International Woman’s Day – March 8
Today we honor all women for all that they are and all that they want to be. Thank You!
“Up, up and away…!” Superman had it right. The purpose of life is to keep pulling ourselves up, bring others up with us, and away from a ‘normal,’ safe, ground-based life so that we can fly.
From my interviews with hundreds of woman, I became educated on a couple of the feminine superpowers. So enough about Superman! We’re here to talk about Superwoman! Unfortunately,in the last couple of decades,the term’superwoman’has been given a negative connotation for a woman who is trying to do it all-have a career,strong marriage,well-adjusted children,fun social life,etc. In other words,a woman would have to have superpowers to achieve all of these things,especially at the same time. Well,here’s the truth. Women do have superpowers which can give them great benefits and advantages, but unlike most fictional comic book characters, they come with some costs and disadvantages.
The first feminine superpower is a heightened awareness of one’s environment,including the emotional states of all the people within one’s awareness. Relationship expert Alison Armstrong aptly names this superpower, ‘Diffuse Awareness,’ meaning that it pours out in every direction. I asked one woman to describe her experience of walking into a room of people. She said, “My eyes just go around and I would be like, ‘Oh,those people are talking and laughing,they might know each other,or just getting to know each other based on the way they are talking,acting like they just met. This person really doesn’t want to talk to anyone. They’re on their phone or their computer. So they’d just rather be alone rather than sit next to a person. This person might be friendly and open because there’s eye contact versus this other person who’s not. I would say probably less than a minute to view the room, maybe in thirty-seconds.”
Wow! As a man, I personally cannot do that. I just walk into a room and maybe notice there are people in there. If this woman and I were walking into this room together, she would have an advantage over me. She would already know the best way to start a relationship with each person. She would know where the emotional land mines are located, as well as where the emotional treasures are to be found. Not that I don’t know how to start a relationship,nor understand or feel someone’s emotional state, just not as fast as her!
The second superpower is adaptability. This is the ability to fit into a group or find common ground with people. No matter what profession you are in, or who you are taking care of, this is an advantage. My mother was a beautician who owned her own salon, and she had a personal relationship with every one of her hundreds of clients. She told me that being a hairdresser was a lot like being a counselor. Her clients felt safe to open up to her, discussing their successes as well as their problems, for which she would find some way to relate with them. In this way, she ran a very successful business.
The Price of Superpowers
Rest, Relaxation and Rejuvenation
On the other side of these superpowers, though, there is a price to be paid in terms of rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. For my mother, every Friday evening after a week of taking care of clients, she had to take care of herself. Her routine was to put on her robe and watch her favorite TV shows while flipping through magazines. Then on Saturdays, my dad would pile us kids into the car and go on day-adventures. I loved it! He would drive up mountain roads, or go to local open space parks, and we’d have a great time exploring. It wan’t until years later that I discovered the purpose behind these trips. My mom needed to rest!! And there’s no other way for a mother to rest except to not be responsible for the family,at least for a few hours.
Diffuse Awareness needs a slightly different re-energizing routine. With Diffuse Awareness,there is no filter from what comes in. This means that a woman in full Diffuse Awareness does not screen out input,and by the end of the day,her brain and body are full of this information. So she has to do an information dump. The most common method to unload unwanted information is to talk it out,or write it down. Another way is with’Alone Time,’where you have an hour or more to read,take a bath,watch your favorite reality show,or whatever re-energizes you.
If a woman does not take care of herself through rest and re-energizing, two disadvantages can start to occur: a tendency for being distracted, and a loss of one’s self-identity. If your awareness is everywhere, then you are going to notice more what needs to be done, or can be done, whether or not they are part of your definite, main goal. Translated into real life, as a woman explained her experience to me, even though you have that very important email to write, you’re straightening up the bookshelf and looking for an unrelated, missing binder. If you have found yourself doing something like this, don’t get mad at yourself, it’s just your superpower.
Loss of Self-Identity
A loss of self-identity can occur when adaptability goes unchecked. When you are constantly changing yourself to fit in with other people, you can forget your own needs, wants, dreams and goals. You can even forget your own opinions and how to access your favorite feelings. The only remedy to this is to limit your interactions to only the core family and friends who allow you to be the real you, at least until you are very strong in knowing and loving the real you.
“Up, up and away…”– Superman
‘Up, up and away’ is a metaphor for self-improvement, which embodies the process of becoming self-aware, self-empowered, and sharpening personal skills that are necessary for a life that flies instead of walks or crawls. Even the original Superman comic book included a few panels of self-improvement in the form of strength exercises for the readers. Like Superman, use your real-life superpowers for good. Diffuse Awareness and adaptability are about creating connection and building relationships. At the same time, take care of yourself, and stand up for what you need, so that your superpowers are always available and fine-tuned.
To all the women – Thank you for all that you create!
Thank you for reading! Chris Enni – Partnership and Love
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