From nightclub bouncer, to the power in softness - the extraordinary journey of Charly Flower.
Charly Flower was a nightclub bouncer with three black belts to her name. When she refused a drug addict entry to a club one night, he was so desperate to get inside to buy drugs that he went for her with a knuckleduster.
At great personal risk to her safety, Charly avoided physical confrontation - and so started the journey towards, what she now calls, "the power in softness".
"The Power in Softness - A Guide to Personal Protection and Empowerment for Women", is Charly Flower's brand new book in which the practical side of personal protection for women is only the beginning. Through teachings, and gutsy real-life stories of how the author used softness to defend herself on the doors, the whole issue of personal protection for women is presented as both an outer process, and an inner one. Once readers open to the power in softness on a physical level, they will want to use it on all others. Softness, at its highest and most subtle level, eventually becomes a gateway not only to safety, but to inner balance and the divine.
With her considerable experience of voice production, movement, and personal protection, Charly Flower has much to offer women and she now holds regular women-only events across the UK.
"The Power in Softness - A Guide to Personal Protection and Empowerment for Women", teaches women how to use softness to stay safe, heal, and bring back lost power. It takes as its starting point the fact that women already have within them all the resources and power they need to achieve these things. The book takes the reader on a journey to empowerment, self-realisation, and spirit.
The Power in Softness: A Guide to Personal Protection and Empowerment for Women
Author: Charly Flower
Question: What inspired you to write The Power in Softness?
Charly Flower: There are a number of things that inspired me to write the book. Firstly, the world has become very "hard". By that I mean that the world has descended into finding every solution to every problem from the outside - if we are unhappy, we buy an object to cheer us up. If we want to feel as if we are successful, we chase money, fame, and material wealth. We have lost the ability to find root causes of problems from within oursleves. Most of the planet has become hypnotised by "form" - the visible, tangible, and concrete. Because of this, there is less and less awareness of the subtle, and the spiritual. The spiritual is all non-physical life that many people believe in, but it is also the invisible, inner place that exists in all of us. Without that inner place, humanity is incomplete, so it cannot find healthy solutions to individual and global problems. Planetary balance depends on humanity finding balance - if we are inwardly divided and split, then Mother Earth goes down the pan as well. The antidote to this, is to soften. Humanity needs to open to the gentle and subtle if it is to stop the destructive patterns it is currently indulging in, (the destruction of the rain forests, military experimental bombing, the wanton discharge of toxic human waste into the planet's waters, overpopulation, chem trails, to name but a few). The power that softness brings is that it opens people to their real "selfhood". No person is a true human being until they have gone within, to the invisible, and become conscious of who they are. The only way there is through softness - there is nothing else. It is also the sacred feminine principle at work.
Another thing that inspired me to write the book, is that the collective feminine spirit has had a very bad time throughout history: if you were to call most men "soft" in the world today, you would be levelling the very worst insult at them - it isn't "cool" to be soft in a man's world. It is "cool" to be "hard" and softness is vilified and hated by many men - whether consciously, or not. Many women have internalised this mindset as well - we see many female business women, politicians, doctors, lawyers, and others, who proudly wear the "I am hard and tough" badge of honour. It's sad when women do this - I write about this in the book. Ditching softness for hardness is a real mistake because softness holds so much power within it - on every level. I talk about how softness empowers women physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. One of the main messages in the book is that you don't get more "cool" than softness - it is the ultimate power. It is more powerful than anything already here.
Question: Can you talk about the experiences that lead you on this journey?
Charly Flower: I discovered the power in softness from "hardness". What happened was that I, like so many women, hungered for power and respect. I mistakenly thought that by internalising, and living by, masculine values, I would be able to get it. After having trained as a martial artist for 15 years, I decided to become a bouncer. I really wanted to go deeply into reacting to things like a man. I wanted to test myself by putting myself into violent situations. I also wanted to use force to deal with danger so while I was on the doors, I also became a bodybuilder. I think in my second or third year on the doors, (nightclubs and bars in London), things just weren't panning out the way I'd hoped. While I did manage to keep myself from getting "sliced and diced", (I did get punched and kicked on numerous occasions, though), I began to realise that something inwardly was emerging. One night, I was so flaked out and exhausted from physically and verbally fighting with violent clubbers, that I ran out of energy. I was suddenly thrown into real and serious danger with absolutely nothing left in the tank. I was being forced into finding another way of dealing with all violence - softness. I very quickly realised that I could use softness in every way - physically, verbally, and energetically.
Question: What will The Power in Softness teach women?
Charly Flower: The Power in Softness can teach women many things, on many levels. Firstly, it can show women who are still in a "violence loop", (that means women who are victims of violence, or actively seeking it), that it is always possible to defend themselves physically using softness - I give information and guidance as to how to do this. At the beginning of the book, I cover personal protection in Club Land, and on the street. This information is for women who feel that because they are women, they have no chance of protecting themselves against a physical attack from a man. I show over and over how this is simply not the case. I also offer guidance to women who choose to perpetrate violence. I then go on to teach women the power that can come to them by using softness inwardly - I talk about inner traps, (ego, control, pride, and being uncertain), and how softness can help them transcend these. I also talk about assertiveness, boundaries isues, and how to learn to read potentially dangerous situations - body language, verbal cues, and the power of speech are all covered. These are some of the practical aspects of personal protection that are possible using softness.
I then move onto the subtle, invisible level, and teach women about energy, perception, and the true meaning of power. It is at this point that I begin to talk about the feminine - what it is, and what it can do. Few women really know how far softness can take them - it can lead them all the way to connection to spirit, self-worth, and inner balance. So the book teaches women that softness can help them defend against physical attack, it can open them up the world of the subtle and unobvious, and it can lead them to a connection to spirit. My hope is that women reading the book will also start to really see what power-houses they already are. The collective female spirit has been badly wounded over time, and their power has been stolen - the book offers women a way to get that lost power back.
Question: Can you please share some of your tips of personal protection for women?
Charly Flower: One of the best personal protection tips I can give women is to become aware. That means use your eyes, listen, and watch things around you - closely. One of the things that always amazed me while working as a bouncer in some of the roughest nightclubs, was that people never seemed to really notice anything. I would look on from a distance and watch danger quickly closing in on them, but virtually no one ever saw it coming. Another personal safety tip is learn to listen to your body. Your gut is your "first" brain - not your second - so trust it. If you are out on the street, or clubbing, always take time to register what your gut, instinct, or intuition is telling you. Whatever information is coming from there will nearly always be right - if it isn't, you haven't lost anything.
Interview by Brooke Hunter