Growing up as a woman in a world that was modelled by men, hasn´t been an easy experience. When I was younger I never even considered that I had to force myself to adapt to a system that wasn´t created for me and that isn´t working for me.
I learnt that I had to do what I had to do in the only way known to me: the male way. Which, in order to succeed, means that I need to be three times as competent as a man in order to be taken seriously, constantly working my butt off in order to prove that I am good enough, and changing my entire core to fit in – when the reality is it´s going against my entire energy system.
I never thought much of it. It was just the way things were.
I learnt to push and to pull, and force my way through even though it always left me completely burnt out on several occasions, and at one point actually so severely damaged that I´ve never fully recovered.
Men have testosterone, and it makes them push and pull in a very natural way. But the testosterone levels drop accordingly, leaving men drained. The only way for them to recover (yes, this is proven scientifically!) is to turn into couch potatoes and DO NOTHING. And that´s when new testosterone is being created.
Women don´t work like that. We have estrogen, and we never run out of it. That makes us able to go on and on and on and on, totally ignoring how exhausted we are. If it´s 11pm and the dishes still aren´t done, we´re still capable of forcing ourselves to do it even if we really need to sleep. (Why that is so, is another story.)
So, as the high-achiever I am, I´ve been an expert in the male push-pull way of doing things. But it literally almost kills me. And for several years I was wondering how I could do what I do but in a way that doesn´t harm me.
Little by little I have come to understand that my energy system works differently. It´s cyclic. Not linear. (Duh!) And I´ve been observing how my body feels when I wake up, noticing small shifts every day. Some days I have plenty of outgoing energy. Other days I have none. And I´ve tried to adapt accordingly, feeling my way through and flowing with my energy. It´s not easy because this is really subtle stuff.
There are days where I´m so productive I almost scare myself. There are other days I just need to lay down and rest. And I´ve learnt to give myself permission and do just that: follow what my body asks of me.
It´s a very different way of doing things, and I don´t have any other high-acheiving women around me who are running big projects, being mothers AND who work with this cyclic flow. I have found absolutely no role models to follow.
But it doesn´t really matter. I´m sure I´m onto something here, because I feel so much better now thatn I used to. And I´m going to continue to work like this (with myself and not against myself) because I want to be able to acheive my goals without almost killing myself in the process.
I´m not saying it´s easy. I have to stay alert every day and really listen to my body. And some days (like now when I´m opening up two big projects) it´s almost impossible to pull it off. But I´m aware of it, and if that means leaving the dishes (or simply not cook at all because I have no energy whatsoever for that), I´m fine with it.