Leadership was never really a principle that interested me. In fact, I remember a time when I was a therapist and really leading my practice with mindfulness philosophies (side bar: my first Twitter handle was MindfulBrook… I haven’t been on Twitter in probably 5 years but apparently I connected it to my Facebook and still tweet away! I should fix that except I have no idea what any of my login info is.) Anywho. A friend of mine, Brian approached me with a collab idea: creating a leadership program around the principles of health, wellness, and mindfulness. I really wasn’t that interested because leadership then just felt very old white man. Stuffy. I wasn’t able to articulate it at the time but this is patriarchy. The feeling that there is a club and I didn’t get the invite so I’m going to play a different game over here.
It wasn’t until I stepped into the entrepreneurial space that I really started studying leadership. Personal development is a no-brainer for any entrepreneur and my learner self loves this stuff. But time and time again, I would read books written by old white men and feel that this didn’t really apply to me. I specifically remember How to Win Friends and Influence People and the pronouns were all he. John Maxwell over and over just felt like he was talking to someone else. But really it was when I read 10x Rule by Grant Cardone that I felt my first real push back. He was sharing his belief on full life success and his priority to also be a good father. He was telling how he gets up with his daughter first thing so that his wife could have some time to herself and they would often go grocery shopping. It was maybe like two hours that he spent with her. And while that is all well and good, I kept thinking about his wife. Because when he turned his kiddo back over to momma, he was free. Free to go build his business both with his time but also with his mind. I, on the other hand, suffered bad with mom guilt. From taking on all the things. I felt like a failure in every area. It is necessary to say here, that I have no problems with Dale Carnegie or John Maxwell or Grant Cardone. They have valuable content. The problem is that their content is from their singular lens, yet taught that it’s a blanket method for all. When information is expelled in that way we run the risk of people feeling like there is something wrong with them. You absolutely can be successful and sell and have influence without taking the stance that you cover all demographics. This is privilege. Do you see that? People vibe with different people. For me, I would read Brene Brown and just feel at home.
The struggle for me, at the time, was business was suffering and so was I. I lost my center of gravity and therefore was easily swayed. We call this your root chakra. It’s that energy field that keeps you planted and grounded, allows you to feel safe and protected, and keeps you firmly rooted in who you are. I often share with my clients my personal vision of what the healing journey looks like and for me, it’s an oak tree. Being so solid and strong and rooted in who you are, that even when the winds pick up and your leaves get rustled, your center, your core, your trunk barely moves. But I was still this little wispy thing getting thrown around. So if someone told me 10x, I would 10x until I burnt out. If someone sold me hustle and grind as being cool, I would hustle and grind with the best of them. If someone said, No excuses, I would make sure I could out excuse anyone. All the while, feeling this tug in my gut that was telling me, this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. I was acting as a soldier when I’m supposed to be the medic.
Finally I stopped. And then I crumbled. That’s how this works, you know. You will get the whispers first and if you don’t follow those, you will get bigger signs, and if you still don’t pay attention, you will get really big bricks dumped on you until you are forced to pay attention. I follow the little niggles now.
But after I crumbled and picked up the pieces, I proceeded with caution. The only thing I knew to be true is that my intuition was now leading the way. It didn’t matter how twisty the journey, I was following it. And as I did, I realized that the way I felt called to do things was not wrong or bad. Not at all. It was just different. It was feminine and it was EQUALLY as valuable in any space.
A FEW THINGS THAT CHANGEDIt’s funny as I look at my life now and my life two years ago, I am the exact same person and I am COMPLETELY different in the same breath. Some of my actions weren’t wrong, but they were about 2 degrees off. I don’t sail, but I know enough that if you chart your course and are two degrees off in your journey, you will end up some place very different. That’s life too. We set goals because we are really chasing an emotion. And we believe that the achievement of the goal will help us feel that emotion. You may achieve your goal but miss your internal mark. And that’s why you can lose the weight, or get the promotion, or land your perfect partner and still feel like a ball of anxious nerves.
Through this process I have identified specific traits that are divinely feminine. There are of course, divine masculine traits! But in today’s society there is also a heightened level of toxic masculine in the business and work force (and plenty of toxic feminine but not as dominant in the work force). Every man and woman has some degree of masculine and feminine. Think of them as being on a continuum like Meyer’s Briggs. You aren’t just one or the other but a certain percentage. The goal with healing yourself and creating unity with your spirit is to find your unique combination.
Let’s take a look: