Creating room for the feminine
I have worked for close to three decades in the business world, when I started in the mid-eighties, I was given messages that I needed to work twice as hard to stand out from the men around me. I was told to emulate the successful men around me, work harder, achieve more that is what would bring success in the business world. I remember in those early years having a female executive in the company I was working for at that time, she had seen promise in me, she had taken me under her wing, she was providing me guidance.
One day she asked me to lunch, we went to a members-only club that the company belonged to where the executives could “lunch,” that club only a year or so earlier had been for men only. I remember feeling privileged to even be invited to lunch let alone be going into such a place of leaders. Over lunch, she told me how impressed she was with my dedication to my work, working in the office most nights to 8 or 9pm. She told me that that was what was needed if I as a woman was going to get noticed.
It was during this same lunch that she asked for my confidence, she needed to speak about something so very personal and she had no one she could talk to about it. You see she was happily married and had just found out that she was pregnant. I offered my congratulations thinking that this was the announcement of something joyous, but that wasn’t really what she needed to talk about she needed to talk about the excruciating choice she felt she had to make to end the pregnancy. You see for her she had worked so hard to get to her executive level working every night and every weekend, she just knew in her heart that if word got out that she was pregnant her career path and her expected next promotion would end then and there. What a painful choice to feel like you have to make, to have to choose between your career and having a family.
In those days, those were the messages we received as women. Be more man like, work harder, be better than everyone around you to make up for the fact that you were born female. Don’t say or do anything that would be an obvious reminder that you indeed are a woman.
Now, yes, we have come a long way since then but in so many subtle and not so subtle ways this disparity between men and women continues. Women continue to be asked to do more just to earn less but attain the same levels as men.
I have spent decades in this business world, working long days, nights, weekends, to the point of exhaustion. I have worked in situations where I didn’t feel like I could refer to myself as a wife or mother because that might mean that I had responsibilities that I would prioritize ahead of my work.
Basically, the whole message that we are given as women is still that we have to be the same as men to achieve and whatever we do, don’t make it obvious that we are in fact women. We are not encouraged to be in our feminine, we are not encouraged to be in touch with our emotions and definitely don’t even think about using the word intuition.
I have a career spanning over two decades managing large corporate initiatives with a very high degree of success and a colleague asked me one time, how I do what I do so successfully, he told me that I should put together a course and teach others how to do what I do. You see the thing is, the thing I couldn’t say to him, is that I give a very large part of the credit for my success to my intuitive process. Being good at doing what I do is in large part dependent on looking for the things that could go wrong and being prepared for them if they do, that is by its very nature a very feminine process. It requires observation, perspective and yes, intuition, all skills that totally come from my feminine but if I said that in a corporate setting, well I am just going to say that I don’t think that it would be received in the same way as if I put my masculine hat on and transcribe that process into step-by-step actions that can be taken, repeated and expected to have an accurate result every time (which of course they won’t, that is not how the feminine works).
For decades I have functioned in this masculine space and struggled to stay connected to my feminine, to realize the ways that I was masking it or keeping it under wraps. As I have created some spaciousness in my work, I have begun to notice that it is in this very space that those feminine gifts will blossom. The feminine requires slowness, awareness, the feminine requires listening, listening to those subtle messages from the inside.
What if we lived in a world where these skills and gifts, the skills and gifts of the feminine were just as highly valued as those skills and gifts of the masculine. What if we lived in a world where women were encouraged to connect to their gifts and bring those gifts to the boardroom table, the negotiating table even the halls of government. What if we lived in a world that wasn’t looking for us to all become the same but to encourage our uniqueness. What if we lived in a world where we as women could blossom in our feminine without fear, fear of disrespect or even worse, fear of harm.
If you are feeling disconnected from your feminine and would like to meet that part of you, I invite you to attend my free Meet Your Goddess experience, we will be diving in and getting you back in touch with that powerful feminine nature that lives within you. Click here to register.
If you know this is a topic that you need to dive deep into, check out my 12-week course Free the Goddess! Each week we will get into deep relationship with your feminine. Click here to register.
This is so very true to my own experiences in Corporate life. Hopefully we are paving the way for others to stand on our shoulders and thrive by being who they truly are!!
Well said Renee!!! Blessings, Catherine