I have noticed lately an uptick in the blog headlines reading; "Woman who have it all!" "Women who want it all!" and or "Can Women have it all?"
Well I am here to answer that question very succinctly. Yes, yes you can...have it..all.
Ahhh, but there's a catch, firstly one must define "all" and then one must decide if that's the "all" we've all been talking about, and the "all" you want. Mostly the "all" women are being told to have revolves around family, career, relationships, money and the idea that we should have all of them, and if you don't have any of those "alls" well then you seemingly have nothing. Our current societal mantra is to produce, procure and pro-create, or don't pro-create (Theirs guilt either way these days).
It used to be having it all, for a woman, meant a husband, kids and a house - that was all a woman needed to be fulfilled. Men worked outside the home, women, in it and if a woman wanted to work outside of the home she was labeled a heretic! Then feminism came about (rightly so) and suddenly the woman's "all" expanded, we were inspired to start careers, businesses, get divorced, wear jeans and generally take on a more masculine approach to life, I mean, hey if the men can do it, so can we! And we are doing it! More female business started than ever, more women executives, and maybe even a female president! (although we still struggle with equal pay and many other rights) in many ways women, in just a few decades, have turned into almost "all" that we can be and then some!
In my own life I've had many versions of the "all". Marriage, kids, business success...all of it, simultaneously even! I fully embraced the have it all mantra and sometimes I felt great and sometimes I felt down right overworked and horrible. I've leaned in so far my boobs even had a seat at the table (and I'm barely a C cup!). But these days I have begun to question this idea of having it "all". Not that I can't have it "all", but do I want it..all?
For a while now I've had a sense that doing it like the men, having it all, (or what we're told is all) wasn't the answer either and that at some point we were all going to have to find a way to thrive without killing ourselves in the process.
Along with our new mantra of "have it all" came another thing to seek, balance, because when one has it all they often times find themselves letting some of it slip, because even though we're told to have it all, we're also told we can't have it all and be sane so we must find balance, as if it's hidden somewhere next to the mini bottles of tequila we sneak when we're overwhelmed with having it all... The fact is balance is a myth because balance isn't actually achievable in the sense that one is able to create equal time for anything, there is always something that gets less and we tend to judge less and a bad thing. We're often an impatient species and we seem to be racing against the self-created ticking clock, because if we don't have it all now, how will we have time to enjoy it?! And if something in our all gets less then we must not have it all...
I've spent the last year working on a new film about the coaching LEAP (life, relationship, business and executive) and it's been quite an interesting ride, it's impossible to embark on making a film about personal transformation without having some personally transformational moments of your own along the way and while it may seem really obvious to many, my big aha moment came with one question that was asked consistently by every coach. What do YOU want? The two most important words in that sentence were YOU and WANT. Not what does your husband (or wife) want, what do your kids want, what does your family want or your boss, or society, or your cat ( because cats are just so damn demanding!) WHAT DO YOU WANT?!
It's really a simple question, but not one many of us truly ask ourselves, sure we might ask ourselves what do we want for dinner, or to wear, but how often do you ask yourself "What do I want for myself, for my life, right now?"
I have begun asking myself this question everyday, several times a day and answering it honestly, checking in with how I feel, what my heart desires in the moment and what makes my soul sing (I know very woo woo, but hey if it works, don't knock it!) and then guess what, that is what I do. Sure, sometimes my kids don't like it, because they might be on the receiving end of less (at the moment) sometimes my beloved is annoyed because, again he might feel less than right then, but the more I act in accordance with my heart moment to moment , the more I feel in balance, because I've let go of judging myself, and instead connecting with myself. Since I've begun this daily practice I've become more productive, less stressed, my kids feel more connected to me (mainly because when I've chosen to spend time with them I'm present, instead of worrying about all the other "alls" I'm neglecting), my relationship is better and my work more fun!
The main shift is how I choose to think. I've decided to stop trying to have it all and being present with what I have, I see I have a lot.