I grew up in the 60’s when there were still really strict constructs for how women should behave and what our roles should be. Outside the box thinkers were discouraged. We were not supposed to be critical thinkers and ask too many questions. In fact, many families told us flat out that we should concentrate on being married and having children. “Be a homemaker,” was often heard. OR we were encouraged to become nurses, secretaries and teachers. When we pushed back or declared our desires to be doctors, lawyers, politicians or entrepreneurs….. things got a little rocky.
Women were also discouraged from doing mechanical things. There was not need to learn about how cars work, drive motorcycles or haul campers. That was what men did. Later in life, this concept would really annoy me when I wanted to get my car fixed or had a mechanical challenge. Often, I was treated like a kid that didn’t need to know how things worked or worse yet, was a victim of “mansplaining”. I was just to take someone’s word for what needed to be done.
So, it is no wonder that today women feel like they are in a quandary. How do they get clear about who they are in life? How do they gain clarity about what ignites them and how they want to show up in the world? How do they learn to put themselves first instead of taking care of everyone else around them often to the point of exhaustion?
Don’t get me wrong. I love being a woman. I love being married and having children AND I am more than those roles. I am an explorer. I am a student of life. I am a healer and a teacher. I am a writer and a speaker. I am interested in how things work and learning new things that take me outside of my comfort zone. Today, I have a marriage that my husband and I created that supports us both in being creative, powerful and successful. We redefined relationship so that it works for us both.
In my life, I have always pushed the envelope and then would wonder what was wrong with me when people, especially intimate relationships or work colleagues, would declare that I, basically, needed to learn my place and stay in it. So, I spent time trying to conform, be liked and validated. I didn’t set good boundaries and didn’t understand that I could say a resounding “no.” I got very good at worrying and becoming super critical of myself. Then, I couldn’t figure out why I felt so fatigued mentally, emotionally and physically.
Today, I am unwilling to play by these rules any longer. I am committed to being my authentic self. I am committed to bringing my voice to the planet. I am committed to stepping up and stepping out on journeys that women have not traditionally traveled. I am committed to assisting women to find their voices and bring their gifts to the planet.
Here is what I learned and how I have changed my life. Maybe these tools will support you in your journey too.
- Put your attention on what you want and take focus off what you don’t want. You don’t have to know how to do everything. Where you put your attention grows.
- Dare to feel your feelings and ask for what you want. Seeking support is a powerful way to grow and invite others into collaboration.
- Become discerning instead of judgmental. Activate your witness and CHOOSE to engage with what serves you and your greatest desires.
- Set strong boundaries. You get to choose how you want to be treated and who you want in your life.
Redefining roles in life and in organizations can create some extraordinary new pathways of expansion and creation. You are an evolutionary being. You should never live inside of a box of limitation.