(Warning, it gets REAL in here.)
For awhile this year, I was feeling like a bad boss. Like I had let you down when you were expecting more. More of the stories you can relate to, more of the content that helps you move forward and experience a more fulfilling business / life. More communication and connection, period. Darling, I had intended to give it all to you. And now I can say wholeheartedly (coming soon), I will.
But sometimes, even our best intentions are thwarted by things bigger than our sheer will or desire.
I want to let you in on what’s been happening with me for the better part of 2016 – the reasons I haven’t shown up for you in all the ways I intended. The reasons I’ve been sporadic and inconsistent. Note: I first shared this post privately to my gang on the Digital Darlings Insiders list (if you’re not on it, that’s where the magic really happens) because my gut was saying (okay, more like yelling) that there’s a valuable message here that must be shared. And even though it is super raw, honest, and messy, if it resonates with just one person in this community, that’s enough for me.
Well, it resonated with a whole lot more than just ONE person. The countless number of heartfelt replies I received immediately after hitting send blew me away. You darlings confirmed that sharing this was the right decision, and that more conversations like this need to be had because, man, the amount of “me-too’s” I heard back was shocking. If my story resonates with you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
So here’s the full, honest story, and why I’ve been in hibernation mode for so long:
In 2015 I spent almost 5 months developing some really incredible tools and resources that I KNOW – so strongly and deeply – will bring you more fulfillment, growth, joy, and success. I know because they’re based on techniques that I’ve been using intuitively with my clients and in my own business(es) for years. I know, because I really listen to what you and this community have to say – your struggles, your hopes, and everything in between. But, back to the story…
I was putting everything in place to offer something transformational for you.
And then, failure to launch. (Start the shame spiral.)
After postponing, over and over, the release of my work into the world (I am, by now, very familiar with the crippling and self-sabotaging effects of fear, doubt, and perfectionism) I threw my hands in the air and called the whole thing off. That was at the end of March.
I wasn’t ready. And often, the truth is that you should always launch before you think you’re ready, but the pressure and stress I put on myself was too much to handle and was making me physically sick. Most days I felt exhausted, and normal tasks like making breakfast or answering emails were barely manageable without needing a nap. Headaches became chronic, my energy was constantly low (the only way I can describe it is feeling as if Dementors had sucked the life out of me), and I was becoming increasingly depressed. (Struggles with depression is a story for another day.)
I cried a lot (like ugly, snot-filled, sob fests), out of frustration, anger, and disappointment in myself that I couldn’t seem to get my shit together. That I couldn’t meet my expectations. That I had worked so hard to create something valuable for you, and left it sitting hidden and gathering digital dust in my computer folders.
And I started to lose faith in what I had made. I was hovering in a dangerous place for anyone, let alone a creative entrepreneur.
A 2 week vacation in Europe didn’t help. I returned home just as tired and unmotivated – if not more so – than when I had left. Vacation hangover is a real thing, darling.
But now I realize there was something else going on. Something deeper that kept stopping me from launching.
I know now that there is NO FREAKING WAY I could have followed through with what I wanted to provide for you, in the way I wanted to. Subconsciously, I must have known this all along, and no amount of will could have changed my path.
What I was experiencing in my body and mind wasn’t simply caused by normal fears and doubts that we all face when we share pieces of ourselves and our work with the world. (And those feelings ARE normal, darling, no matter how far along you are in your journey.)
The root cause? Adrenal fatigue and, more predominantly, an overgrowth of yeast in my gut known as Candiasis.
I’ve never felt more relief than the day I had my first appointment with a Holistic Nutritionist, who finally gave reason to the myriad symptoms I’d been dealing with off and on for years. Within 3 days of starting my 30 day Candida detox I felt like an entirely NEW person.
After spending half of this year resentful, exhausted, frustrated and pissed off at myself, and half of this summer relieved to be battling FOR my body’s health, not against it, I can’t express how grateful I am to feel SO MUCH BETTER.
My motivation, drive, passion, and energy have returned, but alongside that, a deeper trust in my work and my big vision, and that this is exactly how 2016 was meant to unfold.
What I’ve learned, and what I really want to share through this story, is that there is a season (and sometimes two or three or four!) for everything.
Sometimes you need to pull back in the short term, to move forward in the long term.
We’re often rewarded for the hard and fast hustle – and yes there are times when we’ll need to churn out the work. But darling, let me tell you this:
There is no honour in hustle if it’s breaking your physical or mental health.
As a creative entrepreneur, I will fight to protect my health like a mama bear fights for her cubs. Because if I don’t have that, I have nothing. I cannot create or connect or serve my tribe and my clients without my health, and that’s a fact..
So consider this your permission slip to put yourself – and your health – first. To evaluate how and why you do what you do. To step back and slow down if you need to. This is NOT in any way me giving you the green light to procrastinate or sit on your dreams, but a prompt for you to listen closely to your intuition and take the ACTION (or inaction!) that will set you up for a more fulfilled, happy, and healthy tomorrow.
I want you to close your eyes (do it right now!! I’ll wait), listen closely for that whisper of intuition deep in your gut that already has all the answers, and ask it this:
“What do I really need to do – or not do – next?”
Or, let me know if this story resonated with you. It’s my intention that we’ll get to know each other much better over the coming months; let’s start now, yes?
With big love,