As we celebrate International Women’s Day this week and as I celebrate my newfound shift in thinking, I thought of writing something around celebrating wholeness.
What is wholeness?
To me, wholeness is embracing the full spectrum of myself: the planner, the go-getter, the loyal sergeant, the creator, the empath, the artist and the carefree child.
As I learnt the new possibilities of creativity, I found it extremely difficult to integrate this playful side of me with the serious, practical side of me. At times, I felt like Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde – one moment, I would immerse myself in intense work and drive, and at the other, I would be perfectly happy contemplating for days, not worrying about those work backlogs and wish I could be on vacation forever. It was quite a confusing phase (thank God it is quite short!) for me. For a while, I was living in an EITHER/OR world – I thought I had to choose which way do I prefer to live – to be carefree or to be driven. It was draining to put a serious, professional face all the time, but equally, I have no idea how to show up as that carefree, sensitive artist in my life. In short, it was confusing and counter-productive.
Then, I stumbled upon a book about life in spectrum that changed my perspective – “SWITCH ON” by Nick Seneca Jankel.
Instead of EITHER/OR, I found the concept of BOTH/AND very intriguing.
I have heard the term “Creative Tension” few times before, but the chart below (from “Switch On” book) illustrates the concept beautifully.
How it applies to me is the ability to recognize that it is okay to operate in a dynamic mode and to learn to move through this spectrum – oscillating from the thinkerMe to the playfulMe. Have you experienced the blissful moment and then in the next cycle, you became so determined and committed to step into the next action? That is creative tension dynamic at play.
What is most important about this shift in thinking is that I can now embrace the spectrum, ride the waves and enjoy it at the same time, without feeling confused. I can send the cues to my body to let go after I am in the fifth gear mode. I can remind myself to play and relax, after working so hard. And the most beautiful revelation is that I can be a driver and be a carefree person. It is through embracing the kaleidoscope of these moments that I become richer and more whole.
For mothers, it might mean that it is okay to be playful with your child and at other appropriate time, be the discipliner.
For leaders, it might mean that it is okay to be sensitive to your team’s needs, and also be firm on the principles.
For achievers, it might mean that it is okay to give the best shot in your project, and at the same time let go of the outcomes.
For some women, it might mean that it is okay to show up in the world in a practical way, and also embracing the sensitive and nurturing side of us, in order to make a better world.
For me, it means embracing all the pieces that define me: a mother, a professional, a friend, an artist and a carefree woman.
That is how I want to celebrate the IWD this week 🙂 Happy International Women’s Day!