Welcome to Being Truly Me

Welcome to Being Truly Me – a place where stories and connections are made.

We all have our own story to tell, especially when it comes to our own business.  I’m in the business of blog writing, and creating bespoke blogs for female entrepreneurs.  I am in my element when I write, and my passion is to showcase your story, and get your voice heard.  Through your blog I can help you to connect with your clients and customers, keep them up to date with what you are up to, and share with them a unique insight into who you are, what you do, and why you do it!

I also write a personal journal blog, where you can join me on my journey along the road to healing, health and home & how connecting with writing has given me a new outlook, new energy, and a new focus.

 

 

7 steps to promote self-worth and personal growth.

Not so long ago, I found myself in a situation where I was I comparing my work and business to that of another.  Looking at their business, and the 10+ years of experience in journalism and content writing, it felt all too easy to fall into that pit of self-doubt about what I was creating.  Fortunately, as I was beginning to have these feelings, I paused for a moment to consider what I was doing.

I wanted to know where this self-doubt had come from. I hadn’t ever really experienced a situation of comparing my work to that of someone else’s before.

Looking back at my career, after graduating I took up a junior position.  The process of moving up the career ladder was accepted as the natural progression, following time served, experience and appropriate training.  This all felt completely normal. I would never have thought to compare myself as a junior member of staff to that of a senior manager, or expected to step into a role which demanded more of me than my experience or qualifications afforded.

What I have since discovered in the world of self-employment and starting a business is that this structure and hierarchy doesn’t really exist for those like me working as a solo enterprise.  Not having a peer group who are working at the exact same level as you, or working alongside colleagues who are striving for the same goals as you i.e. to get the next promotion, takes some adjusting too.  Being self-employed, you set your own goals, there is no-one to benchmark yourself against, it is all down to you.

So when out and about networking and meeting an array of business owners, although you may share the same interests, and have similar ambitions, everyone is at a different stage of their journey.  It is here I found that you can very easily begin to compare your business, your achievements and discoveries to that of another.

The biggest issue with comparison I have discerned since is that when you meet someone for the first time, or see their business posts on social media for example; you are only seeing a snapshot of them, their brand and their journey at that one moment in time. You have not been witness to any of what has gone before, and I can only imagine they may well have been where I am right now at some point.

Therefore comparing the beginnings of my business journey with that of someone with 10+ years of experience was never going to reflect well, because we are both at very different stages, and to put it in the words of Charles F. Glassman “using someone else’s ruler to measure your self-worth will always leave you short.”

For a time I certainly questioned my ability, and felt I fell short of what others may be expecting of me. But stepping out, being brave, and trusting my intuition and my writing style, I chose to believe my self-worth, and the contribution I could make as a writer.

This has come as a challenge, coming from a profession where skills are learnt, assessed and validated through formal academic study and practical assessment, where you don’t truly believe you have the capacity or skill to “do” your job unless you have undertaken a course and acquired the necessary certificate to prove you can.  Stepping into the world of self-employment, choosing to be creative and allow my business to grow organically learning as I go, has certainly required a definite shift in mind-set.

Turning to journaling when I stumble across a situation or experience such as this has been key to getting me back on the path, heading towards my goals and ambitions, and not getting distracted by what others maybe achieving.

I have been known to be a bit of list maker, whether it is a to-do list or a to-be list. Sometimes it’s a list of things that need to get done, others it’s little memos to remind myself to stay on track, and stay focused. Both I find really helpful in everyday life.

Whilst journaling I created some pointers, something I could refer back to if I am ever faced with a similar situation again.   My 7 steps to promoting personal growth and self-worth are a gentle reminder to pause,  and take a moment to focus, and celebrate personal success.

stones 3

7 STEPS TO PROMOTE SELF-WORTH AND PERSONAL GROWTH

  1. Go at your own pace, and be patient with yourself.

 

  1. Take each step with grace, gratitude and courage.

 

  1. Believe in yourself – only compare yourself with you.  Look back at where you started, and compare that to where you are now. Do not measure or liken your journey to someone else’s.

 

  1. Talk about your doubts, confide and share them with someone – a coach, friend or other business owner. Get some perspective!

 

  1. Note down and celebrate every success, no matter how small, it will inspire you to continue.

 

  1. Trust what you already know, trust your intuition, and hush the voice that tells you to stop or to give up.

 

  1. Accept that self-doubt might creep in occasionally. Take a moment to consider it, journal about it and keep moving forward.

 

This experience has taught me that success doesn’t come from others, it comes from within, and it’s good to give yourself a pat on the back, or a big thumbs up every now and again.  By creating this quick self-help tool to steer me in the direction I truly want to go, I know it will help to banish those negative feelings of self-doubt and wanting to compare my business and creative journey to those in the industry.

It’s all part of the discovery and journey of Being Truly Me, so that I can create the success and harmony I want in my business.

Until next time, stay true to you.

 

 

 

 

5 practical ways to help you rest & restore

Have you ever had one of those months where you pick up every bug and virus known to man?

Have you ever felt like you’re on some kind of viral rollercoaster where you get ill, get a bit better, get ill again, and so on?

I can total empathise if this has been you of late, it has certainly been me!

honey and lemonExtra tissues, paracetamol and copious amounts of lemon and honey have all been essential this past month.

I can now write about it, as I am back to my usual bouncy self again.  But for a while there I really struggled to keep it all going.  I was temporarily out of action and devoid of any creative drive, it was the pits!  I just didn’t have any desire to put pen to paper and journal or get on the laptop.

Looking back my energy was obviously needed elsewhere.  In fact what I truly needed was to protect my energy, conserve it, and use it to help me restore myself.

I completely lost my voice at one point, and with my son home on half term, this made life pretty interesting for a while.  Entertaining him, looking after myself, and keeping the house ticking along too, I remember saying to my husband, if I only achieve two things its happiness and clean pants!

So how did I achieve those two things?

I planned some playdates and a sleepover for my son at his grandparents, taking care of his need to play and have fun during his downtime from school.  I took the opportunity to stay at home one weekend instead of visiting family, which created some much needed space for me to rest (& not talk to anyone most importantly.)

Having the house all to me at the weekend was however quite odd.  I remember walking around surveying each room, making a mental list of all the jobs that needed doing, mainly chores, tidying, laundry; the boring stuff.  Then it dawned on me, what was I doing?  This was time for me to get better not satisfy my incessant need for everything to be spick and span!

And so after a few words (with myself) I decided I needed to be kinder and more forgiving of myself and I set out to do the following;

5 practical ways to help you to rest & restore

  1. Make a list of 5 things to do for YOU! (this was my list)

(Doing things where you can immerse yourself fully and be truly you can be so satisfying and fulfilling.  I find it really helps to create that uncluttered space to rest and relax.)

Read a magazine – I chose to read the latest edition of my Breathe Magazine. With articles about well-being, mindfulness and creativity it was real treat to simply sit and read it from cover to cover.

Bake – I love to bake and although my baking doesn’t always turn out how I planned when I am sick (weird but cakes just don’t rise as well!) it’s a hobby I really enjoy and feel totally relaxed when I’m focused on the recipe and the task in hand.  The added benefit is that I get to eat something wholesome and yummy as a result.

Meditate – I use guided meditation, as I am not yet very good or disciplined enough to do it by myself. I just need that bit of help and guidance. Whichever way, meditation is better than no meditation for me.

Go for a walk – We have some beautiful lakes and a canal to wonder along nearby, so a short stroll in the autumn sunshine was just the ticket.

Get crafty & creative – I picked up a sewing project I hadn’t looked at in months.  When I’m sewing I get so immersed in what I am doing I don’t stop to think, worry or do anything else (like look at my phone & social media) it’s like a mini digital detox, it’s bliss!

  1. Say NO

I am terrible, I really struggle to say no, and I do suffer that pang of guilt, that I may have upset someone if I have declined their invite, or need to change some plans I have made.  But for me, having space and some “alone” time was just what I needed to fully recuperate.

  1. STOP!

Sometimes we need to be told (well I do) to stop.

Once I do, I’m good at listening to my body and my intuition, but I do have a tendency to forget that is acceptable to stop, reflect, and take a breather now and again.

  1. Make YOU the priority

Step away from the dust, the crumbs, the vacuum cleaner and the ironing board (this is what I had to say to myself!) I demoted all the “jobs” to the bottom of the list and I gave myself a promotion, and put me at the top!

  1. Reach out for help

Whether its medical help or advice you need from someone, just ask.  Sometimes when you’re in that state of overwhelm feeling ill, or low ebb, it can be the hardest thing to do.  I knew I needed to check on a few things and reach out for answers to satisfy my own curiosity and to also help my recovery.

We all have our own ways of coping with that overwhelm when we’re not well, especially when we still need to function and even care for and support others.

These are just a few of the ways I discovered helped me, and I must say it feels good to feel well again.

I am also both relieved and pleased to report that I did manage to achieve what I set out to do.  My son had a restful and fun and happy half term, and I kept the laundry under reasonable control so everyone had clean pants to wear – result!

It feels great to be writing again, and now I’m back in the flow, there will be more from Being Truly Me very soon.

Look after yourself.

Be true to you.

 

 

 

Getting creative with writing

I  recently hit a bit of a creative slump, having written a small article for a local magazine, created several blog posts in short succession, and prepared a talk to give to a wonderful networking group I attend monthly. It was like I had expended all my words, and the locker was empty.

That and the fact that I have been struggling with my health a little, and with a head like cheese, it’s no wonder the words would not come.

The annoying thing of all is that when I am being creative and writing, I am being the best version of me, both in terms of health and feeling inspired to create more.  So it is a bit of a vicious cycle.

So formulating a blog post has not come easy to me of late.  I’ve a list of ideas as long as my arm, but none of them are jumping out at me, wanting to be written or finished.

However, despite this temporary glitch I was inspired to compose a verse or two about writing, the impact it has had on my life, and what it means to me.

The first scribblings of this poem where made in a magazine. All in pencil and in no particular order, just as they came to me. I wrote all around the boarder of an article about writing a novel – interestingly a life goal of mine to!

One of the things I love about writing that is not expressed in the poem, is how organic and spontaneous it can be.  It can catch me off guard and take me unaware sometimes, but that’s all part of the fun.  So here are a few words about what writing is to me;

 

What writing is to me………………..

 

Writing is my escape, but also my reality

It helps me to listen, to heal, and connect

 

Writing is my voice it can speak so much louder

Rise up and be heard above the noise that’s around

 

Writing is thought provoking, and quietly powerful

It can be emotional and sometimes profound

 

It’s that spark, an idea

A spontaneous thought

With my pen and a notebook

I can capture it all

 

The momentum of writing doesn’t always flow freely

It is sometimes a challenge but never a chore

 

Time can stop still when I’m writing and thinking

Consumed by the words, the story, and their meaning

 

It is a process that takes time and attention

But the outcome and feeling is always the same

 

It’s freedom and joy, and it’s wonderful to share it

To breathe life into stories, and to be your true self

 

Creating for others and sharing their journey

Their passion, their dreams, their message is real

 

This is my purpose to write and tell stories

To share, to inspire and help others too

 

These few verses are in a nutshell what I do. Helping women in business to tell their story, share their passion, and their value, so they can then inspire others.

Be true to your self and your story.

See you soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding time to blog

Well here’s the situation, it’s Thursday morning, I’m sat at the kitchen table (my happy comfort zone) and the laptop’s on.  I’ve just finished a piece of work for a client. The washing machine has beeped waiting for me to do something with it, the to do list is still to do, and  I’m running out of days in which to create a blog to post out.

This week has been a bit like the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good being that I completed all my client work, wrote a presentation for a meeting I’m attending later this month, had the opportunity to do some great stuff with my little free library and I networked a bit.  I’ve also been around to attend school stuff with my son (which I love!)

The bad is that I’ve had a stinking cold, felt utterly fatigued and fed up of not having the energy to go out for a run or get to places that I’ve really wanted to.

And the ugly bit, well maybe not so much ugly, but just displeasing to the eye. I’m talking about me, my red and sore nose, blotchy skin and achy bones.

So this week the priority to write my own blog sadly slipped to the bottom of the to-do-list.  The priorities were self-preservation, keeping warm, conserving energy, getting well, and honouring most of the commitments already made.

I used to worry what others would think, and feel disappointed if I hadn’t achieved my to-do-list, or had to say no to people.  Now I accept that some weeks everything falls into place, and others it just doesn’t.   We all have to make decisions about what needs our attention more, and what can wait.

So to sum up, I am not wonder woman. I am me. The whole world is not waiting for me, nor do I possess any super powers (sadly.)

This has been my week, and when I say it has been a bit like the good, the bad, and the ugly, I’m pleased to say it’s been mostly good.

So although this is not an official blog post, it is a blog all the same, and I feel glad to have shared it with you.

Stay true to you.

See you soon for the next installment from Being Truly Me.

 

 

Harnessing my power as an introvert!

When I decided this year to put myself on this road to self-discovery and personal healing I really had no idea where I was heading, or what business I might create. Was this naïve, maybe? Has it been intensely liberating and insightful, most definitely!

I had to write my own road map, create the route, and look for opportunities that would guide and inspire me along the way.

Looking back, I can honestly say that most, if not all the opportunities that have crossed my path so far were actually there all of the time.  They were just hiding in plain sight.

It transpired that these opportunities were with people whom I had met through networking over the past few years.  They were ideas I had seen and remembered, only to put them in the memory bank for another day.

This year I made the conscious decision to stop and to notice them, and consider how with their help and input, my life could become so much richer and healthier as a result.

Turning to herbal medicine to compliment my existing treatment for a chronic condition has been enormously therapeutic, and I have been in remission for nearly a year – which is just amazing!  Seeking out new ways to relax my body and mind through yoga and more recently meditation, has been genuinely inspiring, helped me to focus mt intentions and quiet my mind.  Asking for help and guidance through mindful coaching has also had a huge impact on what direction I am now headed.  Affording me the opportunity to ask questions of myself and look inwards for the answers.

So why didn’t I notice all these wonderful people around me before now? Maybe I wasn’t ready or maybe I was too caught up in things to notice. Either way, they were there quietly waiting in the wings, ready for me to call them on stage.

As it turns out, I am also bit of an introvert.  And on reflection my introvert tendencies may have also been at play here, without me truly knowing.

Naturally quiet and observant, I am a bit of a people watcher and deep-thinker. I know it takes me a little longer to develop a rapport and build trust with people, but I like to think I make meaningful and lasting friendships as a result. Making small talk and not wanting to say or do the wrong thing combined with a strong sense of self-reliance and a do-it-yourself-by-yourself mind-set, almost certainly contributed to me taking my time to realise and accept what was available to me.

Discovering more about my personality type has been fascinating.   Understanding what makes me with my introvert traits tick, has answered a lot of questions about me as a person now, and in my former working life as a registered nurse.

Nursing was the career I chose when I left college and one that I worked hard for.  I possessed all the right qualifications, and skills. I demonstrated dedication and commitment to serving those in my care, but it drained me of everything.

Whether I was working in a fast paced surgical ward, on a hospital ship in a war zone, or consulting with a patient to rehabilitate them back to work from long-term sick, I would always give it my all.  But at times I would become so overwhelmed, exhausted, and anxious, and back then I just put it down to the job.

I am sure some of it was the job, and I understand that’s life and work, but realistically it wasn’t a sustainable career choice for me, and now I know why.

It’s because I’m that person who is totally happy spending time alone.  I love nothing more than sitting quietly, thinking and creating.  I gain my energy from within my comfort zone and from having down-time, as opposed to being in large groups of people, or in people’s company 24/7.

So when I started to write and journal, this naturally meant that I was spending more time sat at my kitchen table (my comfort zone) contemplating ideas.  And it was here that I realised I had come alive, I could be me.

Blogging and writing for others in my business means that I now get to work one to one with people. I’m in charge, and I can set the boundaries, its my business.  I can take time to listen, think deeply, and quietly observe and gather information in the way I want to.  I get to be creative, write stories, and be part of other people’s journeys, and still have time to re-charge so that I stay well.

Harnessing my natural introversion I know will not only serve me and my family.  It will also serve my clients, and how I do business.  Knowing this means I am able to plan my schedule, allowing me time and space to regain my energy, so that I can live and work to my full potential, helping me to be truly me.

Are you in a business or profession that allows your true personality to shine? I would love to hear your stories, please feel free to share here.

See you soon.

 

 

 

 

Writing from the heart

This year I had the honour and privilege of creating and writing the words for a commemorative plaque on an very special bench.  The plaque on the bench was to be in remembrance of the life of my big sister.

The bench was going to be somewhere of great sentiment.  A place to go to alone or not. A place to go and sit, take a picnic, have a cup of tea, just somewhere to contemplate, reflect and take time out.

As soon as it was decided we as a family were going to have this plaque installed on a bench in a beautiful local park, it took me no time at all to come up with some words.  I somehow instinctively knew what message I wanted to convey, and what feeling I wanted the words to create.  I recall having a really strong image of how it was going to be.

This was quite early on in the year when I had only just begun journaling and posted only a handful of blogs.  But that intuitive response to creating the words for the plaque was instant.  I didn’t have to consciously think too hard, it really just came to me.

I have always blogged trusting my instinct and my intuition. I write what feels real, and I write from the heart, and that was certainly true in this case.

Last week I took some time out in the sunshine to go and sit on our bench. It is a favourite place of mine to go to, to recharge, and get inspired.  It must have worked, as later that same week I had a burning desire to write more of this poem, more of the words I had created for the plaque.

So with all the Sunday dishes around me at the kitchen table, I took out my trusty notebook after dinner and began writing, I couldn’t get the words down quick it enough. This was not planned or a conscious process, it was spontaneous, and here are the words I wrote;

 

A message from a beautiful soul………………………

 

Take a seat and be with me

I am here just not to see

Come rest your feet, and your mind

Enjoy the view and take some time

 

Share your thoughts and talk to me

I can help, just let me in

Feel my warmth, I’m all around you

I will follow and support you

 

To sit behind

Be at your shoulder

Just know I’m there

As you grow older

 

Forever young I will stay

Remember memories of yester day

Keep them safe and look back fondly

Go forth now, brave and boldly

 

Do not have fear

Do not have doubt

You have the strength

You’ll figure it out

 

Writing comes so naturally

But hidden deep from all to see

It’s time to flourish, set it free

It’s your time, to dream and be

 

I cannot call, mail or skype

Instead inspire your thoughts to write

Open your heart, open your mind

Believe in you, trust what feels right

 

Show your passion, be honest and true

The sky’s the limit, it’s there for you

Don’t put barriers in the way

Live, love, laugh and seize each day

 

Writing these words came as such a wonderful surprise, as it was so unexpected.  That’s what I love about writing, sometimes it catches you out.

So here I am sharing with you what comes naturally to me, it is no longer hidden deep, but definitely for you all to see.

Writing fills my heart, and sharing and telling my story and the stories of those passionate about what they do is now my work.

If you would like help to share your story, feel free to get in touch.

See you soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to hit the reset button!

How is September working out for you?

Is it what you planned or expected?

September is that month where everything feels new, from new school uniform, shiny new shoes, to fresh new starts and time to think about new intentions, goals and opportunities for the rest of the year.

I thought that from the first day of term when my son went back to school, that everything would fall into place and routine again. That I would feel refreshed rejuvenated and have the energy and drive to get up that morning, get blogging, set my actions, move my business forward, and generally rock the world!

In reality I just wanted to go back to bed after the school drop off and hibernate.

I felt bereft of money, spending throughout the summer holidays, and then school uniform and the like. Bereft of company, having the little man at my side for 6 weeks to make me laugh and smile and create a lot of noise. And generally knackered having decided it would be a great idea to run a half marathon the very last weekend of the school holidays, when you only have a miserly ounce of energy left in your body after being at home with a 6 year old all summer.

So the start of September has been a bit bumpy. But I wouldn’t have changed my summer for all the tea in china.  Only next year I might just need to adjust my expectations of myself, and plan better so that I don’t exhaust all my own resources.

But I do think September takes a bit of adjusting to. Whether you’re a mum at home like me, and suddenly the house is quiet, and you’re trying to get back into the routine and work your business around it again.  Or you now have time on your hands as all the children are at school, and you’re weighing up your options.  Or you’re a parent whose child is off to explore the big wide world, and leave home.

September has a habit of creating a void, and then what do we do with that void? Do we leave it, or do we fill it?

My void wasn’t unexpected, I knew it was coming, but it still felt a little odd.

I knew I had to replenish and restore myself that said I was frustrated that I wasn’t at the top of my game and getting everything done as I usually would the first week of the school term.  In reality it really didn’t matter.  Everyone had clean and ironed clothes to wear, a pack lunch for school and work, a cooked meal and a warm home to come back to. Happy days!

This week I have felt more like me again, and less like wanting to put my head on the table and go to sleep.  My energy and vibration feels more positive and I’ve been more proactive in my business and the projects I’m working on.

I went along to a fabulous group meditation session this week, something that I have really missed over the summer.  Taking time to be still, to focus on just one thing (as opposed to all the crazy multi-tasking we try and do every day of our lives) and to re-energise.  It was here where I realised after my period of readjustment and recovery following the half marathon that I could finally hit the reset button.

So September can officially start from now for me. I’m back in the game and ready to get creating.

Sometimes weeks and months don’t go to plan or as we had expected. And my “fresh start September” certainly took me a little by surprise, when it didn’t happen on day one of the new school term.

But I’m fine with that, because it really only mattered to me, nobody else noticed. Nobody else was worried that I hadn’t done the housework or written some blog posts etc. It was a scenario that I had created, but lessons have been learnt, and here are my top 3 reminders:

  1. Summer holidays at home with our children can be fun and totally fulfilling, but remember you are unlikely to feel refreshed and rejuvenated unless you have organised and taken some time for yourself in those 6 weeks.  Remember self care!
  2. Do not set unrealistic goals or targets to achieve in the first week of the school term. Take a breath!
  3. Remember September is a month like any other month of the year, and new starts and beginnings can happen at any time.  Make every month as important as the last!

Enjoy September and all that it brings to you and your family and I’ll bring you more from Being Truly Me very soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s it like to run a half marathon?

So the good news is I did it!  I ran (well occasionally walked to have a drink and chomp on a jelly baby or two) 13.1 miles!  I made it to the finish line and got my medal.

It’s only been a few days since the race, and I kind of feel like it was all a dream.

Did I do that?

Was that me?

Did all that really happen?

How did I manage to raise that much money?

It all feels very surreal, although up until a few days ago, my kneecaps were shouting at me – YES IT DEFINITELY WAS YOU, YOU DID JUST RUN A HALF MARATHON!! Let’s just say they felt as though someone had hit them with a sledge-hammer, but they’re all good now thank fully.

Throughout this whole journey, training and getting to the start line, I have been amazed by my body, and its ability to repair and heal itself,  even more so this week.  It’s incredible how after just a few days, the aches and stiffness have all gone and I’m steadily feeling stronger  each day.  Taking time to replenish and nourish myself, I think I am almost ready to go out for a run again soon?

Leading up to the race I had lots of little doubts in my head, worrying about being at the back, had I eaten enough, had I eaten the right foods to fuel me for the race.  And whether I was going to be the only one who had to walk a few steps every now again to have a drink, or event stop for a wee.  Just pre-race nerves I guess.

There was one thing I didn’t doubt though and that was that I could do it.  I knew I had it in my legs. I had put in the miles, and I  knew I could cross the finishing line.

That said, I thought when I crossed the finishing line I would be that person who collapsed in a heap and sobbed, instead I managed a bit of sprint finish, and felt totally elated.  For me the journey to the start line was way more emotional, than actually getting over it. Sometimes, when out training, all it took was a piece of music on the radio to come on and this would trigger the emotion and realisation of what I was doing. What I was achieving week on week, just adding that 1/2 mile to my long run, I was amazing myself.  The emotion would just flood out, and I would be running along and crying at the same time. It was at times like this when I would have a little word with myself, to say “dig in and get on with it girl!

So yes training was a bit painful, both physically and emotionally at times, but immensely liberating and brilliant, and I would do it all again.

I think I may have got the running bug. I don’t know right now whether I’ll enter any more races or want to run further.  But what I have found is a way of exercising that suits me. I love being outdoors with my headphones on, where its just me and the elements.  I’m now fitter and in better shape than I was in my 30’s too, which is great.

Whether it’s training for a half marathon, taking up a new hobby, or restarting an old one,  why not set some time aside in your busy schedule to do something for you.  Something where you can be truly you.  Make time, create some space, do it today and enjoy it!

Yes I had guilt going out for 2 hours on a Saturday morning whilst I pounded the streets, so that I could prepare myself for the half marathon.  Leaving my son and husband behind at home on a weekend, the only time I get to see them together, it wasn’t easy.  But guess what? They were fine, and actually they had super quality time together as a result.

And anyway it was my guilt, no-one made me feel guilty for going out running.  I knew I had the full support of my family, but sometimes we just don’t like to ask to have time to do something for ourselves, by ourselves.

I had all manner of reasons for running the half marathon, from wanting to get fit at 40, to raising money for a worthy cause, and to run in remembrance and love for someone precious to me.  But in doing so it also gave me time to be me, not mum, not wife, or daughter.  I used the time out running to think, to create ideas for my blog, to make plans, but also to listen to music, and have time on my own without any interruption.

My journey to the half marathon has been amazing, the support from friends and family and of course sponsorship has been overwhelming.  And before I started on this challenge, I couldn’t have ever imagined the kind words I would hear from so many.  Sat at the dinner table the evening after the run, my husband simply said to me “I have the utmost respect for you, we’re so proud of you.

What a truly amazing day it was, and something that will live with me forever.

So what could you do, for you? What’s stopping you taking some time for yourself, to be yourself?

Be brave, be you!

See you soon x

(My run was in aid of  Just for Hailey  all donations to SUDEP Action, where with your help they can strive to make a difference, and make every epilepsy death count.)

 

 

Letting go and finding “my thing.”

Have you every worried about letting go of something, because you feared the void it would create?

Have you then gone on to worry about what that void might feel like, or what you would do with the time or space it created?

I can categorically say yes to all of the above.

This was once me.

In the past when I committed myself to something, whether it was job, or some other task  I stuck with it, whether I enjoyed it or not.  I hated the idea of letting people down. If I chose not to continue, I would feel as though I had failed.  There was never the option of letting go or stopping, so I just kept on doing it.  I feared what would happen if I said no, or let go of being this way.

What would I do? What would I lose? Who would I be?

I worried about all of these things, although I may not have outwardly shown it.  I hid it well, or so I thought.  Most of the time though my body gave me away. At times of complete stress and overwhelm my health would deteriorate, causing me all sorts of problems, falling into a relapse with my underlying medical condition. So all in all, is was not a good place to end up, but I continued to let it happen. I believed this as my lot, this was who I was.

It’s odd really, I was never one to hoard stuff, as in belongings that is.  As a child I loved nothing more that clearing out clutter, and re-organising my bedroom countless times.  And now as a mum and home maker, I love clean surfaces, and a tidy and clutter-free home.

So why then, has it not been possible to apply these principles and practices to all the emotional stuff in my life.  I’m not really sure why it dawned on me this year of all years, but realising that I needed to take a look at what “letting go” was all about for me was top of the to do list. I knew I needed to de-clutter my head, and open my heart to new opportunities.

Holding on to things that are familiar, give us an identity, or a way of being, even if they may not be in our best interests, or even hurt us.  Sometimes its just the easiest path to follow.

Having suffered a tragic loss in my formative years, at an age when I was just beginning to develop my own sense of self and consider my hopes and dreams for the life ahead, these feelings were quickly parcelled up, shut down and numbed by grief.  For a long time I chose to hold onto this sadness and grief because it made it real. I feared if I let it go I might lose some attachment, or part of my life and all the memories with it.  I felt as though the pain and anguish should always be with me.

Working on changing my outlook and way of being, I now accept that choosing to let go of the past, doesn’t mean to forget, or lose out in any way.   The way I see it, it’s simply choosing to take another road.

I now travel along a different road in my life.  The old road still exists, but it is somewhat overgrown and wild now. It is simply enough to know that it still there, but can no longer directly impact me and the choices I make.

Taking charge of what is going on in your head and your heart, and deciding on what to let go of in my opinion is so much more challenging than de-cluttering your home and choosing to give away some belongings, even if they do hold some personal memory.

In reality letting go of emotional ties, job titles, and acquaintances, didn’t create a black hole of uncertainty, nor was it as dramatic as I had led myself to believe. Instead it created space to breath, and a positive place to be.  I found that 20 year old me again. I needed to be brave and open the box buried deep inside. I decided it was time I developed my own sense of self.

 

So what changed, how did I go about letting go?

I wrote it down

I started to journal, writing down everything and anything about the past and present.  By getting down on paper all the emotional burden I had been carrying around, my load suddenly became much lighter, and by doing so I created space to be more open to change, and new opportunities.

I found “my thing”

I set aside time for me. I set myself a physical challenge of getting fit and running a half marathon. I took up yoga and meditation, to help heal and clear my thoughts. I took up writing, and now this is “my thing.”

I chose to give my energy to my dreams and not my fear

For a long time I focused on the “ifs and buts” of life. I invested a lot of energy worrying about what might be, worrying about others difficulties and trying to help fix them.

Choosing to break out of that routine, to take a risk and let go, has been one of the best decisions.  Focusing my energy on my dreams and aspirations is now what it is all about.

There is still work to be done here, and I am never going to be the finished article, but being able to let go, say no, and be truly me is enough.

So what about the dandelion picture? Every year the dandelion clocks let go of their seeds so that they may flourish in new pastures. This for me depicts the process of letting go.  Letting go of one life to find a new path, and a new place to grow.

If you’ve had any expereinces of letting go, or would like to comment on this blog I would love to hear from you.

Stay tuned.

Charlotte x

 

How telling your story could be good for business?

Just over a month ago I stood up in front of a group of local business women at a networking coffee morning and introduced myself as a Blog Writer.

I won’t lie to you, it was pretty daunting, but at the same time totally exhilarating.  I was so excited about sharing my new venture with everyone, I was ready to burst.

I boldly set out my intentions to the group of women sat in front of me that day, as they all focused on me for my 60 second introduction.  I was on the look-out for opportunities to write other people’s stories, and to blog for female entrepreneurs. I wanted to help them get their voice heard.

It felt great to share my blog and my aspirations with such a welcoming and supportive group of inspiring women.  But what I hadn’t planned or prepared myself for that day was that someone in the group would actually ask me to write their blog – which is exactly what happened! (Note to self – always be prepared.)

So, how did this all come about? How did I know I wanted to write for other people?

Before my blog existed, I made the decision to focus my time and energy to discover the things that made me shine this year. I needed to re-examine the habits and fears and ways of working that were holding me back. So I did just that!

I recall telling this story to a small group of ladies at a workshop earlier in the year, where one of them suggested that I should blog about it, and the rest as they say is history.

Choosing to publish the blog on social media was terrifying initially.  I had opened myself up to be scrutinised.  I had allowed myself to be vulnerable. And given others permission to take a look in through a window of my life.

Despite the trepidation at first, feelings of happiness, pride and realisation that it was all ok soon flooded in, with messages of support and comments about the blog that made me only want to do it more.

Telling my story got me thinking about all those ladies with whom I meet up with on a monthly basis at networking events, and how each and every one of them must have their own unique and personal story about their business.  Whether it’s a story about where the passion and energy originated to strike out on their own, or what makes them, their service or product different to any other in their field.  I instinctively knew I wanted to be the one who would look through the window of their life in business, and write about it. I wanted to be their voice, to help tell their story.

Why is story telling important to business?

A few weeks ago I was at a local ladies function.  Following the guest speaker and a bite to eat, I got talking to a wonderfully talented lady about her business, why she loves it so much, and gets the results she does.  We talked about our own personal journeys and the challenges and changes we have faced along the way.  Then she said something really interesting, she said “but I don’t have a story to tell.”  

Her comment stuck with me, and I get it. When you say your story out loud it may not sound much at all to you.  But when you put those thoughts and experiences down on paper, they are real, they are honest, and they have true meaning.  They can serve to  inspire others.

I read a blog post by Sir Richard Branson recently, where he positively encouraged story telling for entrepreneurs, and not be afraid of telling your story, as it helps others to understand what you are truly about.

Telling your story is an opportunity to create an intriguing narrative to inspire your customers to buy your product, attend your workshop, or use your services. And blogging is a great way to deepen that connection with them and build their trust.

My ambition is to step into the role of a story-teller and blog-writer, and be in the privileged position of writing for other female entrepreneurs to showcase their stories, about their businesses whilst being true to their values.

If you would like to find out more about what Being Truly Me can offer you and your business blog, I would be delighted to hear from you, and help you to craft your story.

So what’s next? Letting go of that “supposed to be” feeling. Letting go of fear, and the need to fill every void in life.

See you soon

Charlotte x