I don’t think us women truly understand just how un-womanly we have been taught to show up in the world and in our work.
And I plead guilty. Because it’s only now just starting to dawn on me – how utterly and completely I have been living my life from a so-called feminine perspective, yet so fully masculine in actions, words, and thinking.
Let’s dive into this together… as I try to put into words just how massive of a realization this is – and how this applies to YOU. Oh, and there’s a full guide that will help you put this shift from PUNISHING PUSH to FOCUSED FLOW into practice!
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How this post started… Like you, probably, I don’t consider myself to ‘behave’ in a masculine way. At least, not when we look at superficial signs of masculinity. I have a graceful, undulating swing to the hips when I walk. I like to wear flowy dresses and clothes that feel soft and sensuous to the touch. I speak with a soft and gentle voice. I beam out love and compassion and huge-hearted care, warmth and the desire to help shining brightly in my eyes. All of that is my particular feminine essence and how it expresses into the world. And yet.
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On a deeper level, the well of my femininity has been shut off, replaced by a nearly 100% masculine fuel for my “ways of getting things done”.
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It has been shocking to me to realize this. I HAVE ALREADY COME SUCH A LONG WAY FROM WHERE I WAS WHEN I LEFT CORPORATE.
THE SWING OF MY HIPS?
I used to control the way I held my body, the way I moved, never letting the full natural movement of my body show, because that wasn’t the ‘professional’ image I was nurturing in the workplace. I had come to a conclusion, early on in my career, that there was a need for censure: the ‘innocent’ jokes by some male colleagues, the standing too close, lots of little signs and uncomfortable situations that had me decide I had to tone down my femininity to be able to ‘play’ with the big guys.
THE SOFT AND GENTLE VOICE?
I learned to speak in clipped tones, to-the-point, each conversation a bullet-point list communicated in efficient rapid-fire fashion. Which ultimately also lead to awkward and confused situations when a boss or colleague would lean against my desk and want to chit-chat about wife and kids. I had learned the rules of efficient workplace communication, but I couldn’t grasp the workings of male bonding as my male colleagues did so naturally – and in a mostly-male workplace, that stung.
THE LOVE, COMPASSION AND HUGE-HEARTED CARE?
Weakness. That’s how it was frowned upon time and again, the way I didn’t want to just lead but wanted to lead with compassion and care for the humans I was leading. The soft skills trainings I saw male colleagues go and take, came naturally to me, but it wasn’t an advantage. The soft skills in male corporate became a part of the training curriculum for managers that was grudgingly added, reluctantly studied in faraway classrooms, and happily shoved aside back in the workplace. It left me feeling confused, torn between my own innate values and nature and skills, and the judgment I felt and heard from my male peers and superiors.
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I have come a long way. Over the past two years, I’ve had to retrain my thinking and perception of what it means to be fully myself.
A coming home. Shackles and tight-jackets falling away. Finally breathing, fully, again.
Until this week, when I realized there was a DEEPER RECLAIMING to be done. This week, I finally looked at WHY I had been feeling so incredibly exhausted lately. And doing so has made me realize how deeply engrained masculine patterns of behaviour have become for women (in general, yes). How deeply steeped I am (personally) in actions, words, and thinking, especially when it comes to DEFINING SUCCESS and measuring PRODUCTIVITY and EFFECTIVENESS in my business.
And here’s the point I’m getting at:
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Productivity and effectiveness and success are important to measure in any business.
But for women who desire to create a business that is founded on values such as Purpose, Meaning, Giving Back, Authentic Expression, Soul-Guided Creation and Mutual Respect,
the way we measure and label will determine how much JOY we find in our results, progress and growth (joy + meaning, which for many of us is one of the CORE REASONS for wanting to run our own business in the first place).
On a deeper level, the more masculine drive for “getting things done” can result in an unending PUNISHING PUSH –
and it calls for a balancing with the more feminine flow of creating and evolving.
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So, I have written a guide that I hope will help you embrace FOCUSED FEMININE FLOW. Read it below!
May it serve as a roadmap towards a different perspective on FOCUS, SUCCESS, PRODUCTIVITY and EFFECTIVENESS. And may it bring us back to a kinder, more gentle, feminine and flowing experience of creating and sharing our work in the world.
H O W T O E M B R A C E
F E M I N I N E F L O W
I N B U S I N E S S
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an exploration of focus and flow
how to step away from exhaustion in favour of fulfilment & excitement
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1. EMBRACE YOUR FLOW, FIRST
This is definitely the hardest for so many of us, trained as we are by society’s expectations and every corporate structure, everywhere: we don’t even know what the word flow means. Let alone embody it, or choose it as a guiding force in how we run our businesses and structure our days (hint: very few structuring happens here).
If you’re going to make the shift into a more relaxed, deeply fulfilling type of thriving in business, embracing your desire for more ease & flow is truly the key. If you cannot allow yourself to accept that this is what you deeply yearn for, you’ll end up with overwhelm and adrenal fatigue.
For me, those first years there was an incessant tug-of-war between how I felt inspired to do things (leading to juicy and excited and in a deeply feminine flow) and how I felt I had to do things (focus until the end, then move to the next, methodically, using energy to force focus and to keep all the other inspiration at bay).
So, allow yourself to own your desire for more ease, spaciousness, and a sense of things flowing (and coming to you with far lesser effort than your logical brain might think is needed) rather than you having to push and pull all the time (which is more typical of how we’re used to creating things and obtaining results).
Once you can say, “yes, I want it to feel easier”, you can then start exploring what that could look like.
so what does “flow” look like for you? without overthinking it, simply allowing your deepest desires to be voiced – why does flow have such a resonance to it, for you? what is it, you’d want this to mean in your business?
2. THINK SPACIOUSNESS
There’s definitely goals involved – but they are anchored into a choice of schedule that feels spacious, first and foremost.
The reason for this? There’s a few.
- when you’re creating from inspired flow, sometimes new ideas take a while to fully take form. it’s more like a gradual process of increased clarity and things falling into place, bit by bit; which is why we often feel guided to talk about ‘birthing’ our big visions or newest programmes into life. It is quite simply what it most feels like.
- this means that you *need* to have the space, within your calendar, to allow new ideas to come into clearer focus. It could be a few hours every weekend. It could be every Friday afternoon. Or specific days each month. Just make sure there’s space for the new directions and ideas to FLOW. If you’re not actively creating space for inspiration to come to you, you’ll be back to overheating your poor little brain cells trying to figure out the best way to xyz – and there’s no flow in sight, really. Just the feeling like failure is imminent if you’re not staying on top of every little detail, all of the time.
- no matter if your idea is quick inspiration, and quick to put into action; or is it’s a bigger vision that takes some time to fully ‘land’, you didn’t choose this particular path of entrepreneurship to work all.the.time. You have a healthy desire for MORE LIFE – and your work/business is just part of that. Meaning, if you plan for spaciousness in your BUSINESS schedule, you’ll have more LIFE, too.
what is your biggest desire when it comes to your creative process? How does it usually land for you? And what does that mean in terms of creating a more SPACIOUS schedule?
3. HONOUR YOUR HUNGER FOR YOUR BIG VISIONS
So, if you’re going to be running a heart-centered, human-focused, soul-fueled business – is there a place still for that burning ambition you feel inside?
Oh, wait, let’s make that: eyeroll eyeroll eyeroll.
Just to be clear, I’m not rolling my eyes at you. More at all of us, and all the crazy-ass belief systems we’ve taken for granted all this time. I mean, what a fucked up world it is when heart = weak and soft; and ambitious = harsh and cold.
Anyways. Let’s choose something different going forward, shall we?
I’d like to position that ambition can be a positive trait, and something that comes with the territory for ANY woman who identifies as visionary, change-driven, impact-focused, service-oriented, entrepreneurial – whether she be soft or edgy, blazing fire or gentle murmuring brook.
If you’re a woman who feels called to step up / take up more space / speak truth / claim a more fulfilling, meaningful, and frankly satisfying life / do something that impacts not just your own life but brings positive change to <your family, your community, the world> – ANY OF THESE – this is what I would invite you to claim for yourself:
Now how does that feel?
I know when I finally gave myself permission to be heart-centered,
AND honour my hunger for big things, things in my body relaxed and fell into place, again. Fighting against your hunger does that to you, a constant inner war and tension around ‘but I shouldn’t want that’, ‘but that’s not really heart-centered now is it’, ‘is this coming from the heart or the ego?’.
I’d like to invite you to sit with this, yourself.
the big burning desire you feel, does it flare up when you think of all the incredible joy your work will bring to the people you work with?
what does your soul say about this? does the burning FEEL right, like it’s part of your vision for where you’re going with your impact and purpose? (for many of us, that’s what our calling is like. It brings visions of big and small things)
does it bring visions of people from your past (you know, those people…who always made you feel awful about yourself) being blown away by where you are (a huge success) and how far below you they now are (miserable creatures)?
Okay, so, yes, that last one isn’t coming from soul 🙂 I just wanted to point it out to you, because a) hey, we’re all human, and we do have these thoughts, yes b) you’ll be a bit more aware and alert next time these thoughts and energy come creeping in when you’re tuning in to your big vision.
4. INTENTION IS KEY
So flow means there’s less structure – but that doesn’t mean we’ll just float about. I’ve tried it. It doesn’t really get us anywhere.
The key to being in flow AND witnessing yourself bringing your visions to life, is to create powerful intentions.
So what is intention?
As an example from my own practice, each month and each week I’ll choose words that really embody the energy that I want to be partnering with for that next period of time.
These words help shape my choices and decisions for how to move forward with my projects, and where to focus. Words are powerful energetic blueprints, hence why I use the word ‘spell’. By choosing words, you’re actively shaping the future. You’re partnering with energetic fields that will be amplified in everything you do: the spaces you hold, the projects you’re birthing, the minute-to-minute way you’re being.
CONNECTION . INTIMACY . TRUST . FOCUS . MASTERY . PLEASURE .
LAUGHTER . DEPTH . NEUTRALITY . BOUNDARIES . WORTH .
what intentions can you tune into that want to be brought forward in your business in the next few months?
5. CHOOSE FOCUS
I’m sure you’ve experienced this, too.
Once we see how much pushing and pulling was required to get done all the things we felt / were told / wanted to get done – we do a 180 and don’t want to have anything or anyone tell us what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.
For me personally, in doing so, I went through a rather longish period where I also rejected any suggestions made by my own wider self. I absolutely didn’t want to have anything to do with words like ‘commitment’, ‘focus’, ‘limit’. Fuck goals! Fuck focus! I just wanna flow, create, be in service, be authentic, be fully me!
Well – that worked, and it didn’t. Because, here’s what’s important: to be of the highest service to others, we have to a) allow them in, b) be present.
Without focus, in my business, I ended up creating (so much flow!) but also, being highly unavailable and all over the place and frequently gone. I don’t blame myself for doing this, and nor should you, if this is where you’re at. Stepping into this new way of doing business, creating products or services, and embracing focused feminine flow, it’s a LEARNING process. A journey. You’ll hit the perfect balance (for you! it’s uniquely personal) at one point.
So here’s my invitation to you:
where can you invite in more focus?
Here’s some of my practices:
▼ Work with short-term goals. With my business-focused clients, we typically decide on goals that are not too far out in the future. What this does, is leave plenty of room (remember, spaciousness) to pivot when flow reveals a new direction for their next steps, AND it is super satisfactory to see how much progress we can truly make, bringing things into actual form and being of service, now.
▼ Create a day for specific repetitive activities. For example, for me, having a day where I focus on writing and image creation brings so much peace and calm in my mind. I love the space it allows for truly inspired, flowing writing. When I don’t honour my own need for this type of spaciousness and flow, things always start to feel more like ‘pushing’ marketing stuff out – which is NOT inspired flow.
what could focus mean for you and your business? what form could it take that feels exciting to you?
6. ACTION BABY
Inspired Action, that is.
Because you’re bringing through amazing new ideas and concepts and experiences for your people – and they need to be grounded and accessible in this physical 3D world we live in.
So, be discerning and clever about the 3D tools and processes and ways of doing things that are available to you. And choose those that will best support your flow, intention, and goals.
And then dance – continuously dance – between inspiration and action. It does take some getting used to, but once you’re more familiar with this constant dance, it really does start to feel so so so inspired, exciting, and fulfilling. I promise.
I’d love to hear from you! Have you experienced this? What’s been your lingering challenge, coming out of corporate? Or where have you felt most challenged with the idea and practice of FLOW?
Have a fabulous day, XO, Kath
Connect with Kath
It’s my honour and delight to support you on your journey! Feel free to reach out and connect to learn more about how I can serve you via private mentorship programmes, activations and intensives.