is a firewalk?
Firewalking is a practice which has been used around the globe for thousands of years in various cultures for spiritual alignment and empowerment. Today we use it to inspire participants to realise they are much more capable than they perceived before, that they have resources they did not know about and can accomplish thing previously assumed impossible.
How did you conceive the idea to use this ancient practice for self discovery and improvement?
I had been teaching personal empowerment seminars when I was invited to attend a firewalk. I chose to use it in my seminars because of the powerful impact it had on me personally. I believe the power of the firewalk on the human psyche has to do with the fact that it is so dramatic and very physical. It is not like making a statement to yourself like 'I can achieve anything'. It is akin to the statement: it's like riding a bicycle. Once it is in the body one remembers. The firewalk proves our astonishing human capacity in a very physical way, so the experience of doing something amazing stays with participants.
How does it help a woman specifically?
Women often have a more timid approach to life, specifically physical actions. So when women firewalk it builds even more self-confidence and a wonderful and inspiring sense of discovering hidden inner abilities.
What activities do you conduct at your workshop?
In Femme Vital! I weave women's myths from different cultures, show a slide show of the development of the feminine over the last 35,000 years, do the empowerment exercises I am known, and give some lectures on female biology. This combined programme is build to create a new foundation for women's perceptions of themselves, to give them the understanding of what an amazing heritage they have as a woman and what they are capable of achieving so they can expand their horizons when living their lives.
Image: Participants walking on fire; Inset: Peggy Dylan
'Women's greatest challenge seems to be the conflict between home and work'
What kind of feedback have you received from the participants?
Women leave the course inspired, encouraged, delighted and empowered to use their innate abilities to take steps to make their lives what they want them to be.
What are the main challenges women face in their day-to-day life? And why?
Women's greatest challenge seems to be the conflict between home and work. In the day-to-day stress of trying to manage all the demands on their time and the expectations put on them, they get lost. The place where women sacrifice is time for themselves, thought about their own health and well-being.
How do you suggest women should overcome these challenges they face?
It does'nt take long time for women to find inner balance again. I would suggest starting the day, every day, with a few moments spent with some deep breaths, some prayer or meditation before jumping into all the demands of the day. It really only takes a few moments to set a baseline for the day. Then imagine yourself going through the day maintaining that sense of well-being. Take a moment when the day gets stressful to touch back in with that sense of well-being. We know stress ages the body more than any other thing we do. Teach yourself to stay above it, using your mind to visualise, your heart and your breath.
In your interactions with women around the world, what are the common problems you come across that women face?
What I described above seems to be universal. There is also the problem of cultural perceptions of women as inferior which we are slowly dissolving and that will just take time. And the women's workshops of course help with this too. One can't spend time with these brilliant and inspiring people, hear about others throughout time and listen to the myths and stories without being inspired as women!
What problems/challenges are unique to Indian women?
Even more than in other cultures, the expectation of the Indian women to, not only hold down a demanding job, but also be responsible for the household, children, and the well-being of in-laws, etc. What Indian women manage is truly remarkable and, in my eyes, heroic!
'The idea of what a women is, is changing all over the globe'
What are those habits/traits that women inherit which slows their growth?
The primary one would have to be the habit of putting herself last.
What are the common mistakes women make that has a negative effect on their health?
See above. This leads to eating food which is not beneficial to our bodies, or over eating to compensate for lack of nourishment on other levels. We also do not give ourselves the time for walks or the gym to get the exercise a healthy body needs and this can lead to sleep disorders and unreleased stress.
Please give our readers tips for their overall fitness -- mental, physical and spiritual
Take time for yourself! Take a few moments right now to imagine yourself vital, healthy, happy and your life being blessed by the Divine. Then allow this image to guide you throughout your day. What do you have to eat to maintain that type of health? What type of physical workout do you need, yoga, T'ai Chi, the gym? Go back to the image of that vital and connected woman and ask yourself about spiritual practice, what do you need to keep that beautiful connection in your life? I believe most women know to eat as natural as possible, to stay away from fried, sugary and processed foods, most women know how happy their heart becomes with a few moments of prayer and how good they feel after a workout of any kind. Dears woman, just do it! Your joy and well-being is of greatest importance to all whom you love! If you are not healthy and happy they won't be either.
How do you balance your personal and professional life?
My two lives feed each other. My professional life is very fulfilling and I am always learning from the people in my seminars. I can't tell you how amazing human beings are and how inspired and touched I am when I hold my classes! I bring what I have learned back home where I get nourished from the people I love, from the home I have built for myself and from the place where I live. And this love I take back to my classes and nourish the people I work with. I work to create a life where the different pieces are in harmony and feed each other.
Finally, what does it mean to be a woman in the 21st century?
Expect change! Be part of the change! The idea of what a women is, is changing all over the globe. Be part of that change and develop yourself to be a model for the next generation of women: be a model of a women who loves herself and explores the possibilities life has to offer.