Where does your real strength lie?

When you’re sitting at your desk, head down, despairing about your work because nothing is going right

When you’re in tears because a tragedy has happened in the family

When you feel raw, exposed, naked to the world because something didn’t go quite how you expected it to

This is when you’re vulnerable.

It does feel like you’re open to being easily hurt, doesn’t it?  It’s easy to feel child-like, small and tiny, to want to speak in a very soft voice, if at all.

How on earth can there be any strength in that?

When I started to think about publishing my forthcoming book recently, and realized I was probably going to do a crowdfunding campaign for it, I began to feel a bit queasy. Writing it had been the easy part, apparently!  Now I was going to have to go out there to the world and tell them all about it, and because it’s a very personal story, that made it doubly alarming.

It doesn’t feel like I have an option, though. I’d be letting myself down if I didn’t put it out there as much as I can. So I’ll be doing that in the near future, and I will probably be feeling vulnerable – even more than I already am!

So where is the strength in this?  How can something that makes me feel teeny weeny inside, a bit wobbly sometimes, and even tearful, possibly have any strength in it?

It’s because that’s what’s going on and I’m willing to feel it.

Not push it away. Not bury it. Not pretend I’m anything other than I am.  Rather, I’m willing to feel the fear associated with being exposed, willing to say what I think and have others disagree, and willing to be seen in all my glory. Gulp.

You might know that when people tell you you’re courageous, or brave, mostly you don’t feel courageous or brave, do you? You actually feel terrified, anxious, apprehensive!

And it’s the same with being vulnerable. Others see your authenticity, your lack of guile, your being open.  They like it, generally speaking. Why?

Because we don’t have enough of authenticity and vulnerability in our world today! 

Instead what we have is people pretending. Pretending through their looks to be something they aren’t (how many magazine photos are not photoshopped these days? I’m willing to bet not many).

Pretending to be confident, safe, secure when actually they feel shaky, scared and trembling.  Pretending to have a brilliant business when the truth is there’s lots of debt and the possibility of having to lay people off.

And aren’t you fed up with that?  That’s why it’s great to see others taking risks, saying what they really think (it doesn’t have to be done in a hurtful way) and willing to put themselves out there, warts and all.

This doesn’t mean not dressing up for an interview or a presentation; it doesn’t mean not presenting yourself or your business in the best light possible. It just means you’re willing to say what’s really going on instead of trying to do a cover-up job.

The strength comes because it’s already there when you are being who you really are.

Pretending saps strength. Being vulnerable increases it.

So yes, I’m being vulnerable putting my book out there. And yes, the strength will come from that being a stretch for me, but also from being willing to shine my light more fully, and by doing that, helping others to see more clearly where and who they are too.

Which for someone whose purpose is about inspiring and awakening others is very compelling indeed!

So where are you vulnerable in your life and/or business? Are you comfortable with the kinds of feelings that go along with vulnerability? If not, why not?  Could you change that?  Could you practice being tearful for instance, without judging it as being ‘bad’ or ‘weak’?  I once spent several weeks in my twenties practicing crying in front of sad movies, cos I thought I needed to get better at it! (It worked).

What do you think about strength and vulnerability?  Is there a relationship for you?  Do you like it when you see less pretence and more authenticity?  Let me know by commenting on the blog or hitting reply to this email.

And remember, I can help you find your way again, recover your strength and identify your next steps. Just contact me and ask for a complimentary Wild Wisdom Discovery Session –  just three now available this month, so email me now!

Floods of tears and an epiphany.

What is it about life, that it so often seems to give different directions from the ones you thought you were supposed to be taking?

You know, like you thought you were headed in one direction, and then something happens and it’s clear you have to take a fork in the road, or a sharp turning, or occasionally even go back the way you came.

That’s what happened to me when I was away at the conference in Los Angeles.

As I listened to one of the speakers on the stage, it came over me in no uncertain terms that I was supposed to be up there speaking – but not about Wild Wisdom, or even Wild Wealth.

I was supposed to be speaking about Gifted by Grief (my upcoming book).

It was an epiphany, and it had some after effects, because although I’d flirted with the idea of the book being more than just a book out there, now it became clear that there was more to be done, speaking engagements just one of those offerings.

This was a challenge because frankly, I’d only be up on that stage because of Philip dying, and I felt ambivalent about that to put it mildly, since the last thing I’d wanted (and he’d wanted) was to die.

I was in floods of tears for a short while in the arms of my coach at the back of the room, thank goodness she was there and understood the implications.  I took some time out with a walk outside in the fresh air. I skipped the next conference session, and wrote in my journal, and I allowed myself to fully adjust to what this might mean. And when I rejoined the conference, I started to share with those I met from then on about the book – and the universal response was positive.

‘It makes me have shivers’’, said one.
‘The hairs on the back of my neck are standing up’, said another.
‘This is so needed’, said several.

So what does this transition mean?

Wild Wisdom will still be happening as usual,  but I will be postponing the Wild Wealth programme (the launch of which was supposed to be happening in February) and focus instead on getting the book finished and out there, with all the supporting web pieces.

And you know what?

It feels FANTASTIC!  Now I’ve come to fully accept this, I’m having a ball!  My work before was enjoyable, in fact it has never felt like ‘work’.  But when I’m working on Gifted By Grief, it’s even better!

So what works when you’re going through a transition of some kind?  Here’s 3 short tips:

  1. Be willing to embrace what is happening. That means facing up to what has happened in the past, be honest with yourself about it, and accept the impact on your life. Painful, but necessary. You have to be fully where you are before you can fully let go and move on.
  1. Be willing to wait.  That means doing nothing much. It’s often a place of neutrality.  In my book, I go into this in much more detail, but basically if you take action too quickly then you’ll be skipping over what needs space to make itself known; and which can only make itself known fully to the new person you’re in the process of becoming.
  1. Be willing to appreciate, let go, and forgive (if necessary).  When you can do this wholeheartedly, you will then be able to say goodbye to the past with an open heart, and turn fully towards whatever the future is offering to you.  This makes it a lot easier to step forward.

I hope you can identify where you might be in all this, and able to recognize what is the next small step you need to take.

Gifted By Grief – my new book

Gifted by GriefAt the bottom of my emails under my name it now says ‘Author of the forthcoming book, ‘Gifted By Grief” A True Story of Cancer, Loss and Rebirth’.  (Find out more here)

A few people have asked me about this lately – it will be published next summer probably, and today I wanted to share with you about this project, and why I’m working on it.

After my husband died, nearly 3 years ago now, I went through a major transformation, one of the results being Wild Wisdom Coaching itself, and now the book.  But I’m also on a mission to raise awareness about death, dying and grief. I joined the organization Dignity in Dying because I believe in having the right to choose the time of your death, if you are suffering from an incurable illness.

Why do I believe this?

Because if my husband had not been so afraid of dying, he could have chosen an ending of much less suffering than he had to go through.

Watching someone you love go through pain that can’t be controlled was really horrible. (Yes, he was on morphine but the side effects of that were extremely debilitating). He’d got to this stage because he was so afraid of dying, even right up towards the end. But I kind of wanted him to die so he could be free of it, no matter how I would feel afterwards.

I’ve been inspired again by this because of a video in a newsletter sent out recently by Dignity in Dying and today I’m sharing that with you because of the message from a very courageous young woman.  View it here

How does this apply to you and your business?  Listen to what she says at 6.05 and apply it.  (But I recommend watching the whole video, it’s just 6.5 minutes and is very inspiring).

And if you want to hear more about my book project as it goes along, and be one of the first to hear about it when it’s published, sign up here for that.