When I got married and changed my last name to Leatherman from Schuler my mom, a New York newspaper editor, wrote an article lamenting that she should have taken me to more NOW rallies and less shopping malls. She worried about me losing my identity. And many years later when I left my steady job to be home with my babies, she worried even more.
“Always be able to take care of yourself” and “never depend on anyone else to take care of YOU” are lessons that run deep.
I also recognize that we women are born with fierce independence. My 9-year old daughter hates having things done for her. If my southern-born husband opens the car door for her, she will step back until he “get’s out the way!” and there have been more than a few occasions where she’s closed the door and reopened it herself.
And so for many years there is a sentence in my bio and in our mission here at Wise:
“Kiva is passionate about teaching women to be self-reliant with their resources of time, money and intellectual capacity.”
And it’s true – I imagine an ideal world where no one stays in a job they hate, or a bad relationship or compromised in any way to have their needs met.
Everyone of us deserves freedom. And the ability to make money is the keystone to freedom. When we can take care of ourselves we have choice.
AND… now that I’ve created this for myself (and get to enjoy the confidence that comes with the day that you realize that you could lose everything and still take care of yourself and your family – no problem)…
I realized the other day that I am MORE reliant on other people than EVER.
The bigger Wise gets, and the more women who gather here in this house of Truth, Community and Actual in-the-flesh results – the more I require tending.
I’m learning to allow others to take care of me. To let me be the one being supported instead of always supporting.
And even with my clients, being SUPPORTIVE instead of THE SUPPORT (which, btw, is WAY more empowering for them).
With a LIVE 3-day Event coming up, and history of getting REALLY sick after live events, I asked myself “What would it look like for me to NOT get sick?”
It looks like my husband coming with me to Los Angeles and holding me while I sleep at night. It looks like working on my nutrition and endurance with loving support leading up to the event. It looks like inviting INCREDIBLE colleagues to come and share their gifts so that it’s not all on ME.
And in the rest of my business, it looks like (Finally!!) having a team that tells me what to do and when to do it- instead of me pulling all of the weight of the ship.
And friends: It looks like friends who I can cuddle up with and crumble into a puddle of tears from time to time and who allow me to do the same for them – no saving, mothering or fixing necessary.
At home it looks like an amazing Nanny and Housekeeper. My next desire: a true-blue personal assistant who can simply help keep it all together.
There is no freaking way I could be self-reliant anymore… Why would I even want to be? And that, my love, is the ironic outcome of becoming “self-reliant.”