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Being a Female Breadwinner: What This Rise Means for Relationships

When it comes to money, the more the merrier, right?

Well believe it or not, this is not always the case.

The last half century has seen the rise of a new kind of woman, the female breadwinner, a mystical creature once unknown to society at large. Although this is a total win for women and feminism, it can create a strain on relationships and gender roles.

To set up the situation, it is important to take a little walk down memory lane and see where the root of this problem is:

  • It has only been within the last 60 years or so that women have been getting equal pay to men (and this is still not always the case).

  • It was only in 1999 that the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that job standards and tests couldn’t be solely based on capabilities that would favour men.

What these facts prove is that for a very long time the workplace favored the man. It is only in very recent times that women have been able to work, especially in high-powered positions.

So what does this all mean?

Well it means that men have been the breadwinners pretty much since the beginning of time. Because of this society has created a sort of unwritten binary system where the big strong man goes to work and provides for his family, while the dutiful woman stays home to attend to her “womanly” duties (i.e. cooking and cleaning).

Attention Readers: This SHOULD sound old-fashioned and archaic, it is. But it is also a reality and it is the reason people are struggling with the idea of the female breadwinner. To put it frankly, they are just not used to it.

Of course there are some men out there who are totally cool with the idea of their significant other bringing home the bacon, but there are also some men who feel emasculated by this notion. It is okay for them to feel this way, they are not sexist monsters trying to bring down the feminist movement, they are just human.

If you are a female breadwinner here are some tips on how to manage your relationship (and your life too):

Money ≠ Power

Probably one of the biggest strains money can have on any relationship is the belief that it equates to power. This would mean that the person who makes more money would be dominant when it comes to decision-making.  Always remember that any good relationship is an equal partnership and no matter how big your pay difference you  are always in this together.

Redefine Success

Always keep in mind that money and success are not exclusive. The most incredible elementary school teacher in the world simply cannot not make as much as a mediocre NBA player, these are just facets of these jobs. So always show your partner that you still see all of their hard work and dedication, no matter how much money they make.

Show Your Appreciation

Always make sure that your partner feels noticed and appreciated. There are a lot more ways that a person can contribute to a relationship and family that go far beyond finances. Make sure you take note of these things.

Let the Man be the Man

Now, I know what you’re thinking and I understand that this is a controversial tip, but hear me out. Men like to feel needed and they like to feel important, so sometimes you just have to let them. So if you are out to dinner with a group of friends let your partner pick up the cheque, he will feel better and so will you.

Balance the Chores

If you work a long, hard day the last thing you need to do is come home clean the toilets and then cook up a gourmet meal. Some female breadwinners may feel the need to take on extra chores to compensate for the fact that they worked all day, but this unnecessary and quite frankly, it’s exhausting. Balance out the chores with your partner in order prevent overexertion and also to bring equality into the relationship.

Let Go of the Past

In the same way that a man might feel emasculated by his significant other making more money than him, a women may be conditioned to feel guilty if she is making more money and consequently spending less time at home.  Let go of this guilt and feel proud of your accomplishments! Think back to the long lineage of women who have worked hard to allow you to be in this position. Also, remember that guilt will also bring negativity into your relationship.

Take Care of Financial Matters Together

Just because you make more money does not mean you have take care of all the bills, and it certainly does not mean you’re in charge of all the financial decisions. Money is an important factor in any relationship, which means that all of the important financial decisions should take both people’s opinions into consideration.

Things Can Change

No matter what, keep in mind that we are living in unsteady financial times and that your situation may change in the future. So treat your partner the way you would want to be treated if the roles were reversed.

Female breadwinners rejoice! We are living in an exciting time when women are able to advance further in the workforce than ever before, but just remember to take care of your relationships just as much as you do your career.

Confessions of a Gatsby Wife:Lessons Learned From Losing It All

Do you remember the first time you read The Great Gatsby? Probably in high school before you could ever truly appreciate an American classic, but like many other readers you were probably enamoured by the luxurious lifestyles, intrigued by the social bonds that were made and broken throughout out the novel, and if nothing else, you were wishing you could find a Gatsby party of your own to attend.

Some people are actually living the Gatsby lifestyle, for better or worse.

“I just wanted to have the dinner parties and to have the life! And I didn’t want to know about the details or how he was funding this. I didn’t want to hear about his problems, if he didn’t have enough money. That maybe pushed him to have riskier behavior. I wasn’t a total innocent bystander,” Daisy (not her real name).

In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby’s mansion effervesces with fair-weather friends as long as the free champagne flows. When scandal erupts, however, no one is to be found. Gatsby, who was once the toast and talk of the town — the mysterious millionaire — died alone, with no one in attendance at his funeral.
Almost a century after Fitzgerald penned his iconic American novel, the scene still plays itself out. Sometimes the tragedy ends in death, like the many suicides that occurred in the wake of the Bernie Madoff scandal. Sometimes you are simply exiled from the Gatsby lifestyle, as happened in the case of “Daisy”, who sat down with me last week to tell her story.

Ten years ago, Daisy was living the high life. Her husband was a jetsetter with a fancy lifestyle and a flashy career in commodities. Daisy — her jewelry, her parties, her circle of friends, her figure! — was the envy of the Hamptons crowd. Socialites flowed like a cool breeze in and out of beach and country homes. Just like The Great Gatsby, Daisy’s toddler tumbled about, adding frolic and comic relief.

Daisy worried for nothing. She can’t even remember how she spent her money — the good income she earned on her own, working as an executive assistant for a venture capital group. She didn’t save a dime, and her husband handled all of the bills.
Weekdays were worker bee busy, but on weekends Daisy became the social butterfly, fluttering about among friends. That is until one fateful day, when her husband called with a horrible confession. He had collateralized their home against a hard money loan, and they were in danger of losing everything.
The years that followed were a flurry of anger, arguments and attorneys — none of which saved the home, or the Gatsby friends. As Daisy describes it, “We lost a lot of friends. People don’t hang around when you’re not having the big dinner parties that we used to have.”
And yet, Daisy looks better than I’ve ever seen her. She and her husband have reinvented themselves — something that took serious self-examination and brutal honesty over who was really to blame for losing almost all of their worldly possessions. Her husband went from dealing in bling and jet setting around the world, to dealing with high school students and commuting by train. His teaching job pays pennies on the dollar from his prior career, but he burned too many bridges to stay in his former business. Daisy went from lavish living to modest budgeting — where she controls the money and pays the bills.
In order to stay married to the father of her children, Daisy had to ask and answer the question, “Is my husband evil, or did he just make a terrible mistake?” She admits that he gambled their future on a bad business deal — one that he genuinely thought would pay off and save the day. But she also had to acknowledge her own role in the mess.
As she describes it, “I just wanted to have the dinner parties and to have the life! And I didn’t want to know about the details or how he was funding this. I didn’t want to hear about his problems, if he didn’t have enough money. That maybe pushed him to have riskier behavior. I wasn’t a total innocent bystander.”
Today, Daisy is financially, though not legally, divorced from her husband. Shepays the bills. She owns the home, and a 401K and life insurance. Her child has a trust fund and a college fund. And her next goal is to get back to earning passive income, through smart investing.
The champagne life may be gone forever (or not), but Daisy is happy and optimistic about what lies ahead, mainly because she’s driving the car now, sober and with a good plan. And she encourages you to consider the 10 Tips below, so that you never have to lose it all, like she did.

Smart Girl’s Guide to the Rich Life

  1. Pay yourself first always.  Deposit 10% of your income into a tax-protection retirement account, and learn how to compound your gains.

  2. Always have money of your own — even if he’s the mega-bread winner.

  3. Have your own credit card.

  4. Verify that you are on the deed of the home (not just the mortgage).  This is how Daisy lost her home — by not having her name on the deed.

  5. Know what and where your assets are Including how much is owed and whether your money or estate is being leveraged to pay Paul.

  6. Establish a Thrive Budget You can either survive or you can thrive. A Thrive Budget is a way to budget your money in order to help you thrive in your life. You may have a retirement fund but maybe it should be called your Private Island Fund. What do you want from your money? Save for the things you want, let it build up and never worry about surviving, just focus on thriving.

  7. Have your own retirement fund And never allow anyone to touch it. This is your lifeboat!

  8. Read the fine print of all legal documents Particularly big asset purchases.

  9. Demand transparency from your partner in all things financial  Even if you have separate bank accounts.

  10. Take ownership of your investments  Even if you have a “financial planner”.

  11. Learn The ABCs of Money  These are things that we all should have received in high school. It’s far more important than knowing how fast a train can get between Omaha and Chicago.

Sure the Gatsby lifestyle is seductive and alluring, but it’s also an uncertain lifestyle that is built on unsteady ground. Instead of being drawn to the glamour of dinner parties and fancy material possessions that could all be lost tomorrow, let yourself be drawn to the security to smart financial decisions. These are decisions that you should be making with your partner, because they’re your teammate and they’ll be the one down in the dirt with you if it all falls apart.

**Edited for repurpose by Taylor Brown, Associate Editor of Goddess Connections’ publicationWomen Who Run It.

Priceless Relationship Advice

Love is one of the most beautiful things that we get to experience in this world. It evolves, it ebbs, it flows, and it becomes a great part of our lives.

And what’s better than the beginning of a relationship?

Everything is fun, new, and exciting.

Of course, once we start to get serious, things change, or evolve, I should say.

Not everything is as sexy as it once was and what’s less sexy than money talk?

There comes an uncomfortable day when you’ll have to look your partner in the eye and really get naked. You’ll have to get down to the naked truth of your finances.

Will you be ashamed of what you have to bare? Or will you be disgusted at what your partner presents to you?

Sounds like it may be better to just avoid this topic of conversation as long as possible, right?


Money talk is not sexy. This is true. But it’s important.

Julie D. Andrews knows all about balance, she has devoted her life to writing about it, whether it be in health, finance, or just in life in general.

She shared some hard and fast rules for dealing with the somewhat sticky topic of money in love:

1. “You have to take responsibility here and awareness about your money situation.” The first person you need to worry about is yourself. Get your finances in order so that when the day comes that you need to share your financial situation with someone, not only will you be knowledgeable, but you’ll have nothing to hide.

People get in debt, yes, but you need to take control of that. It’s not on anyone else to take on that debt for you. Chip away at your debt and be very aware of it. If you do have debt when this talk comes around then you can at least share how far you’ve come and what your future action plan is.

2. “Money should never be off the table as a topic in your relationship” Why not start talking about it sooner rather than later? This way you don’t have to shock or be shocked later on.

Relationships are about openness and honesty. If you have bad finances, then share that with them from the start. Let them know that you have your own financial issues and that you plan on taking care of them yourself. On the flipside, if you are very financially responsible, then let them know that you carefully watch your finances.

3. Always be aware. Never put yourself in the dark. We all have different financial situations and you should do what you’re comfortable with, but what makes the most sense is always keeping yourself knowledgeable about what is going on with the money in your life.

Once you’ve merged bank accounts, if that is what you should choose to do, you should still always work to be aware of where your money is going. Women can end up feeling trapped because of a financial situation in their relationship. “I don’t wish that on any woman,” shares Julie.

On the flipside, it’s not your partner’s responsibility to take care of all of the financial issues in your relationship. “If you’re in a relationship don’t put the onus on the shoulders of your partner. Always be aware.”

Money talk can be uncomfortable and a downright turnoff but you should never hesitate to ask about money for a second. “It is absolutely your place to ask. You need to know so you can have a secure footing.” You’re a woman who runs it and if you can run a business then you can run your life too! Get to it Wonder Woman! Your Prince Charming awaits and he’s got your happily-ever-financially-secure-life waiting for you!


Fighting Marriage with Mannequins

Remember those t-shirts?

You know the ones.

The ones that said “Oops! I forgot to get married and have children!”

They poked fun at society’s expectations of women and did so all in the compact space of a few words on a t-shirt.

The message was small but it worked to combat something big.

Unfortunately, things haven’t changed much since those t-shirts first came out because women are still finding ways to fight these norms.

Art Director Suzanne Heintz has just founded a bigger and better way of wearing that t-shirt, she’s done so by dragging around two mannequins for the past 14 years, oh and making a much anticipated documentary about it.

Suzanne has carried around her perfect mannequin daughter and perfect mannequin husband to help her live out societies expectation of the perfect little family.

“It’s always been really hard for me to put into words what I’m doing and why but basically, you can boil it down to the fact that I got really sick and tired of answering the question ‘Why aren’t you married?’ over and over again,” Suzanne shares in the documentary.

Suzanne has not only been a part of her little mannequin family for the past 14 years, but she has dragged them over 10,000 miles to take pictures with them all over the world.

Sounds like a lot of work to make a point doesn’t it?

“Art is supposed to be hard. That’s what makes it worthy of your attention. It’s important,” she went on to say.

Her message is important and it stems around this idea: “I have the right to decide how my life looks, and you know what? So do you! I mean come on, women’s lib was in the seventies. It’s the 21st century and somehow I’m still not right without a ring on my finger.”

Her message is a strong one and an inspiring one that we can’t wait to see play out on film. Until then we’ll just have to laugh, enjoy, and feel inspired by the photos she’s taken with her family.

These photos taken in 1950’s garb look beautiful, but of course there’s always something a little off, much like how marriage must feel and look to those who don’t see it as something that’s of importance to them.

Suzanne’s documentary is one to watch for. Look for part one coming out in March of 2014!

A Love Letter to Dilma Rousseff

“I once saw a photograph of Dilma Rousseff at age 22,” wrote Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the first female President of Argentina, in an article to Time magazine. “She was standing in front of a 1969 military tribunal made up of judges hiding their faces with their hands. She exudes defiance. The roles appeared to be reversed: it was Dilma who was indicting, not only the military, but an establishment complicit in the injustice of excluding the majority from power during the two-decade rule of the generals.”At 22, Rousseff’s dark hair was already rocking her classic pixie-cut. And with her thick lenses framing her eyes, she might otherwise appear to have been an unlikely heroine – if not for that same stubborn defiance being reflected in every inch of her expression, making her lovely. The photograph is a famous one. You would think the judges might seem happier at having finally caught “the Joan of Arc of the guerrilla movement,” as she was known by military prosecutors for her integral role in the armed revolutionary struggle of several groups against Brazil’s military dictatorship. Yet those judges were hiding while Rousseff held her head at an obstinate tilt, faced her indictment photo dead-on, and went to jail, where she was brutally tortured there for her devotion to the cause. “We fought and participated in a dream to build a better Brazil,” she has said. Fast forward nearly forty years, and Brazil has come a long way toward that dream, in large part because “…The woman I got to know in 2003,” writes Fernandez de Kirchner, “…possesses the same commitment as the girl in that picture.” There are countless reasons to love Dilma Rousseff, 65, and not just because she’s the first female President of the world’s sixth-largest economy, and arguably the most powerful woman in the world. Although, no lie, that is a pretty big one. Few of us could have faced the things she has and come out with those results, rather than being cowed by a dangerous regime. They forbade her from engaging in political activity after her release from prison, and expressly closed many doors to her. But we love her because she fought that opression by lying in wait for her political moment and seizing it when it came. When the dictatorship lost its grip on Brazil, she became active in one of the few opposing partisan groups, working her way up over the years to the senior levels of government. We love her because, in a political arena dominated by men, from which she had previously been barred, and with all eyes on Brazil as one of the world’s emerging great powers, she rose to Presidency and has stood her ground on her convictions and has made a commitment to gender equality which has led to a record number of women in high-profile positions of power and one-third of Brazil’s Cabinet being comprised of women. We love her because she’s done it all with the same iron-will that refused to be cowed by the judges at that military tribunal. This ladies, is what you might call “the ultimate alpha female” . Not convinced? Here are a few more reasons to love her:
She’s always the brains and fuel behind the operation “[Former President] Lula realized that she kept things moving.” – Franklin Martins, guerrilla fighter-turned-minister.

Though she has since tried to deny it, there are a number of reports from her past guerrilla days which cite her as one of the masterminds behind several revolutionary schemes conducted by the Marxist rebel groups who took on the dictatorship. She was one of the most wanted fugitives in Brazil as early as 1967 and her eventual capture three years later was seen as a triumph for the military regime. Rousseff is far from ashamed of her radical past but insists her role was mainly political and organizational.

Her radical stance has mellowed since her youth but those experiences were something that served her well later in life when she began climbing through the ranks of government and holding powerful offices. Her intelligence, managerial skills, and courage in facing difficult situations when they arose caught the attention of then-president Lula as early as 2002. Once he appointed her to be his Chief of Staff she became his protégé and her own presidential campaign started from there.

She always makes the choice to fight, rather than surrender “I voted for Dilma because she is a fighter. What we need is a fighter in the presidency to continue…Lula’s efforts.” – Estevam Sanches, pizza-parlour owner in Sao Paulo.

She did not have to entangle herself in a war against Brazil’s military regime. She could have kept her head down. Rousseff was born to a position of relative privilege in the upper-middle class of Belo Horizonte, the city in which she grew up. Her childhood dreams ranged from being a ballerina, to being a trapeze artist, and somehow guerrilla warfare didn’t make the list. She was in high school when she truly became aware that the “world was not a place for debutantes.”

The political situation in Brazil was getting worse at this time: the military’s generals seized power in a political coup and declared a reign of terror during which they suspended the civil rights of the people. It’s easier to stay out of conflict when it doesn’t directly affect you. Many would argue that it’s smarter too. But Rousseff couldn’t.

Not even when she spent three years as a political prisoner being tortured for information on the whereabouts of her fellow activists. “They gave me a lot of electrical shocks,” Rousseff has said. “I began to hemorrhage, but I withstood. I wouldn’t even tell them where I lived.” Her silence was not for nothing – at the time the “mysterious” disappearances of subversives was almost commonplace.

She paves the way for powerful women to succeed her “Given a choice between a man and a woman with the same qualifications, she prefers to hire the woman.” – Gilberto Carvalho, head of the presidential office.

Rousseff makes a point of appointing women to powerful positions within her office. Her advisory circle is, with one exception, comprised entirely of women. Previously, the political parties were always claiming they couldn’t find enough qualified women.  Now “[women] are strong in government, and we have the president to thank for that,” says Marta Suplicy, the vice president of the Senate.

She’s a Power Mom “What is important about my being President is that now all girls can aspire to be President, and it will be seen as completely normal.” – Dilma Rousseff

Rousseff was listed at number two on Forbes’ list of “The World’s Most Powerful Moms 2012”. A mother for decades and a relatively recent grandmother, she has faced her share of personal problems as well, not the least of which being her recent divorce from her husband of nearly 30 years, Carlos de Araujo. Their only child, Paula Rousseff Araujo, currently holds office in Porto Alegre as the Labor Prosecutor.

Paula could have few finer examples.

Love Sucks, but You Can’t Beat It

If love in the real world were like the love seen in movies, we probably wouldn’t need the Hollywood romcoms. We’d be living them. You’d find Mr. Right after a series of amusing hijinx wherein he serves as your fake wedding date, pines for years over you before you’ve even begun dating, and/or gets into a fight with Mr. Right Now – who may or may not be a jerk, but it doesn’t really matter since he’ll obligingly vanish from the face of the Earth. And once the hijinx are over, you’ll get married, be happy, and never have a second thought because… well just because. WARNING: If you’re a hopeless romantic, searching for Prince Charming or Miss Marvelous, you’d better leave now. Because I’m about to steamroll any Disney-drenched happily-ever-after scenarios you have in mind. I’m starting my engine. Go now while your ideals are still intact. You can get yourself some Danielle Steel on Kindle.

Okay…I warned you.

“What’s with everyone going on about the ‘hard work’ of marriage?” I used to think. “If it’s so hard, it mustn’t be true love. True love has a meant-to-be-ness about it that’s gotta make everything easier. Like, if it’s THAT hard, then it just ain’t right. Right?” Uh huh.

My relationship with my own self is complicated, how could I expect it to be simple with someone else?

But I was single at the time. My panties matched my bras, my principles matched my big hair, and my astronomical phone bills matched my knack for getting involved with men who lived on the other side of the country. (The long distance fed my romantic longings. Longing. Always loonnnging.)

I’ve done some homework since then. Home. Work.


1. I don’t know a single couple with an easy, let alone blissful, marriage.  Okay. ONE couple: Donna and Brad. But they met when they were in their late forties. Brad’s wife had passed away. Donna was just out of a long termer. Within months of declaring their total and utter devotion, Brad discovered that he had cancer. They fought it with every known form of alternative therapy, and every dime and ounce of faith they had. They’re still going strong. It really is the stuff of love stories.

But back to the rest of us normal, non-Buddhist schmucks who got hitched earlier in life…

2. Most of my married friends have seriously considered leaving their mates more than once.

3. Within just the first year of marriage, at least half of my married friends and acquaintances thought to themselves, “What the hell have I done?”

4. Of all the longtime wed folks I’ve surveyed, each reported long, hellish periods in their relationship where they were merely enduring each other to get by.

Bubbles burst. Dreams get steamrolled. Imperfections and cruelties of life are made glaringly clear. Crap facts noted. Love stinks.

And love keeps going in spite of it all.

THE DELIGHTFUL, SWEET AND RADIANT FACTS MY RELATIONSHIP RESEARCH HAS UNCOVERED: 1. I have friends whose confessed infidelities blew a cyclone through their lives.  And they sorted through the wreckage to build something better than before. “The affair was the best thing that ever happened to us,” they say.

2. Couples who’ve rallied to beat addictions, have sweated and toiled to overcome them – tirelessly and without rest, because everything depends on victory.

3. One of my wisest friends figures that it took about thirty years for him and his wife to simply be nice to each other. Now there is a certain euphoria in their familiarity. A grace has settled in. He says that sometimes it’s magical. So if you’re out there thinking that the smoochy hot couple has got it easy, ha! Think again. If you’re down to a teaspoon of hope, envying the love stories on the other side of the fence, remember that while they were smiling for the cameras, Joanne Woodward was putting up with Paul Newman’s boozing in the early years. Fridah Kahlo’s beloved Diego chased skirts all through Mexico and New York. Cleopatra waited a long time for her man. Love and doubt aren’t exclusive. In fact, they can be the most fantastic dance partners. Give and take. Trust and turn. Bliss requires sweat.

It requires work, and a lot of it. It requires compromises, scheduling time to be together and even the occasional fighting. It also requires endurance when dealing with the rocky times, and really getting to know your partner, learning the most important things about them – which takes years, rather than months. It’s certainly worth it. But you can’t even come close to bliss without those years of sweat. It just doesn’t work that way. Sorry, Danielle Steel.

**Repurposed by Amy Kisaka, a staff writer for Goddess Connections’ publications Women Who Run it.

Are You Learning From Your Mistakes?

In the business world it’s easy to be blindsided when you’ve got your nose to the grindstone.

The problem is that the only person you have to blame is yourself.

When it comes to your career, you are the one responsible for your progress.

So when you don’t get that promotion, or don’t receive the accolades that you were expecting, there’s no need to point the finger anywhere but back at yourself. Instead of assuming that everyone else is wrong, it’s time we tried learning from these failures.

If you’re worried about a mistake you’ve made, or think you might make, you are not alone. We all make mistakes every day; some are big mistakes and some are minor ones. It’s part of life. If you Google “learning from failure,” you will get about 129 million results. So you are not alone. We can’t avoid our missteps, but we can learn from them.

One of the biggest mistakes I made in my career was believing that my track record and performance alone would get me promoted. I failed to understand the workplace politics, and I lacked strong relationships across the organization with key stakeholders and decision makers. As a result I was passed over for a promotion I thought I deserved. The lessons I learned from this experience now help me to coach other professional women. It allows me to help them avoid the landmines and successfully navigate the reality of the workplace. But I didn’t learn this lesson overnight.
  • A huge first step for recovering and learning from my mistake was accepting the fact that I could have changed my behaviour and mindset to influence the decision-making process.
It took some time to detach from the situation and understand that the assumption I had made, that my talent and hard work would be sufficient enough for the promotion, was incorrect.  After all, there is no such thing as a meritocracy. The reality is that people are not promoted solely based on their performance. It takes a lot more than just the minimum for you to be noticed and considered for a chance to move up the ladder. It’s a requirement, and expectation, that you perform well to maintain your title and status, but good performance alone doesn’t land you a promotion.

One of the key aspects that set you apart and designate you as someone with leadership potential are the relationships you have with key stakeholders and influencers. Your great track record needs to be shown alongside your ability to work the politics in a positive way and build critical relationships. You need to be on everyone’s radar and create visibility and credibility for yourself and your team. Unfortunately, I had my head down focused on my work and not on building these relationships.

  • Next, I needed to get over my anger and frustration before I could learn from the experience.  
After clearing my head to reflect on the situation, I realized that I had avoided connecting with key people in the organization. I had no understanding of how the decision for this position would be made. I didn’t even have a solid relationship with my boss, who was new to the organization!
  • Once I reached this awareness, it was much easier to evaluate the situation and look at it objectively.

What did I do right? Well, I did ask for the job once the position was available. I did lobby for the position and 18 of my direct reports at the time recommended me for the job.

So where did I go wrong? I had no idea how the decision to fill this position would be made. I had no idea who the decision makers were and who would influence the decision. I didn’t have any relationships with anyone who had an influence on the position.

In other words, since my boss was new to the organization, who did he ask for input? I didn’t know. I neglected to build allies and champions across the organization; I  knew no one in the office who could confirm my qualifications and leadership potential.

I was truly blindsided when I did not receive this promotion. This experience is now the subject of a popular keynote, “The Anatomy of A Blindside,” that I present across the country. The lessons learned from this experience are now used to help other women avoid this mistake.

Here are the 5 critical steps to help you learn from your mistakes:

1. Accept: Accept that you made a mistake and don’t cast your blame on others.

2.  Detach: Detach yourself from the emotions surrounding the situation and adopt an objective perspective.

3. Reflect: Once you have taken the time to detach, replay the situation step by step to get a better idea of how you could have avoided your misstep. At what point did things begin to go wrong?

4. Evaluate: What went right? What went wrong? What factors contributed to the failure of the situation? What could you have done differently?

5. Learn: Once you can objectively look at the situation and assessed what went wrong, think about how you could have approached this differently. What will you change going forward?

Today’s work requires a new leadership paradigm. Vulnerability is now considered a core competency for leadership. A real human being is vulnerable and has the potential to do something wrong. We all make mistakes. No one can possibly know everything. Admitting we don’t have all the answers and that we make mistakes is now considered a strength for today’s leadership. Admitting our own vulnerability inspires others, especially when we share our mistakes and the lessons we have learned from them.

It’s easy to blame others for our mistakes. It’s easy to become paralyzed by our emotions of anger, frustration or disappointment. We can expend a lot of energy beating ourselves up for making a mistake. That’s just wasted energy.

No matter what you do or what industry you’re in, there’s a window for failure. But there’s also a window for success. For every mistake you make, your window for success gets bigger. So you can take the risk and accept that things can go wrong, or you can stay behind and wonder what could have been. It’s your call. It’s your choice to use your mistakes and errors as a learning experience. It’s your choice to grow from it professionally, as well as personally, and keep moving forward.


Why You’re Acting Like Such a Monster

If you have been feeling crabby, cranky, controlling, overwhelmed, or “witchy” you are in good company!

No – it isn’t the Halloween season rearing its namesake. These symptoms can be an indication that potentially your soul is just starving and trying to get your attention. I remember the first day that I realized my soul was starving. I was living my passion, doing great work in the world, meeting a lot of my goals, and making enough money to get by. But I found myself at the tail end of a three-week “busy binge” with little room for pleasure and play, leaving me, in one word, CRABBY. So I held an honesty hearing with myself. My first question was simply, “Christine, what is going on with you?” and instantly I realized that I was unhappy, really unhappy, and had been for weeks. My reply was, “What? I am one of the happiest people I know. How could this be?” My Inner Wisdom shot back: “Because your soul is starving. You have been so busy giving, so busy working, so consumed with being a joy for others, that you’ve forgotten to experience joy for yourself.”

In that moment it was as if I could feel a hole inside me. I was empty, starving for nourishment — but not the green drink kind. I needed soul food. And the food of the soul is joy.

The problem was that I couldn’t even remember what actually brought me joy. And that was when I knew I needed a radical intervention… a self-love intervention. I am guessing I am not alone in my experience in getting crabby and cranky because I wasn’t getting what I needed. Maybe you can relate. Are you so busy doing, giving and trying to keep it all together or achieving your dreams that you are pursuing happiness instead of experiencing it?

I’m getting the sense that a lot of us have work-play equations that get out of balance.  This happens when you don’t spend time and energy on activities that deliver only pleasure instead of profit or productivity. As a result, your joy quotient plummets and your crabbiness increases. So you joy-binge in unhealthy ways for a quick fix, but your soul never feels full.

So how joy-full or joy-starved are you?

Take this self-love pulse check. It measures the joy levels of the self-pleasure branch of your self-love tree. Your self-love tree has 10 branches, and self-pleasure is the one that makes sure your SOUL is nourished. Answer yes or no to these questions:

1. Do you feel unhappy and you don’t know why?

2. Do you play or give yourself pleasurable things only after you have worked hard or finished your to do list? Do you have to feel like you’ve earned playing and doing pleasurable things?

3. Do you try to get pleasure in quick spurts or by bingeing on it? Do you wait until you are starving for fun and then you overindulge – eat, drink or spend too much?

4. Do you have a hard time remembering what you actually like to do for fun and pleasure because it’s been so long?  Do you have a hard time naming more than a few things you like to do just for fun?

5. Do you feel too busy to enjoy the simple pleasures of life? Are you so consumed by your to do list or workload you don’t take time to slow down and notice beauty around you, connect with nature or spend the day in bed reading a book?

 If you answered yes to any of these questions, your soul is starving for joy and you need to get some soul food ASAP! Luckily, I have some right here. The first step is remembering what brings you joy. Grab a piece of paper and write the word JOY in the middle of it. Then, go through your life from the time you were little to now and write down all the things that have brought you joy – things that make you smile, are just fun, make you feel warm inside, and fill you up. Keep going until the page is full. This is called a “JOY PORTRAIT.” Then commit to saying YES to one of these per day for the rest of your life – or just start with a month! And for starters, today, state 3 joy-generators: three things that bring you joy.  Mine are chanting in the morning, dancing in the kitchen or anywhere with my guy Noah, and deep conversations over food with my best friends. Halloween is a time for scary monsters but you don’t need to be one all year round. Commit yourself to bringing back the joy in your life and leave being a witch to the children.

How Far Would You Go to Look Young?

A peculiar new facial treatment that involves real life snails is trending in Japan for women in search of a youthful glow!

According to recent news, salons have been using snails to stimulate regeneration of the facial skin and to heal existing concerns such as wrinkles, sunspots and scarring. The snails are said to have the ability to eliminate dead skin cells and calm inflamed skin.

Several snails are placed onto the facial area for hours at a time, allowing the mucus from the snails to secrete and disperse against the skin membrane. The mucus contains properties that are similar to the ingredients we find in most anti-aging skincare products on the market today.

Among its ability to stimulate regeneration, the combination of its ingredients aid in other skin conditions such as these:

·    Heals existing Acne

·    Soothes Sunburn

·    Removes Dead skin cells

·    Acne Scarring

·    Wrinkles

·    Crows Feet

·    Texture and Tone

·    Youthful Glow

·    Aids in Retaining Moisture

·    Heals Rashes

·    Reduces Redness

The snails are fed a diet of 100% organic vegetables to ensure that the ingredients are in the purest and healthiest form. A one-hour treatment costs around $245 dollars!

You know what “they” say; the best healing comes from nature itself. This is most certainly an all-natural, non-invasive, synthetic free treatment for those looking for a safer alternative to healing their skin(!) While it is currently only being used in Japan, there is no telling how soon it could hit salons all over North America. The question is, how far would you go to get that youthful glow back? Would you try this if it were available?

Everyone is always in search of an anti-aging cure. The Japanese have really s-nailed it with this one!

The Five Sexual Stages

Why is it that some of us enjoy sex more than others? Why are some of us adventurous in bed, while others are more reserved? Do we simply owe thanks to our unique personalities? Jaiya, a world-renowned sex expert, has an explanation of her own: she believes that we experience multiple stages of sexuality, and that each of us falls into one of these five stages throughout the course of our lives.

The Resting Stage: If you’re longing for a sexual connection that you’ve never had before, or you feel a loss of your sexuality, you are currently in the resting stage. In this stage people feel disconnected from their sex lives, but find that they’re still craving something, although they can’t quite pinpoint what it is. You want to be intimate and find passion again, but you’re at a loss as to where you can find it, and whom you can find it with. You may have been single for a long time at this point, freshly out of a relationship that lacked any real connection or maybe even in a relationship that just wasn’t right for you.

The Healing Stage: In the healing phase you are looking to overcome sexual obstacles and heal what is preventing you from fulfilling your sexual desires.Those of us in this category have recently undergone some form of trauma. It could be something physical, such as abuse, or something emotional, such as feeling afraid, guilty or insecure. Others in this category may even be suffering from medical ailments such as pain during intercourse, post-surgery or erectile dysfunction. Whatever the reason, something is currently holding you back from experiencing a fulfilled sex life.

The Curious Stage: Just as it states, you are currently experiencing periods of curiosity. In this phase you are wanting to learn about your sexuality and how you can make it better. Maybe you want to become a better lover, or maybe you want to experiment with new things such as same-sex experimentation or new people. You’re likely wondering about certain positions in lovemaking or how you can increase pleasure to others through oral sex and vice versa. You want to learn more about intimacy.

The Adventurous Stage: This stage is for all of those wild ones who are experiencing sex often and freely. Sexual pleasure is not an issue for you and you’re feeling very content with what you are receiving and what you are giving to others. You are at your sexual prime here and feel extremely confident and forward in bed. The adventurer is unafraid to try new things and is kinky enough to brave even the most taboo sex positions, such as anal. You not only find interest in things such as role-playing, bondage, and anal, but you are forward about trying it, and comfortable with it.

The Transformative Stage: This stage is for those of you who want to move beyond the simple physical pleasure of sex and into the realm of transformational sexual experience. You are likely still discovering who you are and what you enjoy and feel that sex is one of the many outlets to finding yourself. In essence, sexuality is used as a tool for personal growth and self discovery.

Just like every other part of us, our sexual fantasies and desires are unique. We mustn’t feel ashamed or shy away from what our bodies are craving and signaling to us. No matter which stage you are in, there is a wide array of advice for you to take from Jaiya.