Let's begin. Or not.
“If you don’t want to begin again, stop quitting.”
Wise words. If only it were that easy.
Often, when I don’t know where to begin, my best approach is to begin at the beginning. The beginning of this chapter, for me, is the beginning of the pandemic. It’s the tale of how I kept running my business during the pandemic, but that this involved tearing it down and building it back up again. I haven’t known how to write about that, so I didn’t. At the same time, I missed writing. I missed my blog. But, every time, I’d try to jump in again, I couldn’t find my way back. This post is me putting words down, so i can simply begin again. So, back to the beginning …
When the pandemic began, I went completely quiet, with relief, for about two weeks. So many of the daily stressors of building a business became irrelevant and completely out of my hands. I felt more peace in those two weeks than I ever had in my life.
It also brought to light that my life had become filled with “should’s”, “must-do’s”, and an unquestioned list of all the things I had to do. None of which I enjoyed in the least. However, I had become so accustomed to doing things that I didn’t like, that I stopped noticing my distaste and filled my 10-hour days with them, wondering why I felt miserable much of the time.
Most of these things were me pretending to be an extrovert. I got this! I can do it! Nothing’s going to get me down!
That was me following the advice of the business coaches I found on-line and trying to do what they said to do to build a successful business.
Many of these things either sucked my energy by doing them or by avoiding them. Mostly, I felt like a failure because many strategies didn’t work for me, or I simply couldn’t sustain them over time. I could create projects and launch them, but so many of these projects were left abandoned because I couldn’t keep it up on a daily basis. Social media is a great example of this – I love creating the visuals and deciding what to say, but I simply can’t keep it up every day. I have started and stopped so many times.
Cue the feelings of hopelessness, failure, despair.
Back to the early days of the pandemic … that two-week reprieve coincided with so much silence in the world – no planes, no traffic, no nothing. We were all there. No need to explain any further. I reveled in it. I realize this is privilege in action, but I finally had a mandated break and time to reflect.
When things finally started to slowly pick up again, I found myself in a huge brain fog. The outside world offered no clues as to what was next for all of us. On top of that, I couldn’t string two sentences together. I don’t know if this was an early, undiagnosed case of Covid or stress about the state of the world, or what. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I wrote many things that didn’t see the light of day. My blog ground to a complete halt.
Also, around that time, I found I couldn’t tolerate what I once invited into my life. Social media made no sense. Inspirational people I had once followed, I unfollowed. I stopped consuming anything to do with coaching, self-help, and business. Full stop. Couldn’t do it. Everything that I had filled myself up with became a complete and total “No!”.
The only thing I could turn to was Astrology. Several years ago, I had immersed myself in Astrology, learning how to analyze charts and provide guidance through those charts. But, this had fallen by the wayside over time. But now, it seemed to be the only thing that made sense to me. Rooted in ancient history, astrology seemed to have some sort of endurance. It had a structure that didn’t depend on what the world was doing. It continued to exist with or without the pandemic. Astrologers had even predicted that 2020 was going to be a year of “no hugs”. They didn’t know what that meant, so they didn’t predict a worldwide pandemic, but they did predict that we wouldn’t be hugging. Go figure.
As I dug through the astrology world, I came across a relatively new development in the field – Human Design. Human Design is an archetyping system, based on Astrology, the iChing, Chakras, the Kabbalah and a few other philosophies.
Along with Astrology, Human Design provided a way forward. Both of these fields require you to suspend your disbelief for a moment. This is something I willingly did because the information I uncovered lit me up. Somehow, in the dumpster dive of the pandemic, I felt the most alive I’d felt in a long time. I felt seen, validated, and I could see a path forward for myself that didn’t involve doing things I hated all day long.
Back to our original question, How do I begin again? How do I integrate this into my business? How do I not sound like a whacko? What is my business evolving into? Truthfully, I don’t know. I started to describe it as Practical and Magical Tools for Career Transitions. I’m still working some of that out.
I wrote this to create a bridge for myself. I think I needed to begin at the beginning so I could give myself permission to emerge from this cocoon I’ve been in. It’s time. It’s a little trite, but it does feel a little like that butterfly emerging from the gunky mess of the cocoon.
In the words of Joni Mitchell, “Only a dark cocoon, until I get my gorgeous wings and fly away. Only a phase, these dark cafe days.”