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“Every Woman’s Middle Name Is GUILT”

December '11

I grabbed this pithy quote from a podcast of Madeleine Albright’s recent lecture in London. These cogent words emerged in response to a query as to how our former Secretary of State had managed to deal with the competing demands of being a mother along with her work in the government.

What woman with kids hasn’t experienced the horns of this particular dilemma? From stay-at-home Moms, I hear, “How do I stop feeling guilty that I’m not putting that wonderful education I received into a job?” Or, “How do I stop feeling guilty that I’m less of a contributing partner to our relationship?” The questions I catch from working Moms run basically along the line of “How do I stop feeling guilty for not staying home and being there for my kids?” Each of these inquiries can lead to a mind-boggling, “I know I’m not supposed to feel guilty (about working, or staying home), so how do I stop feeling guilty about feeling guilty?”

Tomes have been written about different ways of managing guilt – all of which seem to involve extra time, like making lists, future planning, designing a better work/life balance, etc. Instead, I suggest a simple, yet powerful technique for this holiday season when end-of-year work commitments and holiday shopping may be hiking up your stress level.

Whenever you notice yourself feeling guilty, simply become aware of that guilt, as in, “Oh, look at that, I feel guilty about blah, blah, blah.” Then accept this feeling, “It’s O.K.” Finally, allow the feeling to move, “I intend to move this feeling.” All of this internal dialogue occurs in seconds. You can remember this as the AAA technique: Awareness, Acceptance, Allowing. If you like, give it a try. You may be surprised to find your energy increasing, instead of decreasing.

And may I wish you Triple A days for the remainder of 2011 – i.e. abundant, animating, and absolutely amazing!


Get a free consultation with Bonnie LeonardAfter the holidays, perhaps you’d like to begin the New Year with an assessment of where you are in your life and what you want for the year ahead. If so, my 30/30 Consult may be just the ticket for you

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