Thursday, May 24, 2007

Just say 'neither'

I was at a luncheon meeting the other day. The Melinda Henneberger, author of the book, "If They Only Listened to Us: What Women Voters Want Politicians to Hear." She had interviewed women across the country. She highlighted some of the surprises she found--the number one being that the so-called 'security moms'--those who voted for George Bush because of their fears about terrorists attacking our country did not turn out to be a big factor that women expressed anywhere in the country. But the gist of her book is looking at how the woman vote is largely discounted because politicians really don't care or think it is necessary since a large majority of women do not vote!

A lively discussion ensued until time ran out and it was time to pack up and head back to work. As I was gathering my things, I turned around to speak to a woman I know and she introduced me to her friend. Both of them are in their early 30's, building careers and contemplating their role as women in our society. I was amazed to hear them share how frustrated they are! As one of them said, "Our grandmothers were stuck in the kitchen and had no options, our mothers abandoned the kitchen, opened all options as they trotted off to work to break the glass ceiling! We were told we could have it all but find ourselves confused because while our moms are great women and have done tremendous things--the truth is, we were latchkey kids who didn't have our mothers around when we wanted them--and we don't want to do this to our children! So, we're trying to figure out how to do both--be a stay at home mom that ends up a CEO!"

We didn't have much time to chat beyond this--though one of the women is well versed in Life Puzzle and the best I could share in that short time-line was to remind her that the either/or linear world we're used to (the 0-5 reactive/unconscious/maintain status quo) is what she's talking about. It is the courage to jump to 6-10, proactive, conscious, create your own way that holds the future. In short....just say neither!

It isn't about superwoman or diaperwoman....Its about redefining for your SELF what works for you and having the guts to listen to your own inner voice. Yes, this will come in conflict with the current either/or picture that is constantly painted for us by the media, schools, etc. But it i s the only option--the courage to say 'neither' and create your own life the way you want.

Life Puzzle provides a framework to use as you ask your SELF--what do I want my life to be? Since we graduate from high school or college with very little knowledge of how to fill in most of the 16 core areas--it is what makes it so easy then to slip into the 'do what everyone else is doing pattern'....the very pattern my friend above is currently stuck in! We all get stuck in it--unless somewhere along the way we have the wherewithal to 'just say neither' and make our own.

There's no rule on this planet that says you have to follow the masses. If you too waiver between the either/or (superwoman vs. stay at home mom), take a moment to explore what your life would look like if you truly made your own choices--and created a lifestyle that met your needs, your families needs and then ask your I have the courage to just say neither and do this instead?!