Everywoman!

th-13

Many years ago I read about BHAG, which is an acronym for Big Hairy Audacious Goals.

I realised that for much of my life I had played it safe and underestimated what I am capable of achieving. Upon realising the reality of BHAG I started to dream big and to smash down the boxes I had allowed others to place me in. I shrugged off the stereotypes and labels that had been pinned to my person and I allowed myself to simply be and to dream, live and exist without restrictions.

As a woman I realised my conditioning from childhood had been to be subtle, feminine and to stay small. Through the media, television programmes and general culture it had been overtly advised that my primary role in life was to put everyone else’s (children, spouse and eventually parents) needs above my own…whilst there is a time and place for this I’ve learnt that listening and indulging my personal needs keeps me mentally alive and a much nicer person to be around!

Throughout my childhood it became common place to see, read and hear popular celebrities demean women and reduce them to ‘sex objects’. Any expression of anger or unjustness was seen as unladylike and frowned upon. As a result of subtle conditioning, far too many women never claim their fullest most vibrant lives. I have rebelled against this with my choices and actions.

Over twenty years ago Chaka Khan released a song called ‘I’m Every Woman’. Whilst I wouldn’t pretend to be every woman (that would be exhausting!!) I have been a young and not so young mum, I’ve lived in a big bustling City and a quiet rural market town, like many women at times I’ve struggled and suffered for my figure, I’ve had jobs and I’ve had careers, I have bruises from hitting my head on the glass ceiling but have also had doors opened for my heels to saunter on by, there have been moments of undiluted pleasure as well as abject despair and many successes and failures along the way!

My career to date has included Double Glazing Salesperson, Shop Assistant, Mortgage Adviser, Bank Manager, Financial Adviser, Reverend, Regional Fundraiser, Emotional Intelligence and Lifestyle Coach, Wife and Mum (most physically and emotionally demanding and rewarding by miles) and now blogger! I hope you enjoy journeying and experiencing life with me!

Since reading about BHAG I have challenged my own thinking and have attempted to think, dream and live big. I have discovered skills and talents I never knew I had and helped several other women along the way do the same! This blog is my invitation for you to unleash your potential and join me in living a BHAG lifestyle!

Do’ya wanna build a snow person?

snow-window

This week we had a short flurry of snow! Despite the fact it appeared and disappeared within the space of ten hours and barely covered the grass my daughter was beside herself with excitement.

She continually kept on running up to the window to see how much of the white stuff had settled. She began to plan, in detail, how she would build a politically correctly titled snowperson (“I don’t think its fair they are called snowman”) and made a mental list of what ‘equipment’ she would need.

My reaction was at the other end of the emotional spectrum.

Whilst I can remember LOVING snow as a child, enjoying family skiing holidays and having snowball fights with friends until I could no longer feel my fingers and occasionally my toes, the sight of it now fills me with dread.

When my daughter was standing at the window reciting songs from the movie Frozen (‘Do ya wanna build a snowman…’) outwardly I was smiling but my inner voice was screaming “Noooooooo!!’

And I began to wonder what has changed in me and when did this change occur?Almost immediately I remembered the winter of 2009/10 and it all became icicle clear.

That winter I was approximately five months pregnant (although to give you an idea of my size at that time, others constantly commented that I must be due any day now), we lived at the top of the Malvern Hill’s and owned a rear wheel drive car which refused to be controlled at the sight of snow therefore making it useless in such conditions.

If that wasn’t bad enough in order to access the nearest supermarket (which ironically was Iceland) we had to walk for approximately four hours down and then up a very steep, icy hill carrying heavy bags.

This continued for about three weeks and with my newly found insight this experience has obviously emotionally scarred me! What a revelation…it is not actual snow that I’m adverse to just the memories it uncovers!

Just like the little boy who when asked by his teacher “Can people predict the future with cards?” responded, “My mother can because when she takes one look at my report card she’ll tells me exactly what will happen when my father gets home”, our experiences if we allow them, can act as self fulfilling prophecies.

The memories we have, based on the experiences we’ve been through, can affect the future we embrace.

Experience is the nurture counterpoint to design’s nature. It is the wisdom, learned skills and other assets that we acquire along the way in life that can help or hinder us.

What experiences have you had within your lifetime that you need to take control of? What memories do you need to relinquish?

I have decided I will not let one bad experience impact my enjoyment of the white stuff and the next time it falls from the sky I’ll pop on my snow Uggs (no numb toes for me anymore!!) and build a snowperson!