We always hear about this concept called inclusion. Inclusion of women in top leadership positions, board rooms and breaking the glass ceiling and the like. I was wondering, if leadership only confines to board rooms and top corporate positions. If this is the case, then why we don't find women in these positions much?! Data says that there are very few women in these positions. It's not because women are incapable or any less than their men counterparts but because women choose to have different priorities after a given point in time. This is not a generalized statement but for most of the women who take a break after escalating to a certain point in their career is not because they aren't serious about their work/career; not because they couldn't cut through the glass ceiling; not that she is less a leader to lead her way up the ladder but because she chooses to cater to a different leadership role which many still don't understand and acknowledge. That leadership is still looked down upon & taken for granted; many a times not valued at all. Perception and conditioning problem!
For many, having a great career is all that they aspire for and prioritize. But for others, they want a balanced life having it all: a fulfilling career, loving relationships, happy & responsible kid/kids; nurturing me-time and above all meaningful contribution to life. What's the joy in getting promoted to the board-room and the top leadership position when your loved ones are waiting for you to spend some time with you, when your child needs no one else but your presence to experience a joyous moment in life & many more? It is so easy to scale up the corporate ladder when you don't have to pay attention to anything else but your sole career and your role! But when you consciously give up something that you love, to cater to other things that equally demands your attention, is to me leadership. I am not here talking about sacrifice and all; but a choice to choose from many options available: be just a professional leader or be a holistic leader who manages things not only at the work front but at the home front too.
Today because this choice is so hard to make, we see so many problems at the personal front. Broken relationships, difficult to handle kids, no meaningful existence etc. The child counselors and adolescent coaches are on the rise now-a-days, relationship coaches are on the rise. We are creating and leading in the professional world but remember that it is the women leaders at the back-burner who is doing a fantastic job at the backstage because of which the leadership at the board-room and at the top positions are possible. If we really want to talk about inclusion, let's first ask the woman what she wants and what will really make her happy: a board-room inclusion or an inclusion in your mindset that only defines leadership in a particular way and discards every other? Leadership to me is going beyond self and contributing towards the betterment not only of a particular segment that you are leading but also paving the way for a matured, meaningful and joyful world.
While I was at Mumbai, I took a woman driver cab from airport to my place of stay. I got to know so many things from her during my brief stint with her. She drives to take care of her family, she has an ailing husband who lost his job and is at home for the past six months or so; a child who goes to school and an old mother-in-law. She takes care of everyone in her family and is the sole bread-earner now. To me she is a woman leader in her own great capacity. I booked her cab again while driving back to the airport somewhere at 4:30 am. She was there and I felt so safe with her. That was Mumbai which is a safe place for women. But still the big question that leaves me pondering is: Are we living in an inclusive society? Most important of all, do we have an inclusive mindset? Can we think beyond the leadership titles, board-rooms and stereotype leadership roles or can we open our minds to new possibilities? Once you choose to look at women leadership from an absolute new angle, you will find many women leaders who have been facilitating your growth, your journey and your aspirations. They are burning like the candle, consuming themselves to light up their loved one's world. Leadership is not about power but your ability to empower others. So, who is a true leader then? One who just leads or one who empowers you to be able to lead in the world? If you still can't find any, then probably you need to look deep down and ask yourself: What is the mindset that you have? What is the opinion you have about women leadership? What is the judgement that you have made about them? Only then you are deemed fit to sit and decide the future of women including their inclusion in board-rooms and top leadership position.
Let's redefine women leadership. Particularly in today's world where the entire dynamics of work and culture is changing, it is important to change our mindsets first and redefine our assumptions around women leadership. She is more than what is mostly thought about her.
P.S. I am not a feminist but I always try to portray in my writings what I see and experience generally.
Love & light,
What makes you happy? Is it the materialistic thing, is it the award, is it that dream car, is it that house, is it that person whom you hold your hands with, is it that position.....? I can go on and on. But let me spin your mind a bit and tell you that it's not the thing that brings us joy, the happiness at the grandest level but the feeling, the experience and the thought that enlivens that moment and brings us joy. Do reflect. If things would have given you joy and happiness, there wouldn't have been longing for the next one, your happiness wouldn't have subsided after your attained one. This would have satisfied you and you would have been content. But, truly the experience, the feeling you derive is what makes you happy. And most important of all the feeling of gratitude brings more joy in your life. What is gratitude? Gratitude is a deep feeling of joy that you experience when you reflect at what has happened to you, it's a believe that everything that has happened for you is what you manifested and called for consciously and unconsciously and you wanted it for your own good, to glorify yourself and experience your own greatness. Gratitude is being thankful for every bit that you have encountered, it is trust, it is acceptance, it is approval, it is a powerful thought that you feed into your mind for all that you want to create in your life and believing it to be true for you. There is no longing, no fear, no doubt, no uncertainty but action, love, trust, faith and certainty of what you want to create. The more you are grateful for what you have, you create more of that in your life because you open the doors to acceptance, you allow your being to shift. You allow yourself the involvement in the process and not just arriving at the destination which we very often do.
I was running after so many things in life. I see many people like me running after everything yet feel the vacuum, a sense of worthlessness, always needing to fill the inner devoid with one or the other thing. It's like we have lost something inside and we keep looking for it outside and keep searching and join hands with the crowd. We feel great because that's what we see majority of us doing and we get lost and forget what we were even looking for. We just run and run and find ourselves lost amidst everything that we have. We have loads of information, followers but no involvement in our own lives. We aren't there for ourselves and we expect distractions to suffice that need in us. But, the key lies within and so must the search be within and not outside. To realize who you truly are, you have to realize who you are not. So, experiences are given to you to taste that aspect for you to be very clear of who you are. We don't come here to become someone but to experience our greatness which is already there within us. We have everything in us that makes us complete. Nothing else can complete us but our own realization, our own experiences of ourselves will enable that completeness in you. In the stillness you will find who you are and not in the chaotic world outside you. And every time we call ourselves victim, we must understand that, we have created this for us. Nothing is outside our will. Whether we agree, accept this depends on our levels of self-awareness and actualization. And if you cannot accept this, allow yourself the space and time to unravel it at your own time because this is what you require at this point in time to grow to your highest self.
Once you embrace all that has happened in your life as your own creation, you can then be grateful for everything. This is a powerful space to be in, because then you regain the power to create your life as you intent it to be. Every setback, every experience, every relationship, every encounter, every low/high, every moment in your life was required for you to evolve and there is so much gratitude for all of these. Once you sit in this gratitude you defy every negative thought that comes up, every guilt, every fear, every worry, every longing and every feeling of "I am not good enough, I am not loved, I am not important" and create a space to cultivate more of what you want, what makes you happy, what makes you joyful. When you being shifts, your entire world transforms. A shift from the inside is what creates miracles and ever lasting transformation. So, the question that I leave you with is: "Can you be grateful for everything that has happened to you till now? Can you see the bigger purpose behind those moments? Can you embrace every aspect of you: good, bad, ugly, guilty, fearful, embarrassing, unacknowledged, acknowledged? Will you?" If you can't try with at least one gratitude a day to start with and experience the shift.I know it's difficult because I found it hard but as I practiced it, I became good at it and so my being shifted.
I am grateful that my life is a rising sun, my health is a blossoming flower, my relationship is a growing garden where I get space to evolve & manifest my highest potential & give the same to others with love, wealth is a consistently flowing fountain, I am my essence.
Love & light,
However hard you may try to cover up the chaotic inner world that you are in, eventually it gets manifested in one or the other form. You may be clever enough to paint it bright with an outward coat of external materialistic things, but for how long?! This will slowly & subtly get projected in the form of anxiety, stress, frustration, loneliness, anger, depression, feeling of vacuum etc. These are coined by great psychologists as unresolved issues or unfinished agendas that lie within us and bother us at an unconscious level which we aren't aware. Many a times we feel that we know what needs to be done, but we attract something unwanted; many a times we feel we know the way out, but we land up doing stuffs that are just the opposite of what we envisioned. Our state of resourcefulness determines our actions and ultimately the destiny that we will be living/creating. Hence, it is very important first to create a world within that will enable us to perform at our peak & live our highest self. A chaotic inner world is what gets created if we are not mindful of what we want, identify with, value, belief and eventually surrender to.
The truth that we believe in, is not the universal truth. Our truth is actually our version of truth which we form after doing the following three things:
The actual event may have been very different, but we perceive it in a particular way and give this our meaning which we call it perception and eventually gets converted as memory that gets stored in our neurons. They lay there subconsciously and are majorly responsible for all the actions, our behaviours, our patterns, our form, our resourcefulness state. It's a common tendency to distract ourselves from the chaos by instant gratification such as exercising, buying things to pacify ourselves, spending time with the outside world, working for late hours, avoiding conversations which triggers us, blocking ourselves from stuffs that reminds us of things we don't want to experience etc. There are so many ways we use to fool ourselves. But, when we are back to ourselves, in our own inner world, we feel the pain, the grief, the anxiety and just can't help but feel the negative emotions within us & long for escaping from all these. How long can we run away from all of these? What do you want to fill your cup with? Where are you in conflict with your inner self? A part says you want this, and a part says you don't want. You want to get out of this mess, but don't know how. There is a conflict within! An inner self that knows what needs to be done and the other self that resists the transformation because you find it hard to sit in this anxiety to find an answer. You have formed some habits that don't support you and now in a fix. But, remember that it is never too late to do anything in life. The first transformation needs to happen within. And here NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) comes into the picture. NLP uses tools and techniques to re-imprint our subconscious mind. Once we know how to make friendship with our subconscious mind, we can create miracles in every aspect of our lives: be it career, relationship, ourselves, our loved ones' lives etc. Tapping and re-imprinting the subconscious mind is the key. Superseding your conscious mind to connect with the subconscious mind will give you access to your inner power, your state of resourcefulness.
We all have potential, all the resources are available within us. Hence in coaching we say that a person is whole and complete. But, because of the deletion, distortion and generalization that we do, we sometimes loose our form, our state and loose access to our creativity & wisdom within. That's when we become unresourceful and start acting in ways that don't support us. We then start judging ourselves and others, become critical, our inner critic gets activated, we lack the drive to move forward, we loose hope, we keep repeating our mistakes etc. Hence, our endeavour should be to work on our internal map to get access to our resourceful state and have a lasting impact.
Here's challenging you to welcome positive transformation & growth in all the areas of your life, breaking through unwanted patterns and creating the desired outcomes/results that you want.
Love & light, Priyanka
Recreating oneself is a tough process but not impossible. One must be prepared to go through a process that is rigorous and at times difficult to fully trust. It’s like growing up even when you think you are grown. And to grow up to that level, you must embrace the new you. When you shed your old skin and get into something new, it feels strange and weird. The physiological changes in the body are difficult to decipher. The first change occurs inside, creating a void/a space to embrace the “all new”. There is resistance from the conscious mind because it becomes uncertain about what is happening. You lose your grip and control! It’s made to traverse through a new process & so resists the change strongly because it becomes uncomfortable with what is happening inside. It gets lost, confused and doubts the process. It feels like you are not you anymore. The way you used to be; is evolving, changing; your reactions are getting different, your responses are becoming different. There’s a tug of war happening inside between your evolving self and your old self. You know that you need to change and accept the newness, but our rational mind always pitches in to make us aware of the uncertainty and the unknown that we are jumping to. This mind is there to protect us from any pain, oblivious of the fact that the real liberation lies in growth and not in comfort zone that we very dearly hold on to.
I am going through a process where I am embracing a new me inside of me. A new person is evolving, and I can see so much resistance in me to embrace this that I have chosen to shut myself up. But, as I do this, I am very aware that my resistance is futile and temporary. It’s my old way of showing my disapproval of something that I know is good for me but don’t want to embrace because it is challenging and will take me to a different trajectory that I have no idea about. May be someday I will look back and have a good laugh at my stupidity. Every growth is beautiful and very much required. Without growth, there’s no life and with no life, it is equivalent to dying internally and just carrying a soulless body.
When you commit yourself to living in the zone of genius, you have no other option but to trust the process. And as I sat down to trust the process of evolution completely, that’s when I came across the emotions running within me. There’s anger, there’s sadness and beneath that, there is fear of losing my old self, my old identity that I had projected and wore for so long. I am sad to shed it, yet I am happy to embrace a more authentic me. There is mixed emotion.
When things become uncomfortable, that’s when we know that we are connecting to our real self, our essence and evolving as a person. There are many aspects within us which we find it hard to acknowledge and accept. Many a times we don’t even know the truth because we aren’t aware to that extent to be able to crack the puzzle of pain that lay in front of us. The easiest and comfortable way to get rid of all of this, is to run away from the pain and mask it with layers of lies, pacify it with distraction, to the point of numbing it, so that we pretend not knowing what is happening. But, to take the cut to our next level, we must bear the pain, we must force ourselves through the process; we have to take that leap and jump in the abysmal of the unknown; let ourselves be there sitting in that transformation without distracting and running away.
Many a times, we fear in life about things that may not be true. Hence, life is but a journey of not changing others, blaming situations, pointing fingers externally but discovering ourselves; the known and the unknown, the good and the ugly, the weaknesses and the strengths and many more; yet having the courage to love ourselves even after knowing the truth. Life is a beautiful journey that we must embark to find ourselves and the potential hidden in us, to leave behind a mark as powerful as our discovery. I have been resisting myself from this discovery; but I finally give in to the unknown and jump into the dark pit of the unknown because I have the trust in the Universe’s ways. After all, we are noting but a drop from the vast ocean; we are nothing but a powerful force that will anyways one day merge with the Supreme. What’s there to fear, hide and be worried about?! Everything is taken care of. The greatest demon is the demon inside us that doesn’t allow us to experience this infinity of love dwelling inside us. The day you can overcome this fear, that day you can say that you are the victorious person on earth. Shading one layer after layer requires commitment and trust. And I finally embrace shading one more layer. Thank you, life!
Love & light, Priyanka
Coach to People Leaders, Start-up Founders & Transitioning professionals