Here’s the truth: I was an absolute brat to my kid yesterday.
It was not my shiniest moment.
My kid’s in the middle of midterms. And I criticized her on her way to her math exam. And then, she criticized me for criticizing her. Ba-bam.
Later that day, I found myself being bratty with my lover. And then, resentful of having to go to another Auction Committee meeting at school. And don’t even ask about the running commentary on my hair, my body, etc. that was happening inside my head.
It’s February, sisters. The dead of winter. It ain’t easy being chirpy in the deep freeze.
And there are so many reasons to lose our chirp.
Work stress is constant. Winter storms. What to make for dinner? The new guy cancelled our date. Deadlines on the rewrites. Exploding inbox. And let’s not even discuss the headlines. . .or I might just start yelling at random strangers on the street.
Do you know what cranky, bratty behavior actually is?
It’s one of the ways that we scream for pleasure.
It’s our cry for help.
We rage when what we really want to do is turn on.
Crazy, I know. No one teaches us that we are very finely tuned instruments, and we have the capacity – with the right tools and sisterhood – to navigate every inch of our internal landscape with grace.
We have been told to dial down our emotional range, limit our huge desires, and not associate with our raw appetites.
We have been encouraged to pay close attention to our flaws, our obstacles, and to seek out and name our insufficiencies with great enthusiasm.
When we are offered 79 cents on the dollar that men earn, for the same job, we accept it gladly and without fuss. We are taught to ignore what upsets us and instead told to focus on what upsets others. Weaned on resentment and tuned towards negativity.
And when we are squashed like that, what most women do is take our ‘pissed’ out on the world. Sometimes, we can act like righteous brats. And make our husbands, our families, or the poor barista who messed up our coffee order, suffer. As if that would solve anything.
When actually, as you know, my precious petulant petunia, it makes everything a lot worse.
And worst news?
Women are all so accustomed to cranky that we often don’t even detect our, or each other’s brattiness. (Whining? Who’s whining? It’s just the way I tawlk.)
And it is just so sad. Because like a tired toddler, we just want someone to scoop us up and rock us like a baby, kiss us all over and tell us we are the sweetest cutest little pumpkin the world has ever seen.
And yet who would even want to come within 40 paces of a whining cranky woman?
Not the easiest approach in the world, huh?
Which is why it becomes incumbent upon each of us to learn to love our cranky, our petulant, and our bratty. To cherish that sweet little precious princess who is wrapped in wolf’s clothing, and give her a dose of exactly what she wants.
Pleasure. Attention. Fun.
So yesterday, instead of trying to solve my issues or perform therapy on myself, I called a girlfriend and did a practice called Spring Cleaning (described in detail in my first book, and one of many practices we use in the Mastery community). That allowed me to release all the negative charge I had built up, in a productive way.
Then, I concluded with a brag, a gratitude and a desire.
After I had taken care of myself with these simple, but effective practices, I realized what I wanted—to support my kid in her week of midterms. So I called and apologized to her. And I made my famous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from scratch—because studying hard requires sustenance. Then after the Auction Committee meeting, I made an impromptu date with my lover, bought flowers for myself, and went for a long walk in the bracing winter air.
Bratty and cranky are just signs that our tank is running low.
When our tank runs dry, the only person capable of filling it up is us.
Unfortunately, so many of us were taught to start looking for what’s wrong in these moments, and start a chain of criticism which just exacerbates the slow leak.
Turning on is like a major tune up.
Reaching for pleasure can feel awkward. And not nearly as relevant as picking at the scabs.
But I know you.
You hate having bratty run your life.
You want to feel the full wingspan of your womanhood.
You want to live your untapped potential.
You want to soar.
And pleasure is the fuel that takes a woman to a whole new level of power.
So today, in the comments section below, I want to give some love to our cranky.
Where do you find yourself acting like a brat, feeling impatient, or spewing negativity? How can you fill yourself up with pleasure, turn on, and attention? Or, tell me about a time you navigated a cranky spot – how did you get out of it?
I can’t wait to hear from you.
With so much love and pleasure,
p.s. Just over a week ago, we hosted over 800 women in NYC for an annual introduction to the Mastery Program. The weekend was an explosion of sisterhood unlike any other. We cried, raged, laughed, danced our collective ass off, and redesigned the future for ourselves, and womankind. Oh yes we did.
To all of you who attended, thank you for bringing it – you rocked my world. For those who didn’t make it this time, thank you for being here, for reading, for being a part of this community – I hope to meet you face to face soon.