The Becoming a Better Woman Challenge
Four years ago, I was trying so hard to be better man. To show that I could do business the man’s way. To push for my seat at the table, to be assertive, to stand up and be heard, to insist, to persist, to fight. I was a corporate marketer, I travelled the world, I argued like a boss and I was always just a little bit angry.
But I was tired.
I was finding it hard to stay motivated – I was finding it hard to always be excited about something when the switch was always turned to ON.
Of course, this wasn’t my career’s fault per se. It was my 112% commitment to it that was the problem. I didn’t have any hobbies or extra-curricular activities because I considered them frivolous and a distraction from the main money-making event.
I was stuck on the mouse wheel, believing, bleeding, bleating the mantra “Time is money, Time is money, Time is money.”
But, time was running out. Pushing 40, a kid on the way, and I still didn’t know who I really was outside of what I did for a living.
And who was I outside of my job?
Blank, blank, blankety blank.
That was too hard to answer. So I framed it differently. What was I interested in, what was I good at, and what did I do outside of my job? I answered:
- I was good at asking a lot of questions.
- I liked crafting a different point of view.
- I was interested in how women created their own work.
Click clock. The cogs started to turn.
I wondered…Could I combine these three areas with my desire to discover a better way of living, a life more wild for myself? A life I didn’t need to learn about through an expensive course? A life that was already innately in me, simply because I am a woman, learning to identify as a woman, choosing to be a woman?
I started a blog and I started interviewing inspirational women leading imaginative lives – I started Empress Crow and Rabbit in my quest to learn how to become a better woman.
I interviewed the women whose work I was curious about – work I didn’t know was even possible as a career choice. I interviewed a Birth Attendant, an Incense Alchemist, a Priestess, a Shaman, a Mothering Mentor. I interviewed a World Traveller who moonlights as a Chairwoman on a board, and I interviewed a woman who survived domestic abuse of the most brutal kind, culminating in her ex-partner chopping off her hands with a samurai sword. What does she do now? Well, she’s a Spiritual Counsellor of course – because who else can you trust to show you the way out of hell, than a woman who already has a line out of there?
These are the careers we don’t hear about at University, at Tafe, at Business School – not even at high school. But they exist because these women exist. I’m learning that there are as many potential vocations as there are women.
I’m learning that women are awesome because they can be mothers, wives, daughters – all roles that support other people. But you know what? Women can be awesome and creative in entrepreneurship too. Women are awesome because they are awesome. Period. And yes, sometimes, because they have their period.
And you betcha, no-one can multi-task and get shit done like an entrepreneur mum!
I found all these women who were doing business the feminine way, the creative way, their way. These women made their homes beautiful, they were committed to being outside in nature, and they made time to really be in their own skin.
They had learned how to sometimes turn the switch to OFF. To say yes to themselves, to ask for help, to recharge, to re-evaluate and to rest – and by doing so, create something more wondrous.
Instead of the mantra Time is Money, they had learned that Time is Art (thank you Rachel Razelle!) and a pleasant side-effect of creating something that was authentically theirs, led to so many unexpected riches. Not only were they leading a life where they could support themselves, but it was a life more authentic, a life more beautiful, a life more wild.
So, here’s my challenge to myself in becoming a better woman.
Even when I’m thinking: “I’m not creative enough! I don’t have enough money! Everyone else is already doing what I want to do!” Or that persistent thorn in my side, stone-in-my-stiletto, “I don’t know where to start!”
I choose to keep on keeping on with my new mantra. “I am enough, my voice is needed, the money is coming.”
And I can still choose to keep on worrying excessively about all the How To Start questions… or I can stop, take a breath, and listen to what my intuition is telling me.
“Just by leaning more into my womanhood, I have in fact, already started.”
Womb-Centred Leadership Coach
In 2016, after nearly 2 decades working in corporate, I created Empress Crow and Rabbit. Designed to celebrate the cycles (lunar, menstrual + seasonal) I also loved interviewing imaginative women in inspirational careers. Now, I'm a Life Coach + I support Corporate Wonder Women just like you, to explore + harness your own Womb-Centred Leadership. When a client discovers her Power Days + plays to her strengths on these days, her corporate life + home life transform. She is more productive, more inspirational, more creative + more rested. Yup. All of it.
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Photo credit: Lucy Spartalis