By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
THE AUTHENTIC Woman - a faith based, female-focused community is seeking to help millennial women effectively navigate womanhood and gain the perspective, tools, and support they need to live confidently and find their purpose.
Founded by entrepreneur Katherine Coakley, the community is geared towards empowering, encouraging and equipping women to live intentionally, enhance their diverse capabilities, connect with like-minded individuals, and grow in their relationship with God.
“We currently do this through social media, emails, and the exclusive ‘Win from Within’ coaching programme that challenges women to confront areas within themselves that have historically hindered their development,” said Ms Coakley.
The coaching programme, she said, has become a beacon of hope and restoration for women both here in the Bahamas and abroad.
“Women gain the opportunity to heal and grow mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and professionally. They can engage in complimentary live video discussions on topics that will give them the footing to grow consistently,” she said.
Ms Coakley said the organisation was officially launched in 2017 with a conference of 75 women, and it later evolved into weekly small group sessions called " Moments of Truth" led by Katherine and Daniah Miller of Daniah Writes. These sessions, she said, allowed women from diverse backgrounds to meet other women in a safe space to learn and grow together. The goal was to create a sisterhood of women who were dedicated to wholeness, purpose, success, and faith.
Each week, they all realised that women needed more support, as the sessions were only an introduction to the issues so many of them needed help addressing. As a result, the need for a more intimate and direct approach was necessary, which led to the founding of The Authentic Woman Academy with a signature coaching programme focused on helping women to build themselves from within.
“The Authentic Woman community has now become a haven, resource, classroom, and accountability movement that is genuinely invested in seeing every woman succeed internally and externally. My goal is to help more women understand the power of identity,” said Ms Coakley.
“After coaching dozens of women, I have realised that life has stripped many women of clarity concerning who they are. Their experiences robbed them of self-esteem, aspirations, faith and community. I want women to know that there is more available to them. I want them to know that they don't have to settle, that they can be and have everything that Yahweh intended. I want women to know that they are enough to change the trajectory of their life and family. I want women to understand their unique power and the authority that is hidden within them simply embracing their call, story, and purpose. I desire to help develop a generation of women who are so committed to becoming, that the world at large feels the imprint of every woman who dared to pursue more.”
She explained that the “Win from Within” consists of an intensive six-week coaching programme where they confront the stigmas, dysfunction, trauma, and damaging cycles that Bahamian culture and tradition have exposed women to, and they dig into the formulas that awaken character and relationship-building, inner healing, mind renewal, emotional intelligence, wealth strategies, and greater dimensions of purpose.
The Authentic Woman Academy programme initially began with face-to-face meetings last February.
“However, as COVID-19 became more of a threat, I transitioned to a virtual coaching format for safety reasons. As a result, it allowed women to join in locally and abroad to invest in their personal development during quarantine and beyond,” said Ms Coakley.
“Since we began I have coached over 25 women who are applying the lessons garnered from the experience on a daily basis and are experiencing breakthroughs in areas where they were previously stunted or stopped.”
Asked why it is so important to her to create a platform like this for women, Ms Coakley said she believes when a woman is whole, aware and confident, households, businesses, communities, and the world at large benefit.
She said there are many decisions people can make that only serve them, but women create a domino effect, as they are powerful beyond measure, both when broken and when whole.
“I believe platforms like the academy and its community are important because they cultivate a greater awareness of the limiting emotional, mental and relational factors that threaten our ability to function well. I also believe that safe spaces provide a haven for women to decompress and connect with other women who can add value to their experiences,” she said.
One the programme’s participants, Dwaneisha Mcgregor, said: “When God lead me to join The Authenic Woman in 2020 I was going through a really tough time emotionally and mentally. God said to me before I joined the programme that this was a time for me to 'become'. I had a family member who had gone through the Authentic Woman journey with Katherine (Coakley) before, so I asked for her thoughts on the programme and she encouraged me to sign up because it was worth every penny…The tools that Katherine has given me to not just be self-aware, but to also see how I can practically address the roots of trauma, I still use today. Katherine's words of truth and wisdom have stayed with me even after I have completed the programme and it's a bonus that I can always refer to the work booklet for reminders of doing the soul work. I am grateful for the role this programme has played and continues to play in my becoming.”
Ms Coakley said there are several other events and programmes she would like to introduce that speak to helping women to overcome very specific areas of struggle. Currently, she is preparing to launch the first self-paced programme in March that allows women to be able to engage in an experience that is unique to their “pain point”.
She is also also in the planning stages of an empowerment event for women to learn how to grow and connect with like-minded individuals.
For more information, visit www.theauthenticwoman.online.