Why feeling vulnerable is great for your business

VulnerabilityThis is the current picture I have pinned up on my wardrobe door:

It’s there to remind me that when I’m feeling vulnerable, (which, let’s face it, often means anxiety, worry, wobbliness, exposed, naked, afraid, uncertain, unsafe and so on) actually this is where my strength is.

And who better to talk about this than Dr Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly. Below is a wonderful TED talk she gave about vulnerability. It’s really worth a watch. (And the book is pretty good too!)

Where’s The Energy Flowing? Follow That!

Stumble.

Struggle.

Effort.

Toil.

Trouble

Turmoil.

These words may be familiar to you, perhaps overly familiar. They usually are accompanied by sighs, frustration, tearing your hair out, wondering if you’re in the right ‘job’, and so on.

When this is happening, you are going against the flow.

Waterfall Kamienczyk in Karkonosze in Poland

That’s a common phrase, but let’s look at it in a bit more depth. Flow is what happens when you turn the tap on. It’s what happens when you see a river (unless it is a stagnant river, in which case that’s another story). It’s what happens when a volcano erupts and lava pours down the mountainside.

It is a natural occurrence and it happens easily.  If something gets in the way, then the matter that is flowing simply finds a way around the blockage – it doesn’t stop flowing.

This applies to energy too. If you are involved in any of the healing modalities you will know this. Blockages in the natural flow of energy in the body cause problems, just like a piece of wood in the river. It causes something else to happen, other than a straightforward flow.

Flow can happen in your work too. You’ve probably experienced it – when things just seem to happen easily. Or synchronous events occur to support the flow.  It’s not even that exciting when flow is happening. It just is the way it is.

So when my coach said to me in our last session ‘Where is the energy flowing? Follow that!’  I paid attention. Because anything else is going to be trying to push against the river; trying to stop the flow of water out of the tap, let alone the flow of lava.

You’ll know this already, very likely, from common statements like ‘go with the flow’. But have you ever thought about it the other way round? Like – where is the flow happening?  Can I follow that, if I am not already?

This has been up for me recently, when it finally dawned that energy was flowing around friends or colleagues asking me how I wrote Gifted By Grief, and how I am getting it out there.  It was only after the 5th person had contacted me, and then asked for some coaching, that I finally got the message – this is where the energy is flowing! And my job is to follow that.

So ponder these questions for yourself:

  1. Where is the energy flowing in your life and work?
  2. Is it in what you are currently doing, or is it in some other place or manner?
  3. How do you feel about where it is flowing?
  4. Can you follow that?

And here’s a call to all budding or wannabe writers – if you’d like to have a conversation about how to get your book done/out there/marketed better/sold, then email me now using the contact form. I’ll get back to you pronto and we’ll see what the energy is saying!

What Happens (To Your Work) When You Die?

When you are self-employed, or have a small business, the matter of your own death is a bit more complex than if you are an employee.

DeathofBusinessFor instance, if you are a health practitioner, or a professional who has clients, what would happen to them if you die suddenly?  Or even die less suddenly?

Do you have a plan in place for who would look after your clients, or take them on?  This may not be so important if you are a hairdresser, or a joiner, but if you are in the healing professions, it really does need to be taken care of.

As an ex-counsellor and psychotherapist, I had a supervisor who knew she would be contacted by my clients if I died. This was professional behavior – in this field, the sudden departure of an important person in one’s life can have far-reaching effects.

The same might be true for a professional dealing with the healing of someone’s body. To be left high and dry if your practitioner dies is not pleasant. Knowing that your practitioner had a plan in place should this happen, including a recommended person to contact, will help your client in any transition that might need to happen.

Other points to consider when thinking of your succession plan (as it is known) are:

  • Be clear about your intentions with the business for after you die
  • Do you want the business to continue after you die? If so, how, and with whom at the helm?
  • Who do you want to have access to any business bank accounts?
  • Who gets to pay any employees, and how should they be paid?
  • How will professional bodies be informed?
  • What about leases on premises?
  • What about insuring against yourself dying, if you are the sole proprietor or key to the business?

The more you prepare in advance, the easier it will be for those left behind if you do die.

In Gifted By Grief, I wrote about The List – questions that I asked Philip a few months before he died. Difficult questions, such as ‘what do you want to be buried in?’ and ‘when should I sell the car?’ and ‘what kind of coffin do you want?’ Not to mention making sure I had his passwords and user names.

This, and the purely business-related questions above, are vital to limit the distress for your loved ones. They will be upset enough about you popping your clogs, without having to make decisions that could have been taken beforehand.

The List is something that many people agree is a good idea to do – but not that many actually DO anything about it. Or they do it, but only a bit of it.  If you’re interested in joining a group focused on helping you complete these kind of questions, email me and express your interest.

There’s no doubt it’s easier in the company of others doing the same thing. So email me now and I’ll get back to you asap.

Why Love is Absolutely Central to your Work

‘But I just can’t do it!’ wailed my client, covering her face with her hands.

for stop hiding

‘That’s OK. Let’s wait and see what happens’, I responded gently.

‘I can’t!’ she almost shouted at me, ‘If I wait then nothing will happen and I won’t get any work and then what will I do?’ A tear trickled down her cheek.

‘OK. Let’s just breathe together then,’ I said quietly. A few muffled sounds later and we were sitting together (over Skype) simply being aware of our breathing. I had tailored my breathing to be in sync with hers as much as I could, and it was helping to bring her to a calmer place. This was waiting happening.

She opened her eyes. ‘Oh dear. I get so taken over with fear, and then that makes me panic even more’.

I looked at her directly, ‘Well spotted. So right now, what’s happening in your body? What do you feel, and where?’

Sometimes with my clients I have a session which shifts everything. I often refer back to it as The Conversation – where everything shifts and we start working on a whole different level, with correspondingly different results.

This was one of these times: my client was able to come to a place where she did wait, and something did happen that propelled her into very different actions from what she might otherwise have done.

During the session, I asked her one very important question and when we discussed her answers in depth, everything shifted for her.

So what was actually going on here?

The effects of a difficult divorce were proving hard to bear for her. The receiving of the final decree nisi had impacted her to the extent that she was finding it almost impossible to work.   I was encouraging her to do nothing because I knew that actions taken from a place of fear like this would lead to less than brilliant results.

But the mind hates ‘doing nothing’. It is the part of you that comes up with fabulous ideas to solve your problems. That says ‘you must sign up for that course that tells you what to do’, or ‘you’d better get a job’, or ‘you’ll never be any good, what ever made you think you could do this?’

That’s because the mind is interested purely (and understandably) in your survival. Mind will ‘tell’ you what to do based on your experiences in the past. Mind’s limited thinking, and what it thinks will prompt you to go for what works best, regardless of your intuition. Mind wants to protect you so will do all it can to ensure that.

There’s nothing wrong with this other than it can keep you very stuck. That’s what was happening with my client in that moment. Fortunately, over time, she was able to acknowledge and express her feelings about it (key for movement and shifts to happen).

The only real problem was that she was believing what her mind was saying in that moment, and when you believe anything your mind says (even the good stuff!) then you’re in trouble.
That’s because Love is the only place that can really help you take actions that will work for you. Love, the utter essence of life itself, in all its manifest forms, is the only thing that really matters.

GeneralThis is a big topic and I’m sure to come back to it time and time again, but it’s showing up this week because of my reflections about life and death in my book, Gifted By Grief (which was launched last week, in case you hadn’t heard! You can read more about it here).

When you contemplate life, death is right in there. When you contemplate both of them, love cannot be anything but present (whether you pay any attention to it or not).

Love is always present, let’s face it, but often we ignore it, don’t recognize it, don’t understand this is the case, interfere with it expressing itself – you name it, we have many, many ways of disregarding love.

In business, and in work, love is present too. And one way you can access it is by doing what my client was willing to do: take a conscious breath, and then wait.

Then in that space, you can ask yourself a really important question. This is the one question that shifted everything for my client in the session.

“What does Love want to do now?”

If you’re open and willing, you’ll ‘hear’ a response. It might not come immediately, it may be a hunch or gut feeling, or just an idea that pops into your head. But if it feels right, and is nurturing both for yourself and others, then that will be Love speaking.

And all that needs to then happen is responding to that answer. A lot easier said than done, and I’ll cover that next week!

In the meantime, if you’d like support to access your own loving wisdom in relation to your work, or life for that matter, join me for what I’m now calling The Conversation.

It’s half an hour for free with me, one to one, where you can bring anything you like that is bothering you.

It could be that you know there is a conversation with yourself you’re not having; it could be you know you’re avoiding something in your business; it could be the results you want are not happening in the way you want.

Together we’ll wait and see what happens. Trust me, when you do this in the presence of Love, something will!

I have just 5 slots available to be taken before the end of September so sign up here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My new book Gifted By Grief is out NOW!

Gifted By Grief is finally out! here I am with Robert Holden (who wrote the wonderful foreword):
And here is a doodle of what I feel like doing – standing on the top of a high mountain, telling the whole world about it!

You are getting to hear about it first, as you’re on my mailing list.

(What you also need to know is that next week on 8/9/10th September, the e-book version will be FREE!  This is because I really want to get it out to as many people as possible. (I will send out a reminder re this).But it’s for sale right now, e-book and paperback, so if you can’t wait to take a peek, visit here!

You know, death and dying have never had good press, although that is beginning to change, but grief is lagging behind. That’s a large part of the motivation behind this book – to invite people into my life while it was going on. I hope it will help people become more comfortable with grief, whether they are experiencing it themselves or affected by someone else going through it.

It’s a hugely personal book, and yet oddly, I feel somehow detached from it. Like I just have to serve it.  It’s as if this book has a life of it’s own, and all I have to do is obey it’s instructions. Right now, that’s get this book out to as many people as possible. So that’s what I’m doing 🙂

Please join me by passing on this link to anyone else you know: https://janedr.leadpages.co/gbg-sales-page/

Thank you!