Hera Dumps her Golden Boy – March 2017

It’d been two weeks since Skyler had jaw-reduction surgery. The pain was harsh and she was on Percoset. She was too miserable to feel like her well-organized and poised self.

Skyler was a Hera: Natural beauty (enhanced by pricey cosmetics), fiercely protective of her family, with a high value placed on monogamy.

Fortunately, her best friend Nancy was sitting with her, chatting over the kitchen table. Nancy was her only real confidant. They didn’t always agree, but their bond was indestructible.

“Where’s Aaron?

“He’s in Chicago working on a mergers and acquisitions deal. In the hospital after the surgery, he spent a total of 15 minutes with me. He said, ‘The doctor told me your jaw is going to look great. I asked him about the bump on your nose. He said he could fix it.’”

Nancy rolled her eyes. “You didn’t want the jaw surgery. He pushed you into it. And I never heard you complain about your nose.” She paused then added, “I’m going to be brutally frank because you need to hear this. With Aaron’s colossal ego, he’s determined to keep you a showcase wife. He values your remarkable skills at managing the house, the children, and your talent for entertaining. But he’s making an object out of you. He just can’t accept the fact that you turned forty.”

Tears streamed down Skyler’s face.

“I’m worried about what it’s doing to you. You used to be so self-assured and it’s always been an open secret that you’re brighter than Aaron despite his business success. You have narcissistic victim syndrome.”

“What the hell is that?”

“Hyper-vigilance, easily startled, pussy footing around Aaron, always watching what you say to him, sleeping and eating difficulties, exhausted most of the time. All the things you’ve been experiencing long before the jaw surgery.”

Although Skyler tried to dispute what Nancy was saying, she knew her friend was right. “What should I do?”

“Where are his financial records?” Nancy asked.

“He keeps our mortgage insurance, and our household bank account here at the house, as well as some of his business records.”

“Find them and scan them,” Nancy said as she departed.

Fortunately, Aaron was a creature of habit. He tended to use the same password. While in the process of lifting out documents to scan, Skyler discovered that Aaron had a secret credit card account and an apartment in Chicago. There were many dinners for two on the card. Digging further, she found documents about an M&A deal in which he was involved that was clearly illegal. Although she was in shock, Skyler had the presence of mind to hire a first-rate lawyer.

Summer was approaching. Skyler signed up their twin 12-year-old sons for a summer camp that lasted eight weeks. Always a careful planner, she wanted to spare them the worst of Aaron’s temper when he got the news.

Of course he exploded and threatened her. Skyler calmly made for the door. Before slamming it shut, she announced: “I have the documents on your M&A scam.”

The following months were excruciating for Skyler. I have no identity now. She’d say to herself. Everybody knows me as the woman who was lucky enough to marry the golden boy in college. Even though she worked on and off after graduating and liked it, she regarded marrying Aaron as her biggest achievement, and her marriage had become her career.

  • Skyler did not see the trickster in her husband. Still, she was strong enough to face the betrayal head on. No time for anxiety or panic. She paused and then resolved that she would go back to her youthful self who had interests and a firm identity.
  • The news had been full of women protesting treatment by the patriarchy. Skyler was beginning to feel that anger too. She had no idea she had fallen into that pit by agreeing to being made over to suit Aaron – until hearing Nancy’s stinging comments. Trapped in a gilded cage? How had that happened? The price of being too attached to the role of the Perfect Wife.
  • Skyler went directly into ‘response mode’, kept her cool, stayed organized and managed her exit with grace – leaving the dirty work up to the lawyer. She called on her mother’s examples on how to competently assert energy, rather than flounder in ‘react mode’, when dealing with Skyler’s authoritative father. Yay, Mom!

A funny thing happened after the divorce papers were signed. Chester, her divorce lawyer who was a partner in a prominent firm, had observed Skyler’s professional approach to navigating her life crises.

“We need a manager in our law firm.” He said to her as they left the courthouse. “It’s a lot of responsibility, but it pays well.”

Skyler let out a whoop of delight. “When can I start?”

The 7 Goddesses New Years Resolutions

Persephone

I will give up the desire to be swept away.

Demeter

I will stop hovering over the kids.

Aphrodite

No! Don’t ask me to change my sexy ways!

Hera

I’ll stop holding such a tight leash on my husband.

Athena

I won’t ‘talk shop’ when out with my mother.

Artemis

I will listen more to others’ differing opinions.

Hestia

I will go on Facebook once a day for 20 minutes.

Hera – December 2016

Dominique Trims Her Sails

 “I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are.”  — Nora Ephron

When Dominique’s husband Calvin left her for an easygoing bohemian artist named Willow, she wasn’t a good sport about it. Dominique played hardball and got the house, Mercedes, and enough money to continue her lifestyle — bait to attract another successful husband. This time she’d bag a guy who would appreciate her formidable skills as a professional wife.

The only sticking point was the yacht club. It held more power, and rivaled the Episcopalian church in terms of exclusivity in this shoreline New England enclave. Calvin, whose grandfather had established the club, was currently the commodore. Worse, Calvin showed no guilt in bringing Willow to club festivities. Since Dominique was in charge of the Memorial Day kickoff party, she dreaded the evening.

Never underestimate the extent to which a woman with Hera characteristics will go for revenge. While helping a server arrange the food on the buffet table, Dominique learned that the server had lined up a job in North Carolina but was worried about travel expenses. So Dominique whispered that she would give the woman $100 if she would “accidentally” spill a glass of red wine on Willow.

The scheme worked beautifully – but with unintended consequences.

Willow laughed off the stains on her paisley dress, which endeared her to the members at her table.

Crisis. At that moment, Dominique realized that since she was now Calvin’s ex-wife, her membership was in jeopardy. And she knew many of the club insiders resented her take-charge ways. They felt relaxed around Calvin and Willow. How could she continue to keep her position among those whose esteem she prized?

Did Dominique understand she had choices? What would you do?

  • Turn off your animosity and graciously welcome Willow into the fold?
  • Keep ranting? Bad idea. Others will soon tire of you bad-mouthing your Ex.
  • Get real. Deal with Calvin more directly – let him know how difficult this transition is for you?
  • Let go of the past. Dig deep into your skill set. Find another purpose to enhance your life, rather than count on a boyfriend or another husband to do it for you.

Goddess Tip: Take ownership of your control freak-mindset. Try hands off, instead of hands on. Let your husband, children, friend, or colleague come up with another way of tackling a project. Collaboration opens the door to harmonious solutions.

 

Welcome to My Blog!

Falling Awake in an Upside Down World

Women love to reinvent themselves every few years. You have a burning desire to step up and be the heroine of your own life – to consider possibilities, to be your own authority, free to make choices.

“In each of us is another whom we do not know.” Carl Jung

Your question probably becomes something like ‘how can I set sail through the narrows of transition and move on to the next phase of my journey?’ Then, ‘But what if……?’

Creative forces pop up to mobilize your energies when needed to usher in another life phase. Lying deep within your psyche is this divine sorority of goddesses – Persephone, Demeter, Aphrodite, Hera, Athena, Artemis and Hestia – inner templates ready to explore life on the conscious level. Their wisdom is as relevant now as it was in ancient times.

Faced with a challenge? Become unstuck through the innovative tools I’ve developed as a psychotherapist. Each goddess will empower you through her unique insights, strengths and limitations:

  • Shuck self-destructive patterns
  • Face challenges without panicking
  • Make bold life-changing decisions in the midst of crisis
  • Pass through chaos into another aspect of personal power
  • Go for Wholeness -no need to be perfect.
  • Fall awake in an upside down world into a deeply satisfying life.

Persephone

A Lightning Rod for Disaster. She finds her strength within the victim’s story and moves out of the Underworld. Because her direction has been unsure, it may not be till mid-life for this vulnerable goddess to wake up from her bad dream. Then she accepts responsibility for herself and nails a solid purpose in which to ground her skills.

Demeter

The Nurturer who becomes pregnant with her own possibilities. Once she hits burnout, she finds her leverage and steps down from sacrificing all her energies to other peoples passions.

Aphrodite

The Lusty Lover Girl – too sexy to sleep alone. She creates a magnetic attraction in order to worship a man’s raw, phallic energy. Fickle in love, her dazzling power to seduce can cause great pain, when all she wants to do is open all our senses by bringing the Divine down into this earthly realm.

Hera

The Homefront Heroine swims in the tidal currents of marriage. Seeking to be completed by her powerful husband she becomes too dependent on him. Grasping too tight a leash on the marriage sets up her betrayal. Eventually, she finds authenticity.

Athena

Career Woman and change agent in the market place. She knows how to set goals, strategize and negotiate to make progress. Once she’s betrayed by The Boys Club, she digs deep to find her feminine ground. Then she becomes a more effective, compassionate and flexible leader.

Artemis

Wonder Woman. She’s our kick-ass sister. Resilient, prickly, adventurous, independent and sexually fluid, she wastes no time with emotional pirates. Learns to cool her jets and make apologies when she judges too harshly. After all, others have their own truths.

Hestia

The Intuitive Visionary who keeps the Sacred Flame burning for everyone in the community. She sets the pace for global spiritual evolution. People seek her wisdom because she knows how to stay grounded in the midst of chaos and disorder.

My journey through life has been chockablock with challenges: Raised by glamorous misbegotten parents; Hop-scotching from one notable prep school to another; Playing with danger race car driving, and staying sane through a 22-year marriage to a charming sociopath. But I survived and flourished.

How? At each juncture, a goddess came to my rescue. I thank: Artemis for strength; Aphrodite for sex appeal; Persephone for balance; Demeter for knowing how to mother; Hera for holding tight to some traditional values; Athena for the guts and business savvy to succeed in my profession, and Hestia for teaching me how to stay centered while living my vision.

Read my forthcoming blogs on these stimulating Goddesses. As a psychotherapist, I’ve developed some tools to move deeper into life’s journey. I want to hear how you resonate with my ideas. My book, A Mythic Sisterhood will be on the market soon. Until then, comments, please. Questions? Thunderbolts? You’re probably looking at your own life and asking: “What risks do I have to take to find out what else is possible?”