Ziva Voices – HerStory in the Making

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Step into your Power Issue No.1 Jan-Mar 2022

Welcome to the Ziva Way: the magazine whose philosophy and methods enable leaders to become the best version of themselves.

The story of Ziva Voices started in August 2014 when I decided one day to shut down all communication in my life…a life which to others, at the time, appeared to be running its course magnificently. I had created a self-determined existence based on my values and rules. I taught at Nelson Mandela University, ran my own consultancy, was working happily to complete my Ph.D. and was on the boards of two non-profits.

I loved every minute of every day, until one day, I realized that I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I just shut down. Passion, the fire that usually keeps me going, had burned out. I was tired of saying yes to everyone. It was starting to take a lot of energy to be around people.

The discouragement which plagued me was seeing a world that created little hope for women and placed men into prescribed roles perpetuating the endless cycle of a power struggle. I had started to feel powerless. And then it hit me when a female student said it was pointless: she wouldn’t vote for a female politician to become president because she simply didn’t believe that women had the ability to lead. This was soon followed by a brutal attack on another female student and continuous societal belittlement of women who had fallen victim to violence.

Everything made me question if I had the POWER to create change. How could I contribute to improving the dialogue around women’s voices if there are women that don’t believe in their own power? It also made me reflect on my own personal relationships and confront my biases and understand that I was placing boundaries around myself based on these same biases. I no longer wanted what my partner wanted.

To break out of this, I had to be honest and understand that I needed to reinvent myself.

That meant evaluating what that failure meant to me. It meant to accept that I had to prepare myself to let go of what society and culture had led me to accept as right. I had to find the truth and, by enabling my true self, start to live my own life, on my own terms.

It was an incredible journey to the understanding that we all have, inside us, the voice and the power to change the things around us – one person, at a time. The lesson is that sometimes it takes time for the words that we share to be processed and for us to realize we are impacting the people around us in every interaction. A big moment for me was when, a few years later, my student didn’t just end up voting for a woman, she actually run for a city council position herself!

The Ziva Way is the result of my work and experiences. It is a philosophy and methodology to enable you to become the best version of yourself. And the Ziva Way magazine is the platform for us to learn from each other, build community, improve our lives and get inspired.

Welcome again: I couldn’t be happier about having you here today.

 
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