Holiday in Spain
Having just returned from 7 days of sunshine in Spain, relaxing and switching off, I recognize the power within that I have mis-used lately by pushing myself too hard. I was staying too much in my head and not ‘thinking’ about my heart.
I recognized that if I care to notice what is happening within my whole body, and not just my physical being, I would be rather scared to see how out of control I am in my inner world! For all of us, our minds, hearts and spirits mesh together within our body structure; we are indeed created perfectly yet we abuse our own source of power every day by staying in our heads too much…and so we can damage not just our own bodies but all those we impact day to day…and ultimately everyone in our world.
My passion is to enable people to see, feel, hear and understand their natural self – their natural talent, wisdom and courage – to be all that they are, everyday, the ‘star’ that they are born to be. Yet I have not walked my talk. A bit of self-indulgence would do me no harm and indeed a lot of good. My week in Spain allowed me to get out of my head and into my heart. Watching my grandchildren of 2½ and 4 months allowed me time to see that core perfection we are all born with, the growth in those young months and years, the simplicity of children’s laughter and the delight of tiny steps. My heart started feeling and my mind took a self-indulgent rest. I reviewed my own progress alongside theirs.
My year has progressed well. I honoured the childlike excitement at the many opportunities that have arisen this year, and my choice to do that which I am attracted to; to revamp my own core business Corporate Heart; get involved with Magical Conversations with senior level movers and shakers so transformation can be accelerated across the UK corporate world; and interview top women about their own challenges in the world of work; I had forgotten as a single woman, in her sixties, that however motivated and energetic I am, I am also not superwoman!
My ability to draw on my higher energies, override physical and mental exhaustion and deliver inspirational impact to my clients and influencing circles is simply not realistic without breaks. I realized what I already knew but had forgotten, i.e. that pressure needs to be counter with a sensible sustainability strategy for life and re-balancing of the work overload that we take on as women. We need to be self indulgent on occasions!
Balance in our lives
Our ability to self indulge is key to a balanced and fulfilled life and success…permeating ever pore of our existence. We are human beings – not human doings! We need to care for the ‘body’ we have been given and be grateful for the amazing combination of interlinked and meshed pieces, many millions of atoms set to our personal dial.
Women under pressure
To keep up with success, women often feel they need to work at pressures which are unrealistic to our maximum female ‘healthy’ potential output. Men do work too hard too but, over 2 centuries they have designed a plan for work that is not made for women, men do have more physical strength and a single minded, task-focused capability born into them. It’s actually a simple equation. 24/7 global business has been designed for men. Yet we need workers to work globally and locally, men and women, and have families, responsibilities for elderly relatives, social lives, community tasks and a life other than work! Women want to pay more attention to these aspects and see ‘life’ and work intricately meshed. Many men don’t. They have a reasonable thinking ability to separate ‘life’ from work even when they have caring responsible natures, they work in different ways,
Now here goes my logical head again… it’s a ‘no brainer’, as they say, to look after our assets. We’ve heard it so many times; invest in our people, our finest assets yet business has set a plan for women to fail, not because they are weak or incapable, but because business is still mainly task focused, achievement-orientated, measured, male-operated version of work! Business doesn’t value the huge natural value of women both in business, economically, and in life, economically. Women perform many caring ‘tasks’ that never get factored into the bottom line.
Of course, many women have entered the world of work and coped with the pressure and are fantastic business achievers. But not enough in pure numbers to be an influence to change the nature of business. Many have sacrificed their life in terms of families and happiness to do so. On the practical level, the facts speak for themselves – and companies are challenged to retain women at senior levels. Attracting and keeping women into higher levels of business is not a ‘nice to have’ –it’s a business case for our economic and social survival. At an emotional level, the world needs to address the balance of needs from both men and women. Do read Avivah Wittenberg-Cox’s new book “How Women mean Business” for the latest facts on who’s doing the best.
The UN vote for WOMEN
At last, and at a world level, we have the UN recognizing that around the world women are marginalized not only in underdeveloped countries but also in developed countries where we still don’t see women represented proportionally in business boardrooms or political fields. The UN will commence an agency for Women in January. I am delighted – althought I hope the reality is seriously active and able to radically shift the way we run the world together.
So how will this affect us all? I hope it’s another major step in the journey I am on to bring men and women to a deeper and more valuable understanding of our individual and collective human needs over purely wealth creation for the sake of stock piling fortunes into the hands of a few.
A man said to me “if the wealth of the world was in the hands of women, we would have no poverty” because women feed their babies, women care for life itself. Women bring a new understanding and rationale to business and life combined. We need to begin those magical conversations now to ensure that we don’t just do more of the old male ways. The new way is ‘and and’ male and female, masculine and feminine, the balance that we see in nature brought into our fiscal and social existence.
So maybe this is time for the world to be self-indulgent as I was taking a sunshine holiday, to congratulate ourselves on the awareness now growing strongly that women matter. I believe this is a world issue not a woman issue. Women do not want to do this on their own, even though they could. Because women value life they know it is together that the world works best.
Be self indulgent in your own life and see the pace at which your ‘body’ works. This does not mean the same thing to each person; gender, age, disability and natural health conditions make a difference. Our natural pace is not the same …and when it comes to men and women, the pace is different by nature and inclination!
The last 60 years
Women facing the male world of business over the last 60 years have recognized limitations when motherhood and caring have been a choice; either chosen by them; created accidentally; or brutally forced on them. The male world of work does not yet truly provide for this vital nurturing role as part of the economic planning process. We are beset by rules and regulations, grievance and harassment cases, that strangle business. Women see life as part of everything and so as they set up business they make choices that work for them. I see the great strength of combining male and female natures into a new way of business.
What if – business was not first and foremost about making money – but about providing a relevant income for all that sustained the whole. This is much of the substance of social enterprise which many women favour as a model of business. If money was not our core driver but purely another output then our success criteria might shift too. There are many ways of creating a new business model and we don’t yet have it right – however at least if we get round the table and converse to find common ground so magic can happen.
In searching for the new ways, we can also draw on our experiences and those of others, wise men and women. We don’t need to abandon the old, even if we explore forward rather than past. We can also draw on nature and learn to be self indulgent, take time out to look at ourselves in new ways. Not to be someone we aren’t but actually to discover we have everything we need to know right here, right now – in our bodies, our hearts, our minds and our souls!
Take time out to think from your heart today!