Push to Change
The year has come with an insistent push to change… to change in every area and many that simply needed to happen to enable the growth and evolution of the coming years. While this sounds philosophical and broad, it is pretty spot on.
I have been thinking about the best way to get clear in my mind the magnitude of all of this without becoming overwhelmed and shaking my head in the disbelief of so much in such a short period of time.
It is as though things have come full circle and while this encompasses excruciating pain, it also includes unconditional love I thought was long forgotten. However, I continue to speak in riddles.
For some time I have been feeling disconnected and a little lost. My path continuing when it had been destined to end opening pandora’s box of what is next. For a number of years I have been playing, searching, for what I will do with my path now that I am sticking around for longer than anticipated. It is unnerving when life leads to a particular point and not much was created beyond that point.
In spiritual terms, it was a rebirth. The debilitating, agonising rebirth onto a new path however, seeming continued. But it was not. I did not. One night several years ago I died. That part of me that had fought for so long and been to hell and back in the most gruesome ways was gone. It was not about forgiveness or anything as superficially human. It simply was an end. Unfinished business finished and the path completed.
Then when I woke the next morning, still being here the pain remained, the loss remained, the memories becoming so much clearer and creating more questions than answers. Yet, in this I knew the answers before the question was even asked. Slowly, slowly I let those answers come to me to put together the new, albeit continued, life.
I tried old favourites and yet, they didn’t feel right. I tried old habits that would not stick. All the while not knowing what my purpose had become. Was it the same, had it changed, why did I choose to stay? Clearly my work was not done; I was not done.
I endeavoured to follow my passions and yet, they fell short, unable to commit, unable to connect. I felt like an alien in may own body, in this time, in this world. I did not belong, even less than I did before.
My business fluctuated however, carried me through this time, ensuring I could continue. I never spoke of the struggles I faced each day, every hour, only becoming worse and worse. I had every label known from PTSD, depression, anxiety, cognitive issues, inability to focus, leading to chronic fatigue syndrome, the reoccurrence of endometriosis and the inevitable return of chronic depression. I was alone in a world I did not belong. As much as I wanted to desperately escape, I could not. My girls needed me almost as much as I needed them. I stayed for them and they helped me function each day.
Dragging my rebirthing body through the trenches of betrayal and agony, slowly, ever so slowly, I dug my way out. Every day was harder than the last and I continued when I could. Facing, healing and dealing with my illnesses, one at a time. Relapsing but continuing, for my girls.
Eventually, which felt like a lifetime unto itself I inevitably stumbled onto a path, in the health services industry. All my years as a subject matter expert and senior management meaning nothing. I had to start again. This was the only way. I needed to get out of the house and I needed to connect if I was to remain in this world. So I did.
I worked and worked, always smiling and witnessing terrible treatment, being used and disrespected in every which way. Then as a new opportunity arose I started to heal. I started to find me again. I started to feel something unfamiliar - my ambition and want for more. It had been years since I felt this, most of which had drowned in building and running my business. After 13 years at that point I was tired, so very tired and didn’t know where to go next, despite endless ideas. So, I continued in health services while I let me come home, reconnect to me and find my voice that was lost through the screaming in the darkness for too long.
Then, as this year came, I knew, I could feel this would be a different year. The delusion of a happy year not present and fighting for respect when I had already proven my overly elaborate skills and expertise. But, as I pondered my direction, my heart grew in wanting more, needing more. Equally no longer accepting the disrespect, the disregard from a job that did not deserve me. It saddened me however, it was not my business. When I let myself wake up from the illusion of trust from someone that was self serving and self absorbed in their plight to feel important, I knew what I had to do.
All the while this was taking place the weirdest thing happened - I met someone that held my interest for longer than five minutes. He was kind, normal and had a depth unlike most. I had to see where this would go and my heart had decided rather quickly the path it had chosen. I simply had to catch up. And so, that path into unconditional love transpired.
But like every up there is also a down. It was time for my girls to go. One of my girl’s knew I would be looked after and I didn’t need her anymore. As much as I tried arguing with her, I knew she was right. I had to let her go. As I did she made sure I was looked after by sending me a gift of another to give me love and affection when I was in too much grief to give any.
If this was not enough, my other girl, despite her incredibly tenacious spirit had to leave a couple of months later. I felt her spirit leave her body in less than a second and all I could do was cry, apologise and thank her. It has been barely a month since she’s passed and I have refused to take the time to truly mourn as it is too much. The moment I watch her videos or hear a bark and think of her I can feel myself fall into this abyss of grief I never want to leave.
I know both of my girls are together now. I see them in my dreams, I hear them and I feel them. Yet, this seems so little because I miss them so terribly much.
Right after my girl passed I started a new job. I had to keep it together despite wanting to stay in bed indefinitely. Oddly, I was treated with respect, I was treated as a manager and I was welcomed. This was unfamiliar, foreign and so very much appreciated. It brought to light how badly I was treated previously.
I sat in my office, putting on my name badge with my title. I had worked for this and felt worthy of being in this role. It felt right, probably for the first time ever.
I had become a Practice Manager for a medical clinic. Not something small or insignificant but a crucial role with huge implications. For the first time in a long time I felt proud of me. I still do. The decisions I have to make and the situations I need to resolve are intense and rewarding.
This brought me to a dilemma as I had never spoken about my work in health services, only ever aspects of my business and my creative aspirations. The truth was I rarely shared truly personal information. It felt uncomfortable and a part of me questioned “did I fail” in my business. Yet, having had it for 15 years which supported me well during that time and when I was unable to do much else kept me living comfortably. The business needed to evolve but for that to happen, I had to evolve first.
So, amongst all the other crazy of the year I rebranded to the three parts of me - creative, practitioner and person. I chose to only see those clients that I wanted to and focused on my career as a practice manager. I started doing podcasts as it was something I had wanted to do for a long time and have taken a step back from pushing the business.
The ability to choose the work, the hours, how it is done can be fulfilled in a myriad of ways. As I go into the clinic every day I can see a future ahead. While this entails more study, something I do love and have struggled to find, I did recently connect to something that bridges my professional passion and my work in a way that liberates me and enables me to grow more than previously.
Much of this has come to fruition in just over six months. All occurring at the same time. My compartmentalising skills have been truly tested and here I am in my new home, in a new job, with a new career, new additions to my family and support I never thought would be possible.
The fact is business - is not about business - it is always about the person. Fulfil the person and the path will find its own way to be successful. Why limit within a box of preconceived expectations when there are so many other options to live fully even when life is in chaos.
Somehow love will always find a way. As I wrote on the plaque for one of my girls’ “Forever and always the strength and love in my heart” - this is the gift they gave me for so many years. Now I put it into practice.
My gift to you - freedom exists in the heart not in the habit. Run a business, have a job, study a course however, always be honest and true to what lies within. It is here that the impossible becomes normal. As you do this, never allow the disrespect from others to become how you see yourself. Their limitations are not yours. Their lack of values is not you. Be honest, speak your truth and own your world.