Chapter 1: My Story

Chapter 1

I was exactly where you are. I was nearly out of money and I didn’t know how to make a living that felt true to my values. I had just ended a bad relationship and was disappointed by love. I felt creatively frustrated and stuck. Worst of all, I felt really abandoned by life.

The confusing thing was that I had done all of the things I thought I was supposed to do: I had been a high achiever, I had no trouble getting a job. I’d been in leadership roles and created a lot of success. I had graduate degrees and several prestigious coaching certifications. I’d spent about a decade doing intensive, personal-growth and spiritual work—I went to therapy, I meditated, I did affirmations, I visited gurus in India.

I traveled the world in search of wisdom, but I woke up every morning feeling what Maya Angelou called the “agony [of] bearing an untold story.”

It was confusing. I’d been willing to invest in myself, yet there was this huge gap: I felt invisible and under-recognized in all of my relationships. I yearned for a partner who truly saw me and who was fully committed to creating a life together. I wanted to contribute my gifts in ways that would impact others.

In my bravest moments, I even felt a humanitarian calling, a deep desire to participate in something larger than myself.

One day I told my friend Malcolm that I thought I’d figured it out. “I know what I’m meant to be doing,” I said. “I’m meant to be a humanitarian or a philanthropist.”

He just smiled in a very loving way and said, “That’s a really nice idea, Claire. I can see that for you. But usually people who are humanitarians or philanthropists have been able to make their own life work first.”

I was so embarrassed. I was a smart, educated, “successful” woman, and yet, he was right: I couldn’t figure out how to make my own life work.

So I did something right then and there: I made a commitment to figure out what was going on.

A few short years later, everything had changed. I met and married the great love of my life, Craig Hamilton, who is an amazing partner beyond anything I could have imagined possible for me in relationship.

I’ve been able to create an amazing network of support with other powerful women leaders who have stood with me and played a pivotal role in my being able to make my greatest contribution.

I co-founded the transformative online education company Evolving Wisdom, where we’ve now impacted over 1 million people. And one of the most gratifying opportunities that opened up from this success was being able to write a check for $100,000 to The Girl Power Project, to help fund leadership and self-esteem training for adolescent girls in Uganda.

I share all of this with you to emphasize how completely unrecognizable my outer life is now compared to what it was before.

So, what changed?

I discovered Feminine Power, and it gave me my wings.

I have to tell you that when I first began to explore this work, I was skeptical. It was not at all obvious to me. I’d never really identified with the feminine. In fact, in many ways I thought that “feminine” equaled weak and ineffective, and that I would lose my power if I expressed this part of myself.

But then I met other women coaches and we began to compare notes. They were having the same experience I was. Like me, they’d had some success, but many of them were unable to get leverage and traction in their lives.

And we started noticing that the women around us were experiencing this gap, as well.

So I brought together the women in my small coaching community to try to get to the bottom of what was going on. We drew up a list of masculine and feminine qualities, and it became clear that the whole system of power that we were steeped in is sourced from masculine qualities of logic, analysis, and linear thinking.

And it’s a fantastic system if you want to create anything predictable or controllable. With it, you set a goal, break it down into steps, create a plan, and execute that plan. Say you want to build a house. You draft a blueprint, figure out what materials you need, schedule out the work to be done, hire a team, and build. Voila, you have a house.

But if you want to create something in this new category of self-actualization—true love, connection, creativity, impact—you can’t do it with a power system based on strategy, steps, logic, and planning. And that’s the breakdown women all over the world are experiencing.

We need a new source of power to navigate this new terrain; one that honors our own deep wisdom, values relationships and support, and taps into the life-positive energy all around us.

Chapter 1

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