The Ovarian Chronicles, By Cat Williford
A cautionary tale
reviewed by Helen Caton Hughes
When it comes to leadership and coaching, sex plays a role. The Ovarian Chronicles is a unique book – so refreshingly different in style to the ‘man up, lean in and have some grit’ tone of many books written to help women fit into a man’s world.
Cat Williford is a leader herself: a pioneer in the field of Coaching and Coach Training. She is a Transformational Self-Development Coach, Speaker, and Author. Cat’s writing style is one that weaves a story full of spirituality and faith throughout the book, and even what some might call magic.
Cat grew up a surgeon’s daughter, yet through her journey embraced Alternative Medicine in the search for answers.
This doesn’t make it any the less a book about leadership. It embraces the reality of what it means to lead in your own life: especially when it’s your life on the line.
This book is required reading, if you manage or coach women, or are a woman leader yourself.
For women, there are some pretty big career questions to consider:
- Whether to start a family
- When to start
- How to balance work and family commitments
- How to deal with life-threatening diagnoses
All while growing a career at the same time. Cat Williford has written a book which charts her own journey of exploration through these questions.
And yes, it is a cautionary tale. Because there’s a question many women are scared to ask – “Can I have children?”
Because, when it comes to fertility, medical facts are just one part of the story.
Cat shows us how to listen, hear and live into other sides of this multifaceted story. She tells us her own narrative of challenging the science and searching for balance.
Through her story Cat explores duty to self and the need for real relationship. She shows us how women can truly support each other.
At the heart of this book is the importance of understanding and valuing the link between our emotions, hormones, mind and body. How emotions get locked into our bodies and impact on our health and wellbeing, until we do the work to unlock them and set ourselves free.
Cat’s own story is one of a woman who does the work and shows the way for other women to discover and accept who we truly are.
This book covers so many issues that women dive into:
- Taking responsibility for your health and dreams
- “Body wisdom” and what that means, particularly, for women
- Hope as a survival skill
- Dealing with pressure and regret when our dreams get put on hold
- Facing up to the tipping point of change
- The masks we wear as part of our coping skills and turning them into survival tools
It’s time to make the 21st century work for women’s careers, not against them. And this means making it easier for men to play a greater, and more fulfilling role, in being great parents and partners too.
We can start by really seeing inside this author’s head; to understand what many women go through and building our empathy and understanding for the women we lead and coach.
Reviewed by Helen Caton Hughes MA DipM, PCC
Helen is the author of 'The Fertility Plan'