It started with a road trip.
I have been planning to go and visit my family for a few months now, since I knew I wasn’t going to see them at Christmas time. My nan and pop have been under the weather since Nan had a stroke last year, and I was desperate to catch my brother and his wife before they pop their first kid out next month.
But I was hesitant to board a plane for another round of “catch everyone you can in a short space of time” and afraid I’d come home exhausted,
With a full schedule of work, projects I’m working on, and because flying just agitates me these days, I was finding myself procrastinating on purchasing my plane tickets.
My family are a 17 hour drive away from me. (Each way). Flying to them is a seven hour rushed journey as it is anyway. Its a few hours to the airport, and even once I fly to Sydney, it’s a 2-hour train ride north to where they live. Factor in waiting for planes, trains, and lifts from stations.. and the whole journey is about 7 hours one way.
Now usually, when we do “the drive”, I’ve had Mr J with me to laugh at, keep me company, take over the driving when I’m tired, and to keep me safe when we stop over in random places in our camper van and free camp.
But this time, he actually had go to work (!!) So hence, I was faced with a decision. And my gut was pretty loud.
Drive the whole way by yourself and stay in hotels the you’re tired.
It was about twice the price of flying, but the convenience of having my car, time to think and listen to audiobooks, stop at unusual and interesting coffee spots to rest and dream and recoup, and spend some delicious time singing very loudly in the car was a resounding yes.
And it always starts from these moments, doesn’t it.
An inkling, a nagging feeling, a little heart-string-tug. Yes, I was a little scared of staying somewhere haunted or falling asleep at the wheel – I’ve never driven that far on my own… and that’s exactly another reason why I decided to do it.
Sometimes all we need to do is say yes to the next thing that’s pulling us, and everything else rearranges itself from there.
Long story short, I had some insights that are exciting me right now.
Most of them are around how much we wait for permission. We wait for things to happen before we start. We wait for approval. We wait for a sign. We wait for the stars to align, We wait, we wait, we wait. And we hold onto old ideas of ourselves waiting for THAT person to catch up and feel “ready” to begin on the new venture. And we keep waiting.
Also, that I have been waiting. Waiting for my past self to get over things. Like being too “ill” to get up in the morning… not true… and my boobs taught me that by the way – which is another story for another day soon. I made a video about it. Once it’s finished being edited, I’ll share it here.
Whenever I travel, my gut comes out to play. She speaks up and dances wildly, letting herself be known. And she doesn’t mess around. And I love to play with her. When she says “go”, I don’t question any more… I trust it and explore.
She hasn’t been this loud in a while!
They say a woman who changes her hair is about to change her life.
Well, I’m getting it all cut off this Friday. Why? Can’t tell you. Cos I don’t truly know the answer. But as soon as I felt the need to, I felt like I wanted it all off YESTERDAY. And as though I have dead weight hanging around my neck. It’s locked in. My gut told me. (Update: I have effectively had a few breakouts since deciding to tell you, and telling others… but I’m too stubborn to cancel, and I trust the the freakout is also, an inevitable part of the process of change – another insight for another days video I suppose – but hence my apt desire to do things YESTERDAY once the decision is done – less space for overwhelm.)
Last time I did this – as in, had this strong feeling, and cut my hair off was in 2013. And if you’ve been here for a while, you might remember that it was in 2013 I also decided to “test out” being location independent, which rendered me on a month – long trip to New York and Mexico that changed my life. I never really went “home” and wound up here… in the beautiful south west of Australia with a man I never would have met, had I not become the location independent person I dreamed of being all those years ago.
I have that old feeling again like something wild is about to happen.
When I get like this, there’s a lot of creativity. I love the energy. It’s like there’s something else pushing me to make all the changes, right now.
This time it’s different. I haven’t just had a big breakup. I’m in a solid relationship that (I hope and intend) will last for ever and ever and ever. I haven’t had a big drama or life change or catastrophe. I’ve just had the biggest year of my decade in business. This time, it’s a HELL YES HEALTHY BRING IT ON WHATEVER IT IS… kinda cut my hair epiphany.
It started with little”yes’s” at the beginning of this year… and I can feel it ramping up. First, I made a big purchase. I bought myself a new camera. One I’d been diligently researching and querying over for the past… well, since 2013.
I know this sounds menial right… buy a camera. But for whatever outrageous reason, got sucked into “research” land and a few years ago, decided no camera existed that had all the qualities I wanted. I’d be too frustrated using a camera I didn’t truly LOVE, and hence, I purchased nothing, and created nothing with that purchase. But every day, I craved to play with lenses and light.
Why I held myself back from that gift of pure joy for myself… who cares. I have a camera now.
Then, one of my clients nudged me to start getting up earlier. (Another side not and cool irony about the kind of business I’m in? I get to meet inspiring women and men, every single day. People who blow my mind. It such an honour to support them – and they support me too, without even knowing it. Their bravery, their beliefs, their willingness… I feed off it. It’s a win win… OK it’s totally a selfish career.. regardless – thankyou Tessa, for the timely instagram story update sharing your new 4:30am ritual which poked juuuust enough of the stick!)
So for the last 15 days (in a row mind you) I have been getting up at 5am. It’s busting away old cobwebs and fears about fatigue, moment by moment. 15 days of me doing anything in a row means it has to be something easy and exciting – because I’m a burster, not a plodder. And being awake at that hour where not a lot is happening in my part of the world, in the dark, theres time to think. There’s space for newness. There’s time for me to wake up enough to get into writing and reflecting and it’s been a portal for a different kind of energy to show up in my body.
And energy that reminds me of how I used to feel, more then ten years ago, before I got sick. A vitality-flavoured energy.
And now we’re here. The bit where I share the insights.
Last week, I got out of my comfort zone, camera in tow, at 5am, and drove 17 hours to see my family and go surfing. And I realised something. Nothing new, but a deeper something.
I’m still hiding.
I spend my days reading, researching, coaching, and serving my clients, but I haven’t truly made that space for me to catch up in my physical world with where I am in my mind. A lot of things have changed, but my biggest form of resistance is in sitting down to express myself. That bit is still gnawing away, and it hasn’t changed.
And I’ve found ways to stall myself from doing it, like not purchasing a camera – the one thing my gut told me I wanted to have, to share my creative expression through this medium. (I hesitated to press the buy button even when I had the webpage open and the cash ready, and the research was complete, I had found the one. But as soon as I bought it, I wondered why the hellI waited so long. I was so happy I almost cried!).
Or like researching and learning so much in the wee hours of the day that I sit back and observe everyone. I observe their worlds, their words, the things they say, and the things they’re really saying in between in the things they don’t say. I can get stuck here. Observing, and holding back. I see so much of what i don’t want to be, and do, I can become judgemental and forget to get in the arena and so a bit of sulkiness and fumbling for myself!
I realised I’ve been living as an out-dated version of myself for some time (still) in the realms of creativity. Up until only these last few years, I had a very unhealthy strategy for getting things done. (My friend Ezzie Spencer would call this an ineffective yin/yang balance expression). It looked a lot like a bull, out of a gate, running towards a moving target. I had no off switch until I burned out. And after coming back from that epic undoing, I still hadn’t learned a new strategy for getting things done, so I hesitated to start, afraid of coming undone again.
These days, I do have new strategies. But I find myself unconsciously still assuming it’ll always be that old way, and the pattern hasn’t yet properly broken. I don’t tend to get over the creative hump of starting, and seeing it’s nothing like I assumed it would be — on very specific creative projects. I have experienced it in other ways, the breakthrough, but when it comes to my creative expression, I’m still “in it”. I know it all too well.
That’s why I decided to announce I am writing my book this year.
Nothing like a bit of social accountability to force a move forward!
I’m doing it way slower than my driven self is comfortable with, but it’s happening faster than I expected, because I’ve slowed down (go figure)… and I’m doing it far messier, and imperfect than my perfectionist self would like the world to see. But sod her.
So, of course, with the wind in my hair and the windows down low, at the top of my voice I started singing a new song. Metaphorically speaking.
It’s time to slow down even more. Ground on down and come even slower into the moment, to be here… and take some fun, new chances. Or put more simply, reconnect back in, even further, to the things I love. This always, in my opinion, the best way to conduct business.
This week, my hair is getting cut off. Like super short. And I’m marking a moment in time, where I begin again, doing the same thing. Better. I’ll be playing a little more with the camera. I’ll be getting a little more creative with my videos again, and simplifying things down to this medium, mostly.
I contemplated keeping this a secret until I had truly started and got into “the swing”… but I don’t like perpetuating this notion that we all start off and things are just perfect from the get-go. They’re not. The first time we do things, they SUCK. Real bad. I’m over it. That’s my message.
I’m over caring if I suck.
And so I’m slowing down in order to enjoy the whole sucky creative expression process. And you get to watch. You get to call me out if there’s something you want to see me make a video about. And you get to hold me to this if you think I’m getting caught from the neck up (in my head).
And I have a good feeling about it – albeit an acute realisation I have spent way to long thinking this through – hence, the nature of the beast of a highly sensitive human such as myself.
On this note, I’ll mention one other thing. There’s a woman in this online space who got me started on the right foot – with business, and more specifically, with learning to create a working life where I can contribute to the world by being me. Her name is Marie Forleo, and I worked with her in 2012. I won a scholarship to her online course called B-School.
I mean this in every way: B-School changed my life.
In the coming weeks, I’ll share more videos, and a few nice emails about my story getting into business and creating this life. Many which are inspired by the fact that Marie is opening the doors to B-School (her online marketing course for entrepreneurs) next month, for 2018, and every year, I partner with her to get the message to further corners of the globe so she can make the impact she had on me, elsewhere.
If you’re thinking about starting a business, going out on your own, learning about marketing, or taking yourself further in the online space, frankly – most people who are teaching in this space learned from Marie. She’s simply, the best.
So, in the spirit of business, this is the time of year where I get excited, and share some different parts of my business life, and a little bit about B-School.You’ll also find out about my new course which I’ll be gifting to you for free if you choose to take up B-School with myself, and Marie. But more on that later.
Stay Curious, Stay Open. The life you crave is so much closer than you think.