Break the Rules!
Some rules are common sense. But many “rules” in society are just cultural nonsense designed to keep women “seen and not heard.”
Such “rules” — or as Brooke Castillo would term, “manuals” that society has for our behavior — drive smart women to second-guess themselves and worry about making people mad or disappointed if said rules are broken.
Why is it important to sometimes break certain rules? The cost of remaining silent can be greater than just our own integrity.
In today’s episode, come with me as we break some rules — and have a few laughs about it.
This episode contains adult language.
I’m going to be giving away a reMarkable tablet to 1 lucky listener who follows, rates, and reviews the show. The raffle has been extended to March 31, 2022. I want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome show that provides tons of value. Click here to learn more about the contest and how to enter.
I’ll be announcing the winner on the show in an upcoming episode!
What You Will Discover:
- The “rules” society has for women that should be broken.
- The three steps to work through whether or not you should break a certain unwritten rule.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Resources for You:
- Leave a rating and review of the show to be entered in the raffle for a reMarkable tablet! Drawing has been extended to March 31, 2022.
- Want to learn the energetic and emotional skills to stop shoulding yourself and start enjoying all your desires? Enroll in the Power Bootcamp. It goes way beyond what you learn here on the podcast. And it starts March 23, 2022.
Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome back to feminine energy feminist, episode number 12, Break the Rules.
Welcome to feminine energy feminist, a podcast for professional women who are ready to tap into their feminine energy so they can be happier at work and in their personal lives. It’s time to redefine what a professional woman is in those historically male dominated fields that don’t always embrace the needs and talents of women.
I’m your host, SaraEllen. I’m a life coach and a practicing lawyer. I’ll help you learn how to embrace who you are as a woman, body, mind, and spirit. So you can be more powerful in your career and fulfilled in your life. So if you’re ready not just to be a high achiever, but get what your soul wants too, let’s proceed.
Welcome back to Feminine Energy Feminist. This is podcast episode number 12. Break the Rules.
Welcome back! I’m back to normal but if my voice sounds different to you, here’s why. The cold I had last week turned out to actually BE Covid. Like many people who are fully vaccinated, I first tested negative, then tested positive. And I spent a week in solitary confinement while my significant other skied at Vail. I had to miss the trip while he had fun. Boo hoo, we have more snow in Washington State so I am not going to dwell on this. But I’m glad the covid shots kept me from having a totally bad time.
So to build on Episode 11, Stop Shoulding Yourself, I’m going to give you even more permission this week to be ornery, difficult, contrarian and bitchy. This week, we’re talking about Breaking the Rules.
Certain things are common sense. Certain things about not hitting and stealing, that kind of thing, are common principles in most religions, and are reflected in our laws, in the regulations that govern different professions and activities, and in the ethics rules or code of conduct of different professions and different workplaces. But there are some rules that are merely cultural and should be broken. Broken, when you simply feel like it (after mature consideration, of course).
I’ve talked before, most recently in Episode 10 on Relationships, about Brooke Castillo’s concept of the Manual. That’s our bundle of thoughts about what we think ourselves, another person, or any human institution should or shouldn’t do. And we can become very enlightened beings in our third dimensional human bodies, but we will never get rid of them. Even the Dalai Lama gets pissed off from time to time. The key is recognizing that you have a manual in the first place.
So today I’m going to suggest some of the “manuals” and “rules” that our culture has for women that you should feel free to break. And I’m going to give you three simple steps to sort out all your icky feelings about it that should help liberate you from the constraints of other people’s manuals.
First, some example rules. I invite all of you to break these rules with me. It will be fun!
One of the ones that has come to mind for me recently is the rule in society that you should not be a quote-unquote, Karen. Now, if you’re not familiar, “Karen” has come to mean a number of things in pop culture that are pretty misogynistic actually, because any time, a middle-class woman complains and needs to speak to the manager, or get a refund, or ask for a discount, she risks having everyone judge her for being a Karen. Especially if she has a wedge haircut.
To be fair, there’s finally the male version, sometimes called Ken or Kevin. Maybe that’s the client who emails you again and again, and again, sometimes in all capital letters, the way some people of a certain generation do, asking, how long the case is going to take, or when is his loan going to close, that kind of thing.
And then you answer again, I don’t know exactly but it’s slated for May 1. It could take less time. It could take longer. What’s going to happen? I don’t have a crystal ball. Otherwise I would be in a different business.
It’s true. Sometimes complaining can be a waste of time. It can keep a person in a very small, petty vibe and make them hard to be around. It can keep them in a victim space where they’re not helping themselves any, or they’re blaming other people for how they feel. That’s very true.
But sometimes, the rule that “people should be nice and accommodating – especially WOMEN should be nice and accommodating – has to be broken.”
Maybe you don’t want to thought work and meditate and Zen yourself into the point where you think it’s perfectly acceptable for the dry cleaners to repeatedly glue barcodes to the labels of your beloved designer clothes after you told them not to. Maybe you don’t want to just sit back and go, “oh, okay, can I say something? sorry I asked, you know maybe, can you be on time next time?”
I had a recent experience. Actually yesterday. My car sat for a week while I was convalescing with the cove and I discovered yesterday my battery was dead. I made a request to roadside assistance to send someone to give me a jump. They kept pushing out their ETA from 30, 60, to 90 minutes, and then after I’d waited for an hour it was updated to 2,121 minutes. The app showed they were sending help all the way from Kentucky. I live in Washington State. It took several phone calls and lots of babysitting my text messages. So, uh…. yeah. After someone came ten hours later from three counties over, I did “kindly” fill out their survey, and let them know that next time I would walk so the vultures wouldn’t eat me like some desolate western movie scene. I had fun with it.
Maybe I was being a Karen. I don’t care.
Would anyone say Erin Brockovich was a Karen? What about Anita Hill? What about the women who came forward about Harvey Weinstein? I could spend another hour listing out women that people thought were extremely difficult and unladylike. Probably none of you listening to this would call any of those brave women a “Karen.” But did someone along the way think they were being overly difficult women who should be seen and not heard? Yup.
So. One of the rules in society that is meant to be broken is that women shouldn’t complain. I think sometimes you should.
Abraham Hicks talks about the emotional guidance system and that sometimes your anger or your frustration actually moves you vibrationally up. It’s a higher vibe than fear, resignation or despair. I think that’s very important. The point is not to eradicate all of your negative thoughts and feelings. Never the point. And at times justice dictates and your conscience dictates that you say something. And sometimes you’re going to have thoughts, and yes, even your own manuals for other people, and human institutions and stuff, are going to be red hot and activated. But this is part of the human experience. Your sense of justice does not make you a Karen. And maybe the next time you see some gal with the wedge haircut asking to speak to a manager you should give her a high five. Because even if that woman is kind of a handful, somebody probably f’d up.
Of course, if you were to then dwell on small injustices like missing luggage, or Amazon leaving your package at the neighbor’s house again for weeks and weeks — and then add it to the pile of evidence you have that life is unfair only to you and that no one else is singled out the way you are — Yeah. Maybe that’s not productive for you. But that’s not what I’m talking about here.
So we covered one rule. Don’t complain.
Let’s cover the next rule, which is actually the umbrella rule that this whole episode is about. And that is, that women should be “nice.”
Many of us high achieving adult women, when we are young women demonstrating how smart we are, we’re rewarded for our good grades and our good behavior and keeping our desk clean and having neat handwriting. I don’t even know if they teach cursive anymore, but they were still teaching cursive when I was a little kid.
And there was this vibe that like the girls who were good at picking up the cursive were somehow exalted beings. You know what I’m talking about? They were more neat and tidy and therefore exalted beings. And then as we get older through the school system other virtues are exalted, like being organized, punctual, cooperative, and having school spirit. And then it continues on into graduate school – if you showed up on a random morning to Con Law wearing a suit, you were a rule-follower who was getting an interview. Honestly, my second year of law school I was not proactively following those rules about when you should start interviewing and stuff. I was showing up every day and studying but the rest of the time I was hanging out with tango dancers and sculpture artists and trying to have fun.
Some of you listening to this might be like, adolescence (or maybe even grad school) was about smoking weed and playing hacky sack. That’s ok if you’re listening to this and you’re like, “I’ve always been good at breaking the rules.” Bully for you, my friend, feel free to tune in next week for something more exciting, while the rest of us super uptight squares who are afraid people will think we’re slackers or bitches work out our issues.
But even those riot grrls out there, at some point in life I know you have felt the pressure to be nice. Maybe there are certain ways you feel you have to act around your family, or you’ve walked on eggshells in a romantic relationship.
No matter how bad-ass you might be in the courtroom, or how many lives you’ve saved, or the deals you’ve negotiated, you have at one point felt the pressure to conform to the rule that women should be “nice.” If you’re female and have not felt at one time, the pressure of the rule that you’re supposed to be fucking nice, please tell me what planet you have been living on, because I’d love to hang out with you there.
Nature and nurture, you might do all the therapy and thought work and coaching and healing in the world, and still have a bit of people-pleaser in you. Guess what. It just means you’re human.
But I’m still going to urge you to break the rule about being nice, and push yourself a bit beyond that ingrained impulse to avoid confrontation and please people, because sometimes being real…isn’t nice. Sometimes being real requires that you have difficult conversations, sometimes being real means that you or others will be disappointed or angry. And it’s going to be super uncomfortable.
And this is the difference between a woman and a girl. The woman is okay with being uncomfortable. She doesn’t judge herself for it, she doesn’t think she needs a decade of therapy for it, she allows the feeling and then she does what her conscience tells her to do. A girl chickens out and doesn’t have the conversation and then makes herself wrong for that. A woman is allowed to chicken out as long as she needs to before she’s ready to make a stand or break a rule people had for her, and she never makes herself wrong for it.
I’ve done a lot of things that were against the manual of what a person should do with their career and it has always seemed like the more I just do my own thing, the more it seems to work for me. The more the Universe works in my favor. In retrospect, it’s more feminine and creative.
So here are the steps to help you break some of these rules designed to keep women seen and not heard. Get out your journal.
1. What is the rule? Why do I think this is a rule? Who told me this was the rule?
2. What are the consequences if I break the rule? Who will be mad? What is the worst that can happen? What are the consequences if I don’t break this rule?
3. Tune into your body and see if you can get a visceral, felt sense of how it feels to continue to abide by the rule, or break the rule. Then make your decision. And there are no wrong decisions, just like your reasons.
Thanks for tuning in today. A couple quick announcements:
The Power Bootcamp is continued to March 23, because I determined that’s a better time for everyone to get the most out of it. In this class, I’ll help you navigate these manuals so that you can feel a lot stronger around people. You can go to Lawyergoddess.com/power-bootcamp.
I also extended the raffle of the ReMarkable tablet to March 31. To enter to be the one lucky winner, just rate and review the show and then let me know you did. Go to Lawyergoddess.com/raffle for details.
Thanks for listening to feminine energy feminist. If you want more information or the resources from the podcast, visit lawyergoddess.com/podcast.
See you next week.
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