Women Can’t “Have It All” in a Culture that Overvalues Activity, Force, and Domination

An article in the July/August issue of The Atlantic,Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” by Anne-Marie Slaughter has opened up a discussion about work-life balance and whether it is possible for a woman to have a demanding career while she is raising her children.

Slaughter brings up many important points—but the one I am the happiest to read is her call for our society to re-evaluate how most work places are structured.

Doesn’t it make sense that women are hampered by working within a male-based model that is driven by a belief that activity, force and domination pave the road to success? Do we have to emulate Sisyphus, or are there other ways to move that boulder?

I have already written at length in The Power of Receiving about the unnaturalness of a cultural model that champions the use of willpower and under-recognizes the value of receptivity. This viewpoint has led both men and women to believe that to succeed one must exert as much time and effort as possible—an approach that can’t help but lead to burnout and overall dissatisfaction.

But women face an additional hurdle in that a woman’s quest for a balanced life collides with a culture that has convinced her that doing for others is more important than paying attention to her own needs.

I write about this in my new book, Born to Receive: 7 Powerful Steps Women Can Take Today to Reclaim Their Half of the Universe, which will be released in the fall of 2013 by Tarcher/Penguin. In Born to Receive I present a radically different approach to achieving goals, reducing stress, and creating better health and greater happiness by encouraging women to use the power that already belongs to them—receptive power.

I am delighted by all of the articles that are being written that challenge prevailing societal paradigms that are based on a lack of balance between activity and receptivity. I believe we are currently living through a time of great change that will lead to more equality and greater contentment for everybody.

If you are on Facebook, feel free to join the discussion as I write about the 7 Steps.
Step One: Honor Your Feelings and Trust Your Intuition, has generated interesting feedback. During the coming month I will be writing about Step Two: Know What You Want. I post on my official Power of Receiving FB page as well as my personal one. Feel free to “Like” my official page and “friend” me on my personal one. For inspiration, follow me on twitter at Receive Tweets


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