I’m sitting here in my local cafe – which is eerily quiet as everyone rushes about planning Christmas.
I’ve stolen away from busy-ness to reflect on and celebrate all that 2017 has been in my business and to share with you my plans for 2018 so that together, we can begin to co-create some magic.
I’ve not always been brilliant at receiving and celebrating – and I still feel as though this area of my life – allowing – can bring about great discomfort (not that discomfort is bad, mind you). And so I am marking aside this precious time to really CELEBRATE what 2017 has brought for me in life, motherhood, friendships and business.
Perhaps this may serve as a reminder for you to also receive all the gifts that have come your way this year? To receive all the wisdom that has come through both the good and perhaps the harder times too?
2017 has seen a shift in business for me – supported by my mentors – from needing to be the expert to really co-creating healing together with the women who feel called to work with me. This is dangerous territory for a control-freaky A-type who has always presumed that people prefer the more put together version of me than the fluid, intuitive and more trusting me.
In practice, this has led me to work more intuitively one on one with women – feeling into their words, their presence and their pain to help them make sense of it and move through challenge toward more joy, energy and confidence in themselves. Being present enough in my own body to be a mirror with which I can reflect their truth and challenge beyond the machinations of the intellect.
This required me to be vulnerable and at times deeply uncomfortable as I not only tried to communicate with truth my own challenges (solidarity is everything in sisterhood) but to let go of the need to control the outcome of my client sessions or workshops.
The culmination of this more intuitive approach was, without a doubt, my Soulcation retreat during which I nurtured one simple intention. Simply show up as myself – and see what happens. Turns out, magic does. The weekend flowed organically and I believe the women who attended (myself included) got exactly what each of us needed at the exact right time – held by each other’s presence, compassion and feminine wisdom.
Awakening the feminine energy- and re-birthing my notions of the divine masculine (not the distorted masculine that has come to pervade our existence) has been the overarching theme of 2017. Looking back now at my vision board I can see this is what I was being called to do, and I’m so grateful I trusted my own inner wisdom enough to let go and see where I was drawn to learn and grow.
As I peel back the layers and continue to research burnout from many different aspects (psychological, emotional, energetic, physical) – what is clear to me is that being a woman has something very significant to do with how and in what ways we burn out. And, critically, how we move through it wiser and more connected than before.
We are living in an age where women everywhere are claiming back what it means to be a woman – not as defined by men or patriarchy – but as defined by her unique self. This is happening through how we choose to treat, dress and express in our physical form. It is happening in the relationships we are forming where we refuse to compete and instead choose support and collaboration. It is happening in us trusting our intuition, our gut feeling, and shedding the idea everything needs to make logical, rational sense. It is happening as our partners and husbands and brothers choose to awaken their own feminine within and to redefine masculinity in a more vulnerable, fluid and playful way. It is happening by the reclamation of our darkness – our grief, our shame and our guilt – each of us garnering courage from the other women doing the same.
As I have worked to restore my connection to my feminine gifts (my creative power, my emotions, my womb space, my intuition and my compassion) and to reframe what I previously thought as weakness, I have unlocked more energy, fierceness and self acceptance than I thought possible.
Which has all been, frankly, terrifying. There have been times in the last three months where I felt unable to hold the rising energy. Unable to process the extraordinary power I was feeling in my body, and suddenly hyper-aware of the anxious feelings driving me AWAY from situations where I suddenly realised with crystal-clear awareness that I was not being true to my self. Those places where I was choosing to shut down and dis-engage.
I have had to dive head first into darkness – releasing emotions trapped for years as I’ve alchemised grief and pain around my relationship with my body, my notions of being a mother, my anger, my ’emotional’ nature and the ancestral and lineage wounds that I have become conscious of.
This is deep work, my friends. But here’s what’s extraordinary.
The more I have RECLAIMED my pain, my body and my sovereignty – and allowed difficult emotions to surface, the more liberated I have become.
And not liberated in the ‘I’m taking an hour to go to the spa’ kind of way, but liberated in a ‘I feel like dancing and creating and orgasming and screaming and crying and laughing all at the same time’ kind of way.
Part of this work has been the uncomfortable realisation that I have needed to let things die. Release is part of the cycle of life and something I have trouble with. But as I’ve gained momentum toward the end of the year and my summer – I have been increasingly able to let go of stuff, relationships and work projects that I feel in my body don’t serve me.
This has been enabled by the deep work I have done on my cycle – both menstrual and lunar – and has become the cornerstone of how I now help other women move through and make sense of burnout the feminine way.
As the year wraps up I find myself nothing but grateful. Grateful for the sisters who are choosing to answer the call of their souls and change careers, or redefine their relationship with their bodies, or reclaiming their energy or feeling their pain or turning up to a workshop even when they are feeling deeply vulnerable and precious. You, sisters, are my people – and I’m so humbled to walk this path with you wherever you may find yourself in life.
I find myself grateful for the mentors and coaches that I’ve worked with in 2017 (there have been many) from little online programs I’ve done to blog posts I’ve read to the deep, healing work I’ve done in sessions – thank you for holding me and trusting me. You’ve helped me birth a new trust and confidence in myself that I’m so in awe of.
I’ve made it my business this year to foster kindness in all its forms – to self and others and the earth – and one part of this has been an intention to reach out and offer thanks to those brave enough to put their work out in the world. This transformative practice – usually just an email to someone saying ‘thanks for moving me’ – has allowed the flow of good will to open and has enabled me to be more receptive in my own life and business.
And so where will 2018 take me and my growing, beautiful business?
Well, truth be told, I’m not entirely sure. Something I’ve learned this year is to be patient – to let the picture emerge slowly and to savour in the anticipation of not knowing what’s next but knowing it’s going to be beautiful.
What is clear from my doing my own planning process (the cornerstone of which has been my free Compass: Your 2018 Guidebook practice) and vision board is that I am feeling drawn to continue the awakening that has taken place this year.
And yet, perhaps surprisingly, it is going take quite a different form from how I have served women this year.
Our little family is shortly (in a few weeks) due to move to our very own house about 1.5 hours from Melbourne in the Central Victorian bush. I shit you not that I spent a very good portion of this year manifesting this house – and that when the stars aligned – things fell into place so perfectly even I was floored. Looking back at my vision board, I found a tiny picture of a fireplace which I have no idea why I chose to include – the image is an almost identical to the fireplace in our new house.
And with the increase in land size and our desires to turn our house into not only our family home but our place of work and a permaculture farm and a gathering place for community, we have set an intention this year to focus on three things – kindness, community and family.
Since we decided a few years ago to try and do things differently (check out our podcast on leaving the 9-5) one of the big decisions we made was to never introduce new things in without first allowing some things to be released.
So we’ve decided to take a 6 month experiment in working (even) less than we did this year. We often frame things as these ‘experiments’. They make things feel less scary and more open-ended. Change is so much easier when framed with a ‘what if’ attitude.
Dave will give up (at least temporarily) his high-flying international consulting gig and work a mere three days a week in his Council job. I will work two days a week consulting for the Equality Institute (a gender-based violence think tank in Melbourne) and one day on my business. The shift in work for me will free up creative energy in my business – with the pressure to earn money relieved – and will allow me to work again in a team of amazing feminists doing incredible work in a cause aligned strongly with my values.
I’ll tell you another time about how this opportunity landed in my lap – and how it arose again from the intention to simply be myself and ask for what I needed.
Like I said…. let’s see what happens.
The remainder of the week we’ll be found sipping tea with new and old friends around our (soon to be manifested) large dining room table, taking picnics on the hills overlooking our house and building what I hope will become a yoga studio/office/deck in the coming years.
Slow. Simple. Spacious.
Financially it’s not what is going to earn us the most money…by any stretch. But what we’ve learned time and time again is that the more we work, the more we spend. And it’s actually SPACE that allows saving. Not the other way around.
A year ago I dare say I would not have been able to make these decisions. My identity, even then, was so embroiled in my career and work. I felt like I had to build the biggest and best business in record time, and nothing was going to stand in my way. I felt like to do this, I needed to sacrifice (a wounding that has been passed down through matrilineally in my family) time with my family. It was either one or the other.
I enter 2018 a little more patient and mature. I recognise that my values are shifting away from needing to be an expert in work to needing to feel like I have emotional space for my family and those who I love most. I also recognise that things will happen in their own time – and that to truly be a leader – I must first embody the wisdom myself. And to simply allow that to seep out into those I come into contact with. It is not about teaching or preaching – it is truly about showing up in our own power that has resonance.
OK… this is getting long.
So how to continue to run my business with a mere 10 hours a week? Here’s a bit of an overview:
- One-one mentoring and coaching: I’ll be taking on just THREE one-one clients at any one time. These three women will be ready to dive deep, and co-create some serious awakening and emergence together. Together we will go on a six month journey to rediscover energy, inspiration, purpose, confidence and sensuality and awaken our feminine gifts. So there’ll be just SIX places available over the course of the whole year…. if you’re feeling called to work together in this intimate way (and trust me that it’s going to be incredible) then please get in touch to arrange your free Clarity Call and find our more info. I’ll be channeling so much love, attention and intuition to these incredible souls… which will be enabled by not having my attention and energy split elsewhere. (Those beauties who have existing sessions left or once-off calls booked, of course, we’ll continue to work together until your sessions have been utilised. Those looking for once off calls please note I’ll be taking bookings throughout January, and move to the new model in February – check out my offerings, including Pivot: Personalised Career and Purpose coaching here).
- Workshops + Retreats: I hope to be expanding my Yoga for Burnout workshop and to take it on the road (probably Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane in May). First off, I’ll be running the first one for the year in Melbourne at Prana House on February 11. Details here. I’ll also be running a few day retreats and a winter solstice retreat (in Melbourne and Central Victoria in March, June and September) focused on overcoming burnout the feminine way – particularly geared for women in the social sectors. They’ll be gorgeous opportunities to connect with like minded women, enjoy glorious food and conversation, learn practical mindfulness for the social sectors and how to harness your feminine gifts in your work and life. Stay tuned for more info and dates. And did I mention BALI? In August 2018 I’m taking just 10 women on a life-changing trip to Ubud as part of Emergence: A Women’s Yoga Retreat. Emergence is for women who are ready to step into the light – out of burnout, toward a new creative venture, into a new career or into a new relationship with self – and it’s going to be seriously amazeballs. There’s just six spots left so if you’re ready to claim your spot, let’s chat ASAP. More details here.
- Online Learning: I’ll be expanding my online school to include short courses on mindfulness, making sense of burnout and whatever else YOU tell me you’d love to learn about. My 12 week program Love Yourself Well is also now available as an evergreen (meaning you can enrol at any time) and includes more intimate support (2 x one-one coaching calls) to help you through the beautiful content. It has also been reduced to a mere $200! And if you haven’t yet enrolled in Compass: Your 2018 Guidebook for FREE then do so before February because after that it will become a paid product. Compass is a 2 hour practice designed to help you feel into your compass word and focus areas for 2018. It includes a 2 hour feminine flow yoga practice to get you grounded, an audio workshop and beautiful workbook to help you draw, feel and intuit into a 2018 that feels good in YOUR body. The perfect antidote to the new year resolutions that leave you feeling guilty. I’ll also be recording podcasts when I feel so inclined and writing where I can – so if there are areas you’d love me to feel into and come up with some ideas about then now is your chance to shape Beyond Being Well into the new year.
Finally, if any of this content no longer feels supportive, I’d love to bow down to you, honour you for sharing this path so far and invite you to unsubscribe to my mailing list. I know as much as anyone that wisdom is required exactly when it is required and your inbox is a sacred space that should be kept for things that support you wherever you are. So may you go on your way and know that you are supported and loveable and exactly where you should be.
I truly wish you the most lovely, nourishing and unique Christmas and holidays.
Thank you again for being on this wild ride,