Women frequently find themselves caught betwixt and between in a gray area that’s nearly impossible to define. The professional and domestic spheres are often blurred, with many of us trying to maintain a “work-life balance” that requires Cirque du Soleil level acrobatics. We can also find ourselves as caretakers of both aging parents and growing children, needing to be present for partners and friendships, leaving little to no time for, say, hobbies, exercise, or even a hot bath at the end of the day.
It’s this gray area, this in-between space that’s as elusive and rare as a unicorn, that Eve Rodsky has made her mission to help women find. In her best-selling book Find Your Unicorn Space, she helps us find a balance that she calls the key to empowerment, fulfillment, and, most importantly, personal happiness.
Rodsky shared how each woman can tap into this powerful potential at the Power to Pursue Summit at Music Hall. The Los Angeles–based writer and lecturer talks about the upcoming conference and how, of all things, a carton of blueberries put her on the path to discovering her own Unicorn Space.
Tell us a little about your background and what led you where you are today.
I grew up in a single-mom household where, early on, I helped my mother manage eviction notices and late utility bills. I vowed that when I grew up I would have an equal partner in life, and I did! I married that partner. I marked up operating agreements as he grew a new business, and he helped me secure my dream job in philanthropy.
Cut to two kids later, and I found myself sobbing on the side of the road because of a text my husband sent me: “I’m surprised you didn’t get blueberries.” As I sat in my car, I thought to myself: I’m so overwhelmed I can’t even manage a grocery list. And, more importantly, When did I become the default for every single household and childcare task? This was not how I envisioned my life. I knew something had to change, so I embarked on a quest to find a solution for domestic rebalance not only for my marriage but for couples everywhere.
This “domestic rebalance” is the heart of the idea of a Unicorn Space. Can you explain?
“Unicorn Space” is time you create and allot space for in your schedule to reclaim, discover, and nurture the natural gifts and interests that make you uniquely you and that you then share with the world. As women, we’re burned out. For many of us—and women specifically—when a teeth cleaning feels like an indulgence, the idea of carving out time seems like a fantasy. It will remain the stuff of fairytales until we recognize that we’re more than our roles as professionals, partners, and/or parents. When you start truly believing that all time is created equal and you give yourself these permissions, you’re ready to pursue your Unicorn Space.
Why is this message so important to women especially?
Even today it’s still subversive for women to spend their hours on unpaid interests beyond their roles of partner, parent, and professional, but the benefits of Unicorn Space to our mental and physical health are clear. Creativity is not optional; it’s necessary for our longevity and health.
What are you most excited about at the Power to Pursue Summit? How does your message fit with this event?
Being on a stage with an audience of 600-plus women who are seeking more for themselves invigorates me because these are the cultural warriors who will help us redefine what women are and are not “allowed” to do. We have the right to be more than our roles and to live our fullest lives for ourselves and as our legacy to our children.