The Four Types of Women and Having It All
Posted on March 10, 2014
While watching a YouTube video of Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love and The Signature of All Things, I came across something I wanted to share. I’ve always thought of myself as an accidental mystic as I stumbled upon this new life-path. My academic and scientific mind felt the pursuit of mysticism, gnosis and spirituality were too woo woo. In retrospect, I can laugh at how serious and so certain I was of my beliefs and world-view lens. To say that I’m different now, is an understatement, as I have completely metamorphosed.
During the speech, Elizabeth mentioned the four types of women coined by Martha Beck. They are:
- The woman who chose career and is conflicted by that choice
- The woman who chose family and is conflicted by that choice
- The woman who chose family and career and is conflicted by that choice
- The mystic. Hold the woo woos until you hear the definition, trust me :)
Elizabeth states that, “the mystic is in any one of the above types but is a woman who filters out the commotion and monkey mind, the million different inspirations and aspirations, other people’s goals and what you think you’re supposed to do, regrets and second guessing.” The mystic is guided by her inner true voice as she follows her path undeterred by other women and their path. Elizabeth concludes her discussion about the difficulty we women face saying, “it’s tricky when we all have to become the mystic. It used to be that there was one per village.”
I used to be the type of woman who chose family and career and was conflicted by it. While at work I would ache to be with my little girl. On my days off I’d worry about not using my doctorate to it’s fullest, that I needed to do more. Pulled in a thousand directions with none coming from within, I was never content and exhausted. It’s so hard as we’re bombarded with opinions, beliefs and articles of other women detailing their path. While it definitely helps to see how others navigate their life, there is one tiny glitch. It’s not your life. They are not the ones that have to do your laundry in the wee hours of the night to stay on top of chores, or miss a soccer match because you had to work and feel guilty you didn’t see your little one score her first goal, or feel like you should be doing more than playing Hi Ho Cherrio one more time since you have a Masters in whatever, they don’t have to deal with the strain of your work-life balance, whatever your type of work may be -family or career or both. I could really give two shits about what this CEO said or what that politician recommends, rather than walk the prescribed path, I’ll listen and let the pieces that intuitively resonate guide. And intuition and resonance come from within.
I used to subscribe to the fact that women can’t have it all until I realized that when my inner true self defines all, then it is attainable as long as I listen, truly listen, to the call from within and let that guide my choices. It’s not easy holding that space in a world where I am bombarded with images or rhetoric of what my life should look like. You know… thinner; happier; less wrinkly; younger; perfectly coifed; dressed in chic effortless ensembles whether or not it’s for the office, soccer field or PTA meeting; married or with someone; cooking and baking home-made everything with a spotless dust-free shiny home. I’m
told sold that I should do all of this and proclaim how easy it is, that I should not let others know how damn infuriating it is to deal with this pressure daily. It’s courting madness to try and keep up with that pace, as it’s never enough. Ever.
Instead, I strive daily to shed the societal shackles that forged my personal cage conditioning me in how I should be, rather being who I am when I let myself be. I hope to greet each day holding the intention to do my best, whatever that may be on that particular day. That is ALL I can do, and for me that is enough.