In celebration of International Women’s Day, I’m interviewing some very strong and dynamic women on my site this month. We’ll be talking about empowerment (and a little tarot and intuitive arts as well).
Art is powerful stuff. It can heal, inspire, awe, invoke, teach, and reach. I often feel that artists are the ones who really change the world, not politicians. They convey the truths that we need to hear in such a beautiful way. Because I love art so much, I’m very honored to feature artist Chris Zydel in my Women + Power series. Her words resonated with me and I’m delighted to share her wisdom with you here.
Q: What does it mean to be a powerful woman?
Chris: Creativity is my business. And my life is devoted to understanding and developing a positive relationship to the creative process. I love making art. But what I love even more is feeling like I am my canvas and that my LIFE is a work of art.
So for me, being a powerful woman is related to knowing that I am the creator of my own life. It’s that deeply intoxicating experience of making decisions based on what I want. What I choose. What matters to me. And the more those choices come from a place of truly resonating with my superpowers and deeply authentic self, the more powerful I feel.
It’s knowing that my life is mine and that I can take the risk to create something without needing anyone else’s permission or approval. That my decisions and visions and choices begin with me.
Being a powerful woman doesn’t mean that I do things alone or without support. Goddess knows it takes a village to do ANYTHING! And part of being powerful is the willingness to be vulnerable, knowing when I need help and how to get that support.
Being a powerful woman means being able to say a big old whopping YES to whatever crazy idea comes into my head and saying NO to whatever I damn well please.
Being a powerful woman means having the courage to let my heart lead the way and taking action in the service of my deepest needs and desires.
Being a powerful woman means remembering that I am precious and cherishing myself with plenty of rest, down-time, vacations, beauty, massages and gobs of turquoise jewelry.
Being a powerful woman means trusting in my connection with spirit and my deep inner wisdom to guide me.
Being a powerful woman means knowing that collaboration is where it’s at and surrounding myself with other powerful women.
Q: When do you feel most powerful?
Chris: I feel most powerful when I am facilitating a workshop or retreat. I love being on stage and in the leadership position. And I feel incredibly powerful because I’m creating space for other women to be powerful in. I love, love, LOVE being at the center of that perfect storm of creative power. It’s a totally fabulous high.
One of the best compliments I ever received was when someone said to me “You know how to fully claim the queens chair with no apologies. But you also know how to step back and allow others to be in the queens chair when it is their turn to do so.”
I know without any reservations that I AM the Wild Heart Queen. But I also know that you are the Tarot Queen and that every other woman on the planet is a queen in her own right and has sovereignty over her own kingdom and her own gifts that she brings to the world.
I love being a role model and a mentor as a successful, powerful woman. I love challenging the belief that there is only so much power. That power is scarce. That power belongs to the few and that power means having power over others.
But there is a much more broader and more inclusive experience of power, which I think of as the feminine model of power. It’s the power that resides in community. It’s power shared. Power multiplied. Power expanded.
There is a saying which is “It’s lonely at the top.” And I think it speaks to that old story where being in power meant that you were doing it all yourself. Which inevitably leads to feelings of isolation. But I rarely feel lonely in my work because I know it’s NOT all up to me. By creating that sacred space where power is cultivated and shared I feel deeply connected to something that is so much bigger than me.
Q: Tell me about an experience in your life that made you feel empowered.
Chris: There have been a lot of them but one that stands out in my mind right now is something that happened recently. I am working on creating an online intuitive painting class. Which is going to include videos. Now I’m an old girl… I just turned 60 a few months ago… and the whole video thing still really freaks me out, for a lot of different reasons. But it was scaring me to the point that I kept avoiding doing it. I was continually putting off creating the videos, making excuses like I was too busy, or too tired or whatever. When I finally told the truth, which was that I was caught in the fear of not doing it perfectly and that meant I was going to fail at being on camera, I was able to get out of my own way, create a couple of videos and even enjoy myself in the process!
So what felt empowering was telling the truth about what I was really feeing, challenging myself to not believe in my fears and then taking the action I needed to take regardless of what my crazy ass, judging mind was telling me in terms of how horrible this was going to turn out.
And by the way… it turns out that my judging mind was wrong… yet again. The videos are fabulous.
Q: What inspires you to be on your path?
Chris: I believe in the stunning beauty and blinding wonder that lives in every woman’s soul and I thrill, thrill, THRILL to the opportunity to be a midwife to that process of supporting someone to birth themselves whole again. I call it the predictable miracle and even though I have seen it THOUSANDS of times at this point in my career, I never, ever get tired of it. It’s new each time. And brings me to my knees in holy gratitude and awe every time I witness it.
Q: How can tarot or other intuitive arts help women to feel empowered?
Chris: I think that one of the most potent tools a woman has in her empowerment tool box is her intuition. Learning to hear, listen to and trust in her intuitive wisdom will keep her aligned with her highest good and keep her on track for what can bring her the deepest satisfaction and greatest success in her life.
And one of the best ways of developing her relationship with her intuition and reliably accessing that intuitive wisdom is by regularly using instruments like tarot and astrology to keep an open channel with her intuitive voice.
I have more Tarot decks than I can even count and I use them often. And I also employ the services of professional intuitive arts folks like yourself to get the DELUXE version of my intuitive wisdom delivered to me from an outside caring, compassionate and neutral source. There is nothing more nurturing and encouraging than receiving an intuitive reading from someone who REALLY knows their shit!
I am Chris Zydel, founder of Creative Juices Arts, and I have an unshakeable faith in the power of creativity to heal hearts and to change lives. I also know deep in my bones that everyone is deeply and powerfully creative. I am on a mission to prove that to the world by providing nurturing and joy-filled creative sanctuaries of encouragement, permission and trust in the sacred energy of play and creativity that lives inside of us all.
For more info about my work please check out my website at http://www.creativejuicesarts.com
You can also find me on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/chris.zydel and on Twitter @wildheartqueen
So many thanks and hugs to Chris for sharing her brilliance!
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2013