What drives women to overwork, over-offer, and exist in overwhelm? Learn the hidden influences perpetuated by social conditioning, that women are often not aware of. How do these unseen influences manifest in your life?

Part 2 of A 4-part series raising awareness of hidden beliefs that get in the way of women fully flourishing: Series Introduction | Part 1: Dear Busy, Let’s Break Up.

Please join me on February 22nd, 4:30 PST, for a FREE Zoom Q&A/Group Discussion.
[Pre-registration is required]

“Are You Putting Frosting on Dog Poop?”
– Steve Hardison, Master Coach and Author

A regret I have, even though I knew no other way at that point in my life, was painting a rosy picture of a healthy marriage for my son when the picture was anything but rosy. When he was ten years old, and I had woken to see the relationship differently and (after lots of counseling) ended the marriage, my son was emotionally blindsided. 

You see, my adult existence was driven by positivity, seeing the bright side, and being a “glass is half full” person. Feelings that brought me down were skillfully dismissed, swept under the rug, and hidden in the backwash of busyness.

The pull towards living a “positive life” dropped into my lap in young adulthood after combining a large handful of sleeping pills with a large glass of vodka and saying to myself, “I want to go to sleep and never wake up.” 

Author Eleanor D. Payson, in her extraordinary book “The Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists,” shares this: “countless clients have said to their therapist, “I’m afraid if I let myself cry, I will never stop.” 

My wish “to never wake up” was driven by a fear that if I felt my feelings, I wouldn’t be able to cope.

Thankfully I have the ficklest stomach, which saved my life, and then something miraculous happened— in my mind, I heard these words, “you’ve hit rock bottom; there’s nowhere to go but up.” 

You wouldn’t think that revelation would arrive while hugging the toilet, but as I’ve come to learn, lifelines are often tossed at the lowest points in our lives. I’ve shared this story over the years, but as I continue to scrape off the layers of frosting, revealing the poop underneath, the words from the toilet bowl take on new meaning.

Please pardon the poo analogy…, and there’s more. 😉

Dear female friends, we are a sisterhood of “poop frosters”!

We’re the women who get things done, paint a smile on our face, multi-task like no other. We strive to excel in motherhood, and our careers, while always helping others—we are the Michael Angelo’s of “painting a rosy picture.”


When I heard the words “there’s nowhere to go but up,” I got busy – very busy! I swept that “incident” under the rug, never telling a soul, and forged ahead being the type of woman who rose above the ashes. After all, the only way to go was up! 

There was a huge benefit to being a positive person. I received applause, approval, and admiration from others for my go-getter attitude. I heard comments such as “you’re such a hard worker, ‘nothing gets you down,’ ‘we’re so grateful for all that you do.’ “

These compliments filled the emotional holes that weren’t filled as a child by my narcissistic mother. Unfortunately, even with a healthy, supportive childhood, our patriarchal society* which evolved thousands of years ago, labeled women as the “lesser species” and left a vast cavern full of beliefs that do not support women.
[*Patriarchy: A system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.]

To highlight the understanding of “hidden influences” a bit more, here’s an example of how media tells women to behave, dress, look and act:

The year before I graduated high school, a commercial for Enjoli perfume aired. Along with a catchy tune and inspiring words, it taught (influenced) me how to be a “good woman.” Do remember this jingle?

Cuz I’m a woman. Enjoli
I can bring home the bacon. Enjoli
Fry it up in a pan. Enjoli 

And never let you forget you’re a man. Enjoli 

Women are socially conditioned to “put frosting on poop.” When we behave other than pleasantly, we’re bitches, “high maintenance,” “must be getting our periods,” and deemed a “difficult woman.” We’re not allowed to get angry, be too aggressive, assertive, or ambitious.

You can sum up the ingredients for the “frosting” with this statement:  Be a positive perfectionist who is pleasant and pleases people (always). Poo on that!

Consider this:

  • Born in the ’60s – 1963 to be exact (the year I was born), federal law prohibited gender-based discrimination in wages (Hmph. We all know how well that hasn’t worked).
  • Born in the ’70s, the courts “recognized” (air quotes here) sexual harassment in the workplace, and women were now legally able to get a credit card without their husband co-signing.
  • Born in the ’80s, women could no longer be fired for being pregnant.

Good news – although the evolution of women rising is in its infancy… it’s now happening at a swift pace!

I believe women are on the cusp of using our feminine traits, along with healthy masculine qualities – to positively impact both humanity and our ailing planet – simply by “freeing and being yourself.”

Here are a few questions to help reveal how society has influenced you: (With further exploration in upcoming emails).

Pause for a moment to consider where you’re putting “frosting on poo.” 

  • What actions and situations leave you feeling depleted?
  • Why are you putting yourself in positions that don’t support your highest good?
  • What are you tolerating?
  • What is not being said that needs to be said?
  • What are you trying to prove, and to who? 
  • What messages have you received that influence your beliefs, thoughts, and actions? 
  • What accolades do you receive because of your “doing”?

*Please – no guilting on yourself. Awareness begins with acknowledging “what is.” It’s all okay. I’ve been here (and still land here from time to time – it’s called being human).

There is no greater gift than re-owning your power projected to the outer world – freeing yourself from the beliefs inherited from others that create the stories, influencing your thoughts (of who you are), and driving your actions and reactions.

Coming March 2nd, 2022: Part 3 – Your needs are changing, but have you changed?

Please join me on February 22nd, 4:30 PST, for a FREE Zoom Q&A/Group Discussion.
[Pre-registration is required]

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