During a recent trip to Portland Maine in used bookstore I picked up a fabulous book titled Meeting the Madwoman by Linda Schierse Leonard, it was originally printed in 1993 and yet is SO relevant today. The concept of the book is that as women we have been programmed to be a certain type of woman, you only have to watch one episode of Leave it to Beaver to know what I am talking about. Although our lives are much more fulfilling today we still struggle with the traditional programming. Based on this concept the author Linda Schierse Leonard states that every woman has a madwoman within her waiting to come out. For every woman that madwoman is something different, looks different feels different.
Soon after reading this book, while having dinner with my husband in Bar Harbor Maine an elderly couple walked through the door, the woman had long grey hair, dressed in what I would previously consider “hippie” style clothing but her manner and demeanor seemed to express such elegance, peace, comfort. My first thought was that she has already released the madwoman inside of her. By doing so she has completely embraced who she is physically, emotionally, spiritually. She is no longer holding back yet no longer struggling to find her voice or her space in the world. She no longer feels a need to convince others yet will no longer stay silent. I did not speak with her and do not know for certain whether this is true or not but I do believe this is the destination where we all would like to arrive, so totally content with yourself with little to no concern about what others think.
Since that day I have continued to think what does my Mad Woman look like, I believe I now know. As a woman in financial services I spent years tolerating and accepting the rules of the road. For over 25 years I have experienced the bias, discriminatory and egotistical limits that all women in financial services share in one form or another but I accepted and worked with my environment in order to succeed, I WILL NOT DO THIS ANYMORE. As I continue to coach female financial advisors, as I share the experiences I will no longer tolerate and help them recognize their true strengths their stories begin to come out. They share the same frustrations, challenges and lack of support that I too experienced through the years. They too accept it for what it is and try to move forward and overcome. No more.
The Mad Woman in me is my voice, the Mad Women in me is there to support and encourage every woman in financial services to have the courage to find her Mad Woman. The Mad woman in me will no longer tolerate the “Good Old Boy” network. The Mad Woman in me will begin to share my experiences on my Your Pink Office website. I will share all the experiences that I knew was wrong but tolerated in order to survive and succeed. I will blog these stories and encourage other woman to share their stories. We must first purge ourselves from the toxicity of our environment in order to rebuild an industry and practice that fulfills our souls. Follow my blog, watch the stories in www.yourpinkoffice.com, and begin to recognize you no longer have to tolerate and compromise in order to succeed.