'Yes, And' Women
Strong and compassionate. Smart and beautiful. Powerful and creative. Executive and mother. Leader and wife.
I shared the above with a colleague of mine recently, and when I asked her if she liked the idea of 'choosing not to choose' between possessing all these qualities, she replied, "Instead, how about 'Yes, and'?"
'Yes, and.' Brilliant.
As what one Harvard clinical psychologist calls the 'alpha women' of our era, can we 'have it all'? Yes, and we deserve it. Our roles have adapted to the changing times, or the times have adapted to our changing roles. Our expanded roles. Roles that we may script, direct and produce, while starring in all the leading parts - and that includes honoring our softer, feminine side.
'Yes, and' is not a competition, it is not a mission for Instagram-perfection, nor is it a psychological study. This is real life, and 'yes, and' is our opportunity to be successful, be fulfilled, and create a beautiful life for those we love while living every ounce of our potential, our passion, and our spirit.
It is creating life by design, guilt-free, and absolutely on purpose. And while some 'yes, and' successes may sound contradictory at first, it is only because of the effort each entails. The pursuit of 'yes, and' entails embracing our unique ability to channel our strong, masculine side while embracing our softer, feminine gifts. Having both, having it all, it evokes an air of perfection that is truly misconstrued. Often, sadly, this effort is misunderstood by other women and sometimes, questioned by men.
Perfection is not what 'yes, and' women strive for. Rather, it is just the opposite. 'Yes, and' women strive to live in spirit, to make a positive impact in their career and in their home, to lead fulfilling lives that require a level of self love and appreciation. It is the opportunity to manifest the strong, masculine, leading lady AND yield to our softer, maternal, feminine side. And, rather than battle or raise your eyebrows at alpha women for the attempt to possess and manage both sides of this coin, support and champion them. We as humans must celebrate one another - celebrate ourselves - first before we expect entire communities to do so.
YES, know your value AND be able to express it. YES own your pursuit of success AND enjoy our ability to soften and connect deeply. 'Yes, and' women, it is time we adapt ourselves and champion others, honoring the challenge, and the joys, of mastering this hybrid reality - all while leading board meetings, speaking our minds, and baking chocolate chip cookies from scratch.