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Happiness Life Women

Recommended reading to awake the soul and mind

December 12, 2016

Looking to get some reading down time during the holiday period while inspiring the spirit?

Everyone has a few recommendations for books that have helped them on their way throughout life.  I’d like to share mine with you, in order of preference, to give you a shake up and get you thinking.

Reflections on the Art of Living – Joseph Campbell

My definite favourite all time book, you can just browse through this and take from it what you will.  It provides simple stories and essays about life which encourage you to think, question and create change.

Women who run with the Wolves – Clarissa Pinkola Estés

If you’re a women this is the book that enables you to fully explore what it is to be female, in all its facets.  This is one book that should live on your night-stand and is the go-to in times of mediation, trouble and reflection.

The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron

Giving you an inspiration guided journey towards your creativity, I strongly recommend Julia Cameron’s practice of artist dates and morning pages, among other things, to anyone looking to unlock their creativity.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Written by Margaret Atwood, this is something for every woman to ponder.  Atwood’s foresight into the possibilities of the plight of women into the future is chilling.  Published in 1985, she has captured a world which we see in real life in some parts of our world.

The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell

One of my favourite modern day thinkers.  Take from this a range of thing but it gives a great insight into us as tribes, our consumerism, our thinking and what drives us.

He: Understanding Male Psychology – Robert A Johnston

An interesting take from this famed Jungian analyst about the male psyche – definitely a great grounding for understanding a different perspective about men.

I’d love to also hear from you regarding what you’re reading if you’d like to share.

 

 

Happiness Life Women

Recognising the Free Woman

December 7, 2016

You can see free women in all the normal places. They stand out. There’s something about them that seems to sparkle. There is a spring in their step. And I’ll say, they have that ‘glow thing’ happening.

What is a free woman? No, not just single, not just able to traipse wherever they want, whenever they want. Not necessarily wealthy either although we know this helps.

A free woman is a woman in her skin and aware of her space within the world.

She is secure in the person she is and is aware of the potential that still lies ahead. She is aware of her emotions and doesn’t try and control these; she just has them. Her body is hers to do with it what she wants and she’s kinda reconciled herself with all the parts. The knowledge she’s collected over the years have given her inspiration, ideas, sadness and joy. It has changed her, moulded her, locked up her just as much as it has set her free.

She has plans, this free woman, but she in mindful. Her ebb and flow changes but she sits within herself, not judging. It washes over her. She just is. There is not much she can change although when it comes she takes it in hand. It is her responsibility.

Free woman can say yes just as much as she can say no. When she needs to take rest, even if it’s in the middle of the afternoon, she will take it. Able to watch herself, she seeks what is good for her and what is also good for others. Her truth is with her, as is her weakness, her strength and her desire. Free woman has worked hard to sit in her skin. And she lets other take their time as her sisterhood also seek their own version.

Part of the freedom comes with age. So many women say that they hit forty and they suddenly no longer give a shit. They review their reactions, decisions and the responsibilities they took onboard through their children, teenage years, 20’s and 30’s and think, wow. They take all the best bits, the parts that nourished and fed their spirit and it rushed to them in an easier to see package and they grab it and open it up. They say, ‘That is mine.’

What comes with this is completely ‘fresh eyes’. It’s like the rose-coloured glasses are taken off and they are viewing it in a clearer and more succinct way. Her agenda is her own. This new view makes it easier to navigate the places which previously where harder or murkier. The confidence seems to be there. If you need it, even a shred of it on the worst day, it’s within distance. It’s like all the tools are suddenly in the harness that wraps over your shoulders, just beneath your cape. A whole new world to experience like a child reborn.

Getting to free isn’t a thing you find overnight. It’s not something you wake up to.

It doesn’t come with a birthday. It doesn’t’ click in through a dream or a conversation. It is a gradual build of sorting through the collection of how life has been and how we want to be.

It’s getting the little girl of yesteryear to reignite. It’s remembering those times in your head where you imagined what could be possible, what you were going to do next, and then doing it. With or without permission.

Women Work Life Balance

Ask yourself, are you happy?

July 20, 2016

Right now, ask yourself, “Am I happy doing this?”

Step away from what you are doing and in get into the moment.  Look at your surrounds.  Look at what you’ve just been doing.  Consider how you feel in your body.  Think about whether these clothes you wear are sitting right with who you are? Stop in the moment and ask yourself, ‘Am I happy doing this? I am happy with the things I have chosen? Or has it all become a big habit?”

Each morning, and thoughtout the day, I speak to my ‘mirror friend’ over Viber.  We act to show the other perspective on all things.  We talk about all number of matters, and mostly it is very, very funny.  We look at the irony of our forty-something lives, pondering where to find magic, how to manifest everything from a new opportunity to a new place to explore.  There is humour in the exchanges.  Mostly, there is questioning about what we’ve established as the status quo in our lives and whether it fits.

She talks about ‘unstitching’ a lot.  I love the term.  It reminds me to wake up to every moment.  It allows me to jolt into a place where I can move away from something isn’t inherently right for me – a business opportunity, an investment, a working collaboration. Yeah, we talk about the serious things that affect us business-operating women.

But we know that all that effort in the corporate, saddled by the responsibility of looking after our partners and children, requires us to look deeper into the emotional and the spiritual.  It is our daily practice.  We put ourselves in our metaphoric lighthouse, stare out of the highest point and chart a safer course, for us individually.

We were not put on the earth to work for the man.  Our role is not to seek out the dollar.  It is not meant that we worry about a manager. That we think ourselves not good enough.  This tripe is anchored in the negative, the mediocre.  All of us are better than the bottom of the bucket.

So look now.  Make a note of what you like.  Make a note of what you don’t.

Check in on your status quo and see where it needs to change.  A slight change can start a domino effect for the better.

Because routine is the killer of so many things.  It murders opportunity, adventure, intimacy, creativity, inspiration, health and so much more.

Yes, time to stop momentarily and say, ‘Is this the life I want?’  And if not, take a small step towards change.  And find yourself a friend who will journey with you, daily, with humour and irony so the medicine is sweeter and better for you.

Endnote – I wanted to write about this after a lovely Twitter exchange about how LinkedIn has become the place of memes and a place much less serious than its brand attributes had ever meant it.  I suggest that people, through their access to communication, are now questioning the daily grind of work and thinking, ‘What the hell is all of this?’  Yes, I’m all for people following their bliss.  It makes for happy people, happier families and happier generations to come.

Career Uncategorized Women

What real busy looks like: The career of being a single mother

July 20, 2016

Before I had my children my life was full of busy. Busy working on building a career. Busy with a full social life. Busy travelling here and there. It was lovely busy. All that glorious time to self-indulge in whatever I wanted.

I was just busy being busy. I was ticking all the boxes as I moved through my life so when I went to tick the ultra big one, ‘have children’, I had little knowledge as to how busy I was about to get. Naive and sold on the way life goes, that was me. That is many of us.

So I had them, two within 16 months of each other. My life cleaved open to include other things like keep the house for a family, look after babies, be a contributor to the financial resources of married life, be a wife, learn to live on little sleep and keep a business going. I learned what busy really was. It was a shock. Even more so because I was unsupported when this new pile of responsibility landed on my shoulders.

Three years into my hollowed out, lonely and totally exhausted existence it dawned on me that I wasn’t going to come through this well. I got my stuff, what was left of my energy, and I left.

My story is a familiar one. I hear it all the time from women managing their time to within an inch of their lives, guilty because they never seem to get enough done and in a constant flux because of the worries of money, stability for their children and whether the future will keep them safe.

You see, your priorities change. At the top of your tree are these little people who pull at your heart, want your time and most importantly need your love.

The world keeps on going around you though. You need to work and perform. You need to provide the income that feeds, clothes and shelters. There are mortgages or rent, bills, the movies, a new pair of shoes, a birthday present, an excursion, all tugging at the base of your business suit along with a little wide-eyed kid asking for a cuddle.

It’s like moving in two worlds where there is work and family, with a third, the one where you are a woman and need your own space and solace, all vying for attention. All pulling you and asking you to be the best, have it all and still smile.

That all encompassing day, from when you first ask ‘What do you want for your breakfast?’ to the time when everyone is tucked up, fed and bathed, house tidied, when you take off your bra with a sigh of relief and fall into bed thinking that if it’s Thursday then you only have another day of the same and then you can take a break.

It is easy for the weeks to turn into months, into years, without putting your head up. You do it. Because isn’t that what mothers do?

The busy word is something that I think resonates deep into women, whether they are in marriages, partnerships or on their own. Often I will hear it, and have used it myself, as I see the woman doing the weekly shopping, with small kids at her side. One woman will say to the other, ‘I bet they keep you busy.’ They agree, exchange knowing glances and an unspoken respect. They’re in a club. They know that their quest is on hold while they bring these next generation of humans through. It means sacrifice on a number of levels.

For single mums, it often means times of great anxiety, guilt and emotional hardship. But they do it. They rise through it all, energised by smiles, surprises, cards with hand-written scribbles of kind words, achievements, cuddles and mainly love. Because there is no choice. You need to keep going.

I could go on to write about the issues that surround women in general and how having children affects your ability to continue, unhindered, into the bigger and better where career is concerned. But there are better people who have written on the topic.

I just wanted to send something out to the mums who are doing it on their own. There are many and they often aren’t written about let alone considered.

I’m saying hello to you, telling you that you’re doing great and that I respect your journey. And if you’re not one of these women, I bet you know someone who is. Tell them the same and make their day. I bet they’ll really smile at you for doing so, despite them being busy.

Life Women

Dating or considering dating a woman over 40?

April 8, 2014

Some things to consider –

  • You are in her life because she thinks you are great. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • If she asks you for coffee you are going to have a coffee. She is going to check you out in a non-committal situation because, despite you thinking she wants to hang curtains with you, she realises she doesn’t know you and wants to see who you are as a person before committing to going to dinner.
  • She had a life before you and she will have a life during you and she will have a life after you, if it ends. At forty, women have built a life and if she is dating you then you will form part of that wonderful life too.
  • She is dating you because she wants a companion not a father, a boss or an older brother who will tell her what she is doing wrong.
  • She is dating you because she is a vibrant women with a lot to offer. She isn’t dating you because she wants to be your mother.
  • Women over forty have come to realise that age/money/looks are less important than finding someone who thinks she is as special as she thinks she is.
  • If she has children then she is more than likely not going to want any more children but you would have to have that conversation with her. If she has no children she is more than likely not going to want children but you would have to have that conversation with her. And if she does have children it is almost 100% that the kids already have a father and she is simply dating you because she likes you.
  • There is little or no room for playing games. A woman over forty will most likely respect you for you being you.
  • Sometimes a relationship does not have to go to moving in. She may be quite happy for you to have your own place for the next 10 years.
  • Chivalry is not dead, nor are manners or respect, or choosing not to hold the covers over her head if you fart in bed.
  • Dating does not mean joined at the hip there is all the time in the world to catch up. It doesn’t have to be every single day. Like you, she has other things in her life.
  • If you don’t like her the way she is you should date another woman.
  • If you don’t turn up and don’t ring she is old enough to know that you haven’t been killed in an accident and she may well have already deleted your number.

And lastly,

Sometimes a woman over forty just wants a lover and nothing else.