POSTED: Wed, 03/03/2010 - 10:28am

The union of the feminine self and work

How do you balance and stay connected with your feminine self and your work self?
REPLIES 172  (Jump to bottom of page)


POSTED: Fri, 03/30/2012 - 10:24am


I just looked at your gorgeous gardens, I love everything about your website. You are so talented, I love the information that u have available to clients also. I see that u r in North Carolina and I am in Upper Michigan. I would so have hired u if u were closer! Excellent job, keep up the hard work girlfriend! Annii


POSTED: Fri, 03/30/2012 - 6:46am


Jas I would like to have listed "having coffee with jasminesgardens" as my pleasure today but I was afraid you would miss it there. What a treat. Everything about it fed my soul, not to mention it gave me a few hmmmm moments that I had to share with my husband. :)(btw, hmmmm moments are very good, they go deep into my well). I ditto the comments "I wish we lived closer" you and I would be out scoping out my place on earth. Thank you for sharing your soul. Kathy


POSTED: Fri, 03/30/2012 - 8:13am


Thank you Marilyn and Kathy. You have given me more courage to start my blog. I'll let you know. And Kathy I love your "having coffee with jasminesgardens" as you pleasure. I can't tell you how touched I feel in my heart. Thank you.


POSTED: Thu, 03/29/2012 - 1:04pm


Your site gives new insight into 'doing a Jas'. It is beautifully presented. I can't wait for the blogging to start as I couldn't get a result there. Well done.


POSTED: Thu, 03/29/2012 - 11:26am


I love your website Jasmine and your cards too! I would love to have postcards like that....I collect postcards, and do postcrossing and these are so lovely! I'm sure postcrossers would be interested in postcards like yours!


POSTED: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 8:23pm


That is a lovely website and your philosophy is beautiful.I cannot wait to see more.OXO


POSTED: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 6:46pm

Lovely website...

I wish you lived closer. You could totally help me re-do my yard. :)


POSTED: Thu, 03/29/2012 - 9:04am


Deb and Jean


POSTED: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:25am

Changing Season~Changing Ideas

Once again, as the seasons are changing I seem to get restless at "where I am" in life. Questions, questions, questions! Am I doing enough...1) for family, 2)for community, 3)environment, 4)me? I feel in a rut; how did I get here? What do I need to feel complete? Doubt & bewilderment seem to be creeping in, just as the chill of the air is floating in off the river. Mood swings? Seasonal Change? Full Moon? Stress for upcoming events i.e. holidays, work deadlines, my uncharted future? Work has become quite mundane & my salvation for frame of mind, mood & general outlook are may friends. I am usually a private person and my avenue for progress has ALWAYS been my unique support system of friends. It must be the full moon. ;)


POSTED: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:31am

We do not know

what we want and yet we are responsible for who we are ~ Jean-Paul Sartre


POSTED: Sun, 12/19/2010 - 9:19am

stress, harmony and power

I lost the thread where Deb was talking about taking a new less stressful, less money position. For me because I own my own buisness it is different, however I really focues on stress now, what has caused me so much stress, what still causes me stress and how to change this pattern in myself. If anyone can recommend good books for managers that would be great, or good books for work related stuff...I don't need fluffy things, I need concrete, from a persons own experiences book. I've read most of Murielle's book, it is good, but I don't think it is quite what I am needed. I really have to address this stress directly. Jas


POSTED: Sat, 01/15/2011 - 7:57pm

Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office

I frequently refer to Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office by Lois Frankel. "Getting the corner office" is a metaphor for achieving your career goals, so it would apply to running your own business too. It has a lot to do with identifying unhelpful behaviours and habits, and concrete steps to change them. It's definitely not fluffy.


POSTED: Mon, 12/20/2010 - 11:41am


Jas, have you any access to networking agencies for self-employed female business people. Quite a few of the girls I used to work with, who were managers, had access to local networks where they met to discuss business related matters. Through this they supported each other in business, through stress etc. Just an idea but it might help. Take care. xx


POSTED: Mon, 12/20/2010 - 6:34pm


I don't think we have any in our area, I'll keep an eye out thought. Where I live is a large town/small city. Mostly it is a university town. So I've not heard of any women networking management kinds of things. I will keep an eye out though. Today I got really mad at an employee. If you knew me, though what happens is I NEVER show anger. I am habitually nice. So it was very different for me to get so angry. I'm still feeling this, the good parts of it, the parts that are hard for me. Can anyone relate to that?


POSTED: Mon, 12/20/2010 - 8:55am

Maybe a course...

Hi Jas, maybe a course in managerial skills would help. I find when I read things in a book, it's not as easy to apply what I've read, as it is if I interact with others in the same boat. A class would help you meet other managers who might also have struggles similar to your own, and in a class, there is very often role-playing and group problem solving, that can give another dimension and perspective to your learning. Good luck in your quest. I've been a manager for a little over a year, and I am still not comfortable in the role. Lots of stress. I give you credit. It's not easy.


POSTED: Sun, 12/19/2010 - 6:48pm

Jas my friend

I will do some research for you and ask my manager what she has read in that regard.Having been a manager in the past,I relate strongly to the stress issue.Wish I had had a book to guide me then.OXO


POSTED: Mon, 12/20/2010 - 9:02am


Thanks Jean and Deb, It is nice to be heard and listened too. I do trust things will come. I'll keep my eyes open for a class, though this seems harder, but who knows maybe it isn't. I keep looking for role models people who manage yet seem calm and together in the midst of chaos. I haven't found any yet...those are the people I would ask for resources...if I knew any. I am working now on "reframing" things in my mind, to create things differently in my whole life. I'm visualizing happy, peaceful, joyful, loving relationships on all levels. From an intimate partner to family, to my community and work life. This is what I choose. Jas


POSTED: Mon, 12/06/2010 - 9:55am

more learning

So my season of work is almost over and I am now in the slow part. I'll spend almost 3 months mostly off (doing some tax work is all) and processing all that I went through, all that I want to improve on for next year. I think there are 2 things 1. how to stay centered when there is so much to do and so many different things. I observe this all the time in other managers or business owners there is a frantic-ness to how we are because of the constant pulls to our attention. 2. Teaching, communicating and being ok with people not liking what I have to say. Whew, this one is coming in strong now, how to say what needs to be said to my employees. To say it with kindness and a spirit of teaching and love not anger. I was as arrogant and unconscious as they once were so now I can learn how to be a better teacher to their stuff.


POSTED: Mon, 10/25/2010 - 12:16pm

the union of the feminine self and work

Hi, I love this question...it is something I have struggled with for years and finally conquered...thanks to Mireille...read her book..."women work and the art of savoir faire"....in fact...read all her books if you can....you can also go to my blog... www.the21stcenturyhousewife.blogspot.com. It is all about Balance - which Mireille has mastered....and how to balance your corporate life and still be feminine. Good luck to you! Ciao' Bella JennyMay


POSTED: Sat, 10/16/2010 - 5:43pm

For Those of you married

How do you maintain your feminine self when you are the primary bread winner? Surely Mireille as CEO out earned her husband. As the stronger of the two of us I found a comment he made last week really annoying about attending a dinner with me as the "trophy husband" and he was really proud of it. I am supposed to be the girl...sigh....granted "Tu ressebles a un sac do patates" now due to all these massive meetings ....I know its not an excuse...but stress from all angles. I dont feel remotely feminine just lumpy.


POSTED: Sat, 10/16/2010 - 7:41pm

being the woman

Thanks for your post "newbeginner" I'm not married so I can't speak to the same thing. I don't know if this is helpful. I do though struggle and enjoy work related issues a lot. I am a gardener/landscaper/garden designer. It is a male field. I'm very capable and athletic, I'm also curey, cute, and feminine. It is hard though to stay centered in my femininity. I am a woman first then I am a business owner and entrepreneur. I keep who I am as a woman in my work. My style of leadership with my crew is feminine, my style of work with my clients is feminine. What does that mean, it is basic things like the earrings I wear or the body enhancing clothes I wear, to the fact that I deeply value and focus on relationships. I'll go out of my way to keep a good client and to make sure my clients are happy...relationship. I'm a caretaker, and I work at taking good care of myself. Massages, facials, herbs, good food (even if it is simple or from the whole food grocer), relaxation, good books...So what makes you feel feminine? And how can you reclaim your femininity? I also very much like the men I'm around...The men get a kick out of me too, I think. I respect who they are as men and what they are good at. There is a lot more I could say about the men. This is getting long though


POSTED: Sat, 07/31/2010 - 7:56am

The sexual feminine self

So this is a new place for me, a new discovery. Yesterday having two of my employees help me clean my house mostly what I felt was grateful. However after they left and I was looking around, I got this "oh no, giggle" than more laughter, then a really deep sense on freedom and release. " You see I hadn't thought about it but I have a lot of sexual books all over my house. "The multi orgasmic woman" "Women's Sexual energy", "Sacred sex" and more. There all really beautiful "clean" books. Nothing porno or degrading. But my crew, my 20 something crew who knows me as the boss..."well, I thought, that's normal. I'm a sexual woman too. This is no big deal" This post may seem odd to European women, because I think you already have a union of your sexual self and your work self...in American it just isn't common. So Viva my new whole self! Jas (PS I'd love to hear others experience of this)


POSTED: Sat, 07/31/2010 - 11:05am

Being a girl...

Well, when I read your post, Jas, I took a quick look around my bedroom and I have "French Women Don't Sleep Alone" and "The Good Girl's Guide to Bad Girl Sex" laying right out in the open. lol.

I'd say that getting in touch with all levels of ourselves as women is important. Neglecting any areas of our sensual being brings unbalance. So, here's to balance! :)



POSTED: Sat, 07/31/2010 - 11:21am


HI Deb, I loved your post...then I looked up "The Good Girl's Guide to Bad Girl Sex" it looks like a good book. Did you like it? Learn good things? Jas


POSTED: Sat, 07/31/2010 - 12:23pm

Learning new things...

Hi Jas. What a topic for a sunny Saturday morning, huh? lol. I did like the book. It's a little like the Navy Seal Workout of Sex, but it definitely helped me to break down some restrictive barriers in my mind, and it did help me to understand that the sexual side of a woman is just as important as everything else, and being at ease with my entire sensual self brings a lot more pleasure and freedom to every aspect of my life. It also helped me to understand that loving sex is normal and natural.

Several books on being French that I've read lately talk about how French women cultivate their "secret garden". It is the essence of their femininity. So, I feel like I'm tending to my own garden, at last. :)

Happy reading! Let me know what you think.


POSTED: Sat, 07/31/2010 - 12:51pm

french women and their secret garden

I loved your post...What books do you recommend on how French women cultivate their "secret garden" I have to tell you when I read it I thought, "huh!" "oh, that makes sense, a secret garden, and cultivating it." I've never thought that way exactly. Neat. Hmmmmm


POSTED: Sat, 07/31/2010 - 3:18pm

Secret Gardens

When I first read about the "Jardin Secret" that French women have, it immediately made sense to me. And I realized that I have never thought about the concept or even knew it existed. But, it's something every woman needs, I think. I know I do. In this American culture of laying everything out on the table and being "up front" and "out there" all the time, what a relief to know that we can have a space in our lives for an inner life that no one else knows about and we don't have to share. How rejuvenating!

A French woman will cultivate a private inner place, in her mind, where she can store all of the little secrets and pleasures that's she's enjoyed or hopes to enjoy in the future. She takes time for private time to think about these things, whether they're about her interests, like art or music, or whether they're about a chance flirtation with a gorgeous hunk of a man on the morning commute. Or even a secret affair that she has had, is having, or means to have in the future. She keeps these things to herself, to enjoy in the privacy of her heart, mind, and inner life.

She makes time for herself to nurture these thoughts and feelings, totally private, just for her and no one else. French wives and girl friends never share themselves 100% with their mates. They keep their inner sanctuary to themselves.

This gives French women their mystery. There is a part of themselves that is for no one, not even a lover or husband. Only for them. It makes women autonomous, powerful, recharged, and fulfilled in a way that American women can't even fathom.

I'm embracing this concept of the Secret Garden, the way a parched flower embraces water. It's necessary, and life giving. Working on becoming a "whole" woman, embracing everything, including my sensual, sexual self, can all be part of my secret garden. My time just for me. Thinking, dreaming, anticipating... making my interior bloom.

Some books that talk about the Jardin Secret, are "French Women Don't Sleep Alone, by Jamie Cat Callan, Entre Nous, and What French Women Know, both by Deborah Oliver.

I'm having a lot of fun lately, learning all these new ways of thinking and being. Sounds like you are too, Jas. :)


POSTED: Mon, 08/02/2010 - 6:01am

Secret Garden

Loving this idea. I must admit to a side of me that no-one else knows. We all must have a few little secrets, a scret smile, a simple thought, all go to, as you say, making youself bloom.


POSTED: Sun, 08/01/2010 - 6:33am

again thank yoiu

I loved reading this...It is fun having new ways of thinking and being. I'm off for a week to the beach. Hallelulia!


POSTED: Sun, 07/25/2010 - 10:58am


So I am feeling and experiencing so much. Sometimes I've been wrapped in knots so it has been hard to write (however I've been faithfully reading every week) I am getting this, I am beginning to get the balance of my feminine self and work... the basics of always wearing feminine clothes and make up work. Even if I am covered in dirt and using a chainsaw at my job (garden designer...landscaper) I have on good lingerie, makeup and long feminine earrings. My actions too have become more feminine. I am more soft spoken than I have ever been (I just feel it inside now) I am kind with my employees but focused, strong when I need to be, I am feminine in the way I deal with them. I am feminine in the way I deal with my clients... And now I have met an interesting man...He is very masculine, successful, and yet he (so far) seems to really honor and appreciate my femininity and he gets a kick out of my "chainsaw capable" self.


POSTED: Mon, 07/26/2010 - 5:51am

Chainsaw capable :)

Sounds funny but is impressive. I'm afraid of spiders, grasshoppers, worms, beetles, and everything that moves and is smaller than a cat and you are a garden designer. Shame on me! :)


POSTED: Mon, 07/26/2010 - 8:10am

no shame

No shame about being afraid...we do have a disconnection from nature, we are often taught to be afraid of the little crawling things. It is just life. Chainsaw capable is funny...I didn't realize what I was writing as I put it down. Jas


POSTED: Sun, 07/25/2010 - 11:05am


And how exciting.New man????Tell more,please.Also,I am glad you are sticking with us.I totallt get the tied up in knots experience and needing time to ontemplate change.Keep going.OXO


POSTED: Mon, 07/26/2010 - 8:20am


well, it is still early with S. but he was so complimentary of me, gentle, and strong in his actions...great restaurant, a walk in the park...some kissing...holding hands and lots of compliments (can you tell I love being complimented?) And it is challenging for me, I always want to jump right in. I'm "hungry" its been a long time since I've been in a good relationship (and I don't know if this will turn out to be good) so taking it slow, one breathe at a time...and just feeling compassion for myself...my desires and yet allowing things to evolve organically.


POSTED: Sun, 07/25/2010 - 12:13pm


Exciting times for you in lots of ways. So pleased to hear you are getting everything together. Glad you are still here with us I would miss you if not.

Looking forward to all your news and progress. LOL


POSTED: Mon, 07/26/2010 - 8:21am

Thanks Marilyn



POSTED: Tue, 07/13/2010 - 5:13am

Teachers' 'uniform'

I have a question for you. I am beginning my career as a teacher. For now I teach at language school, but within I year I will start applying for teaching positions in high school (children aged 11-15 or 14-19, depending what I will get). What do you think is appropriate for a teacher to wear to work? Teachers used to dress smartly, I know, but where I come from jeans and trainers have long been acceptable (even though I don't think they should be). So - what are your feelings on the subject?


POSTED: Tue, 07/13/2010 - 9:14am

Thank you for the answers. I

Thank you for the answers. I already decided I wanted to wear skirts and dresses as much as possible, because this is the message I want to send young women - that it's okay to dress as a woman. I also knew I wouldn't wear jeans and trainers, but you mentioned some things I would never have though of on my own - for example that loo-time is limited and clothes should be no-fuss. That totally makes sense, of course, but it's not something I would automatically keep in mind when dressing for teaching :)


POSTED: Tue, 07/13/2010 - 3:38pm

Tried and true

you will find that the better dressed you are the better behaved the kids will be. Trust me on this one.


POSTED: Tue, 07/13/2010 - 8:31am

Lessons on dress

from teachers in my life...sister,Goddaughter and of course Frenchy(Deborah)Dress to gain respect,no jeans and trainers unless appropo for the occasion,functional and comfortable.And always items that supporrt your femininity.Jas brings up some good points.If you are teaching young males,you will have to be aware of the message you are sending.And the young women will be looking at you closely and following your example.As with most things in life,it has layers of meaning and impact.I see you as a young woman who has maturity and quickly developing wisdom.OXO


POSTED: Tue, 07/13/2010 - 8:24am

As a teacher

I would say to aim for what is simple and smart. I wear dresses, tailored suits, or sometimes separates. I will advise this: shoes. Be aware that you will be on your feet much of the time so be kind to your feet. I wear a high heel once in a great while but mostly stay with kitten heels or flats. In the cooler months I wear boots with my dresses and slacks. I don't go for the trainers and jeans unless told to do so by the boss. Next rule, you do not get much opportunity to use the loo so make sure clothes are not fussy...read: easy on easy off...so to speak. You will be receiving a few things upon graduation: your new teacher bladder, the eyes in the back of the head and last but not least the sixth sense. Enjoy your new career!


POSTED: Tue, 07/13/2010 - 6:55am

Good question

Nya Nya, This is a good question. I don't think I know the answers but my feelings hmmmm...I would say balance. You are a woman first and a teacher second. As a woman expressing all parts of yourself matter, as a teacher you are a roll model and a guide. Hmmmmm I guess the question in my mind is about sexuality...and not being overly sexual yet not hiding your sexuality. I also think about function first. What ever you wear has to be functional...if you have to run and play with children that would be a different functional aspect (and needs) than just being in a classroom. I will be curious to hear what you discover as you work with this question.


POSTED: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 6:47am

Ordinary and beyond

I've been reading these posts and thinking about them. What ordinary means to me is similar to what Deb was saying, ordinary and yet the ordinary becomes the extraordinary. For example, making meal. We all have to eat. This is ordinary. We all need nutrients in our bodies, this is ordinary. Yet to take what is ordinary and without losing the ordinary make that meal pleasurable, beautiful, honoring, sacred. For me I have to start with the ordinary, how do I need something to function, what can I afford, what are my time constraints, labor constraints...ordinary stuff. Once I have a handle on this now how can I bring in beauty? How can I connect with the sacred? This is extraordinary. But If I started with the extraordinary I risk, spending too much money, going beyond physical capabilities (darn, there goes my sore neck again), and other such things. How do you all combine the ordinary first then the beyond?


POSTED: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 8:33pm


about all you have said here and about gentleness too.Perhaps gentleness is the path ?


POSTED: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 6:52am


In another thought...Jeanie and self talk, negative talk/actions. Last night I had a small jolt in my life. Something scared me. This morning as I sat in meditation what came in was gentleness. There are just things I can't do right now, ahhhh breathe and that's ok. I get too busy, I get too pushed, and that is ok, breathe gentleness here too. This is what is in my life, this is sometimes the nature of my work...so I am in the storm, I get tired, I get scared, I get overwhelmed, I can beat up on myself, and all this just is. It is ok. So for me instead of trying not to be negative, or fight those inner insecurities when I can just be with them, know they are there, even welcome them and give them space, something in me relaxes. Ok, this is me and I'm not perfect. Breathe, sigh, gentle. Ok, I'm joining Deb, getting off my talking box, and well, I wish I could say I was going on to a nice meal, but I'm not. I'll be working on some work things at my desk for an hour, before heading out to work...


POSTED: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 12:03pm

Beautiful, Jas

What a beautiful, insightful message. It made my day, and reminded me to breathe. :)


POSTED: Fri, 05/07/2010 - 3:53pm

I find the discussion of what

I find the discussion of what is feminine wear fascinating, particularly in the lines of borrowings from menswear and what is practical for different types of work. My experience and observation is that having clothing fitted to your feminine shape goes a long way toward enhancing your femininity even when the clothing you wear is what is traditionally considered menswear. Look at Katherine Hepburn. She practically lived in trousers, shirts and sweaters when not doing the "movie star" thing, yet I challenge anyone to say that she was unfeminine, and a lot of that was due to impeccable tailoring. On the other hand, I saw a woman the other day who was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, with close-cropped hair, and I had to look at least three times before I could determine that she was indeed a "she". Above all, when it comes to appearance, fit matters.


POSTED: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 6:53am

I agree

Beautiful picture annamey. What you write of has been a big learning for me this year. It has made a huge difference with losing weight and changing the way I dress.


POSTED: Tue, 05/04/2010 - 8:14am

more hmmm and I love you women!

So I love when people challenge me and make me think and share their diamonds. I don't really know though, in some ways I experience myself more in the light of ______________, in the light of what? How do I explain this? I experience myself as I'm working and caring for others land and gardens, I experience myself as I am on a date with a man. I experience myself sitting at the computer with my hands on my chin, thinking. But I still like me best when I am wearing heels (laughter!!!!!) Such a goofy thing to say, but its true, really it is. Ok, but can we take the philosophical, nice words down to the nuts and bolts of ordinary. Like you said Jeanie, but HOW do you do this, how do you experience this. For me, I have to get my "ideas" into the realm of ordinary.


POSTED: Thu, 05/06/2010 - 11:11pm

...or maybe expand the realm

...or maybe expand the realm of ordinary to encompass your ideas. It's all in how you look at it, but any way you look at it, ordinary has the potential to become extraordinary. So rather than try to crunch down all your lovely expansive ideas into a small ordinary box... make the box bigger. lol. Enjoy the growth, Jas. You're blooming. :)

“Soignée ”


French women plan meals in advance and think in terms of menus (a list of little dishes) even at home).


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