Are you behaving like a modern day Shirley Valentine?
Last night I watched Shirley Valentine and it blew me away. It must have been about 20 years since I last saw it and as I set to and got stuck into this classic, I had no idea I’d be jumping on my laptop first thing this morning to write a blog!
What an amazing woman Shirley Valentine was, she was put down at school, married a guy that turned into a complete a**e and tolerated it for 20 plus years, stayed there probably for the kids and then just when she thought her life was over, she took the plunge and went on a ball-breaking, life-enhancing trip. And it really got me thinking about the modern day woman.
I’m sure if Shirley Valentine had got a sneak peak into 2015 she would have thought women of today have it all. But whilst we’re living in a much more modern world, where women have more opportunities, are connected to others, and we have the freedom to live the way we choose, are many in fact just as stuck as she was?
How many women are trapped, maybe not by their husbands and the confined space of a small kitchen, but by being tied to their jobs, a mortgage, financial pressure, feeling they ‘have’ to have a big house or be a certain size or fitness level to be respected? Maybe juggling both work and kids beyond her wildest nightmares and quite frankly doing about 100 times the ‘to-do-lists’ that Shirley did.
How many women’s Facebook and Daily Mail online habits are the modern day wall to cope with the fact that they’re bored, lonely, stuck – just like she was but in a very different way?
How many women have tolerated and continue to tolerate gender inequality in the work place? Being talked down to at a meeting and not being paid the same as your male colleagues is no worse than having egg and chips thrown at you, don’t you think?!
How many women without even realizing it, have settled for a life that they didn’t want? Like Shirley says in the film something along the lines of ‘ I can’t even pin point the exact day or time when I stopped being Shirley Valentine’.
Nowadays time goes past even faster than in her era and with technology, choice and opportunities for us everywhere, we can have an amazing life. I love being a women in the 21st Century I really do! But information overload, comparison, pressure, the mayhem associated with being successful, especially if you have a family too (all the things my clients tell me they experience on a day to day basis), I’m not so sure we have any more control over our lives in 2015 that Shirley Valentine did in the eighties!
That’s unless you’ve done my BEST program.
And as I watched Shirley being told she was stupid at school, I was literally shouting at the screen… ‘Aaaaaaah if only I could have gone in to talk to the girls about mindset. That what they teach you at school is only about 10% of who you become. That it doesn’t matter if you’re at the bottom of the class, when you leave school, it’s down to you to take control, create more self-respect, look after yourself, let things go and leave the past behind. Think about your priorities and get organized, lighten up and free yourself , find your confidence by knowing yourself and believing in yourself. Beat self-sabotage by removing negative messages in your head, tackling procrastination and removing resistance, to keep inputting positive affirmations into your mind daily, to think about making your life easier and stronger and being really clear that the best is yet to come, wherever you are in your life and whatever has happened to you’. You get one life and you can create any life you want to. If more people realized that are the boss of their own lives, magic would happen. And this is why I created BEST, everything I just mentioned here is what I teach people to do.
Many women that come to me in their late thirties or fourties and even fifties and sixties, say “Where did twenty or thirty years go? How come I got to this place?!’. Many of them have been working hard in their careers since leaving university, or starting in the work place. Many are juggling the rat race and bringing up children. Some financially tied to school fees, the ‘desperate need’ (a client’s exact words in a session last week) to have nice holidays because she works so hard and has no time for her. Some of my clients who struggle to get pregnant or have adrenal fatigue are tied NO less to working 12 hour days and having to entertain clients four evenings a week (or scenario similar to this), than Shirley Valentine was to her boring life and bullying husband. This absurdity has to stop.
To these busy, burnt out women, I want to say ‘ You get one life, please, please, please, live it on your terms! Please understand that you’re the boss of your own life and there is no rewind button in life’ And I want to also encourage these women to, take control, remove denial, reset themselves, become less critical, be nicer to themselves, create more balance, pace themselves, focus on nourishment not punishment, think about stressful situations differently (because stress is self-created), start to feel really good again, remove perfectionism (which often is a big driver for many women I work with) and start to understand authentic happiness. I want to teach them to lower their fear to create the changes they want and build their confidence by developing their strengths and conquering their weaknesses. Identifying the patterns they may have got themselves in to over the last decade,or two decades or more sometimes To encourage them to not sabotage what they truly want because of their powerful sub-conscious mind (that controls 95% of it) because somewhere down the line they’ve told themselves that they don’t deserve it, or it will be too difficult to make a change or worry what others will think of them! To these women I want them to simplify their lives, to do less (after all we are human beings not human doings)!), love more and again, make them understand that the best is yet to come! This doesn’t mean we need to revert back to being bored housewives at home, far, far from it, after all we can learn from the eighties Shirley Valentine right?! But we are living in a new economy, a digital era and as Sheryl Sandberg talked about in Lean In (which if you’re a working woman you must read!), things can change and are going to change, but you need to be the change you want to see!
Finally, the absolute worst thing I ever hear from a woman is that they think it’s too late to get the life they want or to become the person they deserve to be. This is NUTS! Whether you’re fifteen, fifty or ninety, please remember this…
We have one life. We are all entitled to live whichever life we want to have. And learning to be the best version of ourselves and living our lives to our full potential is the most powerful, enjoyable and liberating experience we can possibly have in life in my view.
If you want help with enhancing your thoughts, mindset and life, you’ll love BEST and the 2016-17 program starts on Monday 3rd October.
And if what I’ve shared here doesn’t inspire you to think about your life, then check out this great article, the Top 5 regrets of the dying.
We get one life. Live it well. Create a life on your terms. And as my Grandma used to say ‘If things don’t change, they’ll stop as they are’.
Don’t be a modern day Shirley Valentine, take the plunge and get on the equivalent of her trip to Greece. She didn’t regret it!