Keeping It Real Series – My Deep Desire…

Warning: This is a very personal post that might damage my reputation, my career, my business… I may be doing myself a disservice sharing this, however I truly believe that to lift the mask and be real it needs to be said…

Ok – I did it. I took my husband to see 50 Shades of Grey. I’ve read the books and he was a little curious, so as a Valentines Day treat, along with 150 others, we watched it on the big screen.

I’ve seen all the posts and heard the negative feedback, read all the negative reviews of the books, however as a businesswoman, a pioneer, a powerful person, someone who appears to ‘have it all’, the books and movies have woken up a secret desire…

As someone who has supported my family financially for the past 15 years, juggled business, motherhood, being a wife, friend, inspirer of others, pioneer in my field and attempting to find some time for myself – I want more. Every day I make decisions about everything in my life and others lives. I am responsible for the wellbeing of my family. In the office; which tasks need completing today, who to call back first, how much stationary to order, which bills can we pay today, which airfares to book, motel to stay at, what to wear to this presentation (did I wear that last term when I was there?), which content to teach, which activities to do, what to eat to maintain my high energy levels, the list goes on.
At home; has the washing been done, dishwashers empty, what shall I cook for tea, whose turn is it to do what, do the kids have homework, when was the floor vacuumed last, giving instructions to my husband…

Yes I am a control freak! This is nothing that my friends and most clients don’t already know.

So here is my deep desire… to be a submissive. Not in a BDSM way – just to be able to surrender control for a moment, to be lead, taken, to feel total abandon…

I have experienced this a few times in my life – truly giving 100% control to someone else – especially on the dance floor. Rock n roll dancing. He lead me, twirled me, held me close, eye to eye contact – it was exhilarating – freedom, total trust. There was nothing sexual. Just me, giving myself to his total control. And I loved it.

Now I am very aware that this is my issue, and not someone else’s. I’m also not complaining or think I am unique in my chosen circumstances.

To experience this I have to trust, let go, believe… sounds easy? So why is it so hard? Firstly, for me, there is the fear of being hurt. Then comes the fear of being let down, disappointed or being made a fool of.

Letting go means I cannot know the answers, the outcomes, the ending, the results. What if it doesn’t happen in the way it should? See there I go again, wanting to be in control of the reins.

I was raised in a busy family. It was a ‘sin’ to be doing nothing. I am always on. I was raised to be strong, independent, a thinker, self-sufficient – and I am – yet it doesn’t feel enough. It is lonely, all consuming, difficult.

Recently – I went to the market to buy our weekly fresh vegetables. Our usual egg supplier was not there so I went to a new stand. As I stood there – faced with about 12 choices of egg combinations; Size 5-8 and quantities from half a dozen to double trays, all varying prices, I paused and said out loud, “um” as I read all the signs. The woman behind the table remarked, “I don’t have any ums.” I could have crumbled – not only did she sound just like my mother, she was also was forcing me to quickly make yet another decision quickly. While this might seem a small thing – sometimes in the busy-ness of my brain, the simple can sometimes seem overwhelming.

The thought of not having to think, just for a few moments, minutes or maybe hours is so exciting. To not be concerned with the outcome.

For this to happen I need to learn to trust. To know that if it fails, doesn’t work, is a mistake – that I will be OK. While I micro-manage everyone around me – they become dependant on me doing so, incapable perhaps of being able to take the reins and be in control.

The irony has not escaped me – this is the premise of what I teach every day. Learning from youScreen Shot 2015-03-08 at 11.46.16 pmr mistakes, the struggle makes you strong, everything is hard before it is easy.

So how do I learn to give up control? Practice… meditation? Yoga? Quiet time? Do I need to go to classes? Can I do this at home?

It is about really listening, internally to my inner voice, my angels, the universe… God. Practice and communication are surely the keys….

Maybe sharing these thoughts and desires is a step towards being able to surrender. Perhaps this is a conversation many strong women need to have…

POST SCRIPT: I think I have left out an important piece in this… When speaking with several strong female friends about this… I do believe many of us have disempowered our men by being so strong. We have taken over the leadership role and they have taken a step back to let us. Part of being able to have our men step up is for us to step back, just like on the dance floor. The wonderful late Celia Lashlie often suggested a ‘Men’s Revolution’ was required. Maybe not. Maybe we just need to empower our men by trusting more…
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Published on Monday, March 9th, 2015, under Personal

Karen Tui Boyes is a champion for Life Long Learning across nations, industries and organisations. Winner of the NZ Educator of the Year 2017 and 2014 and the NZ Speaker of the Year award in 2013 & 2019, Karen is a sought after speaker who continually gets rave reviews from audiences around the world. Her dynamic style and highly informative content—which turns the latest educational research into easy-to-implement strategies and techniques — sets her apart from others in her field.

6 Responses to “Keeping It Real Series – My Deep Desire…”

  1. Sally Saunders says:

    What a great place to be Karen, scary, uncertain and open to change.
    You have done what you have done because that is what you have known…and in doing what you have done you have achieved fabulous results… This is just the next stage in your journey, relax, trust and go with it… The things you need to help you will appear when you are ready xxxx… Love to catch up with a coffee if you have time one day. Love Sally

    • Karen Boyes says:

      Thanks Sally – yes I know it is all part of the journey – exciting times – free next week on Thurs if you are…

  2. Kat says:

    Oh my, can I relate??? Absolutely!! Apart from the financial thingie, which I’m working on, I’m the choice maker in our house about everything … and I do decide how best to manage our money, even if I don’t earn it all. Craving those moments sans thought too … thanks for opening up about this Karen x

  3. Jenny Dodd says:

    Thanks for sharing Karen – enjoyed your honesty and having been a single mum, I can relate to being in control. Totally agree with the comment about our men being disempowered – this generation of males concerns me because as women we have taken the ‘I can do anything’ almost too far. Men, I think, want to feel in control, at least some of the time, and we have taken much of that away.

  4. Sarah Carman says:

    Karen, your post really resonates with me. As someone who is “always on” too, and who in many respects is proud of being able to be super busy and productive, I often wonder what life would be like if I slowed down, switched off and surrendered to the whims of a less controlled existence.

    I practise daily mindfulness, which definitely helps me reduce the notion of needing to be busy. I won’t say it’s a magic bullet, but it has significantly improved things for me. A good place to start is the gentle teachings of Andy at

    Love your work – you are an inspiration to me and I am so happy to have met you recently!

    Sarah xx

    • Karen Boyes says:

      Hi Sarah – was great to connect with you too 🙂 I have been doing a small almost daily meditation – the challenge is keeping my brain on task!! All a work in progress!!
      Rainbows and sunshine

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