By Mary Foley
Do you ever feel like Wonder Woman? I'm not talking the Linda Carter or cartoon character kind
I'm talking about today's Wonder Woman - the woman who has so much going on she wonders what the heck happened to her life! Between all the roles we play as women - wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, taxi driver, counselor, teacher, nurse, social director, event planner, buyer, accountant, volunteer, pet care provider, gardener, maid, cook, lover, cereal-embedded-in-the-car seat detector, and more - it's no wonder most of us feel stressed and about to lose it. And yet we can't lose it because we're often the glue that holds marriages, families, work groups, and communities together.
So, how do you keep your red cape flying? First, you've got to go from being a Wonder Woman to a Bodacious Woman - a woman who isn't trying to do or be everything or everybody, but who has the courage to be in charge of her own life and lovin' it!
As a Bodacious Woman you can still wear a red cape and feel like a superhero. Here are five fun tips to keep your red cape flying!
Tip #1: Do What Super Models Do - Get a Fan!
Sometimes conditions aren't cooperative and you have to create your own breeze to keep your red cape flying. Super models do it at photo shoots, why not you? We all know that necessity is the mother of invention - and re-invention. So, when Plan A for your day doesn't work, be flexible to devise a Plan B, C, D or however many plans it takes! Be creative, keep at it, and use your fan as necessary.
Tip #2: Always Be on the Lookout for a Breeze
That's breeze, not fabreeze, just to be clear! Superheroes are usually tackling hard stuff that mortal humans often can't - like holding up falling buildings, stopping bullets with their palms, rescuing a child from raging waters, stuff like that. It's as if they LOOK for difficulty! Though that's admirable, there's no shame in looking for ways to make your day easier, not harder. Like accepting another mom's offer to pick up your child, delegating a project task to a new team member, or rescheduling a meeting that's suddenly a challenge to make. When you look for small opportunities to make your daily activity load a bit lighter, a bit breezier, your red cape flies with ease.
Tip #3: Avoid Hurricanes, Tornadoes, or Gale Force Winds
Sounds rational, but how often do you take on so much that you are creating your perfect storm? You know you have 24 hours in a day, but you say "yes" like you have 240! To keep your red cape flying, get in the habit of saying "no" - first to yourself and then to others. "No" to yet another volunteer project, "no" to the 29th cute top when you still haven't had a chance to wear the 28 ones you already have, and "no" to doing a task that clearly belongs to your co-worker. In fact, "no" is one of my top five empowering words for women of all time. It can be yours, too. And, if an outright "no" feels a bit harsh, try "not now", "let me get back to you" or my new fave "my red cape is at the cleaners." More about that below.
Tip #4: Fly with other Red-Caped Bodacious Women
I'm convinced that there is no way any superhero can truly be super without some super friends who are willing to fly with her. They are the wind beneath your red cape, so to speak. As if you need it, here's proof why. According to a landmark UCLA study on friendship among women, when women get together something magical happens. A hormone called oxytocin is released into our blood steam, which causes us to feel supported and safe. Our bodies begin to relax and our stress starts to melt away. No wonder we always feel lighter and better able to handle life's problems after connecting with girlfriends. To think all this time I thought it was the wine!
Tip #5: Sometimes Your Red Cape is at the Cleaners
You don't have to be a superhero all the time. Really, you don't. And it's good that you're not because the other people in your life need to do their part. But, if your red cape is never at the cleaners, they often don't chip in - or can't because you don't let them. Plus, a dirty, stained cape is a terrible look. No matter your age, your mamma would not be happy and you know it.
Image by Bodacious! Ventures