I had the privilege of attending a Women’s Forum a few weeks back and I’ve been contemplating some of the content these last few weeks.
There were many questions posed as to why females don’t take on more political roles or roles of influence, what are their needs? And how can we entice them to participate in associations? etc, etc.
There were a few males there (a total of five) and whilst at no point were speakers derogatory towards males, there was a definite angst that men simply don’t ‘GET’ women. There was a common theme that women’s roles and their needs are rarely understood by males.
As I now ponder the many hats that I wear as a wife, mother, author, business owner and home manager, (and each of the subcategories that come underneath and with each of these roles), I am reminded how most women juggle a multitude of tasks. In fact, how women have juggled their individual hats without recognition for decades. This concept, at times, helps me to stay grounded and realise that I’m not the only mother tired of stacking the dishwasher, planning meals etc.
In previous decades male and female roles were very clearly defined.
With the rise of the ‘sensitive male’, many families share some of these roles. I have been blessed to be raised by a father (now in his 70’s) who, as far back as I can remember, would do the dishes and make the bed. If dinner wasn’t on the table though, that was another matter and he would pout as he drove off to buy us all take-away.
Simon was one of five boys and was raised dutifully following orders from his mother and eldest sister. So I have had no personal fuel to be a husband basher. I am not naïve however, to the lives of girlfriends where ethnic culture lingers loud and clear.
There are times when I certainly wish Simon would help out more, just as there are times when I am sure he wishes I would finish off the BAS statement. While we clearly ‘job-share’, it is natural that responsibilities come down to one individual at times. With each discussion Simon and I have about job equality, I realize all the solutions we create arise through clear communication. Sometimes I think adults forget to voice their needs and just expect their partner to know what they really want. If we can re-learn the art of active listening we can often move through pain or anger quite quickly and then skillfully orchestrate solutions.
What I am realizing as I grapple with becoming a mature adult (sometimes I just want to remain a moody teenager) is that;
The more I acknowledge Simon and the hats he wears, the more he acknowledges mine,
The more I verbalize my gratitude for his support, the more he seems to offer praise,
The more I focus on his strengths (rather than his weakness’s) the easier it is to stay in gratitude for all that he offers my life.
I know without a shadow of a doubt, I would not be where I am today without his unshakeable belief in me.
I find when girlfriends get together there is an inclination to whinge about our husbands and the old saying of “you become like those who you surround yourself with” is very true here. When we constantly live with anger and resentment we become blinded to the possibility of being compassionate. The chores of managing young people are unrelenting, as are parental issues, but life is never perfect.
Simon and I decided a long time ago that at the end of the day rather than unconsciously battling about who had had the tougher day and moving into “victimhood”, we decided to focus on sharing the delights of the day. All the things that had made us laugh or kept us grateful, by thus reflecting on the small moments that had stirred our souls, we’d refuel our hearts.
If there are nights where we draw a blank about the delights, then we try to be gentle with each other and tune-in a little more.
So perhaps it is not our roles that really define us, nor our work.
Perhaps it’s the art of remembering that we are mortal souls and that the only time is now. There is no certainty in life, our world can change in an instant. Who wants to waste precious time by not communicating clearly or loving fully? Who wants to parent absently – clinging to hidden resentments, when we can simply decide that we are going to move towards more beauty and gratitude in our lives?
Rather than living with resentment, we can choose to reflect on which of our actions or words are unhelpful or damaging, and which skilfull attitudes we nurture.
I have included a piece from Debbie Ford author of “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” and “The Best Year of your Life”. I often reflect on which channel I’m tuned in to…
Here’s a unique perspective for accelerating your process…
For a moment, I’d like you to imagine that you’re sitting in a comfortable, plush chair in front of a large, high-definition TV screen. You have a remote control in your hand, and you are just about to tune into a particular channel.
This is the station where you’ve spent most of your time over the past 6 – 12 months. It contains the programming – the content – that has most often captured your attention, and it directly relates to the predominant experiences, thoughts, and feelings you’ve had over the past year. So, with that in mind, what channel have you been watching?
Could it be one of the following: The Stress Channel, The Self-Pity Channel, The Peaceful Channel, The Self-Esteem Channel, The Health and Wellness Channel, The Insecurity Channel, The Fear Channel (a very crowded one!), The Romantic Comedy Channel, The Blame & Resentment Channel, The Bliss Channel, The Having It All Channel, The Divine Connection Channel, The Gratitude Channel, or The New Beginnings Channel? The options are truly infinite.
In looking back over the past several months, I can see that I’ve frequently surfed over to Lifetime TV and have been absolutely glued to the mellow drama found there. As grace would have it, I’ve also spent an inordinate amount of time on The Lucky Channel – being lavished by the divine with amazing surprises, exciting opportunities, and tremendous love.
As 2008 winds down, I want to acknowledge that I am a very lucky and deeply grateful woman – a woman who also has a flair for the dramatic! I love this TV channel analogy because it reminds me that while it’s essential that I take responsibility for where I’m focusing my attention, it’s also important for me to lighten up and not take life so seriously.
What would be possible for you if you didn’t take it all so seriously?
What if you approached your personal growth with a light heart? How much fun could you have transforming yourself and stepping into the highest expression of who you came here to be? After all, the truth is that you are, right this minute, living the greatest reality show that will ever be made.
How would your life shift if you spent more time tuned into that show? It’s on 24 hours a day…for the rest of your life. It’s the “You in All Your Glory Channel”, and there are those in high places (if you know what I mean) who love watching every precious moment of it. So make it a great show! Have a joyous, spectacular time writing it, editing it, casting it, and directing it. And by all means, give it a great sound track! You see, the key to creating the best year of your life is not about the attainment of outer goals – although dreaming them up and pursuing them is a great part of the fun of life.
Creating the best year of your life is about loving who you are.
It’s about loving ALL of who you are – the light, the dark, and every shade in between. And one of the ways you can demonstrate your love for yourself is by waking up more and more to where you are focusing your holy energy and consciously choosing the highest vibration possible. So I invite you to acknowledge where you’ve been and choosing where you want to go next.
Program your universal remote control to the channels that will move your sweet soul, heal your heart, inspire you to take action, and give you a deep sense of peace at the very centre of your being.
I thought you’d like this one.