Dr. Ann Lewis’ work on resocialization of women’s lives has given me a greater and deeper understanding of what happens to mold women to conform to societal expectations, or socialization. By knowing that socialization exists, how it affects women, and how pervasive it is, I can identify the signs and adjust my feelings and responses in such a way to limit or eliminate the detrimental effects on my life. In effect, Dr. Lewis has opened my eyes and my mind to see and understand what is going on around me; she has thereby given me a whole new range of possibilities for taking charge of my life and bringing peace to my life.
A few years ago I went to my first Women’s Journey Meeting. I was in a place of searching for who I was and I had heard about this great meeting for women through an acquaintance. The meetings were held monthly only a mile from my home, so it seemed like I was meant to go. In that room I was witness to the transformation of many women. Some only passed through for a short time, others came often.
The biggest transformation was in me. In that room, in the safety of a circle of women I hardly knew, I explored and accepted parts of myself I had hidden away. I came to understand that I was not alone in my thoughts or feelings on many topics related to being a woman in today’s world. I learned that those things that had been haunting me, that I had been trying to ignore, were valid and were shared by others. I learned to question the unquestionable “rules” that had been placed on me; Rules written by a society that did not value women as much as it valued men. Rules that we as women had learned to defend at our own expense. I learned to value my own wisdom, my own opinions and feelings. I had a chance to tell “my story” and I heard the stories from women of all walks of life. Judgments were placed aside. Freedom of expression and differences of opinion were encouraged.
When the monthly meetings ended, an online meeting place took up the journey. The monthly chats and daily blogs have continued the opportunity for growth and wisdom sharing. Occasionally there are special events where live interaction with Ann and Women’s Journey are shared with the local community; which I never miss.
Dr. Ann Mody Lewis has been an inspiration to me in my journey to self. I am truly discovering how I have been held back by the unfair rules based on gender. My relationship with my husband is growing as we both see how our families, our church, our schools and our society have “kept us in line”. We are breaking free, although awkwardly, from the restraints that have been placed on us and our search for intimacy, acceptance, and love. Ann’s books have been instrumental, as have the daily blogs. It is like I needed to have someone give me permission to speak out loud. To question that which I cannot accept, just because I have been told I must. To begin to accept the world, not to mention myself, my husband, and all those I love and care for; as human, not as feminine or masculine as defined by gender roles. To accept that being a strong woman does not make me less of anything, it just makes me… me!
I have had the honor of working with Ann Lewis for many years and in many capacities. I witnessed the conception of many of her incredible ideas and helped bring them to fruition. Along the way, Ann has earned my deepest admiration and respect. She has touched the lives of thousands of people through her profound work as a therapist, life coach, lecturer and the many wonderful facets of Women’s Journey and her books. Although the focus of her work seems generally geared towards women, it is incredibly impactful for men, as well! Whether from the stand point of helping men better understand the social forces that impact the women in their life or how to improve your ability to relate to women and others, her in-depth knowledge and wisdom can profoundly and positively change lives. I have learned so much about life in general and my own life from her! Listen very carefully as she speaks or writes… she is selflessly sharing the gifts of how to understand, heal and enjoy your life!
“Thank you” just doesn’t seem to express the depth of my gratitude to you for your love and guidance. I will always be a “work in progress,” but I feel more whole than I can ever remember! You will always be in my thoughts and prayers!
May God love, bless and protect you always!
Dr. Maureen Campbell
A dear friend invited me as her guest to a monthly meeting at Women's Journey in 2005.
It was a privilege for me to meet Ann Lewis and the meeting touched me in an unexplainable way. She described my life and ever since I learned so much about Gender and most of all about myself.
Ann Lewis has a special gift and shares her gift in an personal level and also by giving lectures, seminars, writing books, sharing in the internet via www.womensjourney.org Facebook, Twitter, the chat room.
Ann Lewis has giving so much of her gift and according to her: It's just the beginning.
I encourage men and women to learn about the affect of GENDER in our society and on our individual lives.
I personally have just begun to learn its impact on my life.
Again, Thanks Ann.
Maria “Felisa” De Kler
I have known Dr. Ann Lewis for nearly ten years and have attended her “Women’s Journey” seminars many times. As a working woman and mother with little free time for myself I accepted things as “just the way it is”. Meeting Dr. Lewis was like the opening of a flower, I came to realize that I was important; my needs and ideas were worthy of acknowledgement if only my me alone. She has changed many lives and helped many women and I wish her all the best.
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