Creating an EPIC! Life by Design, not Default.
The original meaning of the word “epic” is not an adjective to describe “bigger than, greater than, king of the hill, master of the universe.” It means a long form story of “derring do” – daring to do and daring to be. And stories are important. It turns out we don’t live in our lives or our relationships.
We live in the stories we tell (or are told about us). Those stories include all the “not enough” or “too much” narratives that we swim in. However, they are just stories, meaning they are FICTION. They only become real life if we allow them to be. I like to say we are all guilty, and none of us are to blame for these false truths.
Throughout the last 5,000 years, since the gods overthrew the goddesses, women have been cast as minor characters in the stories and myths authored by men. We have been portrayed with character flaws that have distorted our power and shaped the plot in a predictable direction. The result is that, even now, women are expected to fit into narrow archetypes along a spectrum of usual suspects: femme fatale, spinster, damsel in distress, seducer, evil stepmother, martyr, saint, witch, and more contemporarily, bitch. What do they have in common? These archetypes are more about men’s desires, fears, and anxieties about women than they are a true reflection of women by women.
It is time for women to say NO! to having their character and plot defined by other storytellers and traditional storylines. Joseph Campbell, one of the greatest students of myths, is known for illuminating the overarching epic of the Hero’s Journey in his seminal book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. The “Hero” archetype is how we expect our leaders to look and behave when they are out and about in the world, slaying proverbial dragons and saving humanity. Women are longing to shift the plot, reimagine the characters, and reshape the story. Our “heroine” experiences that the suit of armor is too tight, the horse too fast, the weapons too sharp, the princess too needy, the king too demanding, and the dragon misunderstood.
Here is the truth of the matter. For us to be the great ancestors of an age to come, we women need to put aside the self-limiting fears of letting people down, of not being loved, of not being perfect, of not being enough or being too much. We need the clarity and confidence to say “NO” to the game that was designed to have us dream big yet play small. We need to be equipped with the tools of an epic storyteller and great game designer, so that we can play a game of our own design.
The good news? We have all the assets and attributes already “in house” to design the best decades of our life to fit both today’s realities and tomorrow’s dreams. And not a moment too soon. The world is calling for women to reconnect with their power and show up, on purpose. By doing so, women will rewrite both our history and the future.
And more good news. At 8, I created my first Decade Game which I have been playing ever since. It has helped give me the clarity, confidence, courage, and commitment to navigate through the transitions of both my first adulthood and now, at 70, my modern elderhood. It’s a treasure map and compass for women at all ages and stages that guides the path forward to uncover their purpose, recover their power, and discover their destiny at home, at work, and in the world.
I am so excited to bring the Decade Game to a special, women only, Mastery Week April 3 – 8, The Women’s Power Play Book, in Baja. Come play with me. Here’s a short video of Chip and me at MEA when I was recently a student in a workshop.
Carolyn Buck Luce is one of America’s most respected and accomplished voices on Women’s Leadership and their relationship with power. She is the author of the recently published EPIC! The Women’s Power Play Book, which became an Amazon best seller in its first week. A gifted strategist and executive coach, Carolyn has spent the last five decades building highly effective cultures, businesses, teams, and leaders in both the public and private sectors. From a diplomat in the old Soviet Union, to a Wall Street Banker, to healthcare futurist; mother, wife and grandmother, Carolyn focused on helping courageous leaders make the difference they dream of - at home, at work and in the world