I haven’t written for a while because I’ve been holidaying and business-retreating, (making up verbs now!) and allowing change to wash over me.
It’s been amazing and wonderful and vulnerable and scary and life-and-business-changing all at once. Yet the funny thing is I wasn’t seeking change, I wasn’t running away to ‘find myself’, or do my own version of Eat, Pray Love, or ‘make a change’, … but it found me anyway. The truth is, I obviously was seeking something.
I wasn’t unhappy, in love, life, parenting or business.
I wasn’t annoyed.
I wasn’t anxious.
I wasn’t scared.
I wasn’t even really frustrated.
Something hadn’t felt right for a little while.
Something had shifted.
Something was niggling.
Something was hovering. Just out there in my peripheral vision.
And it turns out I needed to shift again. To evolve. To focus.
David Allen, king of the Getting Things Done movement said this:
“What you’ll tend to avoid doing is probably the most important thing you need to do, because it’ll probably be the most daunting and the most potentially successful thing you could be doing.”
So, my question to you is: “What are you avoiding?”
I have a really strong view that I could never expect you to invest in coaching if I don’t do it myself.
Why should I?
It’s a bit like working with a fitness trainer who is obviously overweight and unwell. It just doesn’t ring true for me.
So I tell you this, not to justify myself or so you can pat me on the back, but simply to let you inside my world for a moment…to reinforce that I practise what I preach.
You see, noone is above help. Noone is perfect. Noone has it all together. And noone has all the answers.
And I felt that keenly recently, when I was reviewing my presentation for the first round of the 8 Weeks to Content Confidence program.
Are you feeling like there’s a LOT going on at the moment?
You wouldn’t be alone.
Apparently with the winter solstice comes lots of change. (I have no technical term for this, but it’s a ‘thing’…and not just for woo-woos!)
1. You might just feel a bit ‘blah’.
Everyone’s heard of the winter blues, but there’s a real science behind why this time of year has you feeling bummed out a lot of the time. Your brain’s serotonin level (the “feel-good” neurotransmitter that your body produces) are largely affected by the amount of exposure you get to daylight. So when the days start getting significantly shorter, and there’s a limited amount of sunshine, your serotonin levels can drop, causing you to feel a little moody and melancholy. Adding self care practises to your routine — such as deep breathing, meditation, leisurely walks, and yoga — can help boost your serotonin levels, and as a result, your mood and overall well-being.
2. Your sleeping patterns might go cuckoo.
When you’re not getting enough vitamin D — as a result of not being exposed to enough sunlight — your body can feel super exhausted and lethargic. The change in seasons that brings us into the winter solstice can affect your body’s circadian rhythm, which regulates your normal sleep cycles, as well as your ability to produce melatonin, aka your body’s sleep hormone. To put it simply, the lack of sunlight could definitely take a toll on your snooze time. But the dark circles under your eyes don’t need to be your default winter aesthetic. Take a vitamin D supplement or invest in an electric light box to remind your body that there is, indeed, a light at the end of this dark tunnel we call the winter solstice. Or you could just go to Queensland for a few months.
3. Your head may go bang.
Though the research isn’t definitive, there are reports that cases of migraine are on the increase during the winter months. The swift change in temperature can lead to changes in the body that result in tension headaches (you know the ones where it feels like there’s a rubber band around your head?). Try some essential oils, a warm bath, or a big block of chocolate…I hear that helps anything!
4. Apparently your sex drive could take a toll, as well.
Who knew? Apparently testosterone plummets during winter. Maybe try getting cosy in front of a fire or finding a way to make ugg boots and a dressing gown sexy!
5. Finally, a light at the end of the wintry tunnel.
The winter solstice isn’t bad, guys! It might have you suddenly feeling like Vincent van Gogh (minus the whole cutting off your ear thing, hopefully), and you may just be inspired to tap into your creative side. While this isn’t a concrete finding, an increase in creativity during winter months is basically all about perception. When the chilly temperatures of winter force us to go inside and bundle up with a warm mug of tea and cosy blankets, we’re more likely to connect with others and as a result, inspired to create and to brainstorm new ideas. So…embrace that. It’s a GREAT time to get working on that book you’ve always been meaning to write, that blog you’ve been meaning to start, or that new social media channel you’ve been meaning to tackle.
Christopher is muscular and tanned but lithe, like most of the men around here. They work, physically, for most of the day, every day of the week. His hair is long and dark, tousled and unkempt, and his eyes are dark but dancing. He has that relaxed way of wearing a shirt with the top few buttons undone and the sleeves rolled up, exposing strong forearms and a brown chest, that is suggestive, but not on purpose. He swaggers gently, meaningfully, and takes his time to construct his sentences, tasting every word in his mouth, ensuring they’re the right ones. The words finally fire out at warp speed, defying the calm countenance from which they emit.
He then sees us, shrugs to his friend, and says: “G’day, are you guys from Australia? I’m from Brisbane.”
You see Christopher made a choice. A very distinct, clear choice to live his life a certain way.
The irony is not lost on me that I’m currently drinking detox tea whilst eating a chocolate (admittedly, it’s homemade and has a high content of cacao, but still…). But sometimes that’s life and it’s also business, right? Sometimes things are just topsy turvey or not quite as expected or a real clash of ideas and effort. But guess what? It doesn’t matter one little bit. I’ve stopped worrying about this stuff now. I’ve stopped trying to be perfect in my life, my parenting, my business. Because God knows it was killing me trying.
I do however, always strive to be my best at what I attempt and to give my all to whatever I’m doing, but sometimes life deals you broken arms (my son’s second in 4 months), absent partners (my husband is overseas for his second 3-month stint in 7 months), accident-prone pets (my cat had his second trip to the vet in 2 weeks – first a broken toe, now a laceration to his belly), or cloudy brains (I just can’t quite get mine into full-on work mode when it’s so warm). And that’s ok. As long as you roll with it, don’t act like a victim, and learn to alter your course a little to adapt. (I did a short video about this yesterday, with some ideas on how to adapt)
Why am I telling you this?
At an event I spoke at recently, a question was asked of me: “Does content matter?”
Hells yeah it matters! With a caveat…
Content for content’s sake is garbage and a waste of time. Content that is purely self-serving and sales-oriented is also icky. But content that adds value, educates, enlightens, inspires, motivates, challenges, raises awareness, absolutely fricken matters. And that’s what we should all be aiming to create. Content with an impact.
Over the years I’ve wanted to be many things: a showjumping champion, a dancer, an actor, a lawyer, a journalist, a food photographer, a dog breeder, a travel writer and tour operator. At one point I even wanted to just be a lady of luxury on a yacht. I’ve often found myself SO inspired by the place I find myself standing, or what I’ve just experienced, or who I’m with, that I seriously have considered big career-altering-life-changing shifts (CALC shifts). I am able to perfectly envision myself doing that thing daily, and I’m filled with joy and excitement.
My recent trip to SeaWorld – unexpectedly – filled me with that same sense of opportunity and desire.
A long time ago I made a pact with myself NOT to do any more of the things that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. I started this process when I was working in corporate, in fact. I was fortunate enough to have the ear of the CEO so I was able to manoeuvre my way into jobs and projects I loved. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t happen overnight (nor did I have to sleep with him – YIKES!) I had to do the hard yards first and prove myself. But once I had done that, and built a strong relationship with senior management, I was able to ask for what I wanted and, within reason, stop doing what I didn’t enjoy.
A lot of my friends who work for the government, or in corporate, or at schools think I’m ‘lucky’. They see the midweek lunches, the evening events, the retreats, the volunteering at school, and think I’m ‘lucky’.
I’m no hero. I’m no superstar. And I’m also not that ‘lucky’ in the traditional sense. (Heck – still waiting to win a raffle, let alone Tattslotto!)
It’s not perfect every day, but it’s certainly MY day, MY way.
In October I’m running a retreat. And it could be the very start of something amazing for you. I know how much I benefited in the early stages of my business from being immersed in the process of creating. Immersed in the business of business. Immersed in the fold of like-minded people. No distractions, lots of accountability.
If you would like to join me on this weekend – for 3 nights or just one day – please comment below or email me and we’ll talk about what it will mean for you.
This is not a big group retreat where you’ll feel like a number, get overwhelmed or flail. This is intimate and personalised. This is a place where you will achieve what you set out to achieve. I am fiercely protective of who I let into the fold, only because the wrong energy can upset the entire applecart. But I’m super confident that this is the right way to help the right people move forward with their business quickly and calmly, and move closer to that position of ‘lucky’.