How High?

I was chatting with a female colleague about how we achieved our ‘manager’ status in highly technical and male dominated industries; television and IT. We both worked our way up from the bottom, a strategy that benefited our knowledge base and understanding of the industry as a whole, and respect for the depth of that knowledge. And it was the only way you did it 25 years ago!

What we both felt was that there is a need to experience the whole to understand the sum of the parts. From a thorough working knowledge, we can appreciate the whole team and the process and what is expected from us as managers.

I have reflected on how much, during the early years, that I chose to behave like a man. When I was asked to do a task that involved some manual labor, I wanted to prove my strength and that I could be as ‘good’ as a man.

When they asked me to jump, I asked ‘How High?’

That was all the option I knew when I was coming up through the ranks of television – that I had to perform at the same level as the guys around me. I was graded in the top three in my year for cinematography, a very physical, male dominated sector to this day. I loved creating images through the lens and lugging a huge camera and tripod around just came with the territory.

But I guess there was something in me that realized the stress that was putting on my body. Because when I was offered my first job, it was as a camera operator for a company that produced sport for television in 1988 – I turned it down for a production assistant job that was office/location based and didn’t require manual lifting to the extent being behind the camera would have required.

There is substantially more female production staff than men, and more technical crew who are men – I feel that balance is right.

What has happened is that a high proportion of women have taken the toughness of the industry on in another way – we have hardened to be resilient and survive the workplace.

This pattern needs reflection and questioning whether this toughness is still required of me as a manager today – and the answer is a resounding NO. As a role model and mentor of younger women working in my team, my priority is to show my femininity and gentleness as much as possible. This doesn’t mean I’m a sap in the executive meetings! The quality of fragility I now choose to express is so much easier on my body and the feeling of power with it is palpable.

Expressing fragility and vulnerability in the boardroom is an effective management tool and one that I am continuing to explore. It feels much more natural for me than the alternative!

With love, Sarah

A Corporate Perspective on Energetic Truth

My career in television/film/advertising is now over 26 years. Since 2001, my whole perspective on my work, and who I am in it, has changed fundamentally after meeting Serge Benhayon.

My modus operandi prior to that meeting was always to ‘play it like a man’. The career I chose is male dominated and so I hardened myself to meet men on their terms. I worked hard and played hard; working 14-16 hours a day and drinking and taking drugs excessively for many years. This was off-set (or so I thought) by running about 3 miles a day.

The hardness in my body numbed me from feeling the self-harming way of life I was choosing and was using the industry as an excuse. I was anxious, nervous and reactionary. My outer ‘sales confidence’ belied the self-loathing I felt and that drove my insatiable need for recognition and acceptance from colleagues, managers, clients and inevitably, my family and their expectations.

Mistakes have been made along the way – I have been exploring how I express truthfully at work and it’s backfired sometimes. Due in part to the words I used and in part to the fact that truth is not often expressed in a corporate environment and most people I have encountered find it very uncomfortable and confronting. But that hasn’t stopped me. I will continue to rely on the true knowledge of my own wisdom to support me in my decisions for myself at work, and know for a fact that the impact of truth on my work environment will absolutely affect people. I have a big responsibility with that.

The true knowledge is something I feel to expand on:

We are not taught to connect to the boundless wisdom we have at our disposal when we are connected to our true selves. When I am expressing or listening from my soul, there’s nothing I need to call in from outside me in response to any business situation. Obviously, my temporal knowledge of the extremely technical career I have chosen means I have a lot of tools already learned that I can call on, but when it comes with the wisdom of ME, there’s a confidence and natural-ness that is supportive and true and I will always be able to trust and rely on. True knowledge is there to support everyone equally – no exceptions.

By not being true to myself, I have made some decisions that have cost me financially and that is part of the ongoing ‘work-in-progress’ that is the amazing Sarah Cloutier! I will continue to be strong and consistent with myself and be open to show my loveliness as a woman at work. The change begins with how I treat myself first, then as a reflection to my environment.

The Universal Medicine courses, which I started attending in the UK in 2004, started a process of growing up that has empowered me to take full responsibility for how I am with myself and with others. Serge Benhayon has always asked me to be me – nothing more, nothing less. The techniques I’ve learned, e.g. the Gentle Breath Meditation, support me to re-connect with myself at my desk if I’ve been shaken by the inevitable spin that happens at work when situations occur that are beyond my control. Serge has shown me by example that there is another way to live that will energise me to perform at a level I could never have dreamed of.

No longer will I accept the path of disregard. The illness and disease I see around me every day now is a very real experience for me from the choices I made in the past – I was extremely unwell by 2004 as the consequences of my ill choices came to fruition in my body. The healing techniques of Universal Medicine have profoundly changed my physiology and the weight, tension, angst and years have fallen away and I look younger and healthier now (at 44 years old) than I did in my twenties. Today, I am truly well and make self-loving choices with food, gentle exercise and sleep rhythms that support my busy workload to ensure I am clear and ready for anything that comes my way – bring it on!

I’m proud to say that the changes my mother calls ‘miraculous’ are not a miracle, they are the result of the choices I have made to reconnect to who I truly am and to express that truth as much as I can with the deep kindness I now feel for myself.

With thanks and kind regards,