When suddenly, out of the blue, a handsome, vibrant man in a crisp, button-down shirt sat down next to me.
One thing led to another. And the next thing I knew, I was falling in love.
The handsome, vibrant man was Michael.
And that day was 6 months ago.
When I started sheology back in 2013, I was single. In fact, I’d been single for a few years after leaving an unhealthy, destructive relationship that I’d kept trying to make work for far too long.
Sure, I dated.
There was the French economist whom I met while visiting the South of France. But his affliction for wearing white and…
…my knack for spilling red things like marinara sauce and wine quickly came to a head.
There was the English businessman who took me on his motorbike for a lovely weekend tour through northern Italy, including Verona. Romeo and Juilette, indeed.
And then there was the handsome Italian who took me on a first date to the W Hotel for champagne and cupcakes (cupcakes!) and later broke up with me at Starbucks. Starbucks. Because.
All the while, I prayed. I asked God to send me a man of God, one who was made just for me. And I kept looking.
But last summer, after I’d gotten dumped via text message by the guy to took me to the Paul McCartney concert (awesome seats, BTW), I’d had it.
I was done. No more searching. No more looking. No more stupid Match.com.
Sometimes I get in the boxing ring with God. He lets me because you know. He’s good that way. Even though He can kick my ass. He usually doesn’t.
And after the break up via text message, the bell rang and there I was, back in the ring with my Maker. Toe-to-toe. Again.
God. I said. (who am I kidding? I wept.) I don’t know where he is, but you’d better tell him to get his ass here because I’m done. Please send him to me. Please.
And with that, I said thank you and went to work. I focused on my business. I went to the gym. I coached my clients. I wrote. I prayed. But I didn’t once look for him. Not once.
6 weeks later, I rolled into that trendy Scottsdale restaurant, minded my own business and suddenly, my future sat down next to me and asked the bartender for the baseball game on the TV.
So riddle me this, Batman…
Why am I – the co-author of Smart Girls – the women whose whole career has been about making sure that talented girls and women fall in love with an idea before they fall in love with a person… that they get engaged with their careers before they put a ring on it…?
Perhaps because I’ve done the first part of the equation.
I fell in love with the idea of changing the landscape of the global economy by helping women entrepreneurs make more money in their businesses. I got engaged to my career – married, if I’m being honest – when I got my PhD, and later when I walked away from my university position to start sheology.
And now, it IS time for me to receive the love and attention, generousity and protection of a man – my man – a life-partner who I truly believe that God sent to me.
Here’s what I know for sure. (with a nod, as always, to Oprah)
Love has changed me. It’s made me more open. More able to receive the good things in life. More trusting and more faithful to God’s promises.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11, NIV
Love has changed my approach to coaching, too.
It’s gotten deeper and more expansive, actually.
Whereas I used to focus primarily on elements of a woman’s business and career – her personal brand, marketing, and sales…now I’m also paying attention to her relationships, too – who she’s married to, what kind of relationship she has, how the relationship is holding her back or propelling her forward in her business.
Now I’m helping my clients call in their loves, as well as to find their ideal clients.
Now, I’m helping my clients transform (or even leave) relationships that aren’t working and start fresh, just like I did a few years ago. That way they can actually do what they are meant to do in the world – contribute in a way that is uniquely attuned to their gifts, talents, and credentials.
It’s funny, really.
For talented women, a romantic relationship can either undermine your gifts or highlight and strengthen them.
A romantic relationship can give you the expansive freedom to succeed or it can make you feel small, undervalued, and anxious.
With Michael, I’m learning the power of being a woman who can receive (truly receive) love, admiration, and presents (!) from a man who loves me. Truly loves me.
Learning this lesson has allowed me the freedom to shift my coaching in a way that deeply considers how my clients also deserve romantic love that strengthens and empowers them to confidently do their work in the world. And that, really is what sheology is all about anyway way: empowerment. confidence. and doing the work you’re meant to do in the world. All these things are founded in love.
I’d love to hear from you. In the comments, leave your thoughts about how you blend love and work – how does love affect your ability to be successful and influential in your work.