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Vulnerability and long post alert!! I wrote this blog as a gift to myself to take off some of the pressure I've been feeling lately.
Monday 1st February 2016
About 14 months ago I contemplated ending my life. Deep down inside me was a whisper that told me “you are meant to try and deal with this stuff and share it with others” I think that voice was my true self the part of me that knew life wasn’t meant to be this way but I will truthfully tell you that I didn’t want to listen to it or deal with any of the pain I felt.
But it pulled me up from the ground and from that moment on without even realizing my joy hunt began.
Here almost a year since my blog began – and my intention from the beginning was to be me and to be authentic even if that was scary or felt like weakness- my confession today is that every day we all have to hunt for our joy, everyone including me. It’s not that you catch it once and then sit back basking in the glory, it’s a full time job. We live in a society that can sometimes make you feel like you have to portray a perfect image - something I was always blindingly aware of as far as body image is concerned but I’m realizing more and more now how easy it is to slip into that habit with all areas of life and for the last few weeks I’ve been really feeling the pressure. This morning to be honest I felt like rolling back under the duvet and staying there forever.
But what I have absolutely learnt is that we have to follow our joy. If we don’t we’re letting down everyone we encounter, ourselves and this gift of life we’ve been given.
One thing that definitely doesn’t give me joy is being “fake” and like I said it’s so easy to fall into showing things as perfect in fact it’s often encouraged when you are growing a new business or trying to get media coverage "fake it till you make it" approach. For me with a new book out, off to L.A in a month, creating a new coaching and speaking business, writing another book. It would be easy to big it all up and let you think that I have everything sorted.
It’s true that my life is full of many amazing things and most days I feel content and so full of love for life but it is also true that in the last few weeks I fell into the trap of feeling the pressure and like a bit of a failure if I was to confess the truth which is …another deep breath…the business side of it is hard.
This is not a ploy for sympathy simply the truth. My experiment clearly showed me what I’m meant to do. When I receive messages from people who have read the blog and say it’s made a positive difference to their lives, when I stand on a stage and speak and see people tear up or move forward on their seat as they make a realization about their own lives, when I come off a coaching call and know that client is moving forward, when I stretch with the runners after a run club session and I see that they believe in themselves a little bit more, when I hear my children talking about how they control their feelings and the power of gratitude – that’s when I know what I am here to do.
I also get great peace sitting at my laptop, from my family, friends and being outside and sometimes I wish I didn’t have this burning desire to reach all corners of the world.Sometimes I wish that I could rest where I am. To be content with my lovely running clubs and not have this “knowing” that I am meant to follow my destiny (sounds serious doesn’t it but it’s true) and keep sharing my experiences with as many people as possible.
I am self-employed which as any entrepreneur knows means I have no guaranteed income and the place I am right now is one I’ve read about before in the journeys of almost every hugely successful entrepreneur when there is far more going out than coming in and where it almost seems as if there won’t be anything coming in to go out. When sometimes all I need to do create a website, promote the book, earn to do these things pay rent, pay bills… This is the time when I feel a bit like a swan appearing on the surface to be gliding yet frantically paddling beneath.
Today as I woke feeling teary, anxious and overwhelmed as I thought of all I needed to do, I knew the best gift I could give myself and everyone that reads my posts is to let you know that there is some frantic paddling going on. I could stop, I could give up but I wouldn’t be following my joy.
A good friend of mine and coaching mentor today reminded me that the reason I’m meant to do what I do and her words “sharing your struggles is what gives you credibility” and right now on this journey I’m on, this is a struggle I’m sharing with you now. But like all of the struggles that have gone before it will pass and when it does this will seem like a dream.
I feel so lucky to be here in a place so far from where I was in December 2014 and to know that once I follow that sparkle and keep on doing what I do from a place of giving not for glory then I am on the right path and will get exactly where I know I’m meant to go.
So no matter what is going on with you right now, no matter what struggles you are facing know that it will pass and that like me if you go back to basics and remember that all we have each moment is a choice about how we feel and react to whatever situation we’re in.
There is no real panic, everything happens when its meant to and when it feels really hard like it did for me the last week or so it's usually time to take a moment and see what you can do to change that.
The joy hunt continues and it is everywhere all around us and within us if we take the time to stop and look.
P.S As I read what I wrote here I had a massive "aha" moment - new blog about that tomorrow!