As we celebrate womens month, its valuable to reflect on womens role in leadership – and in particular what are the spiritual qualities that women can naturally offer when they centered in their true essence. Women become spiritual leaders when they themselves acknowledge they have the capacity and necessary attributes to play such a role. The change of consciousness needed is to move away from unworthy feelings and attitudes and to see the greatness contained within the self. Feminine qualities such as love, tolerance, compassion, understanding and humility are qualities of leadership. They are also needed for spiritual progress, for without them it would be impossible to come close to God and attain self-realisation. Every human being possesses those qualities but women are more easily and naturally able to tap them, for feelings of love and devotion are often more natural to women, combined with a profound sense of discipline and order. A true leader leads through example.
Women know how to serve and how to give. Often the notion of service or of putting others in front has been seen as a sign of weakness or lack of power. Quite the opposite is true. The ability to bow before others, with true humility, is the sign of the greatness of a soul who has conquered ego.
However this quality of giving to others must also be balanced with qualities of courage, determination, clear thinking and self-respect. Too often, women have a tendency to give to others and neglect their own spiritual needs. It is one of the major reasons women find themselves depleted and lacking in spiritual power. The foundation for assuming spiritual leadership is thus a change of consciousness. Overcoming the huge physical, religious and sociological barriers which have prevented women becoming spiritual leaders can only be done through the development of self-respect. The quality of self-respect comes from the knowledge and experience of the eternal self which is beyond social, cultural or physical identity. The eternal self or soul is pure, peaceful and complete with divine and spiritual qualities. When women touch this inner, eternal core, they gain the courage to play the part they are capable of.
Spiritual power is an expression of the inherent qualities of the spirit and has nothing to do with gender or physical limitations. Feelings of domination or suppression occur when there is the awareness of superiority or inferiority. Feelings of equality, however, manifest when there is the consciousness of spirit or soul. These feelings and attitudes can be expressed in actions with positive results.
Women are still a long way from enjoying positions of spiritual leadership, and society still doesn’t fully concur with the notion that women make good spiritual leaders. Yet, society won’t necessarily change until someone, whether an individual or a group of individuals, breaks the tradition and sets a new role model. This, in part, was the thinking behind the work of Brahma Baba, founder of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University.
Extracted from an article by Sr Sudesh, Director of Brahma Kumaris in Germany