I want to share a few stories with you today. Hopefully they'll tie up into something that makes sense.
But before that, I want to let you know that this "space between stories"** (that's what I'm going to call this current period of growth, transformation and learning) is already changing.
I've noticed, over just the last couple of days, an increasing excitement about being in this space. The fear and frustration I feel for a clear way forward is beginning to settle, and whilst there's still a feeling of discomfort, there's also a growing sense, beyond that discomfort, of power.
It's a power that feels very soft and strong (like Andrex toilet paper) and just kind of...there. That's how I can best explain it right now.
So, to the stories...
Many of you know the story of how I quit my job without a plan back in 2012, determined to figure out what brought me joy and create a life on my own terms. Back then, my only little clue forward was that I'd always harboured a dream of becoming an actress.
Not long after leaving my job I found myself taking an introductory course in the Meisner Technique at the Actors' Temple in London.
The introductory course led to an 18-week intensive training in the technique. An 18-week course that I left 9 weeks in, just as the course was moving from what felt like deep personal work into actual acting (I guess the acting part wasn't for me after all).
A man called Gary Condes was my tutor during those 9 weeks. Every day, Monday-Friday, I would see Gary for several hours in the dark, cold basement of the Actors' Temple along with my six classmates.
Gary Condes is what I now recognise as the first person in my life who was so masterful in his craft and so powerfully loving that he was able and willing to deliver painful truth.
It was felt and understood in that basement that we were safe. Safe to explore what felt like the most unsafe parts of ourselves - the darkest and lightest edges of our humanity. It was raw, often painful, always fucking scary, but ultimately hugely liberating.
Gary was the first person who modelled for me what it looked like to care so much that you didn't care. His number one priority was our growth and he cared so much about that that he was willing and able to tell us the truth - no matter how much it hurt.
Over a year later, I started working with John Morgan, a coach I met through what felt like beautiful synchronicity. I now note John as the second person in my life willing to deliver powerful truth grounded in love.
Since working with Gary and John, I've spent thousands of pounds and invested hundreds of hours in various courses and trainings. I'm yet to add another name to the Gary and John list.
I recount these events because, in a strange way, it feels like part of the reason I now find myself in this "space between stories."
One of my biggest struggles over the past year especially has been creating something I feel truly proud of. I spent a great deal of time creating my first online classes but, after running them just a couple of times, I no longer bought into half the information I'd included. I'd outgrown the information and couldn't sell the classes and remain in integrity.
That's why all the classes I've been running lately have felt much more about creating space than teaching any specific way of doing something. What I'm really doing is facilitating people's own journeys with ideas, prompts, questions and providing space and community for it all to happen.
I wanted my online journey to look like other people's online journeys. I wanted to create classes, enrol hundreds of people into them and then leave them in their homes filling out their worksheets whilst I freed up even more time in my life to explore new avenues, travel and have fun.
I wanted it to look like that but, as I've said before, as I've edged closer to and surpassed my goals, the more I've realised that the model won't work. Not for me. It's just not deep enough. And apparently, what I care about more than anything - more than money, more than time, more than creating any lifestyle I might want for myself - is DEPTH. Depth and true transformation that changes the game.
And the reason I've hit this brick wall that's forcing me to take a good look around and see where I really want to head next is because I haven't felt that depth in way too long. And I'm realising that whilst I thought my goal was creating a freedom-based business, my actually goal is to create powerful change in this world. And it almost makes me laugh to see myself write that because from where I am right now, I can't see how in hell I'm going to do that. Who the fuck am I?
What I'm trying to say is this:
If you're someone who really cares, who really knows at some very deep level that whatever work you do you're here to disrupt the system and have a deep impact - and if you're also highly sensitive to the people and world around you like I am - I think you'll find it harder than most to build your business.
Because like me, you'll constantly be battling with feelings of being out of integrity and knowing that there's something so much more powerful and important you need to deliver. You will spend much of your time feeling as though you're missing a trick. You'll get pissed off with yourself for not just being ok with making money the way everyone else does.
But whilst this feeling you walk around with that so much of what you come across is superficial (not in a purposeful way - I'm NOT trying to disrespect the work anyone out there is doing) will make your journey harder in the beginning and you might not see success as quickly as some, you will come to recognise this as one of your greatest gifts.
What you feel is true. Most of what is out there IS shallow. It IS superficial. It's not the depth of work that truly transforms. It's simply NOT the work you're here to do. And that feeling you have of always wanting more is there inside you because you KNOW you're here for depth. You just don't know how to access it yet. And THAT is the journey you have to make.
But you need to trust that feeling. You HAVE to. Trust the feeling that you're seeing and feeling something real AND that it's important. Trust the fact that your deep feeling and sensitivity makes you precisely who we need. The planet, I believe, needs you to find a way to trust.
This is the feeling I have right now of where I'm heading. For those of you who choose to stay with me in this space between stories to see what unfolds, I guarantee that what's coming is radical truth, power and love. The pieces are already, very slowly, coming together.
And as I feel my way forward in this, I hope that my searchings and journey will open the way for you. I want you to understand that your background doesn't matter. That your experience up until now DOES NOT matter. That what matters is that knowing you have that something isn't right and that you're willing to do what it takes to develop yourself to such a degree that you can powerfully take on the position of leadership you know you're here for.
Deep love. Deep truth. All in the name of a more beautiful world. YOU are the one we need to stand up and lead. And I think you know as well as I do that nothing else will do.
Love and courage,
**space between stories - I first heard this phrase from Charles Eisenstein and think his book, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible, should go on a reading list for the entire planet.