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. Pretty soon I realized what I really wanted was 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. But 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.
So… 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).
The female archetypes didn’t fair well in rock & roll. The Maidens 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 loved finding the solutions to marketing problems; taking people on a journey, so that the final ‘reveal’ at the end of the presentation was more dramatic. Showmanship. (Note this word has ‘man’ in the center).
Then I got married. 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 abandoned, disowned, feminine part of my energy system. (We all have one – energy doesn’t have a gender… or an agenda).
The feminine part of our nature creates, but if it can’t find conscious expression, it creates unconsciously, and these creations can be disastrous.
I couldn’t find the feminine with my mind. After all, my mind had convinced me I could control my life (how delusional?). It had convinced me that the path to freedom involved running away. I needed the deeper wisdom of the heart.
Most of us feel our connection to the world through our mind. After all, it’s great at processing information, which is what we are surrounded by… but the heart is better at making choices.
In our current world we have access to massive amounts of complex data, producing millions of thoughts (which we often have trouble escaping from). Without balance between head and heart we can end up with the modern dilemma – infinite choice and limited decision making capability.
Creativity is Missing
Our old definition of creativity involved a lot of thinking and analysing – perhaps on a rock (Rodin) under a tree (Newton) or in a smoke filled office (Don Draper). Endless waiting around followed by a momentary flash of inspiration. This kind of smash and grab creativity is quite masculine in nature.
Our new definition of creativity is more feminine. It is about living in the energy of infinite possibility and co-creating with it, moment by moment. This creativity is an active tightrope walk rather than a contemplative sit down. It takes courage, which is why we need our heart in order to do it.
We can’t plan the steps in advance because the information – things like wind direction, angle of the rope, distribution of weight, random passing seagull – is ONLY available moment by moment.
So at the end of this journey, I figured I had quite a lot to teach others, both men and women (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 missing part of our nature.
This integration will merge competition with collaboration; attention to detail with big picture.
It’s about balancing the Rebel with the Lover.
Because the rebel is great, but the rebel with a heart has real power.
The power to “be”.
And with that comes true freedom.