Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique..and the 'mother' of the feminist movement died last week at the age of 85. I was reading several stories about her incredible life. What struck me was a sentence where she was quoted as saying that in the 1950's, women were expanding their view of themselves beyond being homebound mothers and asking the question "Is this all there is?" as they began the march into the workplace.
The irony of all this is that sentence, "Is this all there is?" was repeated 20-30 years later as women began walking OUT of the workplace! So, if we're not happy at home and we're not happy in the workplace, what's the solution? This was the very question that helped create the Life Puzzle model and my belief that we need to redefine 'happy' as not some role (mother, co-worker) that we perform! Instead, those roles fit into a life we create that honors the 'whole' life--physical, emotional, thinking, sexual and spiritual SELF.
If you start from the premise that you didn't come to this planet simply to fulfill a role--worker bee or supermom, but instead you came to live, learn, love and leave a legacy--as you create your life, you do it from an interconnected knowing of SELF--this includes the 16 core areas, 5 edges that create the SELF. This is a life-long learning model but it also helps you make every 'choice' relative to an awareness of all the dimensions--physical, emotional, thinking, sexual and spiritual SELF vs. the one-dimensional focus of 'what do you do?"
And we need to realize this isn't just about women--this is about men too. While men never went through the "Is this all there is--as a stay at home mom phase"...I definitely hear men asking that question about the work place! And what's harder on men is that they can't usually retreat back to the home! Our culture insists they stay in their jobs for life!
So to everyone who asks "Is this all there is?" as they ponder their roles at work or home, and to Betty Friedan, may she rest in peace, I would say, No...there's so much more! But to find it starts with Self-responsibility--you have to have the guts to step out, stop expecting the 'systems' to provide you with the solution. Instead, go out and create your own. The Life Puzzle model is a framework for doing this--build the 5 edges and discover a strong SELF, then learn the information you'll need to fill in these pieces (and you can do this through the on-line learning center) and you'll discover how much more you are and can be, beyond the roles of mother or worker!