I have been re-reading a lot of old written material recently, namely, personal workbooks I kept from around 1989 for the following 15 years or so, during part of my career in London when ‘survival’ was the name of the game on a daily basis. The reason for this trip down memory lane was that I am planning to write a book, so I thought a quick recap might be useful. In fact, it turned out to be anything but quick as the ‘workbook period’ was so intensive. I had forgotten what life was like then, primarily because I aim to ‘process on the go’ ie. understand life’s experiences, integrate the wisdom from them and move on, taking only what’s positive into the future. Consequently, the workbooks are well used and bulging with extra notes stuffed in between the pages.
I was shocked at the sheer scale of my efforts to manage myself and navigate life at the time. Conversely, it was no surprise that one of my guiding philosophies which emerged from this period was the realisation that the ‘ultimate relationship is the one with yourself’. The workbooks cover issues and insights associated with getting various businesses and other organisations off the ground, the extreme challenges they presented, the ups and downs, financial crises, people dramas, understanding the part I played to exacerbate or alleviate situations, how I could be better and manage my health and vitality etc. Plus, understanding my animals, keeping them all well and competing in the equestrian sport of eventing.
There were poems I wrote about my life and times, scores of talks I gave and a never-ending stream of affirmations which I dreamed up to re-frame my view of myself and create new ways of thinking and being. My efforts to understand myself and life also launched me on a spiritual journey, as I was looking for the most profound reasons for everything, worldly and otherworldly, through all manner of means which included astrological charts and channelled readings. And, during this time, I was developing my ability to heal myself and others, develop instinct as my guidance mechanism of choice, as well as exploring the bigger questions in life.
One of the themes in this material that I noticed, was ‘the power of the feminine’. I didn’t have the best example from early parenting and grew up thinking that ‘being feminine meant being weak’ and I didn’t want any part of that. After stumbling into the very male financial world in the early 80s, I found myself setting up a business to promote financial independence for women, as I believed this was one of the keys to women’s empowerment in society in general. I used a lot of male energy in creating and building the business partly because it was the way of the world then but also because it came easily to me, having seen that ‘masculine was strong’ in my childhood.
Interestingly, my business was centred on values which I later came to realise were feminine – where people and culture took preference to profits, openness and honesty were core and creativity was a given. I also set up an organisation to champion the role of women working in the financial sector and, later, a video website to interview top women in all walks of business and showcase the different way women led organisations to men.
At a personal level, I began to realise that intuition is the most effective way to access the wisdom we need about what actions to take and when and it’s much less tiring than setting out on a course and making things happen, come what may. I also learned from experience that compassion is more helpful than confrontation. Instinct and compassion, in fact, are two of the things that define the power of the feminine because they are hard-wired into us through our capacity to have and raise children, whether or not we choose to be mothers in the biological sense.
These attributes can be used in all things as it’s the ‘mother’ in us that is nurturing in the widest sense. Recognising this, I finally saw the power of the feminine and could allow myself to become it….which brings me to current times. A strong momentum is indisputably building to embrace the power of the feminine in our world, which needs more women influencers and decision makers everywhere but especially in politics, religion and business. Watch this space!
Pic: A resident peacock at Amberley Castle which joined me when I sat in the garden for a quiet moment of reflection – what a sight to reflect on!
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