International Women's Day 2021
Sharon Sobey, from England, but having grown up in South Africa, has been free 23.5 years and is so happy to have travelled and experienced and gained an understanding of different cultures and different people.
What would you tell your younger self?
You are a good person who is worthy of love and respect, no matter what you have been told. Never please others at the cost of your own integrity. It is never ok for others to control or coerce you in any way. Fear is the exact opposite of love, if we let go of the fear, we can truly love ourselves and others.
Who is the one person who changed your life the most?
Tricky question – there have been many! People who are able to listen without judging, who never speak badly about others, who forgive quickly, but make distance when necessary and find things to be grateful for even when their lives have been difficult, who know how to respect and be kind to others despite having different experiences and opinions. Brene Brown is a personal hero, she talks a lot about the power of vulnerability.
What is the biggest lesson(s) you’ve learnt since starting your new life?
That I have value just as I am, and I don’t need to seek approval from others. And that relationships are not the answer to feeling whole, that wholeness comes from inside myself. That self-care is important.
What are you most passionate/grateful about being able to do now as a woman that you couldn’t do before?
I am most grateful to be able to be independent and not have to answer to anyone but myself. To be able to start my own businesses in whatever field I like, to be able to dress and do my hair as I like, to plan holidays and take my kids away when I like without running it by anyone else. To be able to speak up if I disagree with something and say no to things that are detrimental to me.
What should be required reading for every woman?
Animal Farm is probably one of my favourite books but it's not specifically for women.
If you have a motivational song what is it?
Aloha Ke Akua – Nakho Bear (Medicine for the People)
What is most important for your mental health?
Yoga, meditation, self-care such as baths and relaxing when I need to, watching a funny film, music and dancing.
What in your life gave you courage?
The realisation that if I didn’t take risks, I wouldn’t overcome obstacles and grow as a person.
What ignites your sense of injustice?
Extreme wealth vs extreme poverty. Women being treated as less than men.
What’s the greatest gift we can give ourselves?
Non-judgement, kindness, self-love, boundaries and fun.
What’s the greatest gift we can give each other?
Open-mindedness listen without judging, kindness.
Thank you Sharon Sobey it's been a real honour to have had you involved in the IWD series!