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Those that read and follow my writing know that I always try to write from my own experiences. 2019 started with a lot of challenges for me, many because I was resistant to change, others because once I accepted a new path, I wanted it to happen my way. Life / Spiritual journeys rarely if ever happen in a way that we expect. I had a plan that I would leverage my way out of my day job and go to self-employment seamlessly. It hasn’t happened as I expected…

Having survived an abusive marriage and building a new life for myself, I have come to a point in my life where I avoid conflict in every way possible. Being a warrior at core, I don’t submissively bend to the will of others but sometimes even when I need to fight the battle, I shy away from the conflict. Immediately after I left the marriage and returned to South Africa, I overcompensated for what I then saw as weakness, that I had put up with the way my ex-husband treated me for so long; so, I became overly aggressive in the way I interacted with others. As I healed I came to a more balanced place, but tended to avoid conflict, not wanting to act too aggressively.

Over the last few months, I had an issue with my day job which I failed to address. As time went on it resulted in me becoming ever more frustrated. Eventually as these things go, I reached my limit. I was forced to address the issue, but having left it so long, it took an ultimatum to force the other party to see the extent of the issue. The more the matter was discussed and addressed, the more I regained my equilibrium and was reminded that I really do have a voice and can demand fair treatment. One can fight a figurative battle without the need for unnecessary aggression. The outcome for me has been favourable, with an added unexpected benefit of gaining a new level of respect from my employer.

As a woman, I often feel that we straddle an arbitrary line between the perpetuated stereotypes of what we are “supposed” to be as women and who we choose to be. There is the stereotype that we are meant to be the “gentler” sex and that if a woman steps out of this role of being the perfect feminine stereotype, she becomes the other extreme of the scale, she becomes “masculine” and gets called a myriad of derogatory names. The idea of a female heroine when depicted by Hollywood becomes either “one of the boys” or a tool of sexual fantasy, some examples here would be Xena or Wonder Woman, realistically no warrior would go into battle so exposed.

Truthfully though, there is no rule for how an individual woman should behave. It has been a personal challenge for me on how I as a woman should approach any conflict, when I acted in aggression, in my mind I saw myself as becoming too “masculine” and rebelled, instead trying to act more “feminine”, be gentler in my interactions. The problem with acting “as you should” is that it creates a box which stifles your individuality, you are so busy trying to figure out how you should act, that eventually you refuse to act at all, because you become too scared of acting incorrectly.

So here I stand, after my epiphany realizing that there is no wrong or right way to act in any situation. You can pick the battles you fight, but once you have chosen to act, do it your way, you, like me, may be surprised by the outcome. For me the outcome has been an unexpected balance, a part-time employment to sustain me whilst I build my own business.

My advice to you if you are reading this is, learn from my mistake, don’t go out of your way to avoid a conflict, if resolving it could make your life better. If it’s a battle you need to face, do it your way.

Virtue Joannou

Crystologist and Usui Tibetan Reiki Master Practitioner

I discovered at an early age a sensitivity to crystal energies, not truly understanding the source of my fascination with rocks and minerals, when I left school I decided to go down the science route and studied Geology and Environmental Science at the then Rand Afrikaans University, before doing my Honours Degree in Geology at the University of Adelaide, in Australia. Through several alternative holistic healing courses, my awareness has been opened to using my healing abilities and allowing myself to fully understand my gifts and talents. I am passionate about helping others on their journey of spiritual awareness, healing & growth, through the use of various complementary therapies.

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