One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these — to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do. —Clarissa Pinkola-Estes
There is immense power and creativity unleashed when women not only prove that they can do it on mans’ terms, but that they instead actively participate in defining the terms in a way that feels true and balanced.
Leadership implies qualities of influence, qualities that effect how you relate to people around you, how you relate to your own creativity and vision, and how you relate, moment to moment, to you own emotions and thoughts.
Are you ready to take the next step in embracing your role as a leader? Here are three core principles to keep in mind:
1. ‘You’ Time
The number one principle of feminine leadership, is to create space and time for yourself. Remember the instructions from the flight attendant on an airplane before taking off — “In case of emergency put the oxygen mask on yourself first before you put it on your child.”
It is logical isn’t?
If you don’t have oxygen you will die, and you cannot take care of anybody else. Nevertheless, most of us women are deeply stuck in a collective habit of running around taking care of everybody else, until we stumble to bed wondering what happened to our visions and dreams, what happened to the thrill of just being alive?
Your friends tell you that you are probably burned out, your husband calls you bitter and frigid, your kids wonders why you never smile, and you? You simply want to go to bed and never get up again.
Unless your inner well is filled up, cannot fully take care of anyone, or anything. In the same way, when your well is filled to the brim, you can indeed make miracles happen in the world. We need to work through the old mental programming telling us that it is selfish to prioritize our own well-being and make it our number one priority to take care of ourselves.
In fact this is the most profound way you can serve the world. Rejuvenated, glowing and brimming with inspiration and strength we can give our gifts to the world, and keep giving, in a sustainable way.
2. Connect with Higher Purpose
Why are you alive? What is truly important to you? What motivates you in the deepest sense?
The answers to these questions will guide you through the ups and downs of the creative process. When you connect with a purpose of service to something or someone outside yourself, you will no longer be a slave to your emotional roller-coaster: one day feeling utterly worthless, not wanting to get out of bed, another the ego getting so inflated that you are flying three feet off the ground. All this get less important when you are connected with a higher purpose, your “why.”
Your purpose will fill you with a burning urgency, making it impossible to keep postponing giving your gifts, waiting for that one magic day when you will no longer feel fear. Your passion to serve is so strong that you can’t help but show up, ready or not.
Don’t worry about what form it will take. The “how to” will be guided by the “why.”
The truth is that your purpose is not a static destination in time, it is a process that always takes place right here, right now. It is a process similar to falling in love: you fall in love with what is truly important and you marry it. As in any marriage, you allow for evolution and growth; but you are committed for better or for worst. Take the step, today. Marry your deepest values, and begin to live as a true leader.
3. Fuel Your Compassion
The Dalai Lama says that the future of the world lies in the hands of women, because women are the teachers of compassion. It is true that compassion comes naturally to the feminine, but we have learned to view this quality as ’soft’ and therefore not suitable when it comes to leadership in business or global interactions.
The reality is that this quality is one of the most important keys to a new leadership for a new time. Women’s natural concern for everybody’s needs is profoundly valuable and effective in leading and empowering a team. It is obvious that people who feels empowered, seen and cared for will do a better job. Just imagine the possibilities as we bring this skill-set into international diplomacy.
One aspect of this leadership skill is to have enough spaciousness in yourself so that you can be truly present with another. This means that you can receive another without jumping into evaluation and reaction right away. We practice to “sit back in the saddle”, and to really listen with an open heart.
Don’t wait for the right job before you rise up and shine, you can live as a Woman Leader right here, right now. Remember, the world is a richer place because of you.