I’ve gone through 2 years of BIG life changes. In no particular order here are the catalytic events of my life over the last 24 months or so: My dad died, my Grandma died, I broke up with my business partner, I sold my house, I built a new house, I lived with my mom, my entire team at work changed, I moved offices twice, I’ve lost and then gained back 30 pounds, and have become what some call spiritually awake.
Now, I haven’t gotten through all of this on my own. I’ve been masterful at creating communities of people that can help me navigate this life. My motivation for writing this blog is to encourage everyone to put together a support team. These individuals range from Astrology Experts to Therapists. Here is how each and every one has helped me during different challenges (and celebrations).
Find a group of peers that can listen while you bitch about your business.
Being a Solo-Entrepreneur is both the most AMAZING job I’ve had and the ABSOLUTE WORST job I’ve had. Sometimes both of these experiences hit me on the same day. Finding a group of peers that have experienced the same ups and downs that I have was so inspiring. This group of women business owners have been getting together on a monthly basis for 2 years now. We talk about everything from our mom-guilt for needing to work all the time to where to find resources about finances. It is vitally important to find like-minded people that you can email your resignation letter to and not really mean it.
Calling all my fellow book nerds!
I LOVE books. They are my comfort food. Just the idea of sitting down to consume a book and read can relax me. My goal was to create a group that existed of book-loving ladies like me. I found someone to help me – she invited half of the group and I invited the other half. Developing new friendships over a shared passion is actually really fun! I’ve been challenged to read books that I otherwise wouldn’t have chosen and thoroughly enjoy the conversations that are inspired each month. Everyone needs a bookclub (or wine night) in my opinion. Find a group of people that share the same passion whether that be cycling, doodling, cooking or even politics and join it – I promise you won’t be sorry. If a group doesn’t exist – create one!
Reading the stars.
Who knew there were so many answers up there? Those who pray to God do (no, I’m not an atheist but I don’t find much comfort in prayer). I had my first reading in February 2016 and haven’t looked back. The synchronicity in what questions I have to where the planets are aligned provides an unexplained guidance. The comfort in an energetic explanation or looking inward for answers has become a staple for me. I’ve begun some (beginner) tarot readings for myself and use both astrology and tarot (among other things) for self-discovery. Meditation has also become an important part of my day. My dad used to call it “taking a break.” I have begun to understand that silence and listening to my inner thoughts is one of the most important activities I can do for myself to stay sane. All this woo-woo is really grounding for me. My advice to everyone on woo-woo: embrace the unexplained.
Those deep, dark beliefs about yourself.
Okay – if you don’t buy the any of the above recommendations for creating support for yourself it may be time to admit you need to talk to a professional. I’ve been in and out of therapy since I was 9 years old when my parents separated. At first as an adult, I was scared to admit that I was seeing a therapist to my friends and family. I’d get the response of, “boy, things must be really bad” or “how depressed ARE you?” I went in a few years ago not because I was depressed but because I was scared of Ebola and needed to understand why my brain tried to trick me all the time. (It’s called anxiety, and it sucks.) I’ve been chatting with a new therapist more recently about why I can’t seem to love myself. We’ve been peeling apart the deep dark beliefs that we all make up about ourselves when we are young. Everyone has them – it’s only the lucky few that admit it and try to dismiss them that are really doing the work of generations. I’m working hard not to shove my beliefs onto my kids. Bringing all of those deep dark beliefs to light allows you to start releasing them. You may want a therapist in on that conversation.
As I approach 40, my friend group is morphing once again. I moved into a great new neighborhood and have found some really beautiful people to surround myself with. My daughter plays hockey and I’ve met some phenomenal families that I get to spend many hours with during the winter. What I love about making new friends is that you get to share what you choose to share with them. I grew up in a small town, married my high school sweetheart and am still here raising my family. There are a lot of people that I see on a daily basis that knew me as a mouthy teenager, or an insecure twenty-something and these new friends know me as a happily married thirty-something year old mom that enjoys good conversation and good beer. The friends that I carried with me through my school-age years and my early adulthood are still a vital part of my life and I love them dearly, but they still sometimes see and know parts of myself that I’m ready to let go of. Sometimes they are a mirror of who I was. I’m ready to see reflections of who I am becoming.
These are the people that you’re stuck with. You may as well make the best of it. Setting boundaries within a family unit may be the most difficult task I’ve tackled. My immediate family gets to see all of my craziness and loves me for it (most of the time, right Jason?). The rest of my family only gets to see parts me – whether I like it or not. What I’ve really noticed is that when you try to change yourself, a system really tries to hold you back. Even those that love you and have loved you forever have a hard time with change. Find people who you can talk with about your family system and help you remove yourself from it so you can see it more clearly. Including your family in these discussions and how you want to change will only make those relationships stronger. These are some of the most difficult conversations I’ve had, but also the most meaningful.
Okay, okay, that’s not all.
I’ll add that during these last two years I’ve written more, really fell in love with self-help books and self-discovery, and have begun to learn how to take care of myself instead of always taking care of others. Feel free to reach out if you want to discuss any tools or books that have really changed my life. Otherwise live on, friends.