Camino de Santiago de Compostela
I met Laura in the first “albergue” on the Portuguese Way of Saint James. She lives in in the United States of America, in California, but her origin is Mexican. The way she lived her life makes her a model for WomenEsteem International community and you are just one step away to discover why.
She had her first child when she was 18 and she got pregnant during College. 26 years ago, the US rules were against pregnant women in College and she had to fight the system to complete the last three months of her studies. She succeeded and two years after having her first child, she started studying to become an Ambulance paramedic. Four years later she enrolled into the firefighters school and she was the only women out of the four enrolled who graduated the program.
The current precent of firefighter women in US is 3%, hence why her job makes Laura a model for the women we are promoting in our community.
She is involved in a special program launched by the “The California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee” (Cal-JAC) and dedicated to promote the firefighter career among young women and recruit the ones who have what it takes to be a Hero. Because that’s how the firefighters are seen, and for sure they are the Heroes of our modern days! And when you add a woman in this combination, the message is even more powerful. By nature, the women have the power of creation, of giving birth, and saving other people’s live as a medic or firefighter, makes them even stronger and special.
For our Community, Laura is a true model because she managed to put together her personal life raising up two beautiful boys, Antonio 27 years old and Alfonso 21 years old, being a single mom, fighting the US system while she was pregnant, building up her career as a firefighter, being a daughter and becoming a wife. She is a great mix of all these aspects of her own Self, however she is more than that in the same time. She is a woman walking her own path and discovering new dimensions of herself, aspects she always had but they were quite for 47 years.
Laura became an important part of my life. I’m watching her walking everyday, getting still (she is such an active person), paying attention to all the details outside and inside her own being, and just be… Here and Now! And she reminds me of myself, of my own journey in understanding my own light and my shadows. But the most important part is that she challenges me everyday to look and think from so many perspectives at certain things to be able to answer her questions. And that’s what I call mutual growth support, the most powerful skill women have!
So, Thank you, Laura, for stepping into my life so unexpectedly and walking side by side one of the most important journeys of our lives. We both think everyone should do the Camino and as Laura said today: “What’s one month? It’s not even a paragraph in the book of your life!”
WomenEsteem International Community is one of the projects close to my Soul. I have started this community, WomenEsteem, locally in Bucharest, Romania in November 2017, however in my head this idea it’s bigger than what I had the chance to manifest during the last 7 months. The intention came out as a direct result of my professional experience in international business environments where women are always proving to be strong, determinate and extremely reliable, but most of all, they have this talent of being managers by nature. However, the path of a women in business it’s not easy at all. That’s why, usually women tend to lose their native strengths by copying men’s behavior to be able to succeed. I used to do that unconsciously as well, and I didn’t get it right away. After some years, I understood I was losing myself on the way and decide to change the direction. It takes time, but it’s good for the Soul, trust me. 😉
Going further, there is another aspect, more profound I would say, that unleashed my inner voice and made me start doing concrete things for women in business. And that’s called competitivity and “killing mode” women activate against each other when having similar career objectives or when they sense another strong woman around, that could prove herself more suitable for a certain responsibility. Even if I can understand the psychological reasons or the genetical information heritage, I am not willing to “close the eye” and not trying to transform it. I used to build teams and create the needed professional environment to cultivate the natural caring spirit women have and it worked out very well. So, if it can be done at a lower scale, why not at a higher scale as well?!
That’s why I choose to dedicate my journey on the Way of Saint James (the Portuguese part) this year to women around the world that know they are able to do anything they wish to accomplish, but most of all, to raise the awareness that women together are stronger than anything else. The feminine energy is actually the creation energy and the energy of the subconscious. I’m sure we all have seen what 3 open hearted women can create in a personal or professional life. Whether they are friends or just open business women choosing to achieve their goals together, the results are astonishing when they are creating and working together. Now, try to imagine for 30 seconds and extrapolate that power of creation to 3.5 billion women around the globe! Wouldn’t be that something you wish to move towards at?! 😊
That’s a big dream, I know, but as Walt Disney used to say “If you can dream it, you can do it!”. Not overnight, of course. That’s why, WomenEsteem International Community’s campaign on the Way of Saint James stays under “One step at a time” motto.
5 years ago, I walked the Way of Saint James the so-called French part, and during the first day I had this profound understanding that to reach Santiago de Compostela, I just need to focus on each step, not on the destination. And that made my journey extremely insightful and amazing.
So, ladies, WomenEsteem International Community calls for you to join this dream, to grow not only this community at international level, but the spirit SHE (as she’s a lady as all of us 😊) has and SHE desires so much to expand. “One step at the time” according to the “Camino’s spirit” we will manifest in the real-life Women’s Leadership as a blessing for this world, not as a competition with men.