Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, Encourages Women to Lean In: Burnout or Liberation?

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In her recent book, Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg never addresses the necessity for the foundational power of Self-Care nor does she offer a roadmap for women that articulates the possibilities for a new model of work and living informed by wholeness, says Lynda Klau, Ph.D. Director of Life Unlimited: the Center for Human Possibility. Dr. Klau is offering a 5-week Webinar, Burn Out Prevention: Live a Life with Love for women and here are some steps you can begin now.

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No matter who you are, no matter what you do, your first and foremost responsibility is to your own physical, metal, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
-Carl Simonton, MD Integrative Oncologist

While Sandberg’s observations are insightful, her manifesto for Liberation “lean in”, go to the top and lead advocates Burnout, not Liberation, says Dr. Klau. She asserts that Self-Care is foundational and essential, not only to prevent burnout and illness, but to support women in creating lives they love. During the last 30 years there’s been an alarming positive correlation between women’s increasing stress levels and heart disease and diabetes. Self-Care includes and is not limited to time for play, silence, mindfulness, meditation, sleeping deeply and long enough, breathing, time off each day, vacations, being in your flow, doing what you love, and much more. These practices are for all women regardless of their finances and family situation.    

In Dr. Klau's opinion, another sin of omission in Lean In is that this author doesn’t delve into the unique qualities of what it means to be feminine: our emotional intelligence, relational qualities, intuition/inspiration, holistic thinking and connection with our bodies and our essence. She views Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, as two prominent examples of just how far you can go using a male model of sitting at the table. However, Dr. Klau recommends a new model for women that needs to embrace both Self-Care as well as the unique qualities of the feminine. Only then will there be a chance for living in breadwinner-caretaker balance and wisdom, wonder, freedom and the process of true change.

Here are four exercises Dr. Klau suggests to begin:

  • Shut off all technological devices and sit quietly for five minutes every day.
  • Do something you consider play “just for you” for at least fifteen minutes per day.
  • Ask yourself: what really matters. Make a list of the things you love to do that gives you energy.

Tom Brokaw of NBC called our time the Century of Women. The Dalai Lama has said it is the western woman who will lead us to the new world. That’s quite a mandate—and a compliment as well! But in order to do so, Dr. Klau urges women to learn to care for themselves so that they have the opportunity of fulfilling their potential.

Life Unlimited: The Center for Human Possibility in New York, NY, through psychotherapy, coaching, and speaking has been providing a broad spectrum of services helping women and men actualize themselves and their dreams for more than 25 years using a non-formulaic, holistic, integrative, body, mind, and neuroscience approach. They are offering a 5-week empowering Videoconference Webinar, Burnout Prevention: Live a Life with Love for women seeking increased success, deeper self-awareness, and to live a life with love. This is a roadmap for flourishing in these times. Burnout Prevention: Live a Life with Love will be held over the course of five consecutive Wednesday evenings in June and July. You are invited to attend their free introductory video conferencing webinar on Wednesday June 5th @ 7:30pm EST.

For more information on Life Unlimited programs for individuals (women and men) please visit their website: http://www.DrLyndaKlau.com e: Lynda(at)drlyndaklau(dot)com, t: 212 595 7373, text: +1 (917) 830 7298

The innovative work of Life Unlimited has been featured in This Emotional Life – PBS, WBAI, Sirius Satellite Radio, Cable TV, GAINS Journal, Your Tango, Common Boundary, The Association for Spirituality and Psychotherapy Journal and other media outlets.

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Lynda Klau, Ph.D.
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