At the start of my EFBA mentorship, my mentor and I spent some time talking about what kind of year I wanted 2015 to be.
I told her about my 5 Core Desired Feelings (fierce, flow, radiant, luxurious, connection), and when she asked me to pick a word/phrase/motto of the year, I chose FIERCE, which I define as “powerful (full of might, strength) + clarity (the quality of being clear); commanding.”
When she asked me how I want to feel this year, what kind of woman I want to be, I said, “Like a mama lion.”
Because while my life is amazing, I’m not entirely thrilled with all of it. I’m tired most of the time, and I have this bad habit of working myself into burnout, of giving too much to everyone else and not sticking to my boundaries.
But I know for a fact that mama lions don’t put up with that stuff.
I had the amazing opportunity to go to Africa in 2014, and I got to see all kinds of animals—giraffes, rhinos, elephants, leopards (my favorite), water buffalo, hippos, etc.
We also saw quite a few lions, and they all pretty much looked like this. I learned that lions sleep 15-20 hours a day (so I think I might apply for that job when I’m done with the one I have now).
As we watched, they woke up for a few minutes, and I got to see them interact with other members of the pride; they were generally pretty affectionate, much like my sleepy kitties are with one another.
But everyone knows that you do not want to cross a lion. Lions might be expert resters, but their power is most evident when things need to get done (like hunting), or when someone crosses a line. The momma lion will let her cubs tug at her, she’ll let them play bite, but when this starts to get on her nerves or interfere with her sleeping, she’ll swat at them and go on (or just get up and walk away). She sets a boundary and rests in it.
Unlike me, who sets a boundary and then perseverates. “This is how it is,” I’ll say confidently, like I’m wearing my big girl pants.
And then I’ll go away and think, “OMG, did I set the boundary firmly enough? Did I say the right things? Maybe I was too firm. What if I hurt their feelings? Should I have been more clear? Because if they try to cross the line again, then it might be my fault. OH NO – what if they cross the line again? Clearly that will mean I am a failure. But more than THAT, we’ll have to have this direct and difficult conversation all over again, and I do NOT like conflict. Oh Lord, if I don’t get this right, I will end up alone and unloved, destitute in a van down by the river.” (Don’t ask me why it always ends there, it just does.)
So I would like to be more Mama Lion—more clarity and less agonizing.
To commemorate this, I dug a piece of art out of our guest room that I had bought for another purpose (long story) and took it up to my office. I know it’s not a MAMA lion (based on the mane it is probably more of a DADDY lion), but it still gets the job done.
I see the lion when I walk into my office, and when I’m sitting at my desk, the lion stares back at whoever’s in my guest chair, reminding us all that I am an Epic Fucking Badass.