Meditations for Women who Do Too Much
by Anne Wilson Schaef
It has 365 short meditations. After I found it on the bookshelf a couple of weeks ago, I've been reading one each morning. Here are a couple of my recent favorites.
October 22: Being Direct
If you can't be direct, why be? -- Lily Tomlin
Being direct is almost archaic in this culture. With all the "spin," "handling," innuendo, and outright lying it is difficult to know what anyone is saying and what is real or not real.
"Feminine" women have been trained in smooth talk, inference, manipulation, and control. Our mothers and grandmothers were masters of the "soft sell." They had to be. They were raised to be impotent and dependent.
We often feel resentful and sad because we find ourselves dealing with illusion. It's not that we don't perceive reality. We do! We just don't want to have to dig it out all the time.
We women are good at seeing the whole picture. We are good at seeing the fine details. We are great at generating creative options. And we are excellent at understanding the emotional as well as the intellectual nuances.
As we women are changing and our roles are changing, do we want to slip into the male form of smooth talk and spin? We have some choices to make here. This particular choice may not seem like such a big one, but it has great implications.
Why not be direct? Being direct takes so much less time and energy. Why be if we can't be direct?
October 30: Being Obsessed / Needing Others
She who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount. -- Proverb
Being obsessed with our work is often thought to be a requirement for success. Yet, when was it that the tail started wagging the dog? Where was the point at which we stopped doing our work, and it began doing us?
It is a lot harder to get off the roller coaster in the middle than it was to get on it. This is why we need the companionship of others who are struggling with the same issues: they support our process of getting unhooked from our obsessive doing.
It is only with the support of others and the renewed connection with a power greater than ourselves that we can hope to become whole.
I suppose I can dismount if I have a few people helping to hold the tiger. I have been known to dismount!
…and so on. Some of the meditations are a little cheesy, and a couple haven't resonated with me at all, but for the most part, my morning meditation is a helpful moment of stillness as I begin another busy day. I'm grateful for the encouragement to slow down, to stay with what is truly important, to speak up for myself and my needs.