Wicked witch or fairy godmother?
Redefining and rediscovering our innate power and feminine magic
Growing up on a steady diet of fairy tales with evil stepmothers, evil step sisters and evil witches, it’s not surprising that I grew up seeing women as competition. Competition for Prince Charming – and the cool job at work.
Fast forward over twenty years, a successful corporate career, “escaping the city” and setting up a coaching business, a husband and three baby girls later, and I find myself working mainly with women. Professional women. Women with high integrity, inspiring purposes, and innate leadership skills.
What happened? What brought on the change?
It happened after I fell pregnant with my third baby girl. Pushed to the brink, trying to be Superwoman who can do it all: motherhood, relationship, business, success, friendship, fun, love… You name it, this third baby made the house of cards I’d so carefully put in place fall into a big heap. I realized I couldn’t do it all. And actually, that I didn’t want to do it all. I wanted a different life to that of our mothers, who many times sacrificed their own needs for others. And yet, I also didn’t want to continue trying to do it all. Something had to give.
Looking for role models
I wasn’t interested in the kind of role models I could read about in a book, Google, or who appeared in a Fortune 500 list. I was after:
- the kind of role model who lived next door that was juggling career and kids in a way that felt wholesome and right
- the kind that still giggled and flirted with her husband after years of being together and having a bunch of kids
- the kind of woman who took bold actions in her workplace to create the change she believed in
- the kind that spoke up at meetings, dared to launch her new ideas, recovered from failures and tried all over again
- the kind that didn’t feel the need to put herself down, nor others
The kind of woman I wanted to be.
Unfortunately, this turned out to be more tricky than I thought. Most of you, just like myself, had parts of your life sorted and others that felt not quite right yet. I found women who had the business side mastered, only to find their relationships were in tatters. I found women who had climbed the career ladder fast and furiously, only to have lost her purpose along the way. Or women who thrived on motherhood, yet still felt they were somehow lacking.
It appeared all these women, us, were simply trying to figure out how to make life work – and many of them were looking for role models, too. The perfect role model and woman didn’t exist!
The good news is I ended up finding the inspiration I was searching for in ancient and powerful archetypes – the Mother, Lover, Sorceress, Warriorress, and Queen. These characters have transformed the way I see myself and the women around me. Instead of them being my competition, I now see other women for the beautiful beings we all truly are. Sisters, mothers, lovers, and leaders. Accessing the energies and strengths of these female archetypes, and ultimately discovering the beauty and power of the feminine, has transformed not only my own life, but also the lives of the fabulous women I coach.
I’ll be introducing all five of these powerful female archetypes to you over the next few articles. So watch this space…and don’t forget to follow your own wise path.
Manuela Damant. Azkua Coach