NOT JUST A SLOGAN TEE

T R U T H // I often I feel that I'm not very good at life.

I believe that we are all connected in some way. I believe that there is an invisible thread that connects us all and that this thread 'shows' itself when we need it most, and I believe that we make the unseeable seeable by being honest. By telling our truth, our story. We reach the people we need to most when we reveal our 'imperfect', the thoughts that we bury deep down in our belly. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and tell our 'truths' we make connections. I've learnt that people heal most when they know that they are not alone, when someone has the courage to stand up and tell their story, their 'real story', they make the reader feel part of something bigger.

We can feel alone for so many reasons, physical and emotional, but for me the most lonely feeling is that I've been misunderstood. That feeling that no one understands. I've spent many years of my life feeling both alone (physically and emotionally) and misunderstood.

Raising Women is based on like minded women sharing their unique stories of motherhood and adventures as an entrepreneur because through my work as a health coach I came to understand that the thing that helps us most is knowing that we are not the only one! That someone out there 'gets it' and experiences the same feelings.

As the founder of this community I often question myself as to how much I should reveal of my own story, how much should we really share on social media? Might we offend someone? Might we hurt those who hurt us by telling our truths? Standing up and saying what is really on our minds can be the hardest thing in the world. Do we feel freer after we have told our truth or do we then want to reel back in all those words?

Through my posts I skim the surface of my story, the feelings, barriers and feelings of short comings that have been the result of many experiences over a period of many years. The stories I tell in these little squares reflect my emotions and passions, but I don't tell you more about why I feel this way. I've never told my 'real story'. And even now as I type these words I'm having a conversation in my head as to whether I should tell it and questioning how much of my story I should share. Will I be judged? Will I be misunderstood? Will it make me feel lonelier?

I've been connected with several women through this journey, some have taught me lessons, some have had my back, some have turned their back and some have stood by my side. This #sistersstrongertogether campaign is not what you probably think it is. "Just another slogan Tee that will be funding a charity"… Raising women and this campaign is so much more than that to me.

It's the product of my story and fruit of the connections I've made with the women who have stood by me and do stand by me. I've spent over 5 years on this journey of self discovery, trying to understand my purpose, trying to understand life because in the years when I should have been working all that out I was in survival mode. I've spent years in survival mode, and if you have ever spent that long in survival mode you'll know that it is very hard to get out of it. You are always on guard and you don't trust easily and it makes it very hard to just 'be'. That's why I found motherhood so hard at the beginning, if I'm honest I still do, somedays I feel like I'm drowning. Babies make you slow down, and if you are in survival mode slowing down is the most terrifying thing ever. In survival mode you feel like you have to be on the go all the time, fight or flight fury running through your veins 24/7.

So how much truth should you tell so that you are understood, but don't feel like you've crossed 'that' line. How do you say it? This is something I don't know. I don't know how to tell the story of why I feel broken.

Life overwhelms me, emotions overwhelm me. I'm an empath with a highly sensitive third eye, so this makes life like a mine field for me.

I normally write my blog posts in one sitting, reread and then hit publish, I find it easy not to procrastinate about hitting the publish button once the words have been typed as my mind feels lighter, but I've had to step away from this one because the question of what to tell and how to tell it still lies unanswered.

So I'll tell you this. My father had a problem with alcohol and my mother had a problem with my father. Now that is out, I have a problem with telling more of my story. 1. Because it is in no way my intention to hurt the people who hurt me and cause further pain. I've had to accept that they did the best they could. 2. My story is something I so very rarely say out loud, so publishing such private details about my life still feels so uncomfortable to me. 3. I still have a fear of being misunderstood.

What I do feel comfortable to say is that during these years I spent a lot of time alone, I spent a lot of time feeling scared and my heart hurt a lot. I had no one to turn to, no extended family to support me and it is only now that I'm a parent myself I understand that some things are not OK, no matter how old the child and I also realise just how many choices were taken away from me during the years when the world should have been my oyster. I've also learnt that how you speak to your children when they are younger will stay with them their whole life, another reason I find motherhood so hard (Striving to get 'it right' all the time). The journey of Raising Women has essentially been about me learning how to get out of 'survival mode' to trust again, breathe again, live again, with choice.

International Women's Day this year was so important to me for two reasons : 1. Because it was a chance for me to stand up and try out my shaky new found voice that is passionate about fighting for the freedom to 'be' for both men and women. 2. It was an amazing opportunity for me to celebrate the women in my life who I have connected with along this journey.

Emma is one of the women who showed up and stood by me. We have walked different paths but she understands where I'm coming from and accepts what makes me vulnerable. Due to our parallel paths we also have similar professional goals, so for me this collaboration was such a natural progression to our friendship. By telling our stories Emma has become my sista and she makes me feel stronger in my weakness.

There are so many women I would have loved to have wear the #sistersstrongertogether charitee on Wednesday, but my launch budget wouldn't allow it. Emma and I chose the women who supported our campaign because they make us feel stronger in their own unique ways and they are women who also strive to pull women up and celebrate them in all their imperfectness.

So you this is not 'just another' slogan tee that funds a charity, like all entrepreneurs I have a story and this product is part of my story, I'm a creative and this is the medium I chose to spread my message.

Through the #sistersstrongertogether campaign my hope is that we can touch the lives of other women who feel alone in their story. Emma chose the charity that the charitee will fund and I couldn't feel prouder to be working so hard to raise money for them. Look Good. Feel Better strive to make women feel less alone in the cancer journeys by helping them to overcome the side effects of their treatment. Because of my story I am also proud to have create a business with which I can give back, because I know what it is like to feel alone and if I can help alleviate someone else's pain then I will do everything in my power to do so.

The #sistersstrongertogether campaign will be running until the 31st March and you can support us by sharing your stories and by purchasing one of our Tees to contribute to Look Good. Feel Better who are doing such valuable work.


Inspired?

If you'd like to go on your own journey of self-discovery and raise your woman within, but you're not sure how or where to start. Or if you're feeling overwhelmed by growing a business and raising a family, contact Holistic Health Coach and Raising Women's Founder Johanna Rossi to find out more about how you can #raiseyourwoman within.

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Raising Women the podcast is hosted by founder Johanna Rossi. She interviews inspirational women who share personal stories of self discovery through motherhood. Johanna hopes that each episode will be a source of inspiration and motivation to help you continue to raise your woman within.

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