Michele Woodward says she is not superwoman, but after reading her book of essays titled I Am Not Superwoman, I am more convinced than ever that she is just that.
In fact, I think Michele has superseded the traditional definition of Superwoman to create a whole new one that all us deliberate creators (guys and gals alike) would do well to embrace.
Before I explain, let me share two recent stories …
This morning as I settled onto the couch to spend more time with Michele’s book, I had the overwhelming feeling of being an incredibly lucky girl.
Not because the house was clean, the emails were caught up, and the dogs were properly fed.
Quite the contrary.
There was a ton of stuff that needed doing.
And still, without a whiff of guilt, I settled on the couch to read one of my best friend’s books of wisdom.
While my sweetie golfed. And the dogs slept. And the cats watched the birds outside the window.
I thought it surely it doesn’t get any better than this. A whole delicious day to do whatever I please with it.
Indeed, a whole delicious life to do whatever I please with it.
A life led by my joy.
Which reminds me of the Abraham quote Matt recently shared at GVU:
“Your quest for joy should be the same as your quest for water to survive.”
Indeed, joy is a big deal.
That’s one lead-in story. Here’s the other:
Yesterday a friend (and client) told me about her 88 year old mother who is losing her will to live. While mom’s health isn’t fabulous and she’s restricted to an eating plan that eliminates salt and cholesterol, there isn’t any physical reason she should be withering away in body, mind and spirit.
My wise friend, upon noticing that mom’s depression is affecting her appetite, suggested:
“Mom, since you don’t have anything to lose, why don’t you go ahead and start eating your favorite foods again.”
Since mom wants to die anyway, there literally is no downside to eating her favorite ice cream and chips and such.
Mom followed the suggestion and quickly experienced a noticeable improvement in attitude. (I’d go so far as to call it a dramatic improvement. She was sounding spunky again!)
As I reflected on her renewed zest for life by simply eliminating eating rules and honoring her food joy, I thought about how nice it would be for all of us to realize we also have nothing to lose in following our joy.
Which brings me back to Michele’s book.
In chapter 2 Michele shares her “Disillusionment Theory” as to why women’s happiness has been shown to steadily decline after age 47.
Michele suggests that to be happy in mid-life, women should focus on what brings them joy and make that their life priority. That misbehaving, forgetting about what other people think, and throwing out the rules might be exactly what we need!
(You know this message is music to my ears!)
Then in the following essay, Michele writes that we are best served when we engage things for the JOY and fun of it – not because of the results it’s supposed to generate.
For example, learning for the sake of learning – not just because of the job it will qualify us for. Or running for the sake of running, not just because your marathon training schedule requires it.
Her message is to indulge yourself, to enjoy your life, and to honor what your heart calls for.
I have to say, that’s exactly my idea of a Superwoman. 😉