As I become more involved in my work with businesswomen everywhere, I notice that they relate instantly to the title of my book and workshops ‘Dancing Round the Handbags®’. Not only do they love the title, (and, let’s be honest ladies, we have all done it) but they also relate to its meaning and metaphors.
As hard-working businesswomen, we dance to the tunes of others: to the tunes of the organisation, the boss, the colleagues, the employees, the customers, the suppliers. And, in life, we dance to the tunes of the partner, the children, the family, friends, supermarket, dentist and everyone else that we deal with!
Often this frenetic juggling of demands, appointments, schedules, caring and nurturing, means that a woman dances to so many tunes that she often forgets to dance to her own music. Over time, her own goals, desires and talents become the ghostly memory of a tune once loved. We dance from the moment we rise in the morning, to the time we drop back into bed at night, exhausted by the dance of life. We have periods that seem to be even more challenging and busy than others. During those times we do so much juggling that we have precious little time to reflect or prepare for the next task. In work we run from meeting to meeting, in life we run from main carer to taxi driver! However, at the end of each day we have little sense of achievement and often feel tired and stressed by the amount of responsibilities and chores that we do; dancing to the tunes of others.
As women we continue to live this way with a belief that when the children grow, when the husband shares the load, the boss becomes less demanding or the world slows down a little, we will be able to find time for ourselves to develop our dreams; dance to our own tune. But, as the years pass, the dream of ‘running our own business’, or ‘achieving our degree’ or having ‘me time’, become a faded memory. Alongside this daily existence of frenetic activity grows the nagging seed of doubt; a sense that you deserve more, want more, can do more – but HOW? For some, it merely manifests in daydreaming of another life. We fantasise about what we would do, be or have if we had the choice. The sad fact is that many women feel they have no choice but to dance this way until the last note of their life plays.
Dancing Round the Handbags® stops the music of life for a while, removes you from the dance floor of life, and opens the handbag that is you. Through coaching, exploration and self-awareness, you will explore your own music and learn how to de-clutter old tunes that hold you back. By the end of the workshop, or coaching, you will return to the dance floor of life with renewed energy and a true sense of your own music.
Dancing Round the Handbags® uses the metaphor of the dance and the handbag to explore the dances that you dance to, and your potential as a woman. Each item in the handbag is a different aspect of you; your mirror is your image, your self-esteem. Your lipstick represents the masks that you wear – putting on a brave face. Your diary is about your time; and more. Every item in the handbag is explored and reviewed in a learning environment that is safe, confidential and, most of all, fun! This is an inspirational learning experience that brings together like-minded women, who juggle multiple roles in a society where the demands of work and life are ever-increasing. Women who stop the music for a while, come together to learn and leave with a true sense of who they can really become. Isn’t it time to dance your best life?
So, as we hurtle towards yet another dance in which you will do about 85% of the organising, buying, wrapping, cooking, entertaining and clearing up – the festive season – I urge you to read the following in the humorous tone that it is meant. Although you may want to spend time dancing this Christmas, make sure that it is not to everyone else’s tune! Then, in the New Year, book yourself, or a woman you love, onto a Dancing Round the Handbags® workshop, in-house workshops, webinar or coaching session to help to Dance Your Best Life! Details of how to contact us are at the end of this article.
The Twelve Days of Worklife Balance
On the First day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me
A whole day to myself!
On the Second day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Two early nights
And a whole day to myself
…and so on, to the finale…
On the Twelfth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Twelve nights in 5-Star
Eleven pamper sessions
Ten tips for clutter
Nine ladies ironing
Eight maids to clean up
Six morning lay-ins
Five emails less,
Four lunch breaks,
Three helping hands,
Two early nights,
And a whole day to myself!
Have a wonderful Christmas and Dance your Best 2010!