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Knowing When To Walk…

Doors open two ways. In business and life, it takes guts to know when to walk through a door. The following excerpt from my book outlines my own personal experience of struggling with aligning my own truth when making business or career choices. When we are clearly aligned with our calling we refer to this as doing our “dharma”. It takes a “big girl” / “bad ass” mental state to know when to stay and when to pack up and go….

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From - “The Journey Inward” by Nadine

Part 1 “The Archetypes”

Chapter 3.5 - What is your truth?

Archetypes:  The Good Girl / The Bad Ass

“…When she was good, She was very good indeed, But when she was bad she was horrid.”  -   Henry Wodsworth Longfellow, There was a little Girl.

It’s been a long time since I was a little girl, but I have a tendency to still behave like one.  This is one of my shadows, commonly known as “the good girl”.   I have a general idea of how I want to live my life and an even greater sense lately of how I don’t want to live.  I don’t want to be yelled at.  I don’t wish to be a replacement for someone better that isn’t available.  I don’t want to show up for work every day to a job where I am not using my brains, heart and soul to make a difference in the world.  I don’t want to do a job that I don’t enjoy because the pay is good, I am not a *prostitute and will not be bought out.  I am not a little girl anymore, I am a *bad ass.

Being a bad ass, means that I know what I want and I work hard to accomplish my goals.  Being a bad ass also means that I don’t put up with other people’s shit and maltreatment, because it is my responsibility to be a “good girl”.  I deserve to live well and be treated well and will make changes in my life as frequently as necessary to realign my path toward wellness.  This determination for self-preservation and success, often results in my being referred to as a bitch, maybe because I put up with too much in the effort to be “good” until I explode and then truly react in a pretty horrid version of myself.    There is also a tendency, for me to be called a bitch for speaking my mind, when others disagree.  I am a bitch that goes after goals.  I am a bitch when I decide to put my own needs first, instead of being treated like a door mat.   I want to be respected for being strong, not scoffed at.   This seems pretty basic, right?  We all deserve to be treated with respect and be in a state of personal wellness, right?  Well, it would seem that way, since we are a first world country that boasts about equality and women's rights, but my experience is that there is still much growth that needs to happen in this area.  Women who are strong are often disliked and belittled with terms like bitch.  

When a woman is strong and focused on what she wants and clearly states what she doesn’t want, there is a tendency for those around her to refer to her as a bitch.  Well, I challenge that mentality.  We are not bitches ladies, we are bad asses.  We know how to work hard for what we want and get shit done because we are hustlers.  We have dreams and goals that match our skillsets and we do not need to ask permission to pursue them.  If we are stuck in the good daughter mindset of the past and refuse to grow into an empowered woman of today because we will be called a bitch or disliked, then it is our own faults for being miserable.  So, as I finished another weekend of teacher training, surrounded by the inspiration of those doing seriously meaningful work in the world and return to the reality of my day job, where I am simply a supporting character in other peoples goals and regularly mistreated, I am certain about one thing - I’m done.  I am  done going to an unfulfilling job because I am a good girl, trying to do what is perceived as “right”.  So, I quit my day job.  

I was in a job that was unfulfilling and did not in any way align with how I wanted to live my life, so I decided to change.  Not just change, QUIT.  Was this wise and mature?  Not really, but it was definitely a bad ass move.  It was bad ass because I was choosing to invest my time and energy in myself.   You see, part of the reason I was feeling so horrid at my job, is because I have two other jobs that I care deeply about, but couldn’t give adequate attention to — being a mother and owning a yoga & wellness studio.   My sucky job, was just there as my safety net and to pay for the “extras" in my life.  Are all those “extras” worth having if you are losing your self worth and diminishing your quality of life?  No way.  

I have found myself in various versions of this same roller coaster ride more than once or twice.  I am very clear on how I want to live my life am ready to be on a path that feels authentic for me, I may even seem satisfied with my life, then it is as if things are just too good and I say yes to some random opportunity.  Worse yet, I pursue something that doesn’t make any sense for me, because I want to prove that I can be like all the other moms, the “good girls” who have full time jobs from 9-5 and retirement accounts.  Who I am proving this to, is up for debate.  Is this a competition with myself, my husband or other women?  I believe, it is the answer to the lifelong struggle we all have - ego.  My ego gets some big ideas and I lose my self along the way, time and again.   

In the yoga world, ego is a struggle we all face and try to work towards dissolving or at least coming into a healthy relationship with.  Often perceived as the devilish little guru on one shoulder encouraging you to compete at your weekly class like you’ve entered the yoga olympics, the ego is working hard to get you to feel superior and accomplished, by reaching a temporary goal or status level.  It may tell you that you need a fancier mat or those expensive yoga pants that everyone compliments because you look so skinny.  The unhealthy ego mindset, wants to persuade you to sell out your principals and ethics for more money, because that version of you, your dark ego is a trickster.  The options the ego presents often feel appealing and deeply satisfying, because they feed into growing our ego and increasing temporary routes towards pleasure in life, but I repeat these are only TEMPORARY.  There is nothing that the ego offers us that will be sustainable.  I want my lifestyle and yoga practice to sustain me.  

Practicing a sustainable life is a big girl mindset.  Being authentic and knowing what my personal principals and ethical standards are is a big girl mindset.  To maintain a big girl life, I need to sometimes become a bad ass.  I need to know how to choose what is right for the way I am called to serve in this world.  To be able to perceive clearly what is right for me, I need to always be watching my ego for tricks and temptations, and in order to do this I need to be a very good girl about my meditation and yoga practice.  I need to know how to take care of my mind and my body, so I am a clear vessel for mindful action.  That is how my practice sustains me and guides me from being a little girl towards a big girl.

With you on this Journey Inward,

Nadine

Nadine Westover