Last week I talked about how women have really had to disconnect from their feminine aspect in order to be successful in their corporate careers. I got some feedback from a good guy friend who did not see it or understand it. So I thought I would elaborate.
I told him, that more often than not, it might not be as blatant as sexual harassment or outright discrimination, but that it was often more subtle. And when I explained the similarities in how even men are treated, he started to see my point. But back to the women for a second; and before I go any further I do want to say that I had two women I worked for who were mentors early on in my career and they led from both a feminine and spiritual perspective and without them I would probably not be where I am today. They actually introduced me to some spiritual principles that really led me to my deeper spiritual work and to, ultimately, leave.
But in the meantime, I can recall two different pieces of advice from other female bosses. One told me I should really tone it down and not be so intense, granted this was at a time when my own energy was very masculine, but interestingly none of the men I worked with or for had a problem with it. They respected me for my no bullshit way of communicating and getting things done. This set up a soul agreement that I was too intense for most women and that I was not warm or nurturing enough to teach and lead them in spiritual work. It has taken me a long time to release that and come to the realization that I am enough. That I am not intense, I am passionate, and that humans are a spiritual paradox.
I can be both intense and nurturing!
In fact, it is my nurturing side that brings the passion and intensity for standing up and speaking out when I see people marginalized.
Another boss, a female again told me I was not getting promoted because I
Suffered from Competency!
Essentially saying that because I did the job I was there to do and I did it well, that I would be held in that position because I did not just tow the company line. In fact, it was my job to do just the opposite, to come up with groundbreaking ways to do things differently, treat people differently, open them up to utilize their gifts, but that was not always popular. So this set me up to believe the lie that the better I did my job, I would not succeed unless I followed all the rules.
These may seem like small and subtle things, and they most certainly are compared to sexual harassment, pay inequality, or for women around the world who are not allowed to drive or to work. But these little things do form the agreements that we move forward in life with, they give a loud voice to the inner critic. That voice that fills your head with lies, and when you choose to leave that environment it does not immediately go away unless you do the work to release it. If you don’t it begins to carry over into whatever you are transitioning to. A new business venture, motherhood, and just being comfortable in your own skin.
Next week we will discuss techniques for bringing feminine energy back into your life whether you are starting a new chapter or if you are remaining in corporate but want to embrace your feminine side and lead from that place.