The eureka moment
In 2014, Narkis co-founded a company in the field of Tech Education. Narkis and her co-founder got a request from Google to create a program for advancing women in tech, and so they did - but they included a special addition - having it in nature, disconnected for 3 days from their phones.
In the first evening, something changed her whole perspective - to her big surprise, all of the casual conversations between the women turned into conversations about body and sexuality. At the time, Narkis didn't even talk about these issues with her best friends.
The conversation came down to three specific subjects: sexual harassments at the work place, feeling of disconnect from their body during intimacy with their partners, and lastly; a few described intimacy full of pleasure. These women shared that to deepen their pleasure they even guide their partners how they want to be touched.
Not only did she never know it was possible to guide your partner, she thought to herself that even if she would, she wouldn't know what to say.
She was always focused only on what her partner wants, never being attentive to her desires. It was from this program that she decided to embark on a journey to get in touch with her body, and the more she started communicating her desires in the bedroom- the more she was confident to express her real opinions in the boardroom.
That’s when she had the Eureka moment -
“It gave me a reflection that these things that happen in our personal relationships, we cannot separate from the workplace. I didn’t observe it only by myself, when the women that participated in our entrepreneurship program talked about the fears that they had about opening a business, one of the major issues that came out was their sexuality, feeling disconnected from their bodies. We were taught as women that our main role is to please through our body; in the way we look, in how we are expected to behave in the bedroom, in giving birth: many of us projected this pattern into all the other dynamics in our lives- l pleasing and looking for validation. After meeting thousands of women leaders throughout the years, I learned there is a strong connection between our relationship with our body and our ability to lead in the world.”
From that point, she gained a new purpose - exploring and helping others understand this connection. She co-founded Doubleyou with Sarah Fenna Reifschneider, and together they continued offering these workshops, addressing entrepreneurship, women empowerment and tools for connecting to their body.
After MeToo, we learned that everything we shove into the shadows, will eventually explode in our faces. Narkis shares that most of the programs for stopping sexual harrasment at the workplace seem like they were written by lawyers and not emotional experts. As part of the round table of Nexus network at the UN, Narkis talked about her wish to make a new program that will be willing to really talk about these things, and put a spotlight on the uncomfortable but necessary parts that crawled in the shadows of our psyche. When she thought of her own shadow, where there was the initial obstacle of embarrassment, she realized -
“ever since I remember myself, I was always guided to ignore my body. Everything guided me to alienate me from my body. When you own that connection with your body - it becomes your compass.”
Opening the conversation
We teach sexual misconduct, but what about teaching sexual conduct?. Different tools can be adapted to the workplace, bringing more freedom to realize what we agree to and feel good about, than just what we don’t and can’t.
Narkis says there are simple things from sexuality workshops which we can use in conversation, like how to identify and communicate our boundaries.
“If we learn positive conduct, the fact that we have a physical body can become an advantage, and not something we need to run away from.”
Where should we begin?
Narkis says it all begins by having leaders who are committed to this topic - one time workshops can't change reality alone. What can make a change is bringing Professionals to the workplace on a regular basis. Peter Druker said:
”culture is eating strategy for breakfast”
- when I care about my company being a safe psychological place, and having the people in my company being an ally to their bodies which helps them be more productive at work and satisfied, then the sky's the limit.
The price we all pay
In part of the toxic ideas we learned about gender roles from a young age, men are paying a very big price as well. Narkis shares that when she first opened her group “Playing With Fire”, only women were allowed to share and men were only allowed to ask questions and comment, and then when they felt it was safe the men were allowed to share as well, and in the beginning, they received a lot of judgment within the group. Gradually, they all learned and continue to learn how to listen to each other. Men are often not allowed to express their feminine side. That is exactly why having a shared circle for men and women is so incredibly important and even life changing.
“A person that doesn't have a no, doesn’t have a yes”
- when we can identify our no, we have the power to choose - really choose. Until we become aware of our own spectrum between our ‘hell yes’ and our ‘hell no’, we’ll have resentment building inside our bodies.
Human relationships are complicated, and always will be. But when we're interacting from a place of confidence and a strong sense of self, we are truly connected to the other and to ourselves, and in the end, that’s what relationships are all about.