Courage for career women blog

with Vanessa May

A year of reflection, rediscovery and brave beginnings

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This time last year I was preparing to launch my book.

I was excited, nervous, and anxious. I wasn’t new to writing having in the past blogged for Psychologies Life Labs, Huffington Post and Tiny Buddha.  But something was different – perhaps it was the physical form of a book or maybe it was writing for myself and not for someone else’s publication.  A part of me felt naked, secretly fearing rejection whilst hoping for connection.

On April 6th 2023, I had a small and intimate on-line virtual launch and was touched by the women that came.  I shared the 5 stages of the live courageously process: anchor, audit, accept, algin and act. I gave away a free book and I was asked a challenging question, “what part of the process was most difficult for me?”  I replied with certainty, “Anchor.”  You see it’s easy for me to abandon myself at my edge and focus on everyone but me. So anchoring in my truth, my intention, my vision, my confidence, my worthiness, my feelings and my needs is an on-going and everyday challenge.

Then I waited.

I busied myself with the associate work that I do for Global Warriors.  I co-designed and co-facilitated a new pioneering women’s leadership programme with them in the USA. I co-lead a leadership development programme in Gothenburg and several women’s leadership virtual programmes.  I worked hard and I gave my all and had some wonderful coaching assignments.

But for courage unfolding, I waited, I reflected, I stopped writing and I told myself I was just too busy.  I hid in plain sight, secretly hoping the women who needed to work with me would find me. It’s a lonely place when you hide but pretend that you’re not. My high sensitivity, coupled with post-divorce “it’s all on me” mindset and A type behaviours /expectations meant I pushed hard to make everything work and squeezed the joy out.

I don’t agree with setting goals in January.  It’s hard and it doesn’t align with nature.  Finally, I gave myself permission to explore my vision and hold off on the goal setting until Spring when essence pushes up and moves towards new signs of growth.  I went to Marrakesh for 4 nights.  I loved the colours, the simplicity, the clarity, and the earthiness.  I felt like I was coming home again.

Now I am ready.

I want to write again.

I want to write for women like me and you.

Real women.

What has this got to do with unfolding courage?

Courage is not the absence of fear, doubt, anxiety, sensitivity, or shyness. It is the awareness of it and being able to dance in relationship internally with all these aspects whilst anchoring ourselves in the real, physical form.

Right now, for me that involves the willingness to show up and be seen, to take steps and to do it my way whilst also being aware of my impact.  Instead of waiting and hiding, it’s the choice to step out, lead and adjust.   Courage is needed in my world to market myself, to make bold requests and to write from my heart not my fears.  And in my personal life it’s the courage to be open to what unfolds if I allow myself to be in relationship with someone new (something that can be hard when your heart has been hurting).

But without courage there is no movement, growth or learning.  There’s simply more of the same.

Why am I sharing this?

Serena Star Leonard from website alchemy reminded me when I was telling her how much I hate social media and marketing that if I can’t write what I want, market how I want and run my business my way, then what’s the point.  It’s true.

I and you have one life to live.

We know what feels right.

We know what we want.

We just get stuck in the what if’s.

But what if the universe was just waiting for one, clear signal?

What if we let go of the doubt and let ourselves dream?

What if we believed that what we want was achievable?

What if we accepted that each step we take towards what we want gives us new insight and learning?

What if we trusted our intuition?

What if we had faith in our hearts?

What if we created an emotional support team that enveloped us as we begin the journey?

What if ….

I cannot live vicariously through my clients’ experiences.

I cannot champion, kiss, and kick clients over their edges if I’m not willing to do the same for myself – it just feels incongruent.

So here I am.  Beginning again.  A year on.

The plan is to increase my visibility, to share my book and ask for reviews, to signal that I am ready and willing to walk with women as they come up to their edges and unfold their courage, one brave step at a time.

What’s next?

I will write and publish one blog per week.

I will write to editors and share my work.

Because writing is how I express my depth, my sensitivity and my heart.

And writing is what connects us.  It creates an in-to-me-see that lets you know you’re not alone and that together we can rise, advocate and step into the fullness of our becoming.

And if you are feeling right on your edge and seeking a breakthrough come and have a complimentary session with me.  We will connect, talk and explore.

Here’s what Karen said she got from her session. “I was left with an incredible lightness of being.  I did not realise how much I had been carrying.  I now feel that I can find a way through my troubles and not let life’s frustrations take away my joie de vivre.”  So if you or someone you know needs a breakthrough, please share this or connect directly with me.  Because one thing I know deep in my heart is we need more women to connect to their resourcefulness and their power and to lead from their heart with their head aligned in purposeful, supportive thinking.