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Lean in by going within
by Linda Egenes
Transcendental Meditation for Women Translate This Article
1 August 2013
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In a recent essay, writer Linda Egenes reviews the new book Lean In, by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg:
According to Sandberg, women can't change the world until they are equally represented in places of power: 'While women continue to outpace men in educational achievement, we have ceased making real progress at the top of any industry. . . . This means that when it comes to making the decisions that most affect our world, our voices are not heard equally.''
It's Sandberg's concept of why this is happening that forms the crux of the book and makes it so controversial. 'We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in,'' she writes. . . .
She places the responsibility on women themselves. She cites one problem in particular: the invisible barrier in women's minds. ''Compared to our male colleagues, fewer of us aspire to senior positions,'' she writes. ''My argument is that getting rid of these internal barriers is critical to gaining power. We can dismantle the hurdles in ourselves today. We can start this very moment.''
Ms. Egenes continues: In many ways, I agree with Sandberg. I have lived my entire life based on the premise that empowerment comes from within. Like thousands of women in this country, every day when I sit down to meditate, I'm doing just what Sandberg is asking us to do—removing the interior barriers of fear, lack of self-confidence, and low expectations that keep women from succeeding in the workplace. As a result, I've witnessed a huge transformation in myself as well as in the lives of my friends who practice the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique. . . .
I feel that each time I meditate, I am making the world a better place, by dissolving stress, by empowering myself to become more successful, and most importantly, by enlivening the deepest part of myself so that I can bring my best Self to my work and my family. And when more women experience this kind of real and authentic empowerment, there's no telling how much we can change the workplace, and the world, for the better.
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