THE PANDORA PARADOXYou’re a visionary, high-achieving woman – CEO, community leader, creative genius… and you have a calling. You’re drawn to something ‘more’ than what you’re currently doing (which is usually, by the way, already pretty amazing). You want to leave a legacy. Whether your calling is philanthropic, entrepreneurial, corporate, spiritual, creative, a pilgrimage back to yourself… you are one of the lucky ones who has been tapped on the shoulder by life, and been reminded by her: make no mistake, the only time is now. You are lucky because you are getting this calling now, before it is too late.

To create a legacy and follow your calling, you need to take others on your journey with you. You do this by being clear on your purpose and telling your story to support this purpose.

History tells us clearly that those who create, tell and control the clearest, strongest stories hold the power, and reap the recognition and rewards. Traditionally, this has been men (through ‘the hero’s journey’). And the strongest stories have light and dark. They are three-dimensional, with the depth that comes with all shades of humanity. So if you want to leave a legacy, to follow your calling, to live a ‘whole’ life, you need to know how to tell this multi-faceted story.

And here lies the problem for many women. To find your purpose and tell your story requires you to address what I call The Pandora Paradox – in order for you to reach and release your ‘hope’, your true calling and purpose, you must also release and recognise the darkness. Not comfortable, but necessary.

Put simply, if you are drawn to live a life that’s larger than yourself, you can no longer suppress or deny the dark things about you… because it is through them that you get to the light (your true calling). You can’t have light without the dark. It’s not about sharing everything with the world; it’s about being honest with yourself as a complicated, complex, multi-faceted human.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What do I want?
  • What am I suppressing or hiding in order to stay safe?
  • If other’s opinions of me no longer mattered, what would my life look like?
  • What can I no longer afford to be, do or have in order to follow my calling?

The ambitious, driven female entrepreneurs and corporate professionals I work with (through The Heroine’s Journey, identifying their inner heroine – the subconscious part of them that instinctively knows their calling) understand this concept, that they need to embrace the dark and the light. They are unusual, courageous women because not only do they have a calling, they are prepared to do the difficult work – opening Pandora’s box – to make their vision a reality.