Hi guys - wow two posts in one week, bit of a strange thing from me as I don't like to overload you, but I wanted to share something with you that might help. This video interview I did last week with Zoe B from Simple Life Strategies just went…
Creating space for what you long for
I just got back from Byron, from a much needed break where I created the space and time to just be, to reflect, to do a whole lot of nothing and recharge my soul. I was pretty burnt out before I left and absolutely wasn’t showing up as my best self. Coming off the back of getting my latest book Lead Like A Woman into the world, launching two online programs in the past six months (The Career Toolkit and Lead Like A Woman), delivering a free career masterclass, and just the general stuff of running my business coaching, speaking and being a mum, things were pretty intense. And I was fried.
I am sure you can relate, as there hasn’t been one woman who has come to work with me in my private coaching practice, or a woman in the thousands that I speak with every year, that doesn’t experience this on some level. It may not be a burn out, but certainly a level of tiredness, exhaustion, disillusionment, or that sense that you are not really doing what you are meant to be doing, that you are perhaps off course, and that you really need to make some changes to get on track.
If this is you, I am with you. I have made some fairly big changes over the past few weeks – to my schedule and life – that will allow me to create the space I need to do what I know my soul and spirit needs. I know it’s challenging to sometimes know what those changes need to be. But when you get quiet enough to really listen to what you want and desire and long for, the messages will come thick and fast. Then your only job is to decide if you are willing to go on the journey. Will you say yes. Will you make the changes that you know in your heart need to be made?
I will share more over the coming months as this exciting path unfolds, as I know that seeing another make changes can help light the path for your own. A few of the changes I am making come in the form of new or renewed commitments to myself, and here is a taste:
- No emails before 10am – I used to wake up and immediately reach for my phone and start scrolling through my email accounts (personal, business), then check Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Before I would even put my feet on the floor my head was already deep into action, driving for what would need to get done, and meeting other peoples agendas. Any sense of having a peaceful morning, taking time to be present on my beach walk or swim, completely blasted. I’d killed my vibe before I even got out of bed. When I was away I naturally broke this habit by committing to switch off completely, which I did. Now on returning home, my opportunity is to keep that commitment to myself. All good so far, and one worth sticking with for the peace and openness it brings.
- 8-10 am is creative time – I like to work out first thing in the morning with a walk on the beach, a swim when it’s warm enough and maybe some gentle yoga and meditation. I used to then sit straight down at my desk at about 8am and work through until 6pm without so much as looking up. Before I took my break, the biggest longing I had was for creative space. Time to just think and reflect and write without being on deadline, and just for the joy of it. So before I went away I blocked my calendar every day to have 8-10am be creative writing time. Whether that’s a blog post, a new resource for you, time to read something inspiring, or doodles for my next book, this is just me time. No output actually required, but space to create nonetheless. Running my own business which is centred on my ability to create, this is absolutely critical. And my spirit needs this space to thrive.
- Commitment and space to balance the feminine and masculine – For those who have been with me here for a while, you will have heard me talk or write about the drive and strive behaviour that has dominated much of my work life (and perhaps yours too). As a culture deeply embedded in masculine traits and so very good at embodying them, it can be hard to switch into the softer, more receptive feminine nature that is our birthright. When we are in our feminine we are more in the allowing space, receiving, being guided and really just being. You can feel the energetic shift from the masculine which is all about making things happen, being out in the world, ambition and getting. We need both. And we need both in balance. I am on a path to go deeper with the feminine and I will share more about that as it unfolds as I know many of you are also deeply interested in exploring this further. Its another longing that is time to listen to.
- Really meditating – I say really as I play around with meditation a lot and have done for decades. I do my 5 minutes twice a day as I ask my clients to do, but it can be a bit haphazard and I am often not really committed to my practice – more like just getting through it. When I was on holidays, with much less going on in my monkey mind, it was much easier to drop in to that stillness. Not easy. But easier. So I have committed to sitting in silence for a minimum of ten minutes every morning, preferably 20, in addition to any guided meditation or mindfulness practice I might do throughout the day. I have an app called Zen Timer which is free and I use the gongs to start and finish my practice. Pop on some incense or burn some oils (currently obsessed with rose, sandalwood and vetiver together – sublime) and just sit and breathe. It pretty much changes how you show up in the world. Try it consistently and let me know how you go.
- Allow myself creative freedom – I can take my creativity and writing pretty seriously at times. Too seriously. I think about you and what you might need or be interested in, how I can best serve, and therefore what to write each week. I worry about popping in to your inbox too frequently, not being a bother but being a source of inspiration, and think deeply about what falls into certain categories of my writing i.e. women, leadership, work, creativity etc. But you know what? It really doesn’t need to be all that serious does it? It’s writing after all. I realise that noone is waiting for the moment my email, or anyone else’s for that matter, lands in your inbox. If you want to read it you will, if you don’t, you will pass it over. Some weeks it will resonate, some weeks it won’t. It’s the same for the people I love the most who I allow the privelege of coming into my inbox, as you do for me. So I am just going to create from my heart and let that be enough. Some weeks it might be a research based piece on women’s leadership, other weeks it might be completely spiritual and woo woo. I know many of you come here for that somewhat unique mix of science, spirit and experience. And I know that it will always be what it’s meant to be, and that’s enough.
Speaking of enough, that is more than enough for today! I have had to let some pretty big things go to create space for what I write about here, and I will share about that as the time is right. For now, I leave you with these questions to reflect on this week:
What are you longing for right now? It could be space, creativity, time with girlfriends, romantic time, a sabbatical, a career change, or more yoga or fun times. Write it down.
How can you create the space to bring this into your life, right here right now?
What fears or stories come up for you as you think about making this change? What do you need to do, to work through this fear or challenge the stories?
Take a small action toward creating the change. And be gentle with yourself as you proceed.
This is your one beautiful life. You are worth having everything in it that you long for, hope for and dream about. And you can create it. Allow it to unfold. And trust the guidance that you receive.
Until next time
You’ve got this.
Image from etsy.com