"Since they are especially skilled in nurturing compassion and human values, we need women to take the lead in creating a more compassionate society." said the Dalai Llama in honour of International Women's Day. In other words - it's up to us to try and change the world.
Mmm. Are we talking about the same women? After all, I'm one of them.
One who's been known to spend 20 minutes ransacking the house for her mobile phone, cursing like a sailor, while she was talking on it?
One who'll snap at her husband, growl at her children and upset cause chaos for her colleagues, all the while internally berating herself in the cruelest of terms.
If you can relate to the deep desire to create change - and at the same time, sometimes struggle to keep it all together day to day - you're not alone. But let's start with the good news, shall we?
Women are ready to change the world
Around the world right now intelligent, capable women sense that something is afoot.
There’s a shift occurring. Slowly, imperceptibly, but undeniably.
We, and you, are at the center of it.
And I believe the balance of power is shifting.
In the corporate world, the calling for greater equality and diversity on boards is growing louder by the year. (It doesn't hurt that all the evidence points to greater equality leading to greater profits)
This shifting of the balance of power is occurring not only in the business world. It's echoed among spiritual communities too. His Holiness The Dalai Lama proclaimed at the Vancouver Peace summit, somewhat controversially, “The Western Woman Will Save The World”. That was one of the quotes that personally inspired me to step up and be part of this movement for change.
Even the world’s richest investor, Warren Buffet, has said that women in leadership are the key to rectifying the economic crises we face.
Around the world, across all areas of life women are coming to the fore.
And yet something can often get in the way of our deep desire for change. If you instinctively feel that you want to be part of creating a fairer, more sustainable world where women can thrive, but are not sure why it feels so hard to get there, you're in the right place.
Because there's another side to being a woman
The side that feels like we’ve never quite got it together.
With the demands of the 10am meeting, the school run, the birthday lunch, the merger and last night’s argument to deal with… who has time to find their mobile phone, let alone step up and create massive societal change?
We're caught in a place where we are feeling called to give more. But with no spare time to give it.
And so often, when it comes to our desire to change the world? We find ourselves derailed by the emotions we're struggling to keep down.
After all, there's no time for tears over the fate of the planet when there's a community group to rally.
We can't afford to reflect on that special moment with our partner when the team expect answers on our new strategy.
If we started really thinking about the difference we want to make, we'd never be able to turn our deep feelings into action...
...or would we?
Today I want to share a really critical thing I've learned when it comes to creating big change.
It lies at the heart of the biggest dilemma many of us face:
When it comes to our own needs and feelings... we tell ourselves they're just a 'distraction' from the 'real work' of changing the world.
In fact, the opposite is true.
In my experience -- and the experience of our hundreds of Certified Women's Coaches and their clients around the world -- our real power comes when we stop avoiding our feelings, and start tapping into their potential.
It's only when we open up to experiencing our emotions that we finally discover the power that was there all along.
Your power to change the world lies in your capacity to feel
I’m not talking about aggressive, blast through barriers, power.
I’m talking about soft power. The power that is inherently female.
We can be daughter, mother, wife, efficient colleague, family social club captain, and chief homework tutor simultaneously.
But it’s going to take a shift in focus, and a shift in behavior for us to create the change we want to see in the world.
It’s going to take working together in a way that feels new and sometimes uncomfortable, because of the “achievement and competition” culture we have been educated in.
It’s going to take getting straight with yourself and others about what you need, and what you can give.
And most of all, it's going to take the courage to open up to all of those feelings and emotions that our culture tells us are 'silly' or 'distracting' or 'unprofessional'... and discover the power that lies within.
Change the world AND feel... all of it
This commitment to embracing and learning from our emotions is radical stuff.
For the first ten years of my coaching career, all the training I received essentially told me that emotions were simply problems to be 'let go of'. I think it's that approach that has left even the wisest, most emotionally intelligent women among us fundamentally afraid of our feelings -- convinced that if we take the lid off and let them out, they'll leave us unable to function.
But at One of many, we do things differently.
Our coaches are trained to support their clients, bot women and men, to come back into rapport with their emotions. To trust their anger, and their righteous rage, and their joy and their fear and their pleasure. And to use them as sources of incredible energy and purpose when it comes to creating change.
I was reading to my son a few nights ago, and the particular book we'd chosen was a really tender one. Really moving. At one point, I found myself so emotional I couldn't read without welling up, and I told him I'd have to stop.
That's when he told me something really, incredibly profound.
He told me:
‘Mummy, you can read it. You just need to cry as well.’
And that's what I want to share with you today.
You can do it, the thing you want to do.
You can have an impact, you can create change, your actions matter.
You just need to feel the feelings too. Recognise you’re a human being -- an emotional being -- and you need to find space in your life to have those feelings.
Rather than distracting you, you might find they become the source of your greatest power.
My thoughts are just One of many. So I’m interested in yours.
You see, we believe no one woman has all the answers. We all have our unique strengths and perspectives to share.
We see ourselves as a platform for the sharing of wisdom. A platform that was once as simple, and informal, as the preparation of the communal meal for the tribe, an age ago.
Let’s reinvigorate the community, using the magic of technology to transcend the distance between us… and we might make some magic!
It’s one of many things that happens when women get together.
We believe real leadership is less about skill, and more about having a well of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual strength to draw on. Every week we support thousands of grassroots leaders globally with our free articles, videos and online trainings with powerful tools and methodologies created BY women FOR women.
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