I realise that I'm stating the obvious here, but building and running a heart-centred business innately means that your heart, your soul and your intuition are intrinsically interwoven into the fabric of your 'profession'.
As a soulpreneur that's really what we've consciously built for ourselves - a business that allows us to live in the way we want to feel, day to day.
But that also means that when shit really fu@$ing sucks, and your heart is being torn into a million little pieces, scattered across the floor and stomped on with steel caps your business becomes a potential casualty.
Open, emotive, empathetic people - and if you're in the heart-centred entrepreneur game chances are that's you - are even more susceptible to experiencing the full spectrum of emotion, from the highest of highs to the silt-scraping lows.
That's not a bad thing. I love that I'm a sensitive person; that I get to feel all the feels makes me who I am and, I think, makes me stronger and more empathetic and able to/open to connection with others.
But when shit does fu@$ing suck balls - big time, and for an extended period of time, it certainly makes things tricky.
Right now, I'm in a beautiful, blissful, joyful place.
Today I’m 35 weeks pregnant. That's 5 weeks, or 35 days, until this little miracle is due to join us out in the world.
Basically, We're getting to the business end of this pregnancy deal! Cue super excited and slightly nervous giggles, a frenzy of nesting activity, big time baby brain and a very charming pregnancy waddle.
Tomorrow I get to celebrate this little bubble of love with a blessing way-style shower that will bring together the beautiful and oh so important women who help me navigate my own life, and who will also help me navigate motherhood.
But my oh my, how different things were this time last year.
I am so incredibly grateful for every moment, for this experience, for the privilege and honour and blessing of this tiny little human because it wasn't that long ago I felt like I would never be here.
Some of you may already know that we had a fair bit of trouble getting pregnant, and this precious little bun is in the oven thanks to the wonders of modern medicine and IVF.
I recently found a blog post/journal entry/word projectile vomit that I wrote almost exactly a year ago - back when I was in the thick of hormone treatments, ovulation tracking, Lh level testing, mucus monitoring and all the rest of the 'fertility treatment' bag that has the potential to send you totally batshit crazy. Which is exactly how I felt.
It’s August 2015.
I’m in the middle of a big project for a corporate client, and after a successfully productive day in said client’s office I get in my car, turn the key and pull out of the car park.
Before I’ve gone as far as a single block I’m struggling to breathe. My chest feels like it’s turned to concrete, my lungs, like heavy stone walls are collapsing in on themselves. Sobs rip through my throat.
I don’t even really notice the tears, and probably snot, flooding down my face; all I can feel is this leaden, gaping hole in my heart.
It’s been sitting there, patiently waiting all day. Waiting for the privacy of my car, the anonymity of the afternoon traffic. It knows it’s got approximately 20 minutes of free rein. A long, slow wail of grief and overwhelm and fury and confusion and despair floods out and into the enclosed capsule of the car.
There’s something that needs to shift, to move, to break. There are walls and barriers within me that are starting to crumble and give way completely.
Exposed, raw, wounded, ravaged by sadness, grief, guilt. The devastation just floors me.
As I turn around the round-about a few blocks from home the sobbing slows. My breath catches in my throat as a wave of exhaustion and emptiness washes across me dragging with it the last few tears.
I scrabble to find the best option among the ‘well-loved’ tissues in the bottom of my handbag, wipe the slime off my face and take a few deep breaths as I pull into our driveway.
It’s the same almost everyday for weeks.
I feel like I’m grieving, but then I feel guilty for feeling that way. I feel undeserving of that emotion.
When there was never anything there, when nothing is actually lost, how can you justify the indulgence of grief?
When you are your own brand the concept of 'separate' professional and private lives is a bit of a myth, it's all one big, conjoined experience we call life and there's no way of disentangling the different threads within it. When I look back at that time and reread those words, remembering just how out of control I felt of my own emotional state, how desperate and caught and shattered, I really don't know how I managed to keep my business running.
If you know me you'll know I'm all about tangible takeaways in my blog posts, but today is different. All I can really offer is the one thing that a beautiful friend told me at the time, which may be the only thing that helped keep me sane, and that is to give yourself permission to feel the way you feel.
That 20 minutes as I drove home in the car was my sanctuary, my time to let it all out, and I think that if I hadn’t done that, if I hadn’t purged those feelings and got them out of my system they probably would have eaten me alive.
So let yourself feel it - the immense, soaring, joyful gratitude, and the ragged, hollow grief.
Lots of love