If you’re anything like I was in my career, if I wasn’t feeling seen, I’d get angry. Angry at ‘them’ who weren’t listening, but also angry at me for not pushing myself ‘out there’ into the limelight, to get my voice heard or to ask that really edgy question which comes to you just as the Q&A finishes! This has always been fuel for Wanda, my inner critic who for some reason has a New Jersey accent and a vicious tongue. She has no compunction to say the most outrageous things to me, far more scathing than I would ever dream of addressing anyone else.
For most of my career I worked in masculine-dominated industries, and at times it was a lonely space being the only woman; the unicorn within a herd of horses! To be seen, but not feeling I had a voice. To be present, but not taken seriously. I also stood out when my children were ill, as being the only mother at work, I was the parent within my workplace who responded to childcare issues.
The pressure I put myself under was phenomenal. That burden of double edged guilt that often accompanies being a working mother in a job you love. Guilt that I wasn’t fulfilling my job role, and then turning that guilt onto myself. How could I possibly feel that much remorse around impacting my work when I just wanted to care for my children who I loved so much? Thankfully, 30 years on, the work place environment has evolved. We now have more tolerance around childcare arrangements, and there are far more women represented in construction, waste and manufacturing, where I gained the majority of my experience. I’m sure I’m not alone in the guilt arena though – right?
Thankfully, I too am not the same person I was back then. As my career developed I experienced a lot of women who were embracing the masculine side of their persona, to be pushy, shoulder-pad-wearing divas, who ‘took on’ the men and worked hard to prove themselves and shine. I too had a pair of “Don’t f**k with me trousers” which would come out of the wardrobe, especially if I was feeling unheard. I was driven, exacting and would be surprised when people, especially men, found me a bit intimidating, as that was not who I was inside. There was a disconnect which I couldn’t unite. I was pushing people away, when really all I wanted was to feel cherished, valued and respected. The more I tried, the larger the gap inside of me widened.
We spend so much time being ‘Human Doings’ rushing around trying to fix things and get things to go our way. We push and hustle to create a life that we think we need – a faster or bigger car, new shoes, designer handbags, yes I’ve been there too, but when we sit and allow ourselves to be Human Beings, and listen to who we really are, and what we really want, that’s when things can change and life feels much easier.
What I have learnt is that feminine energy has so much to offer. The Divine feminine is inside all of us – yes even you men! It’s part of our ying/yang. Where the masculine is all about the doing and making things happen, the feminine is the side of us that enables us to reflect, to nurture and allow things to integrate and embody. Now I have so much more confidence, I have learnt to ‘allow’ things to develop, to listen to the spirit of my heart and take actions rather than feel beaten up by Wanda, who has quietened to a whisper, even if she still has a bit of a ‘drawl’!
We can do so much to protect and be kind to ourselves and preserve our mental health. I have learnt so many valuable lessons on my journey and you can too. One of these is that the cool kids eat spinach – I just needed to embrace it and be ME!
If any of this resonates with you, then book a coffee and connect and let’s see if I can help you to tune down your inner Wanda and get you living a life you know is there too.
Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or book onto my calendar and choose. Coffee and connect