I used to feel ashamed about so many aspects of my life that I forgot myself and started to seek approval for my hobbies, clothing preferences, research and parenting. I forgot that it was an option to decide for myself. Over time, I slowly hid the qualities that made me uniquely me. They weren’t gone though. They were just muted. My freedom came not from someone granting it to me, but from taking baby step decisions for myself.
I was raised to be polite, to compromise and to follow the rules. I internalized these narratives to mean that I needed to be selfless and compliant or I’d go to hell. Real life, hot, burning hell. Fire and brimstone kind of hell. (By the way, do you know that brimstone is sulfur that comes from lightening?) No wonder I didn’t even realize the choices that were available to me. If deciding meant letting people down or sinning, I decided that it would be better to eliminate the choices.
I shed those narrow parameters. I thought I was a fully independent woman until about two years ago when my coach asked me what I wanted and I couldn’t come up with an answer. A few months later, I made a decision to go to Massachusetts for the weekend and my brain freaked out that something bad would happen because I made a choice that wasn’t our of sacrifice. I felt almost frozen standing in the terminal at Logan International Airport because I was certain that the impending doom was ahead of me. Those baby steps that I took with my coach were the patriarchy brain detox that I so desperately needed.
Today I love deciding. I love deciding to decide and I give myself the freedom to change my mind.
I experiment with all sorts of choices. I eat cabbage all the time and love finding new cabbage recipes. There is no reason for my cabbage obsession other than I enjoy it. That’s all the reason I need.
I no longer care what people think of my feminism, my coaching or my PhD in women’s and gender studies. I love those parts of myself. In fact, I’m fueled by feminism (and cabbage).
I love the color yellow and I wear it anytime I want. I decided to start my own business. I research any topic that interests me. I celebrate International Women’s Day like it’s my Christmas. I post regularly on social media without worrying that my employer might fire me because I support Planned Parenthood, HRC or BLM.
I love the humans in my life because I choose to, not because it’s a requirement. I set goals for myself and work with a coach to help me achieve them. I coach women to do the same in their lives.
I take up space and claim my voice.
Are you ready for a patriarchy detox? Sign up on the site to schedule a time to talk about your goals and make them a reality with your own individualized plan. I work with high achieving who are ready to smash the glass ceiling, shed fear & second guessing and disrupt the status quo so that they can make an impact in the world.
I will also teach about these concepts in the 3-part Imposter Syndrome Workshop that I’m giving starting Thursday, March 18th. You can register for the sessions by clicking the link: https://linktr.ee/michellemorkertcoaching.
Happy Women’s History Month