Sometimes you climb all the way to the top of one mountain only to find the next peak is even higher with more difficult terrain. And at that point, even with the beautiful sunrise view from the summit, you start thinking ‘Ugh! Why is this so hard? And is it ever going to get any easier?!’
That’s how I’ve found the journey of running my own business and the journey of life!
Just when one area seems to fall effortlessly into place, another falls apart. And you wonder, why can’t it just all come together at the same time and allow me to simply sit back and enjoy the ride?
But if this human life experience has taught me anything, it’s that I have enormous amounts of strength and resilience. I’m adaptable, positive and start every day with enthusiasm and a smile. I can see the good in (virtually) every situation and I’m incredibly good at bouncing back after struggles.
And… I’m also pretty good at not sharing how I really feel inside; presenting a neatly edited version to the world and even to those closest to me.
Over the past few months, I’ve learnt something really valuable and important: the power of vulnerability. Of stepping into my divine feminine energy and trying my best to share the fullest expression of myself.
It’s not easy.
In fact, it’s really, really hard!
Especially for those of us who’ve been independent single mums for so long. Struggling for year after year, whether that’s emotionally, physically, financially or a combination of all three, toughens you up. It makes you put up your walls in an attempt to cling on to the small amount of control you have.
You also get really bad at asking for help and opening up to receive help.
It becomes a totally alien experience.
That’s where I was when I broke my ankle last September. I’d single -handedly spent three days carrying endless (very large and heavy) shopping bags around Leeds city centre and up flights of stairs to my daughter’s university accommodation and I was exhausted. We’d had fun of course, it was exciting setting her up in her new little living space. But to do it all ourselves in one weekend without our own car was a lot of work.
And so it was no surprise that the Universe gave me a big wake up call!
Healing from a broken ankle physically is the easy part! I did my exercises religiously and spent every night listening to a bone healing meditation and sending that area of my body lots of love and light. Like I said, that was the easy part.
But opening up to receive help and allow people to support me was a more difficult task.
We’re so conditioned as women to use well worn phrases such as ‘I’m fine’, ‘It’s ok’, ‘No, don’t worry, that’s out of your way, I’ll manage…’ that it takes a lot of strength to breathe in and announce that, actually you’d love some help.
This same dynamic also exists in business and romantic relationships.
As an online business owner, I’m brilliant at supporting other women. I’m very, very proud to share my friends’ accomplishments, products and services, boosting their audience and illuminating just how amazing they are at what they do. This comes so naturally to me and I thrive on lifting other people up and sharing their brilliance with the world.
But when it comes to asking for help or getting the support I need, I tend to stay much quieter. The notion of needing help is deeply entwined with a perception of weakness.
I need help therefore I’m not good enough.
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.
As every successful multi-million dollar CEO knows, the key to success is building a team where everyone can bring their unique skills to the table in support of your passion and mission. The CEO’s strength is in their ability to create a network of support so that they can spend more time doing the things that really light them up.
Not everyone wants to be CEO of a multi million dollar business, of course, and not every business owner needs a really big team – they may simply need to outsource certain areas at certain times: building a website, hiring a brand designer or copywriter, getting a Facebook ads strategist or a social media manager.
Either way, understanding the need for support, having the courage to ask for it, the willingness to invest in it and the energy and mindset to receive that support with love and vulnerability is crucial.
Ditto for relationships.
And so, if you’re reading this as a woman who’s struggling to show up as the fullest expression of herself, in her divine beauty and feminine energy because she’s so stuck in a place of struggle with an inability to ask for and receive help, love and support, I’m here to tell you that it’s ok.
And that I completely understand how you feel.
I’ve been there too and will be there again.
Personal growth and transformation is never a straight road – it’s filled with twists and turns and unexpected challenges.
But here’s the key…
In order to peel back the layers that are holding you back, you have to let go.
You have to surrender.
Show your vulnerability.
Cry messy, snotty tears if you need to.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, stepping into the feminine energy of vulnerability isn’t weak, it’s a true sign of strength.
And in the same way, using our masculine energy to fuel our drive, planning and organisation is powerful and helps us take action.
We all need a balance of both energies, and when things feel too tough and that mountain looks insanely high and insurmountable, that’s when we’ve tipped the balance too far and need to bring it back into harmony.
You, my beautiful reader, possess all the skills you need to climb the rocks in front of you.
Open your heart to receive love, support and guidance from others and you’ll soon be striding ahead and ready for the next incredible view from the top.
If you’ve enjoyed this blog, you might like the first in this series about Connection, Surrender and Alignment here: How to Surrender to the Flow and Ignite your Inner Voice.