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Trying to be hero? Uh-uh.

How do we know that we’re successful in the world?

One of the aspects of a patriarchal culture, like the one we live in, is that we’ve all been taught a definition of what success is. We’ve been trained to go for certain markers that demonstrate success – external events, or circumstances that our culture adores and elevates.
You know the ones–
The guy. The baby. The job. The salary. The waist size.

But how do you ever feel that you’re really there? What is there? I mean, really, when does the little pixie fairy in the sky arrive, ready to serenade with her tabernacle choir, and sing the “You’re there!” hallelujah chorus? I am still waiting for mine. What does it take to feel successful, to approve of yourself, to celebrate your thereness? And then, when you are finally approaching the neighborhood of there—what do you do when life throws you a crazy curveball, and everything falls apart?

We live in a culture that teaches women to be kind of like corrupted men. We’re trained to be Heroes, versus Heroines.
And it’s not working.

Any time we have to ‘man up’ to ‘get the job done’, an essential part of our nature gets left in the dust. And we tend to do that over and over and over again.
Throwing on a suit to work in a cube farm – whether it’s actual or metaphorical – is clipping your woman wings.
We need to install a new internal navigational system that guides our lives. It’s not that the destination changes — you still want the guy, the baby, the job, the salary — but the path, the journey, the way to get where you want to go, is completely different for a woman.

In today’s post, I want to unpack this a little more. What is the Hero’s Journey that is driving so many women, in a way that keeps them stuck and unhappy? What is the alternative? What does the Heroine’s Journey look like, and how can you lean into its powerful embrace, as you unfold your legend?

The Hero.
The Hero has a quest.
He knows what he wants, and he will stop at nothing to get there.
He wants power. Prominence.
He’s going to make millions of dollars.
And how does he do that?

Well, he starts with a quest, and goes out on his own to slay the dragon. It’s him, all alone. Heading into danger and adversity, with one goal, and one goal only.

You may notice, in this story, there’s no question about his emotional, moral, or spiritual relationship with himself.
Everything is about the end game.

We see a lot of corrupted Heroes on the news channel. Much of our world is running on the broken patriarchy, fueled by linear goals of power and profit, ignoring the world of feeling.
The result is emptiness. Global unhappiness and dissatisfaction. And a world that is being destroyed for profit.

Every woman has shards of this broken patriarchy inside her–she’s trying to be that Hero.
We try to ‘man up’ and do it all ourselves. To stuff our feelings down and get where we think we should go. When women try to be the Hero, we hustle as fast and hard as we can to reach goals that define “success.” And then, when we get to wherever we are, we judge.
It’s not enough.
We’ve done it wrong.
Everyone else has more than we have.
We are too embarrassed to tell anyone about it or share with another person what’s broken.
And we have to keep going because the only thing that’s important is the goal.

Okay – how much joy does that bring?
How much deep, soul-drenching gratification?

As long as we attempt the Hero’s Journey, women are constantly living inside judgment, judgment, judgment. Judgment of what we have, or haven’t, accomplished. Judgment on top of judgment, finding ourselves additionally wrong because no matter how hard we have worked, we don’t have any joy!

Running after “slaying a dragon,” at all costs, with no relationship to your divine or to the other human beings in the world, will never generate joy.
A Hero’s Journey doesn’t suit us. It’s just not going to work.
We need something else, we need a new map.

We need to step into the Heroine’s Journey.

The Hero points himself in the direction of a singular goal,
the Heroine uses her desire as her internal compass.

The Hero leads with his sword,
the Heroine leads with her pleasure.

The Hero is alone,
the Heroine locates herself in community, in sisterhood, in collaboration.

The Hero is self-sacrificing,
the Heroine receives from others.

The Hero revels in his victory, no matter the price.
the Heroine is filled with deep gratitude at the privilege of life, itself, at every twist in her storyline.

The Hero never questions himself, or his value, or direction,
the Heroine lives inside the question, and trusts that the enjoyment of her deep longing draws her desires closer to her, every day.

The Hero survives adversity against all odds,
the Heroine owns her rupture, surrenders to it, celebrates the perfection of her circumstances, no matter what.

The Heroine takes a huge leap — she chooses to be the author of her own storyline, rather than the victim.

The power and the fuel that allows the Heroine’s Journey to unfold is her turn on.
Turned on to life. Turned on to her divinity. Turned on to her beauty. Turned on to her pleasure. Turned on to her power.
When a woman is turned on, she is tuned in.

Most women are living in a state of victim because there’s a crimp in the hose, where turn on wants in.

I’ve devoted my life to teaching women to become the Heroine of their own lives. The only other option is victim, and I know we are all so done with that game. Living as heroine, every day, is a real mind-bender, I know, because nothing has shown us how or what it really looks like.

In the comments below, I really want to know:

•  Have you ever reached a goal that you thought was what you wanted, and then felt empty, or judgmental, or unhappy?
•  What stands out to you about the difference between The Hero and The Heroine, and which story are you living inside of?
•  How can you begin to re-write your story, with you as the Heroine?

I really think this is one of the most important inquiries for us, as women. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts, below.

In so much love and pleasure,

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43 Comments / Leave a Comment

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  • Laurie Stone May 2, 2017, 12:44 pm

    Really loved this. Instead of trying and make women more masculine and toughen them up, maybe we should feminize men more, and sensitize them. We can start with our sons. Great post.

  • Anoek May 2, 2017, 12:31 pm

    Dearest Regina,
    Thank you thank thank you so much for putting it in words so clearly. You have inspired me once again and gave me the acknowledgement i needed
    In gratitude

  • Rebecca May 2, 2017, 6:47 am

    Mama Gena,
    As always your words are like a crystal clear drop into the center of my fogged-out mind. And that drop keeps dropping until it passes through my heart and down to my thirsty womb. You remind me thirsty can feel good. I don’t have to hold out my tin cup in the dessert hoping for rain, I can let this thirsty lead me to the ocean.

  • Susan April 29, 2017, 12:01 am

    Well, I’ve been in my pleasure and desire for a few years and my life has been grand. Evolving to separating from my husband of 30 plus years as I have created and attracted new juicy energy within myself and my work and relationships. I’ve grown in so many ways all, guided by my spirituality, heart, pussy, mind and sense of adventure and love of life and people.ENF7
    When I read your blog, I’m drawn into familiar doubt…am I chasing something ? Is staying put good, good enough? Do I have to do away with the old familiar person I have loved? I truly want more fun, a different energy to be with. Is that too goal driven? Will I tire of the next man, too?

  • Kim April 28, 2017, 11:28 pm

    One more time your email came and hit me in the truth! Thank you Mama Gena for this message today! I’ve so often strived to achieve and make others happy and it hasn’t done a thing for ME. I’m trying very hard to consciously decide if what I’m choosing is because I think it’s what’s expected of me or if it’s what I DESIRE to do. Thank you for the pep talk! If you don’t have Pom poms you’re missing your opportunity because you’re an amazing cheerleader on my worst days!

  • L April 28, 2017, 5:37 pm

    I, am a bonifide heroine! Trials and tribulations have lead me to this amazing, loving, open armed time in my life.
    I am not married, do not have children, and am completely happy with that. If I met someone as awesome as me, it would only be icing on the cake!
    I lived the life with the super ambitious man, big homes and fancy cars. It made me ill inside. Something was missing it was ME!
    A rough childhood, years of being a nurse, a selfish narsissitic love of many years, another narcissistic fiance, all with huge and unrealistic expectations from me.
    But after losing 2 close family members at relatively young ages I let it all go.
    Now I have my own successful business and my creativity is flourishing with ideas. I have lots of women friends and have thrown myself into the community. Love yourself the world around you, NOT what society says you should be and want.
    Want kids? Go help some and volunteer. Need a ” man” to talk to? Plenty of experienced lonely souls in a nursing home who’d love someone to talk to.
    That’s living. Not dying in some dysfunctional relationship just because ( place numerous reasons here.)
    My next endeavour is to travel for many years to come. I’d rather live in a tiny home and meet other souls than spend all my money on a fancy house.
    Get your passion back!

  • Agota April 28, 2017, 3:18 pm

    Dear Mama Gena,

    You always pick up topics I am most interested in.I am so grateful I can read you essays.

    After bringing up two kids as a single mother and created a highly successful, globalized business in male dominant machine industry I got to the conclusion that nothing is as important as my feelings. That is why I manage my firm with ethics and and having sustainability in mind. That is why e. g .I do not allow second and third shifts in my organization. To let people have time for hobbies and spend time with family. This way I go against pure profit.

    That is why I spend a lot of time in nature with animals and horseback riding where I feel myself, that is why I read your emails.

    Thank you!

  • gailen Anna DeJong April 28, 2017, 6:36 am

    For me, there was a running script, sometimes in words and often just the dog walking the tail. Meaning, I found myself at about the age 12, dissolved and unloved.
    I hated myself and my body. From that moment, life has been that. Certainty and unable to obtain a man, there were many, but I had to be someone impossible to stay in those relationships, I had to be a zero to their genius or not.I can myself making every decision based on what men mught like, and what other women often said to me. I starved myself, I curled my hair, I bleached my hair, I layed under men, with my sexuality tucked tightly between legs, waiting for it end, feeling dirty and like I was broken, as the five minutes of pleasure and detachment did nothing for me I was an actress and faking and swalling my own desires became the thing I often excelled at.
    I so badly felt like nothing, there would be moments of heroic strength, and belief in myself, but they were dismissed . I lived with a frigid and martyered mother of beauty and great talent, who gave up, who didn’t own her beauty and who , not on purpose, taught along with society, that my job was to take care of broken people and fix problems.
    I wanted a husband, not for the reasons people might want to get married, it showed my worth, I was the girl on the other side, where nothing was regular.
    I wanted babies, and I even thought I wanted a college a degree, because well, I thought I was stupid, and I believed that if I had that degree, I was on my way to career and dare I say it normal.
    So, I chose a man, who fulfilled my worst fears, and life with him still sucks.
    I am in a non relationship, the specifics at present unimportant. I wanted a house, but not really, I wanted what seemed to me, the thing I was being denied and I was being denied it, because the choices, the juicy choices and the travelling and living my own life, were not what was planned for me.
    I had two children and a house, and I died,. This belief, which I am working on as we speak, as I try to grab the rings of my own line back, are not what success means to me.
    So, the house, the lone mother , martyred at all costs, the ghost in house, and unmarried married woman, to an abusive, ( emotionally and monetarily) vacant partner, who has no clue or desire to love me, or anyone.
    This is my partial story, but not the end.
    I love my son’s and they bring a lot joy, sometimes, but they don’t fill my cup.
    Gradually, I have been restaking myself, and trying to find me. Who am I, without all the shit, and can I allow myself, with support, to believe in something and myself, and leave, instead of sucking it up, and dieing on the vine. I read pussy, I started painting again and I am writing again too.
    I am hopeful, that I can raise enough money to join this mastery or come to New York and be apart of the juicy women boldly staking their dreams and themselves.

    • Amy April 30, 2017, 1:00 pm

      You are a beautiful writer. 😘

  • Therese April 27, 2017, 4:45 pm

    The career and family thing was simply part of life. Some joy but successes were certainly downgraded in my mind as just luck or not really meaning that much. They seemed small in comparison to the other’s achievements. The quest was occasionally internally driven by curiosity and that was fun. However, it was often externally directed and not fun. Now I am retired, and the road map I am learning will lead me to my goddess quest, I am hopeful.

  • Turi April 27, 2017, 2:48 pm

    This was right on time for me! I had to live my life to survive and it consisted of so many heroics. I got to a place where everything fell apart inside just for me to realize that the heroic part has to be over! So, now, I’m all about getting back to me, who I am and my divinity. It makes me excited because I finally get to be a person that was wholly suppressed in me. Someone I didn’t really know about, consciously.

  • Jacqueline April 27, 2017, 3:53 am

    Yes, also being a hero is a convoluted way of saying ‘I’m acceptable’.
    I did a 6 year psychotherapy training…hoping to that then I’d be acceptable, part of a community…etc, etc.
    Working in private practice was the most limiting, isolating job I have ever done.
    My soul wanted to fly with my creative energy and I tied myself to a chair listening to others problems, horrors, and woes.
    Don’t leave it until I did….into my 60s to find your creative life!

  • Naomi April 27, 2017, 12:11 am

    You Know, I’ve been the stay-at-home Mum, the dutiful wife, mother, daughter…always available, always giving, always self sacrificing. My submission to these roles for the past 50 odd years has facilitated 5 extraordinary children’s entrance to the big world and enabled my beloved to live on a completely different plane. I so relate to your blog, Gena in regards to role of the hero…so disconnected. I am just beginning to discover the joy of female friends, sisterhood, community and finding I do actually have something to contribute. To connect with my desires…to name them…and feel the excitement of a new fulfilling life for myself that others will benefit from and wanting to show my daughters how its done. I’m ready for this new lease of life! Thank you.

  • Elsie April 26, 2017, 8:19 pm

    I had the great privilege to “hang out” with children for 43 years as an elementary teacher… society it was a feminine place, I encountered a few men along the way, very few teachers, lots of principals….they soon moved out of teaching to “running the show” as administrators LOL! but the children were the refreshing part! To a first grader or kindergartener the teacher is the heroine! As an artist, I have had the good fortune to be free to express my heroine self. But, our society gives the message….Manup, succeed, claw your way to the top or get out! I think back to all of those little girls that I taught and hope they will encounter the Sisterhood and show the way, not of the quest, but of the enjoyment of life, being able to show the way…….Oh, right now, at this very moment…the world needs the heroine….the HEROINE…….the Manup, in the suit has fucked it up! The world cries out for Pussy enlightenment! Love the post, Mama G!

  • Susan April 26, 2017, 6:55 pm

    Having recently entered the Crone stage, which is a blessing, I AM truly ready to embrace all the Great Pussy Power. I am a deliquent Yogini an Entrepreneur and Artist, its time to harness all this wonderful experience and truly create the life I desire. I have fallen into victim mode more often than I’d like to admit yet my moto is, “never give up”. Thank you Mama Gina for all that you bring to the Divine Feminine table. Feeling inspiried…..

  • Peace Warden April 26, 2017, 5:54 pm

    With the divine feminine showing up in our lives via situations that are now unbearable… we must choose to heal grow and manifest our voice and authentic life….unfortunately too many refuse to lay the weight down of not being enough.

  • Kathleen April 26, 2017, 4:36 pm

    Regena, I cannot begin to tell you how perfect this blog is for me, right at this moment. Thankyou.

  • Kate Harlow April 26, 2017, 2:43 pm

    Yes!!! LOVE this. I teach how to become your own Heroine in my work with Single Women! This is amazing. LOVE this post. Love you! Thanks for your incredible light & extraordinary inspiration Regina. You are a HUGE blessing in my life! xo

  • Jessica Dupuis April 26, 2017, 2:10 pm

    Oh, this is exactly what I’ve been going through lately. I’m nearing a major life change – and a career change that will finally help me be financially independent after years of struggle – and I’ve been seeking status items to signify that “I’ve made it.” I’ve been dreaming of a new car, clothes, toys, home…. And I’ve been so frustrated that I can’t yet reach them. And I’ve been trying to set goals and keep running into those dumb SMART goals that mean absolutely NOTHING to me. Like I don’t want to lose 10 lbs in three months; I want to feel sexy. I don’t want to make a certain salary by a certain time; I want to feel secure and be able to spoil myself and my loved ones. I don’t want a certain career; I want to feel valued, challenged, and productive.

    • Nicole April 26, 2017, 8:38 pm

      I love your reframed ‘SMART’ goals… You’ve inspired me!

    • Patty April 26, 2017, 8:48 pm

      Ditto xo

  • charissa jones April 26, 2017, 1:22 pm

    Wow, I’m a mix, part hero and heroine. I’ve got the career, the loving husband, and a 10 month old boy. I’ve also published a book, The Love Formula. This article speaks to me in that the career isn’t giving me the “I’m there!” feeling. It feels empty and lacking. I see clearly I’m not honoring the heroine in me all the time as I let the way of the world, the hero’s way take over. When I allow my woman power to lead, people smile around me, I smile more. I agree Gena! You nailed this one!

  • Lynn April 26, 2017, 1:19 pm

    Hi. Interesting timing. I was in my weekly spiritual devotional with a couple wonderful souls and this is a comment that came up. We as women have been taught for centuries to NOT be women. That’s bad……to be pleasure, seek pleasure, be pleasing, loving, kind, inclusive etc. An aspect of being female (for most women) is to have a mothering side. Well ladies I know that I have let my inner mother (or inner smother) take over and that set up a dynamic with my hubby that I AM NOT enjoying. My choice…….conscious or not. It’ s ok for us to be mom’s in some way but not women……..REAL POWERHOUSES of MULTI-orgasmic, multi-inclusivity, multi-options………. And I am NOT talking about multi-tasking sweet cheeks 😉

  • Beth April 26, 2017, 1:17 pm

    In preparing for my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah I went through some old videotapes. I was floored to discover that my now ex-husband had made tapes for me while I was out of town on business. The tapes were of my delicious little girls playing, eating, reading, dancing… and in every one he would have them talk to mommy and tell me how much they missed me. I remember how difficult it was to go on the trips and how much I missed my girls and how mad I was at my husband and how bone tired I was. But the quest was the quest, and success looked like business trips and the c-suite which I’d never get to and would never love me back anyway. I wish I had discovered Mama Gena sooner. But nevertheless, I did find her. Now, after losing my job last year I’ve been renting my house out on Airbnb and traveling or staying with friends or new boyfriend. It’s a bit of a gypsy life, but I’m living from desire and have never been happier.

  • Mary Stephenson April 26, 2017, 12:54 pm

    Mama Gena, your post today was magnificent.
    I’m in the midst of Mastery 2017 and although I knew it was going to change me, I really had no idea how deep the patriarchal trauma runs. I want to heal, feel and live into a legacy filled with divine rapture and desire. The NEW wildfire journey of the heroine will take hold and when 51% of an energy goes in one direction, the other 49% will follow. Time for a reboot. I am so grateful for your leadership in bringing women together to wake up and stand for Womenkind. And as a mother of two beautiful teenagers, who have read your book and can’t wait to do Mastery themselves, I am urgently energized to follow my pleasure and my Pussy for the extreme benefit of all.

  • Katherine April 26, 2017, 12:54 pm

    We use the phrase “man up” not once, but twice, in this post to describe hard work. Hmmm…that’s the sort of patriarchy I want dissolved. I woman up, err human up, daily.

  • Holly W April 26, 2017, 12:51 pm

    Hi, my “hero” wanted two babies, a successful career, a “perfect” marriage, and to go to medical school! A tall and exhausting order. I’m now on the horizon of med school and reconsidering it all- except motherhood and marriage. There’s nothing i can do about that now, and luckily, my marriage is good! My heroine is longing for something different…more elegant, sexy and softer. I’m not sure what that looks like right now.

  • Terri Aldred April 26, 2017, 12:39 pm

    This is so yummy!
    Never enough and judegement is EXACTLY how I feel when I “achieve” a goal. For the first few years I was actually embarrassed to add the Dr. In front my name. Although I find when I’m leaning into pleasure it often feels like over indulging and I have judgement. It is so hard to relearn to trust the wisdom of my body!

  • Elle Morgan April 26, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Last night, I told my 30 year old daughter that I had gone to Beauty and the Beast with her Dad. She said, “Why can’t a woman be the Beast! Why can’t I be all hairy, and gross, and “a bitch” and then have someone “see” the real me?” Right? I’m going to write that story, in honor of my daughter. My work is called, “New Life Scripts” Since I am from the theatre world, I help women, usually in a retreat setting, to “rewrite their stories–with them as the heroine–and then act out those stories! This actin out part is powerful medicine, because now it gets out of head and into tissue! Into the Body–Somatic! Like good practice:) We have a lot of fairy tales to rewrite, don’t we?

    • Susan April 26, 2017, 12:58 pm

      Love this!

    • Georgia April 26, 2017, 3:23 pm

      Amazing! This reminds me of playback theater! <3 it.

  • Maria Stenvinkel April 26, 2017, 12:24 pm

    Love love LOVE this! Sisterhood, collaboration, intuition, pleasure and divinity. Me likey!!

  • Jenn Lukesh April 26, 2017, 12:20 pm

    Your email really struck a chord for me this morning. My family and I have just moved to a new town in a new state, a place that I’ve been envisioning for several years. My husband and my daughter are having their “Aha!” moments and finding their connections and I’m the one who’s still wondering, “What’s next?” I think that the heroine’s journey is more of an unfolding than a quest. The message that I keep getting is that my “job” is to be with my feelings of discomfort around all the unknown in my life right now. It’s the opposite of what I thought I had to do to be successful. I have to get quiet to hear the inspiration that guides me and it takes a lot to not run to my familiar distractions–a to-do list and the voice that says “Not enough!” Thank you, again, for the reminder today.

  • Laura April 26, 2017, 12:06 pm

    Dearest Mama Gena, I needed to hear this today, so much. I am unemployed and single, and my finances are not in good shape. I am struggling to get out of this hole, and I know I will, but this was a great reminder not to beat myself up over not having checked off all the Hero’s Journey boxes. It’s okay to ask for help and to accept help when offered. The universe has been very generous to me of late and I see this as a sign, that if I can just unfurl my pleasure that I will become unstuck and get back into a state of joy!

  • Lizzie April 26, 2017, 11:57 am

    This is the best blog post I’ve read of yours!! Thank you!!

    About 4 years ago one of my childhood dreams came true, I got to exhibit my art work alongside some of my idols David Hockney and Paula Rego. At the time I felt a bit numb to it. I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. But it was also effortless. I used a qigong manifestation technique and the universe brought it to me. Not the exhausting process of work, work, work that I usually put myself through like the hero’s journey above.

    Fortunately after reading your book I have been taking time to fully immerse myself in feeling how wonderful and precious it was to have that dream come true. It is so clear to me now that this was the desire of a heroine instead of a questing hero.

    • Ryl April 27, 2017, 9:24 am

      OMG…that is amazing – you are amazing – never forget how incredibly amazing YOU are 🍾👏🏻⚡️💓💓💓

  • Deborah April 26, 2017, 11:43 am

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I really, really needed to read this today. Last night I was overwhelmed by judgment–internal, of course, but based on all the outside voices that seem to saturate our culture. I so needed a reminder to center back into who I am and embrace all the mess and the joy of that.

  • Karen Hilja April 26, 2017, 11:40 am

    It’s true!! I worked my ass off as a single mama to reach for the ring of education. And I finally got it. After years of hard work and sacrifice- I felt almost nothing. I couldn’t feel my achievement. Now I am unfolding and its a process. Thank you for naming this “never enough”. I want the PLEASURE, I want it ALL!!!

  • Melissa April 26, 2017, 11:38 am

    Thank you for sharing this, Regena. My devotion to the sacred feminine is total and complete. At this moment I am navigating staying connected to Her as I enter a new work environment that is deeply masculine in its approach, orientation and practice. May I remain an open channel for Her wisdom, for it to infuse this new space with the transformational potential of Heroine.

  • Linda Montecalvo April 26, 2017, 11:14 am

    BRILLIANT! I work in the business world where men appear to thrive – rise to the top, make more money, seem to win at the game. I’ve been scratching my head for a long time along with being majorly pissed off. Paying attention mostly to the scratching of the the head – truth be told I’ve always held intense disdain for the lack of higher thinking, ability (I’ve never experience more dumb men in my life in the good ol boy) & a more global perspective on living this thing called life. I know women have more perspective, more & deeper value to shift this “good ol boy”. Men understand this or there would not be a “good ol boy network” to armor themselves. The very best I can offer is to be “turned on”, to ignore the messages and forge ahead mindfully – using the Heroine voice & actions and when I meet the wall of the hero, ignore, rage, grieve and then continue on unfettered. so what if it has its good day and bad – can’t stop me. Hearing MaMa talk about men this weekend was instrumental for me. Men truly are the less competent sex and allowing myself to openly acknowledge this opens the voice of the Heroine in me. I desire to listen to this voice and become my own connected, sexy, smart, loving Heroine.

  • Melinda April 26, 2017, 10:34 am

    Such perfect timing… of course… i was literally working on my business and mapping out the “quest” for my clients… ECK! Thank goodness for your post today so i can make sure that not only am i helping my clients, but to remember for myself to not be on the Hero’s quest. I seem to get this in ALL other areas of my life… but when it comes to business i sometimes get caught up in the patriarchal quest (okay, alot of the time). My question is if “Quest” is what the path is called on the Hero’s journey, what would you call the name of the Path for the Heroine’s journey?

    • Lynn April 26, 2017, 12:32 pm

      To Melinda:
      Instead, call it a Question? That seems perfect. Including the question mark

    • Ryl April 27, 2017, 9:17 am

      Question came to mind immediately, then listen to your inner wisdom…then act