FIRST LADY MOMENT OF TRANSPARENCY: Over the weekend I had a POWERFUL coaching call with a client that made me reflect on something that happened recently. While spending some time with friends, one of them shared that on several occasions, she had been asked this question about me: “What EXACTLY is Frantonia the “First Lady” of? (I’ll get back to that in a moment)….

During my coaching call, my client & sister-friend tearfully thanked me as she said these POWERFUL words, “The work that I have done as a result of your coaching has helped me to give my daughter a PRICELESS gift.”

She went on to say that she had a conversation with her teen-aged daughter where she was able to say to her, “I’m so sorry that I taught you that you had to be perfect because I was too afraid to show you that I was NOT perfect. My gift to you is the knowledge that you do NOT need to be perfect!!”

As if that wasn’t enough, after we both cried like babies, she added this knockout punch when she said, “My GOD!! By healing me, loving me and accepting me, I just freed my GRAND CHILDREN!! (Future generations not yet born)

Now, those of you who know me, know that by now I’m in the full out ugly cry because I remember when I too wore the mask; buying AND selling the bullshit belief that the only way to be loved, accepted and approved of was to make sure that the external presentation was “picture perfect,” all the while the woman on the inside was screaming like a caged animal for true & authentic freedom.

Oh yeah, like many high achieving and successful women, I played every predetermined/predefined “role” that others required me to play in order to gain their stamp of approval as a “proper & virtuous woman.”

I was just pretty enough that women would want to hang out with me but always mindful to NEVER show up so stunningly beautiful as to make them judge, criticize or hate me.

In the corporate world, I exceeded all goals & sales quotas in the boardroom so that I could guarantee that I would always be respected for my work but always mindful to NEVER allow myself to out-shine the “Top Dog” (especially if it was a male) so that I would NEVER be called a ruthless bitch or have it assumed by others, especially women, that because I was an attractive female that I had somehow used my “feminine wiles” to garner special privileges.

In relationships, I played the dutiful role of mild-mannered & dumbed-down because his manhood required it; I showed up submissive and unopinionated so that I wouldn’t intimidate the men that I had allowed to choose me. 

I was ever so careful to never be outspoken; always loyal to his cause, trusting that my dreams would be allowed to emerge after his dreams had been fully realized; you know, on the back-end.

I was mindful to always remember to be “a lady in the streets but his type of freak in the sheets.” I did my best to be sexy enough that his eye wouldn’t wander but never so wanton, uninhibited or sexually unrestricted that he would see me as a slut. I did all of this because, back then, I NEEDED him to grant me what the world says is the ultimate validation of my womanhood. I needed him to choose me as a desirable option for marriage. I was a beast in the boardroom but a doormat in the bedroom. 

Yes, in a futile effort to please everyone else I, like so many high achieving and successful women, put my needs and desires last and in doing so, I neglected to please the most important person in the equation – ME!!

image After years of living in the all consuming frustration of having what outwardly appeared to be an amazing life (motherhood, a lavish home, a nice car, fat bank account, a handsome & successful man, status and prestige among my colleagues and community, etc., etc., etc.,) it all inwardly became a dance of desperation. I desperately tried to keep a smile on my face as others would comment about how “lucky” I was to have ______ (fill in the blank), when all I REALLY wanted was the sense of authenticity, peace and fulfillment that can only come from total and complete knowledge of self, which ultimately becomes an UNSHAKABLE love of self.

I had spent so many years putting everything and everyone else first that it had become easy to put myself last; until one day I decided NO MORE!!! In order for me to TRULY live a lavish life filled with the abundance of love, peace, fulfillment and contribution that my heart longed for, I had no other choice than to DO THE HARD WORK to heal the places in me where I had been secretly suffering. I had to make a conscious and continual DECISION to no longer choose to put myself last, thus telling the world that I did not matter; but to love myself, my daughter, my mother and yes, my yet to be conceived grand children and great grand children enough to give them a different example of womanhood.

One where self-sacrifice is NOT synonymous with being female. One where sexual sovereignty belongs to every woman. One where the voices, opinions and concerns of women are welcomed because they REALLY matter. One where woman are FIRST seen as a representation of their TOTAL and complete selves and no longer as the representative possession of men.

I had to choose to no longer pretend that I was comfortable playing those roles that required me to splinter myself. I had to choose to no longer put the interests of others before the interests that are part of my DNA deep purpose on this planet. I had to choose to come out of the background and UNAPOLOGETICALLY show up, stand up and speak up for ALL that I believe in; starting with ME!

So someone out there wanted to know “what is Frantonia the ‘First Lady’ of?” Simply put, I AM the “First Lady” of my own life; and I cordially invite every woman who is reading this post to become “First Lady” of your own life.

SAVE THE DATE: August 14 – 17, 2014! You Are Cordially Invited to Join Me and 20 Extraordinary Feminine Leaders at The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa for “The Sexy Side of Success Rejuvenation Retreat for High Achieving Women.” Early Bird Registration coming soon. Be sure to follow #TheSexySideOfSuccess for more details.