Perspectives on 2020 – A story of courage, vulnerability and love

Exactly one year ago today, an amazing man decided he was ready to step into his vulnerability and tell the ‘intriguing’ blonde just how much he liked her.

Little did she know that he would turn out to be her twin flame; a fellow Starseed with matching soul chart planetary alignments…

This is a story of courage, personal growth and transformation. 

A story that may not have a Hollywood happy ending, but one that has nonetheless changed both our lives forever. A relationship that forced us to go deep within, to acknowledge our shadow side and to do the work required to release pain, fear and sadness and to live life from a place of pure unconditional love. A relationship that truly opened our hearts in a way we’d never felt before. 

The Universe always sends us what we need, not what we want. It’s always for our highest good. And while relationship endings can be painful, sad and feel totally wrong at the time, ultimately we grow into the person we’re meant to become: the best possible version of ourselves.

Looking back, as the woman I am one year on, it’s no surprise that my man showed up as the sun moved into Aquarius, at the dawn of the Aquarian age. And equally no surprise that our first day apart after our relationship changed shape was 11/11, the moment portals opened, planets shifted and the world breathed a sigh of relief as it inched its way closer to 2021. 

There’s so much to this story, to my story, and to the part it played in reconnecting me to my empowered feminine; remembering the essence of who I am, what I came here to do and who I came here to be. In fact, there’s so much I’ve learnt that can be shared to help, support and inspire others, I’m finally writing my book! My experiences, both in this unexpected and magical relationship and other aspects of my life’s journey, will become someone’s handbook for life; something they can learn from, play with and use to empower their choices and raise their vibration. 

While my book is being intricately (and slowly) woven together, I want to share this piece (below) I wrote for a collective book curated by The Unbound Press. It’s a beautiful collaboration by twenty incredibly talented writers and artists who each bring a slice of their wisdom and unique gifts to the table. It’s called#2020Vision – Unbound perspectives from a year like no other’ and can be  ordered from Amazon UK. (#soexcited) Launch date 25 February 2021.

(Please note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Grab yourself a drink, get cosy, and read my perspective on 2020…

If you don’t experience life, you can’t write about it.

2020 was the year that brought me back to life.

The year that gifted me the most profound, transformational gift possible to any human being.

The gift of pure, unconditional love. 

And yet, this isn’t a simple romantic story of falling in love, with a Hollywood cliché ending.

It’s a story that goes beyond the depths of space and time to reunite a Starseed soul with her true purpose. 

***

Meeting my twin flame didn’t happen overnight. A chemical reaction took place at some point in the history of the galaxies. Planets collided, stars exploded and atoms split. 

A spark. A slow burn. A flame.

At the end of 2019, I broke my ankle whilst settling my daughter into her first year university accommodation. With an insignificant slip on a damp pavement, a loud crack and an instant feeling of nausea, something in the Universe shifted as subtly as the bones in my left ankle.

In the weeks that followed, stuck indoors with an inflatable boot, crutches and a never-ending creativity in how to make food while balanced on one leg and then transport it to the lounge, I decided I was ready to give up the struggle.

I’d had enough.

I’d spent over eight years as a single parent, only ever making ‘just enough’ money to make ends meet. A rising cost of living meant that the luxuries had slowly been eliminated. No more chiropractic treatments, massage or nice moisturiser. While much of it had been an essential and exciting budgeting learning curve, it left me with a deep-rooted fear of truly looking after and loving myself. 

I no longer enjoyed the playful nature of clothes shopping or the curiosity in discovering this season’s make-up colour trends. I stopped dancing around the house. I lost the joy in washing my hair. And I rarely went out – partly through a lack of money but also because I’d forgotten how to enjoy social situations.

I was lost.

Or rather, I had lost myself. 

And so, breaking my ankle forced me to sit still, accept help and truly embrace my vulnerability.

I decided in that moment that it was time to put me first again.

To nurture the beautiful soul within me and the human body that craved sensual touch and abandoned excitement.

I wanted to hang out with the wild woman within me. This gorgeous goddess that held the key to my ability to truly savour everything this lifetime had to offer.

I was ready to let love into my life in every corner of my world and every facet of my being. 

Within mere moments of setting the intention, the Universe showed up with the support I needed: a sisterhood of women in a monthly membership group, connections to new, beautiful souls and then, just a few weeks later, my twin flame showed up.

Except, I didn’t know that at the time. Neither of us did.

He made his way firmly into my heart within days of our deep, intimate online chats. He was ready to get to know the real me. He wasn’t interested in the superficial and he definitely wasn’t playing games. He simply wanted to peel back the layers and reveal my fears, my insecurities, my joys and my passions.

With every soft, delicate layer he removed, our connection strengthened.

For the first time in my life, I’d met a man who showed up consistently, every single day. Always a good morning and a good night. Humour, interesting conversations, stories about his day and random GIFs. Digital dating at its best. 

Flights were booked to meet in person in early March and our first meeting was laced with a powerful, yet gentle curiosity. We touched hands. We laughed and smiled. We walked in the wind, and took selfies by the sea. We drank tea on the sofa and talked about life.

Twelve hours after meeting, we had our first kiss. My feminine intuition allowing him to lead our connection wherever it wanted to go.

Within days of our first weekend together, the world shut down.

Coronavirus swooped in and threw us all into a new paradigm; a new way of being.

Parents battled home-schooling their children. Office workers struggled with technology. Restaurants and bars closed their doors. 

Suddenly everyone knew about Zoom.

For me, little changed. I continued to work from home and my youngest teenage daughter settled back into home learning. My eldest returned from university and we got into a new routine of food shopping deliveries, doing our own cleaning (or not!) and the occasional Indian takeaway to break the monotony. 

My man was my rock and my saviour throughout. He was always there with deep understanding, kindness and humour.

There was no need for me to ever doubt his feelings – and yet of course, I did. Twin flames are sent as a mirror to help us grow, learn and transform.

The misunderstandings felt like drowning in a black swamp of goo. 

In truth, we were both triggered by random words that struck us like an arrow to the heart. For me, this brought up old wounds, old patterns, old behaviours.

I never liked the version of me that reacted in this way. The ‘me’ who got scared about him meeting someone younger, slimmer, more wild, more of a water baby, more of a dog lover, more into snowboarding. Someone without kids, a house and bills to pay. Someone who could fly to Bali for epic adventures at a moment’s notice.

All negative, fear-based thoughts that triggered me to over react or back off.

And yet, every time I backed off or went quiet in a Facebook Messenger conversation, he’d be there with a hug. It was like he instinctively knew what I needed. I never wanted to push him away. I wanted him to hold me close. And never let go. 

As lockdown restrictions eased in July, we enjoyed a long weekend in a lush AirBnB property in a beautiful forest. It was everything we both needed. Cosy fireplace chats and wild sexual chemistry. The kind of intimate connection that opens you up to new levels and brings a sense of coming home amidst the ultimate freedom. 

Over the summer months, we enjoyed more weeks together with beach trips and new experiences. Watching the moonrise over the horizon, on a clear, star-filled night, sat on the beach wrapped in blankets was definitely one of our highlights.

At my home together, we worked on client projects while sharing intimate kisses and cups of tea at random moments. We showed each other it was possible to run a business and enjoy a healthy, satisfying relationship. It never had to be one or the other.

We gave each other hope.

We showed each other love in ways we’d never experienced before.

We filled each other’s lives with small moments of joy; little pockets of happiness in a crazy world. 

And it was beautiful.

But just as dark clouds pass in front of the sun, so twin flame relationships ignite something in us that we can no longer ignore. 

For many years I’d experienced a deep sense of longing and could never quite get to the bottom of why I felt that way. 

The Universe knew I needed something that would shake me to my core – and it had to be unexpected and delivered from a place of pure, unconditional love.

It had to be something that would transform me forever.

It might leave me temporarily bruised, battered and broken, but ultimately stronger, more beautiful and more filled with love than ever before. 

He had to leave. 

It wasn’t a break-up in the usual sense, just a deep-rooted knowing and intuition on both sides that we’d come to an impasse. We had no idea whether to go up, over or around – we just knew we were stuck.

It happened so quickly, so suddenly.

As the tears flowed and we held each other tight, we said ‘I love you’ face to face for the first time. 

And we both knew it was the absolute truth.

Our hands held each other’s faces and we sobbed messy tears.

I love you.

I love you. 

It was an ending neither of us expected, and yet in our heart-breaking, gut-wrenching pain, we knew somehow that it was the right thing to do. 

He flew back to the UK that morning and while he navigated planes, trains and somewhere to stay, I flitted between moments of deep clarity and dark moments of untamed sadness.

The next morning in the shower, and for the first time in years, it all come out. 

As the water ran over my naked, curvy body that had been held so tightly, romantically and sexually the night before, the tears began to pour out.

All the fears, struggles and challenges I’d faced, I let it all go.

 I sobbed.

It wasn’t pretty.

And yet I knew it was what I needed.

As the gratitude for this moment I’d been given rolled in, I realised this was my ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ moment.

I surrendered to the universe with an inner knowing that I’d be ok.

Except, I knew I didn’t want to be ‘just ok’. I wanted to thrive. I wanted to fly.

In the days that followed, we talked about what we were going through. We shared our feelings, our love and our gratitude for each other.

The love hadn’t gone anywhere, we just changed the shape of the container it was in. 

And then he wrote me a story…

A story where a struggling human had been able to find his heart through the love I’d shown him. That he had been opened up to love after being closed for so long. That he could now feel and had been given hope, light and a reason to live. 

He’d been given the gift of true love, entirely unexpectedly.

It would be easy to think that this was the gift I’d been given. To know that I’d helped someone to experience that kind of love.

Except with a twin flame, it’s never that simple.

And the love goes both ways.

He continued his story with a twist…

Unlike in the movies where the little Starseed would morph into that bright star she is and fly off into the sky as the film ends, giving the viewer a warm glow and a contented feeling of a journey completed, that wasn’t about to happen.

Instead, what the Starseed had missed was that this was actually her journey all along – not about the human she’d given her gift to. 

Her human had come all this way to be with her at this exact moment in time where he could give her his gift and watch her fly.

She felt for the first time like she actually belonged and knew her purpose. She opened her heart to the full experience of being human.

She cried and laughed simultaneously and felt this heavy weight lifting from her shoulders.

She knew then that she wasn’t here to do just one thing. She was given the gift of a human life to experience even more such moments by being her brilliant, beautiful, bright self.

The little Starseed realised she was enough. Always had been and always will be. 

All she ever needed to do was to fully embody the little Starseed inside this human form, shining bright.

She realised she could stop trying so hard, give up the struggle and just be herself. 

This was the Universe’s plan all along. A story of her transformation.

A transformation that would set her free, to transmute her gift in exciting ways to reach out and touch people. Seeing this, she was set free to create and turn her gift into limitless possibilities.

She finally saw the light in herself radiating outwards, filling her soul with everything she’d ever need and an abundance to share with as many people as possible during her time on Earth.

***

As I sit with this story today, I know in my heart that 2020 was so much more than a new chapter.

It was a complete plot twist that would transform life forever. 

I’ve been given a gift that will have a ripple effect around the world as I play my small part in shifting human consciousness. 

Where my story goes next, and what happens in 2021, no-one knows.

And yet, somehow, I’m filled with more love, peace and lightness than I’ve ever known before.

I’ve got this.

You’ve got this. 

And so it is. 

***

I wrote an eBook to support light workers at this time of overwhelm, noise and stress online.

Click here to download your copy of ‘The Light Worker’s Guide to Showing Up Online with Conscious Intention and Love’. 

(Choice between two covers so you can download the one you feel most drawn to.)

Why is this so hard? A story about vulnerability and strength.

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.

Lorraine xx

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.

Celebrating and Supporting Women

Unless you’ve unplugged from social media this week, or are enjoying a relaxing internet-free break on a tropical island (lucky you), chances are you’ve noticed that today (Friday 8 March) is International Women’s Day.

This year’s theme focuses on Balance – with the sentiment being that ‘a balanced world is a better world’.

Balance is something we’re all trying to achieve but somehow often falling short.

Today, I want to let you know that even if you haven’t reached a particular goal or dream in your life or business, it’s ok!

You’re not a failure for having failed, you’re amazing for having even tried.

In honour of International Women’s Day, I want to support and promote some of the amazing women who’ve crossed my path in the last twelve months.

All of these women inspire me to be a better version of myself than I was yesterday.

So, a huge thank you to each and every one of you. You’re making more of a difference in the world than you could ever have dreamed of.

Lorraine xx

(As they say on reality TV: ‘In no particular order…’)

Celebrating International Women's Day

MAEVE NORTHCROSS

Maeve is a real-life guardian angel; an effervescent Soul Coach who radiates love and warmth. While we’ve yet to meet in person, our video calls feel like we’ve known each other for lifetimes (and perhaps we have!). Maeve has had such an incredible journey to arrive at this point today where she uses her decades of professional and personal experience to guide clients and retreat guests to a place of personal stillness and joy. Maeve is hosting a beautiful retreat in the rolling countryside of Northern Ireland this summer and for a few lucky people it will be exactly what they’ve dreamed of for so long.

JULES WHITE

Jules is one of the kindest souls on the planet. Her sales coaching work evolves from her deeply held belief that selling is really based on Human Conversation. Jules believes that many of the life skills we possess are sales skills in disguise and that we shouldn’t be afraid to promote our skills, talents, experience and natural gifts with the world. When it comes to action-taking, Jules definitely wins the top award! In the past year she’s spoken at a TEDx event, started a podcast, launched a course, written an Amazon best selling book and been invited to teach and speak all around the UK and in the USA – making her a truly international sales coach. I’m so proud of her unrelenting determination to succeed and to make a difference to small businesses and personal lives.

TINA LEIGH MCDONALD

Tina is one of those unassuming, humble people who really has NO idea how incredible she is and how much of a difference she’s making to young adults in the UK. Tina’s work in schools and the private sector help young people to gain vital skills needed to progress into the workplace. But, more importantly than that, she helps young people to believe in themselves – something that’s absolutely vital for long term emotional and physical health. Tina, I’ve said it before but you truly are amazing. Keep up the great work! xx

KATIE PHILLIPS

When I heard Katie speak at an event last summer, her words touched my heart. To go on a personal journey is one thing, but to be able to share that journey with others in a way that encourages transformation and spreads love is truly beautiful. I’m hoping to work with Katie over the next few months so that I can bloom and grow beyond my wildest dreams – and I know in my heart that Katie’s love and support will be the perfect catalyst for change.

SHELLEY MONK

You may not have heard of Shelley yet, but I guarantee that this little ray of sunshine will be bursting into your world very soon! I first met Shelley a couple of years ago and have watched her evolve into the confident Relationship Coach that she is now. If you’ve been struggling with finding your true, authentic self or are stuck in relationship hell, then her coaching will enable you to find your way and transform into the person you were meant to be. Go follow her now before she’s famous!

HELEN PACKHAM

Helen runs a highly successful and engaging Facebook group called The Courageous Leaders Club – which beautifully sums up everything Helen is about: courage, leadership and collaboration. Helen sets a great example every day in how to successfully run a business from a place of authenticity and vulnerability. Her ability to openly share the messy challenges that affect most of us on a weekly basis means that she builds a safe, supportive place where everyone feels comfortable in being real. The online space definitely needs more people like Helen!

NICOLA ARNOLD

I listened to Nicola speak at Helen Packham’s Entrepreneurial Leaders Live event last summer and was blown away by her energy, love and passion for making a difference in people’s lives. Nicola helps people to build their self-worth and resilience so that they can see, attract and take advantage of all the possibilities that come their way. Nicola’s mantra – ‘This is me’ – and her work as a Life Coach enable people to feel happy in their skin and enjoy the journey through behaviour and mindset change.

SANDY COUSENS

Sandy is a gifted, talented artist and interior designer who is quite simply one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met. She supported me endlessly in my previous work in nutrition and food coaching and now it’s my turn to share her skills and talents with the world. If I had the money and the dream house with blank, white walls, I would have no hesitation in flying Sandy over from Australia to give my home a splash of her beautiful artwork and her laid back beach-vibe style. Sandy has created a dream art and design studio where she welcomes people for special events and workshops. If you live on the Gold Coast (lucky you!), do try to attend her events. For everyone else, take a look at Sandy’s relaxing website and online shop.

KAY FABELLA

Kay is a beautiful soul, inside and out and chatting to her is guaranteed to brighten your day! Kay is a talented storyteller with a gift for helping brands to find the message that forms the essence of the services they provide and to share that message with the world. I relate so much to Kay as a like-minded, curious, language lover with a passion for helping other women leverage their authenticity and shine brightly.

EMMA GAYWOOD

Emma is a Spiritual Guide who channels messages and energy from divine sources and is guaranteed to always hit the proverbial nail on the head! I couldn’t believe quite how accurate her reading was for me back in December when I asked a question about writing my book. Emma and I have bonded over a love of cats and spirituality and I’m so grateful to have Emma in my life. I’m excited for her next online gathering later in March.

 

How can I be the best version of myself?

NEW! Listen to the audio version of this blog here.

How can I be the best version of myself?

Is that a question you’ve asked yourself lately?

Or ever?

We spend far too much of our time worrying about living up to other people’s expectations without pausing for a while to consider our own.

What values do you hold in high regard?

What traits do you most admire in others?

How can you spend more time living and breathing as the best version of yourself?

As a small-business owner (or heart-centred entrepreneur, as I like to say) I used to spend far too much time trying to create services and packages that would appeal to all different kinds of potential customers. If someone suggested a different angle I hadn’t thought of, I’d add that too. And I got tired. Exhausted. Burnt out.

As the old saying goes, I was trying to please all of the people, all of the time and winding up not pleasing anyone! Least of all myself.

Something had to change.

Through various twists and turns, challenges and plot twists, meetings with inspiring thought leaders and taking the time to tune into what was really important to me (aka core values), my life slowly began to sparkle.

It felt feel really good. Great, in fact.

It was as if all the magic I’d believed in as a child had landed in my lap. 

It wasn’t luck though, or even hard work.

The magic appeared because I’d become aligned to my inner voice and started to truly understand that it wasn’t what I did in my work (and personal life) that was important, but how and why I did it.

Asking myself the question: ‘How can I be the best version of myself today?’ soon became a daily habit.

For many months, I wrote down my thoughts, used oracle cards and my favourite rose quartz crystals, and allowed my inner voice to guide me.

You see, it wasn’t about creating a new e-book about a certain topic, or putting out a special priced offer on a new course, what really mattered was the passion at the core of everything I touched with my love and energy.

I realised that helping other people to shine brilliantly – to be the best version of themselves – was the really important thing to me.

This was (and still is) my why.

It didn’t matter whether I helped people gain business clarity during a quick 20 minute video call or supported them by writing their website copy, sent a quick ‘how are you feeling today?’ message or offered a short training session in their Facebook group.

How I delivered each of those things – from a place of love, compassion, kindness, empathy, experience and integrity – was integral to my personal fulfilment and, ultimately, more business success.

When you begin each day by thinking about how you can be the best version of yourself, you remove the need for expectation. You’re not expecting other people to act or talk in a certain way, you’re focused on how you can be better.

Once expectation is out of the way, it’s far easier to live from a place of love.

There’s no longer any need to act from fear, sadness or anger.

Whether you’re a business owner or not, we all make thousands of choices every single day. Choose the things that are in alignment to your core values, your inner voice, your ‘why’, and together we can create a ripple effect that makes every home, every school, every workplace and every community a more nourishing place to be.

How can you be the best version of yourself today?

Lorraine xx

Are you a passionate heart-centred entrepreneur interested in finding out how I can help you to shine brilliantly? Then hop on over to my Work with Me page to find out more. 

The Power of Human Connection

NEW! Listen to the audio version of this blog HERE.

Over the last three years my life (and business) has changed dramatically because of one thing:

Human Connection.

I’m not really sure if I’m an introverted extrovert or an extroverted introvert (and I hate labels anyway) but to be able to spend a high percentage of my time safely tucked away in my own home, free from the draining energy of crowds, toxic office culture and negative energy vampires means that I’m a happier, calmer and more creative person than ever before.

But, of course, it’s not particularly helpful to be at home alone when running your own small business, so I’ve found a way to form genuine connections and true friendships with incredible women across the globe.

Setting up one or two video calls each week with women who inspire and motivate me (and vice versa) is the perfect way to boost social connection and engage in powerful human conversations.

And human conversation is the key to successful sales according to my good friend Jules White, a British sales coach, motivational TEDx speaker, author of Live It, Love It, Sell It and podcast host of The Human Conversation. (She’s a busy girl!)

In her book, Jules talks about the role of empathy in sales conversations and how to create strong relationships built on integrity:

‘The beauty of relationships is they last longer than a single transaction, so by conducting yourself with integrity and empathy rather than focusing on ‘winning’ you’re likely to generate future business. Your client will come back to you when they need you, and they’ll recommend you to others. That’s the real win. This is human selling and human connection.’

I love Jules’ approach but I’m also acutely aware that many women will shy away from creating these deep connections because they feel threatened by other women. 

Why is that?

Some might say it’s a link back to ancestral times such as the Salem witch trials when women were forced to expose other women as witches in order to protect themselves and their families. Others might say it’s just in our biological nature or that it’s simply learned habits from the culture we live in today.

But…

Every week I hear stories in the online space of women copying other women’s work, branding, images or words, women tearing others down or using people to get to the top. Not only is it stressful for those incredible, hard-working women who’ve worked so hard to elevate their small business into the online space to help others, but it’s very sad for those women who believe that using and abusing really is the only way to get what they want. (Hint: It’s not!)

When women support each other, incredible things happen.

Yesterday, I had a deep conversation with Georgia Varjas, a motivational speaker, writer and mentor living in Spain, about why women feel threatened by other women. We covered all sorts of angles from confidence and insecurities to labelling and judgment. Georgia reminded me of a quote she used during her amazing talk at Helen Packham’s Entrepreneurial Leaders Live event in Brighton in June:

The tongue has no bones, yet it is strong enough to break a heart.’ (Anon)

Georgia very generously invited me into her creative process and book writing journey and shared her ideas for the theme, chapters and messages within and from our conversation we both went away feeling inspired, motivated and filled with creativity.

When you open up and allow other women into your life and feel confident and secure in who you are, then amazing things really do happen.

In addition to these social connections and genuine friendships being so powerful when it comes to raising your profile and supporting your business passions in the online space, it’s important to remember that relationships are a form of self-love and nourishment and have a profound impact on our health.

Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, says, ‘The surprising finding is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health … Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. That, I think, is the revelation.’

The message I’m sharing with you today is that building relationships on a solid foundation of integrity, kindness and love is vitally important for our health and our businesses.

I know that I couldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of so many incredible women. And I’m so grateful to each and every one of them.

Are you taking the time to build relationships?

I’d love to know…

Lorraine xx

If you’re interested in anything or anyone I’ve mentioned above, here are the links:

Live It Love It, Sell It – book by Jules White

Jules White – Facebook group- ‘Live It Love It Sell It with Jules White’

Georgia Varjas ‘Slipping and Sliding on the Glass Ceiling’ – live talk from Entrepreneurial Leaders Live, June 2018

Georgia Varjas – Facebook Page ‘Step Up and Stand Out’

Helen Packham, leadership & Business Coach, TEDx speaker and creator of Entrepreneurial Leaders Live events

The Harvard Study of Adult Development