It happened in an instant. Seven months ago today my world ended. Metal crunched and suddenly my life was changed. What was a wide open year January 27, spun and convulsed and withered into a dimly lit room where I fought to make sense of what just happened.
I love words. They have been my lifelong friends since I discovered the universes they opened. But my brain and eyes could no longer focus or concentrate, and they swum in front of me into a meaningless puddle of letters. I would try and hold even basic conversations, but after few lines, the words I knew were there, vanished into the mist that had taken over my brain.
To make matters worse, my wrist was broken with tendons torn and I could no longer hold a pen or a paintbrush… or even a toothbrush. The business I had worked so hard to build, I lost. It vaporized along with words and writing and walking.
I’m incredibly grateful for the progress that has been made, but I still have a very long journey ahead of me and many of my injuries may mean permanent life changes. I’m still grappling with the loss and the harsh truth that what was easy before is now hard. Some of it very hard.
In that dim room, I faced a decision. Give up. Or get up and fight to get my life back as much as I possibly could. Shut down or show up knowing if anything affects my outcome, it is my choices and my attitude.
I lost a business I loved. But I could build a business I loved even more.
So if I was going to start over, I decided to make it count. My thoughts swirled and thinking in straight lines was impossible early on. (Some days it still is a struggle to be honest.) But thinking in straight lines is just one type of thinking. Leaning on intuition is another. And where the analytical was incapacitated, I forced myself to lean into the intuitive.
Sometimes endings are only beginnings in disguise.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Just between us and our coffee cups, OK?
I am a terrible business blogger. Sputters and starts and silence and then more sputters. I tried writing all the pinnable content and blogging “like a boss” and crafting my expert persona with just the right phrases and words.
The content I created wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t me. It was my head, largely devoid of my heart.
Dealing with this head injury made that point glaringly obvious. And true to my INFJ self, if my heart is not engaged and it isn’t deep down authentic, I get stuck.
This morning I am watching the sunrise of a newly refined dream dawn around me. There are things I am going to be doing very differently. This new online home of mine is one of them… The one you are at with the wide open doors and the invitation to come in, put your feet up and breathe… Come find courage for your creative soul, find strategy for your story and community in this space where wholehearted meets whole-brained™.
When I lived in Africa, our whole project changed when I stopped merely doing what I was supposed to as a good nonprofit leader. Quarterly stats and facts and newsletter reports filled with faceless numbers and sterile information. When I stopped merely reporting statistics and started stewarding the story that was unfolding around me every single day, our global community increased over tenfold in engagement in a matter of weeks.
The last five years in America, I have been trying to do what I was supposed to as a good creative business entrepreneur. I took the courses and read countless articles and signed up for umpteen seminars and tried everybody else’s strategies on for size. And they led me right back to wrangling piles of facts and stats devoid of story.
That my friend is changing. I’m committed to create targeted content that serves your needs as a creative brand or business. Some of that content will live in the free resource library, some of it will be showing up as courses and some of it will be right here on the Story Matters™ blog.
But I am even more committed to stewarding this story in a way that builds a place for community where we all rise together, thrive extravagantly, live wholeheartedly and build brands that matter. It is whole-brained and wholehearted.
You can be doing all the “right” things and still completely miss living out of what is in your heart. Businesses that thrive and leave legacies are not just about metrics and measures, they are about people and purpose.
If there are things that you are doing (or ways that you are doing them) that are there simply because someone told you you should, perhaps it is time to step back and check in not just with your head and best practices, but your heart and practices that are best for you.
I am SO glad you are here friend. So very glad. I look forward to sharing this journey together and getting to know you along the way. The journeys that matter most always start inside us. You have permission to embrace that process. And I am here to cheer you on in any and every way I can.
Ladies, instead of having a big launch party about me, I thought we’d make all about YOU and YOUR AWESOME. September 4-7, 2018 I’m throwing a social media party (ahem, challenge) because when we truly take ownership of our “awesome” (a.k.a. gifting, super power, calling, purpose, talent), it then empowers us to serve our community and clients in profoundly deeper ways. It starts with a commitment to own our own awesome gifts and stories, while celebrating the awesome in one another. Will you join me? Read all about it and sign up here.