Whatever we are able to create in life is inextricably connected to:
(1) how clear we are on what we want
(2) how certain we are that we are worth it, and
(3) the skills we have to speak up and ‘sell’ our desires to others and stand firm in the face of the inevitable challengers.
In 1994, my sister and I cleaned out our mother’s closet. Hidden away behind all the ‘normal mom stuff’ was a shoebox. In it was the most beautiful pair of gorgeous, high-heeled, Italian, red suede shoes ….that none of us had ever seen before.
Those unworn red shoes represent:
(1) the hidden hurts from her past that, despite all the therapies, she just couldn’t heal;
(2) the dreams for her future that she never realized;
(3) the everyday delights she denied herself.
She was just 56.
The Red Shoes Experience, and the programs around it, aim to make sure that no other women live less than the delightful lives they deserve.
You cannot have all that you’d love if you are unwilling to love all that you are.
I wish my mother had had the leading-edge behaviorist framework that I am blessed to have trained in. It would have allowed her to effectively release the disappointments and pains of her past (this is most definitely not positive thinking!), the freedom to go for the dreams she quietly talked about (but only with friends) and the skills to speak up and ‘sell’ her desires to dad (the powerful, authoritarian in the house).
We all need to know what we want, speak up and ‘sell’ it with confidence, and stand firm in the face of inevitable challengers.
If only it was easy!
As I head into my 50s I have a far greater appreciation of the conflicts with which my mother lived, as I’ve lived with my own. In my practice I talk with women who have shared their struggles
- between the seems-to-have-it-all woman on the outside, and the emotionally messy one on the inside;
- of feeling lonely in her marriage but not wanting to leave;
- of feeling undone by some pain in her past, but putting on a brave face for everyone’s sake;
- of trying to be positive but, in all honesty, feeling ticked off and negative;
- of wanting to be free to do what she wants to do …but shutting that down to do what’s expected
- of trying hard to feel really successful …but quietly feeling like a failure.
Unresolved conflicts like these can be devastating to our relationships, our bodies and our spirits. 1 in 4 American women between the ages of 44 and 60 is on anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication. Female suicide rates have increased dramatically. The health and wellness industry is booming as women seek relief for their physical symptoms, mental fatigue and relationship issues. Professional development seminars are overwhelmingly attended by women, trying to figure out the ‘secret sauce to success’. Sadly there is no feminine narrative that makes sense of these stresses in a way that moves women forward into greater self-love, integration and power.
After 20 years of doing my work I can say with absolute certainty …the biggest problem we face is that there is a fatal flaw in our dominant, cultural understanding of human behavior that is unwittingly driving depression, disconnection and feelings of inadequacies. This flaw must be addressed if we are to evolve as individuals and as a society.
The Red Shoes Experience was birthed to give smart, self-aware women the framework that will put their power firmly back into their hands and provide them with cutting edge tools to live the relationships, the adventures and life successes they most want to experience.