In episode three of the Our Royal Community Podcast, I interviewed Brian Sheppard of Cinderella Strong. He is a fitness trainer focused on empowering women to be the best version of themselves mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well as physically.
So you know I gave him the side eye.
I worked in fitness for too long and I’ve seen way too much misogyny in the industry to fall for this. However, I was a little curious. How genuine could this guy really be? I followed his social media for a few months and watched a few of his YouTube videos. I determined that his message seemed genuine but before I’d interview him for the podcast I needed to talk to him first.
I really could hear the passion for his message in his story, his voice, and his brand. I became really excited about doing the interview!
But can a man really empower women? I can’t say for sure, but I believe it’s important for men to empower women. I think it’s important for women to empower men. I think everyone should be doing their part to empower men and women. And if you are a woman planning to marry a man and build a family as well as a legacy, then it’s crucial that your man know how to empower you.
Empowerment is defined as the power given to someone to do something. Initially when I read that I stopped liking the idea of a man empowering me. Once I read it again, I had to take note that it doesn’t say permission given. It is power given. I probably should be with a man that incites the power within me to build the vision that we have for ourselves. He certainly shouldn’t do it alone, especially not with a capable woman by his side.
Empowerment takes less words and more actions. In the interview, even Brian talks about what he does for his clients, totally outside of fitness, that empowers them to raise the standard on everything else in their lives. Beyond his words, there are actions that convey the passion and the message that truly empowers women.
In situations involving domestic violence, the total opposite happens on purpose. The man is so weak that he needs the women to be weaker. Empowering her will give her the tools she needs to do better. She’ll start doing better personally and professionally. She’ll realize how broken he is and resent the fact that instead of healing himself, he just decided to break her too. He can’t have that, so he berates, belittles, and abuses her. He won’t empower her and nobody else better do it either.
Not all situations where a man doesn’t empower a women is out of malice. There are circumstances when a man just doesn’t know how. After a very long break up with my late boyfriend we started communicating again. One of the things he said to me during that reconciliation was “I’m sorry I didn’t love you properly.” There was a period of time when I didn’t believe he loved me at all, even after his death. However, I did come to realize that he really just didn’t know how. He loved me the best way he knew how. He didn’t know how to build, and he didn’t know how to empower. He knew how to be an amazing companion with a genuine heart. But he was in no position to grow or to help me grow. There was never going to be any power in our collective union, and it’s the #1 reason I spent so much time refusing to marry him.
When a man came empower a women it is the blueprint for building. He is not her strength. She doesn’t need his strength because she has her own. But together, they are both powerful and an unstoppable force. It’s a merger. Even companies merge with each other to create a powerhouse for growth. A buyout and a merger are two very different transactions and serve two different purposes.
After thinking about someone giving me the power to do something, I realized just how important this empowerment movement is. It gives disenfranchised groups the power to do something. That something is going to be different and unique from person to person, but the end result is a movement that would be unstoppable. Women that have been discriminated against, counted out, or just plain abused will have the power to do something. Everyone should have a part in that movement…
After spending a year in grief counseling, I started to see that my life needed a major overhaul. Yes, my boyfriend died making me the single mom of our infant twins, but I was still grieving my loss of innocence from decades of abuse. I decided to turn my pain into a new purpose and to share this journey with others that may need some motivation.