Photo by Beyzaa Yurtkuran
Daily Reflections for Women by Virginia R. Degner helps women find enlightenment through introspection and inspiration—get inspired by these important women from history.
Peace and quiet. Serenity and grace. Joy and beauty. These are all words men and broader society tend to associate with women. Perhaps, years ago, when things were a lot simpler (though empathically not better), it would be easier to get into the mind-state that those aforesaid words conjured up—the women of yesterday were barred from so many things and had so little to do that meditation was one of the only things they could do that could not be taken from them—now though the world has gone a little bit chaotic. Women have fought for an expansion of their rights and more, but nowadays, it seems like there’s a rather ghastly backlash to it all; a final gasp of misogyny until it dies a violent death, if it must be said.
The long and winding road toward the peak of quality is dangerous, but society is slowly inching its carcass up the slopes slowly and not without a fight—when it comes to women’s rights, there will always be a fight—but the sun is on the horizon, and everyone will one day be equal (in terms of opportunities and such).
And all of these now, these opportunities, these rights, these vast horizons—they would not have been possible without the women of yesterday, the women who first took charge and decided that their path in life should not have to be dictated by others. Without these vibrant women paving the way, perhaps the road toward equality would be much, much longer.
One of the greatest gifts that equality and self-determination have given people all over the globe is the ability to ask themselves:
“Who am I?”
These words, this question thrums deeply in the pages of this lovely book by Virginia R. Degner, Daily Reflections for Women.
Although at its surface, Daily Reflections for Women seems like a serious exploration from the author about her views and experiences with enlightenment, a deeper reading will say that even though it is, it still belies an invitation for readers, particularly women, to go along the journey with her.
Enlightenment begins at the inner heart of the person, but it cannot bloom without help from others—just as a flower cannot grow by itself in the seed and needs the rain, the soil, and the sun, enlightenment also is the culmination of the person interacting with the world.
What makes Daily Reflections for Women a wonderful read is that it does not only help the reader reflect on her life and guide her towards what steps to take to reach self-fulfillment, it does so through commentary and inspiration–the author Virginia R. Degner peppers the book with memorable quotes from prominent women throughout the ages. It not only inspires the reader but also builds a connection between her and the women of yesterday, deliberately evoking that solidarity between women transcends boundaries such as time and space and that the lives of women affect each and every one of them.
Some Individuals That You Should Know
These characters of yesterday are some of the most prominent pioneers for women’s rights, social justice, indigenous rights, and more.
- Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was a staunch abolitionist. Having been born into slavery, she knew firsthand the horrors of that institution. During the Civil War, she rallied both free Black men and former slaves to fight for the Union against the Confederacy. And when the war ended and Reconstruction did not come as promised, Sojourner Truth advocated against segregation. This is while she tirelessly fought for the rights of all people.
- Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) was an early women’s rights advocate. A Quaker by birth, her beliefs led her to be quite distrustful of any form of discrimination. She was against slavery and was one of the first women in the United States to preach for the right of women to vote. Susan B. Anthony would be imprisoned for her attempts at voting.
- Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) was a revolutionary artist. One of the most hostile spaces for women at the time was art. Despite being the subject of many paintings, sculptures, etc., women were rarely seen as the creators; rarer still was art that portrayed experiences adjacent to femininity, like birth, breastfeeding, miscarriage, etc. Frida Kahlo sought to break those taboos and bring these topics to light with her art.