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Adele Portrait

Pema Chödrön. Brene Brown. Geneen Roth. Anne Lamott. Jenn Louden. Elizabeth Lesser. Michelle Obama. Adele. Oprah. Eve Ensler. Anita Roberts.

What do all of these women have in common aside from being creators of profound works of art and dispensers of wisdom?

They are all totally, utterly, self-centered.

I’m not just hurling insults here. These feminoms (female phenomenons) are centered deeply within themselves and this, I’ll wager, is a key to their “role-model” status.

Here is what I know about self-centered women:

Self-centered women are not easily blown over by the gusts of other people’s opinions, agendas, or problems coming their way. Their strong center keeps them steady.

Self-centered women know themselves. Intimately. The smooth and the rough. Their ego and their Self.

Self-centered women don’t put others before themselves to the point that they have nothing left. In turn, they have more to give to everyone.

Self-centered women know life isn’t tit for tat. They can receive without “earning” it and they can give without expectation of reciprocation.

Self-centered women are powered sustainably from a renewable source, rather than from  the validation, approval, and attention of outside and temporary sources.

Self-centered women are their own compass. Their own north-stars. They navigate these choppy waters as an eye in the storm. This is why we so often take refuge in their work, words, and presence.

They are lighthouses for the rest of us because they are lighthouses for themselves.


Reflect: can you trace any of your struggles back to a lack of self-centering?

Reflect: how would your life be richer, deeper, or more powerful if you were more self-centered?

Reflect: When did you stop being self-centered? Age 1? Age 12? Age 18? When was it you moved out of your lighthouse?

Imagine: A world where all women are self-centered and move through their lives with strong roots from which to draw life. Imagine.

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  1. Kerilyn February 26, 2012

    Wow. I’m speechless and that doesn’t happen often. Thank you for re-framing what it means to be self-centered. Every little girl needs to live from this definition. xo!

    • rachel March 3, 2012

      Speechless, eh? I’ll take that as a compliment. :)

  2. Marthe February 26, 2012

    You always have such deep insight, Rachel. I don’t think I could be more self-centered in this way, but I’m definitely going to reflect on how I can use my centeredness to feel more balanced. Maybe I can dare to trust my own centeredness and lean a little less on others for balance?

  3. Christina February 27, 2012

    Thanks for the great read! This is so true. I am thinking now about what I can do today, to make today more deeply about ME. xo

  4. Robin Norgren February 28, 2012

    Oh my gosh BRILLIANT!!!! Right between the eyes in the BEST of ways.

    • rachel March 3, 2012

      Robin I’m so glad this one resonated so strongly with you. I want to start a revolution of women returning to their center. :)

  5. chara February 28, 2012

    Wow Rachel. Thank you. I want to be more self-centered!! I want my daughter to be more self-centered! I am going to chew on this specific point for sure – be a lighthouse for yourself.

    • rachel March 3, 2012

      Chara, yes! Let’s raise our children to live from within themselves, from their center. :)

  6. Persephone February 28, 2012

    Finding my footing. Thank you for this. I’m going to print it out as a reminder of where i am and where i’m going.

  7. Mia March 2, 2012

    Absolutely, awesomely brilliant. I am going out in the world and bask, relish and play in my self-centeredness today. Thank you for the incredible reframe and reminder!

  8. Kerstin March 2, 2012

    This post nearly made me cry. At 49 I have visited my own lighthouse a few times but never lived in it. Never. I love this post on so many levels, not in the least because it is giving me a hugely helpful metaphor for my journey this year to be more VISIBLE (my word for 2012). Thank you so much! Kerstin

    • rachel March 3, 2012

      Hi Kerstin! I’m so pleased to hear this post hit you hard. It’s great that you’ve been to your lighthouse, means you know what it feels like and can practice living their more of the time. Good luck on your visibility journey this year! Rachel

  9. KCLAnderson (Karen) April 9, 2012

    Absolutely!! Self-awareness, acceptance, centeredness…whatever you want to call it…it makes us better. I’ve often said there’s selfish, selfless…and the best of all is selfNESS. It’s a sort of paradox, that the more we focus on, love, accept ourselves, the more we’re able to focus on, love, accept others.

    This has played out in my life in regards to my body and how I treat it. My struggles around weight and abusing food can be directly traced to a lack of self-centeredness. Losing it was a process and regaining it was, as well.

  10. Jennifer Louden August 20, 2012

    honored to be self-centered and so in love with you and this post and fiercely belonging to myself!

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