Strengthen women's & men's agency and
resources for true
© Iris Pohl
While there have been many great advances in modern life that we could say make our lives better in different ways, when we look to the global statistics and how we are truly doing, it becomes clear that these advances are not the whole answer.
Even the most affluent and liberal countries are experiencing growing rates of ill mental health, anxiety, depression, suicide, illness, disease, obesity and the normalization of violence and abuse. Policies of social inclusion deliver greater access to the many otherwise underprivileged and are a much needed step in the right direction; but even providing equal opportunities for all has not translated to greater levels of well-being for all. There must be a missing link.
© Iris Pohl
Simultaneously, there is a push to raise awareness of the value of care to our economies. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that unpaid care amounts to an equivalent of $11 trillion USD each year globally. Women and girls are the most impacted, carrying 75% of the unpaid care work worldwide, with 70% of these women preferring to work in paid employment. Due to the lack of value we attribute to care work, the sector has become highly foreignized, with many women from disadvantaged regions migrating to cover the increasing demand of care and domestic services through informal and low income jobs with excessive and strenuous conditions.1)
This entrenched attitude of undervaluing care is unsustainable, and the wellbeing of carers is suffering as a result.
It is essential that we begin to value care as a society. But where do we start?
“Our first relationship with any Body is with our own.
This then becomes the foundation for our relationships with every Body thereafter.”
Rebecca Asquith, Media Educator
Building a foundation of self-care
Learning to self-care is the key first step towards well-being. As we are growing up, we are not encouraged to care for ourselves first. Women are often told that it is their role to care for everyone else, even if this at their own expense. Men on the other hand are told to harden up and live up to a version of masculinity that sees tenderness and self-care as signs of weakness (at the great expense of themselves also).
We have simply not been educated to take care of ourselves and our own bodies.
In our international work with women and men of all ages and backgrounds, we experienced more and more women and men living in deep disconnection from their bodies. When we are disconnected from the body, it is easy to make choices that impact negatively on our health and wellbeing. When we reconnect to the body, we reconnect to a level of sensitivity and intelligence that becomes our guide on how to care for ourselves.
At INDERA, we support people to build a foundation of self-care and
self-love, that leads to a feeling of settlement and vitality within the
body that naturally strengthens their ability to take true care of
themselves and those around them.
From self-care to well-being
Supporting people to live a life of true well-being is at the heart of all of INDERA’s work.
As we begin to take care of ourselves in response to the messages our body is telling us, a feeling of settlement, ease, confidence and deep self-worth begins to develop within. We may also experience greater levels of vitality in our day, enjoy better sleep and naturally begin to make healthier lifestyle choices.
Developing an active relationship with your own inner well-being is the ultimate empowerment.
When we begin to listen to the body and use it as our compass, we develop a deep knowing of who we are and the strength to deal with any challenges that life throws our way. Areas of life that do not support this feeling of well-being begin to stand out, allowing us to set our own standards and say no to abuse.
The choice starts with us.
When we connect to our body, we have access to a fountain of well-being just waiting to be turned on - and the quality that starts to flow is pure gold.
© Iris Pohl