I've have been feeling really down over the last month, last few if I'm really honest, it started just before Christmas, that familiar feeling creeping over me. That voice whispering from a far, "It's not right, it doesn't feel right".
That familiar voice has a name, it's called Intuition.
I'd tried so hard to ignore it, to drown it out, to reason with it. But it didn't go away. It didn't go away because I didn't understand what the voice was saying. I knew that something wasn't 'right' but, because I didn't know what the solution was I didn't fully listen to that voice that was telling me that I was heading off course.
But as often happens when you don't listen to your intuition the voice gets louder and you get more uncomfortable and depleted trying to drown it out. I'm getting pretty used to the 'raising' cycle now and I knew that eventually I would have to give in and listen.
A few weeks ago I had no choice but to listen, properly listen and that meant taking a big step back from everything. It was either a big step back and reassess or give up. And after almost 5 years of this journey I wasn't ready to give up.
It's so hard to clarify what you are doing when you are always in the midst of doing it and with lack of clarity comes lack of confidence. It's really hard to be confident about something if you don't really know what that 'something' is. So after six months of growing Raising Women I took a big step back to look at what I was actually doing. Back in April 2016 I started off with a 'why' and lots of ideas, but they had all grown and evolved and somehow I had lost focus. And in the midst of losing my focus I also started to lose motivation and inspiration because my work wasn't feeling the way I wanted it to feel.
For those of you who have worked with me, you'll know that this is a big deal to me! I coach my clients to create a life and a business that feels 'right'. I help them to define their own definition of 'success' and Raising Women and the process of how I was working had become so unaligned with my own unique vision.
If you have been following for a while you'll have seen the recent #sistasstrongertogether campaign that I created with my friend Emma. During this campaign I realised more than ever that making true connections is such a large part of my definition of success. Having felt very isolated and lonely for a lot of my life I crave connection and to be a part of something bigger. That does not mean being part of the 'in crowd', it means knowing that I'm 'not the only one' and one of the main reasons I started Raising Women and wanted to coach was to help others with this feeling too. To help others know that it is not just them and that it is OK to feel different, because in the end there will always be people who 'get it'.
But I've been getting in my own way and I'm the kinda gal who likes to make things complicated. I'm not good at simple and I'm a giver, I give so much and it all got a bit too much sometimes, to the extent that I do what others need me to do and not what I need to do for myself.
I find peace of mind in the written word. I don't often know what I'm really thinking/feeling until I've written it down. Even as I type this, I have no idea how I will sign off. Even though I KNOW that I love to write, I haven't made a practice of it. I have a dream of writing a book, however apart from instagram posts and the odd blog post I don't write, and it's not enough for me anymore.
I also have a problem with knowing how much to share on social media. I know that one of the best ways to help others feel less lonely is sharing our truths. Yet I don't feel comfortable telling many of those truths on social media. I don't feel comfortable putting that much of myself into the arena. Before I stepped back I could see why things didn't feel right, but I couldn't see the solutions to my 'problems'. It's that feeling like you have almost finished the jigsaw puzzle and realise you have five or six or the most important pieces missing.
So during my step back I've been working on clarifying what it is I'm actually doing and also what how it is I actually want to be using my energy in my work, not how I think I 'should' be using it.
The most important part of my work to me is this, the truth telling, the space between the lines in which true connections are made. As the social media arena creates boundaries around what I feel like I can share, I thought I would make my own arena. An arena in which I can write open letters from one mother to another, write honest words, in the hope that I'll help some of you to feel less alone in your own journey, and moreover help you to give yourself permission to be who you really are, instead of being who you think you should be.
So that is what I will do for now, a lot more writing, I've created a new space for my words on the website, again it means taking another leap of faith as I have no idea where this turning will take me, however, that voice has, for now, calmed and seems quite happy about this decision.
There will definitely be more thoughts to come, until then;
Do you must,
Love J x