EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL
When I was a child I wanted an alternative life. I didn’t want to conform or play by the rules, so I figured my best career option would be to join the circus. Sadly this did not come to pass. I lacked skill and courage. I soon realized I just wanted freedom, but without the gymnastics and the lion taming.
When I was an adolescent I raised the bar on my career goals. I wanted to be the mistress of an artist. This would provide the perfect balance – I could be close to the creativity, without being the creativity. I would have an interesting bohemian life and amazing sex.
When I became an adult I looked for a role model to emulate. At that time the only female archetypes on offer were pretty negative. The Maidens were manipulative damsels, the Mothers were exhausted martyrs and the Crones were disempowered crazies.
Like the heroines of Shakespeare plays, I decided to become a boy.
My first real job on the career ladder was road manager for a rock & roll band (I’ll skip the years of groveling and running). Life on the road was a kind of circus – check. I was close to the creativity, without being the creativity – check. But I couldn’t get laid to save my life (there is a slight downside to becoming a boy).
Life in rock & roll had not improved for the female archetypes. The Damsels were the girlfriends, all spandex trousers and teased hair, who did a lot of waiting around looking pretty. The Mothers were the exhausted secretaries, fussing over itineraries, guest lists and sleepovers – Peter Pan and the lost boys needed a lot of looking after. The Crones were banished from Neverland.
I convinced myself it was better to be a boy. I loved the world of smoke and mirrors and magic. Unlike Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I knew what went on behind the curtain… and I loved it.
My next real job was in marketing. This was a proper grown up job but my training in rock and roll made me a shoe in. I was selling the sizzle not the steak, something I was pretty good at. I loved finding the solutions to marketing problems. I loved building the problem up so that the final ‘reveal’ at the end of the presentation was just that much more dramatic. Showmanship. (Note this word has ‘man’ in the center).
Then I got married (Ahhhh!) On the outside everything was in perfect balance. Mum and Dad, Home and Career. On the inside things were less balanced. Because Mum was a boy. Things muddled along pretty well but deep down there was something missing.
The girl was missing. And along with her all the feminine energy. It was locked in the basement. Then one day she got out and blew up the whole house of cards.
Once I crawled from the wreckage of my life I decided to go on a journey to find the lost, disowned, abandoned feminine. In order to find my heart, I journeyed to the dark side of the moon… Luckily I had the Pink Floyd soundtrack so not all bad.
At the end of this journey I figured I had quite a lot to teach others, both men and women (after all we all have a feminine side). In our current world we need creativity more than ever and we can’t get access to this unless we have the courage to integrate the feminine part of our nature.
This integration will merge… competition with collaboration; “go get ‘em” with nurture; attention to detail with big picture. But above all it’s about balancing the two core archetypes of the Rebel and the Lover.
Because the rebel is great, but the rebel with a heart has true power. The power to “be”.
Finally I get to sell the steak, not the sizzle.