Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment
Using her own story as a framework, Liz Jansen provides first-hand accounts of the transformational power of motorcycles. Stories from forty- nine other women, with diverse backgrounds and varied riding experiences, are lashed onto that framework and enhance the core message: that by embracing our authentic self and accepting our limitations, we move beyond what we ever dreamt was possible. More
Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment explores the relationship between women, motorcycles and personal power.
Using her own story as a framework, Jansen integrates interviews with forty-nine other women whose stories illustrate a common message of empowerment; how they have tapped into their power and how it has shaped their lives. They represent all disciplines of riding and come from diverse backgrounds; including one of Hollywood’s top stuntwomen, federal politicians, artists, activists, adventurers, business leaders, racers and a dental hygienist.
Jansen sets the stage by illustrating how one’s relationship with motorcycles, reflects one’s relationship with life, fashioning the Road to Empowerment. The message goes beyond the literal, using stories from women and motorcycles to illustrate symbolically how the strengths and fears reflected on two wheels translate into other areas of one’s life.
From an early age, cultural training teaches us societal norms and expectations; behaviors which play out in life, and in one’s approach to riding a motorcycle. Stories reflect how the environment in which we’re raised can affect our perception of our personal capabilities. The education we receive during this time will either nourish us or conceal our wild nature.
Motorcycles are then introduced as vehicles of change and empowerment, illustrating how for some women, they expose undiscovered strengths and open up a whole new world of possibilities.
Jansen goes on to depict experiences where women, restless and no longer satisfied with the status quo, felt called to step outside of their comfort zone. As frightening as it was, their ability to persist and push past their comfort zone became a key contributor to their empowerment, and the rewards that came with it.
Everyone’s life has twists and turns and Jansen and the women in Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment are no exception. One chapter is devoted to dealing with the unexpected; how women have come face to face with fear, in some cases being that of their own mortality (unrelated to motorcycles). By boldly staring down that fear and calling upon skills they’ve discovered through riding, they’ve become aware of even greater empowerment, extending far beyond themselves.
One cannot ride motorcycles for any length of time without feeling a deep connection with Spirit. Women have been able to arrive at profound insights to overcome personal challenges, either associated directly with riding, or their experience with motorcycles has prepared them to deal with life challenges.
Jansen illustrates what happens when we allow our hearts to guide us and surrender our fears and perception of control. We learn lessons on faith, trust and believing in ourselves; the foundation of empowerment.
Just like the hero who has found the magic elixir, when one discovers the strength of their own power, it’s too good to keep quiet. These women have created the space for the empowerment of others through teaching, involvement in charity and organizations and advocacy. They have created a positive ripple effect in the communities in which they live, work and play.
While motorcycles are the vehicle of transformation for these women, it’s not necessary to ride motorcycles or be a woman to understand the universal message in Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment. Readers see themselves repeatedly in its pages. The stories illustrate how learning to embrace and overcome life’s challenges and reap the rewards, weaves an exquisite tapestry of empowerment that becomes the picture of who we are.
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