My husband got me the book 50 Shades of Gray for my birthday last fall.
It’s not going to win any literary prizes, but it sure was an, ahem, interesting read.
If you don’t know what it’s about I’ll sum up for you: Sex. Power. Control. Domination. Submission.
You know, just your run-of-the-mill smut story 😉
Now, I consider myself to be pretty worldly, but this was my first introduction into the world of dom-sub relationships. Not my thing personally, but there were were a few passages that really had me tilt my head and go, huh. Like when Christian Gray describes that in the dominant-submissive relationship the sub has all the power and control and it’s all about trust. Interesting.
And how the more vulnerable Anastasia allowed herself to be, the more power and control she had, even as a “submissive.” Really. Huh.
This book got me to thinking a lot about all the talk we hear about in the media (especially the coaching and self- help industry) about the Divine Feminine and women as leaders, and how we have to begin leading in a more “feminine” way and not following the “masculine” or patriarchal, dominant and competitive, ways of leading and/ or building business.
What the heck does that mean?
I’d been asking myself this for months. What does it mean to be a divinely feminine leader? Because it seems like most of the women who are doing that (or at least marketing the whole divinely feminine thing), are the “goddess-types”, long flowing hair, beautiful dresses, expertly done nails and make-up. Or even if they don’t do their nails, they have the hair. 🙂 They are sexy and beautiful in that supermodel sort of way. I kept looking at these role models and thinking, I don’t fit that. I must not be ‘divinely feminine’.
What’s a girl to do?
As I mentioned a couple weeks ago in an article that prior coming out of the Highly Sensitive Person HSP closet (you can read about that here), there was no way I was going to be vulnerable, or sensitive, or even “soft” (read: feminine). I had been approaching life in a take control or you’ll be controlled point of view. It was all about protection, and resistance. My life was about leading from my head instead of deep within my belly, from my core, like I was designed to do. It was ‘safer‘ up there and that’s what I was taught to do to survive. I suppose you could say it was a masculine way of being in the world, but not all men are like that, just as not all women are “girly” and “soft.”
Have I dug myself into a hole of gross generalizations and un-PC comments about gender yet?
Anyway…I started exploring this concept that women get themselves all tied up in knots because they don’t surrender or become vulnerable at all, or on the opposite side of the spectrum, take on anything and everything that life throws their way, with no discernment or “protection” that comes from awareness and choice.
As women, we have the opportunity to lead powerfully, in all areas of our lives. It won’t look like a traditional ‘masculine’ way of being in the world, seeking control or dominance of people, resources, market shares, etc. It calls for something much softer, much more vulnerable, and deeply surrendering – because that is where our power is. Yet it doesn’t mean we have to get tied up and take whatever the people around us are dishing out, or settle for less even when we want more.
It takes the 3 C’s:
Clarity, Courage, & Conviction to untie the knots.
Clarity: Do you know who you are? Do you know what your gifts and genius are, and on the flip-side are you aware of the subconscious patterns that are running under the surface and affecting everything that you do (your design challenges as I call them.) Are you able to see these gifts and ‘challenges’ clearly and without judgement or comparison to others?
Courage: Do you have the courage to look people in the eye and ask for what you want? Do you have the courage to say “This just isn’t working for me”, or “I need this to happen” and trust that even if your mind is rationalizing all the pros and cons, you have the courage to do what’s right for you (and others) without second-guessing yourself?
Conviction: Do you have the conviction that you are worth more than what you’ve settled for, both within yourself and in your world of relationships, work, money, etc.? Do you believe in yourself, in your abilities, your gifts, your unique way of seeing the world, and that you are a valuable contribution to the whole? Do you trust that the world won’t fall apart if you really ask for what you want – and that your voice matters?
I’m giving a training on this topic next Friday, Jan. 10th at 9am PST. Join me. I’ll keep it as smut-free as I can (OK, maybe just a little smut, after all most of us (70%) have our sacral or sex-center defined which means we have access to raw, sometimes sexual, life-force energy all the time. Learning how to harness that energy and lead from our body, from our sensitivity, not our head is what being a Highly Sensitive Leader is all about.
From My Heart to Yours,