So many of us are looking for the perfect tips and tools to be our best selves, and the challenge is that change is going to come in the way we are, not in how much we do. For instance, do you know how to be taken care of? Many of us have been conditioned with old school notions of men needing to breadwin, and now we are beginning to see the importance of cultivating the nourishing and nurturing aspects of our men. This is the work. To do the necessary cultivating in them and in ourselves, we must try on these opportunities I list below, as well as also be in our own conversation of vulnerability and receptivity. Sometimes we do have to ask to be taken care of, and dare to be that vulnerable (I know it’s not easy, at first)…this is all in the intimacy of being with each other and not in the transaction of “getting sh*t done.”
Our opportunity is to let go of the old story that needing to ask means something about us (being weak) and them (not automatically getting that we need support). I think our own vulnerability as women is another myth to be busted. I think we can be as deficient in this vital nutrient as men.
- Honor and celebrate what is different about us as men and women.
- See his gifts and talents, just as clearly as we see our own.
- Have honest conversations about what can work for both of us.
- Make real requests…(asking for support vs. telling what to do).
- Affirm, affirm, affirm. If you praise him he will do it again!
- Allow ourselves to be taken care of—learn how to receive support.
- Set him up to win. Ask for what we need and be specific.
- Have patience and compassion for him and for us.
Remember, this is not about making them wrong…but about making us all right. Which means affirming those places where they are moving and acknowledging when our own superwoman-ness gets in the way of authentically connecting and communicating. Here’s what I see as our opportunity to be in true partnership and treat our mates “as an equal and equally capable partner.” This is how we are being in liberation, not just doing it.
When I realized that men were just trying to make me happy, my world changed. We have so much power—what are we going to do with it? Are we going to do what they have done, or do it differently?
Are we as woman willing to be vulnerable enough to receive male contribution to really allow our men to be there for us in the ways that matter?
Stay tuned for my take on Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ Chapter 9: The Myth of Doing It All.
Rha Goddess is a transformational speaker, artist and founder of Move the Crowd. Find her on twitter @RhaGoddess