The women empowerment workshop took place at the High Atlas Foundation office in Marrakech.
It was delivered over full four-days from the 12th to the 15th of March, 2016. It was divided into 4, one-day Sessions (morning session from 9am to 12pm and afternoon from 2pm to 5pm). It consisted of 13 women from different regions of Morocco, including Marrakech, Boujdour, Ourika Valley and the rural commune of Asni.
After an introduction, the training was opened with an overview about the program and its goals, followed by a brief talk about the two creators of the program, Mr. David Gershon and Mrs. Gail Straub
At the beginning, we shared the reasons behind our Journey. During this introduction, I held a brainstorming session with the participants to define the term women Empowerment, which was a new concept for them and is very important in everyone’s Journey.
The training session covered the seven life areas which are :
It was explained to the women that this is just the first step, and we would discuss each area deeply throughout the next four days. They were also told that the women Empowerment Workshop will enable them to create their life exactly the way they want it, and most importantly, they will acquire tools to help them manifest exactly what they desire.
During these sessions, we discussed how we can “prepare a fertile soil for our precious seeds (Thoughts)”focusing on the idea that if we want to change any part of our lives which we don’t desire, we must first change those beliefs
that created them. Moreover, if we want to create anything new in our life, we must first mentally create that new belief.
At this part we reinforced the idea of “watering the seeds, not the weeds” which segued into an explanation of what the “growing edge” means, and how we can change from pathology to vision. Once the participants assimilated the new concepts, they were asked to do the growing edge exercise in all the seven areas. Immediately after they had finished the exercise, they shared their growing edges with their partners, and then with the large group. This exercise aimed to provide participants with a deep understanding of their growing edges and the places where they most need support.
Our discussion also revolved around our core beliefs and manifestation. We did the “inner soil test” which helps
them not only to understand their growing edges, but also to know the areas that need to be fertilized.
In addition, they learned another important thing: how to write affirmations and practice visualization by going over the following steps.
- Where am I now around this issue?
- Where do I want to go?
- What do I need to change to get there?
- What is my next growing edge?
During this exercise, the individuals were asked to come in front of the group to share their growing edge. Participants showed great motivation and most of them discovered their inner capacities and skills and began building their trust.
These exercises provided opportunities for participants to interact and learn actively.
The following is a statement of one participant:
“I was so naive about myself and I didn’t know that I have great capacities that need only to be directed. Now I am able to discover what my strengths are”.
In the area of emotions and relationships, the participants enjoyed the exercise of personal power (Room exercise) in which we invited several participants to share what came up in the different rooms. Through this mediation exercise participants discovered their strengths and deeper understanding of their personal sources of power.
The participants enjoyed another exercise in which they walked back in their life and identified the situations and people they wanted to let go of. During this exercise, most of the participants cried deeply and revealed situations in which they felt stuck. This exercise helped them to relax and build trust amongst each other. They also showed great motivation in the practical exercise.
The following are some of their statements:
“I really liked this exercise. It helped me reveal something that I have never shared with anybody, even with my closest friends. But now I reveal it with no fear…”
“This exercise is very impressive. I t helps you reveal hard situations to your new partner even though you don’t know her very well”
“After doing this exercise I felt that at least I get a little peace of mind that I was seeking for a long time”
“One of the participants expressed her respond to the music immediately after playing music…”
In the area of sexuality I was little bit anxious, thinking that the women might feel uncomfortable talking about their sexual experiences. However, I was really surprised when they showed eagerness to share and talk about their experiences and were eager to know more about this area in their lives. All the women confirmed that they had never had such an opportunity to talk about this important part in their life.
During this session they focused on two limiting beliefs:
- Most of the women said that what holds them back is the barrier of culture concerning woman being unable to initiate a sexual relationship with their husbands.
- Lack of sexual culture.
The following is a limiting belief of a woman who has been married for more than 12 years:
“My confident decreased once my husband saw me bare”
Her affirmation was: “I am Samira. My confidence increases and I feel comfortable.”
In the fourth area which is body we did “Body dialogue exercise” which consists of more than 12 questions that helped them easily to explore their limiting beliefs.
The following is of limiting belief and the affirmation of one the participant
“The color of my skin makes me feel unconfident”
“I accept the color of my skin and my confidence increases”
During the work session, the women empowerment shared their limiting beliefs and expressed a strong drive to make some changes in their work level. I am sharing one quote for old women “As a mother of three I have been busy working at home for many years. women Now I am able to participate in women Empowerment training that helps me to discover that I have great capacities and skills that I truly would like to use outside of the house.”
Another participant said that “My limiting belief is that I love my work, but I’m always getting exhausted”
Her turn around was that “Lack of time management and priorities are the only things that can hold me back from doing the work that I really love”
In respect to the area of money, all the women said that they need to be empowered economically. I am sharing one amazing affirmation:
“I am earning money at home and I am happy”
In the area of spirituality the purpose was that to help participants to create their personal spiritual path. The ultimate purpose for all the participants was to create a good connection with Allah ( God) through accomplishing the prayer, fasting, reciting Quran and accomplishing the Al Fajer prayer on time focusing on one idea it’s time to improve ourselves in the spiritual level.
At the end of the training, all of the participants were very positive and loved the training. Moreover, they asked for more training that has to do with
women empowerment. For me when I read their evaluation forms I felt so happy and I was really proud and this is an achievement that Imagine and HAF achieved together .