I sit on my well-worn leather chair in pre-dawn darkness. Outside my living room window, last night’s snowstorm has covered our neighborhood with a crystalline-white blanket and frosted evergreen trees an icy hue. I love the muted silence after a snow.
The stillness reflects the settled-in feeling I have wrapped in my cozy comforter, laptop propped on knees. I’m blogging after a long hiatus. See, writing settles me straight into my heart, bypassing my mind. In this quiet morning, it’s my heart that needs to speak.
Vulnerability is the very basis of our outward success. It has to start there. And I’ll be the first to say I’ve forgotten this the last several months. Tweet this tidbit!
You may know the story of how Power Chicks started; the SparkNotes version is I reached out to women for support in growing my own business. A community of entrepreneurs flourished, infusing the air with energy, excitement, and an empowered “go, girls!” vibe as we created meaningful work and lives.
But over the last few months, what sprang from a sense of being real, being connected, giving and lending support, morphed into something else for me: A feeling that being a “Power Chick” somehow meant I had to always be up, successful, inspiring.
Which led to this craptastic mindset
Making dreams come true, building strong businesses – c’mon, let’s be real. It’s hard work right? It requires focus. Strategy. Determination. A friggin’ amount of elbow grease, liberally applied.
Now, these things are all well and good. Work can be a lovely thing! But for me, well, the idea of successful entrepreneurship and heading up this community got turbo-charged into:
- You should be a rock star! A kick-ass success! Inspire others with your positive mojo! (Three exclamation points later, I need a nap.)
- You can’t express weakness – that’s not the Power Chicks’ way (whatever that means).
- You should be more successful – work harder and longer! (Grab mental whip and flail arse. In other words, kick ass.)
Ouch. How cruel we can be to ourselves!
You can imagine how this haranguing impacted me. I grew more disconnected from myself, less flexible in my thinking, unhinged from my heart, and certainly less willing to share openly with you. No surprise, over the last few months I’ve…
- Stopped blogging even though writing’s a huge passion and the best way I connect with others
- Stopped speaking at Power Chicks events despite the fact that sharing my real-deal self sparks others’ hearts
- Allowed my professional and personal relationships to languish for lack of soulful conversation
I careened into year’s end, just last month, exhausted as hell. I felt like quitting. Giving up. Or, at the very least, hibernating in bed all winter long with comfort foods like chicken pot pie followed by chasers of steamy hot chocolate.
Instead, I did minimal work and gave myself a break while engaging in a new job: taking good care of myself.
- I joined a yoga/meditation/chakra class (formerly classified under “too woo-woo”).
- I took copious bubble baths with ruby-red candles
- I slathered heaps of lavender-scented lotion on my skin, parched from said baths
- I pitched a business model that felt suffocating
- I sat in the middle of not knowing what the hell – or even if – my business would survive
- I released an important relationship
- I opened my heart to friends
And I began to soften, ever so slightly
I got quieter, felt less pressured. My intuitive wisdom whispered now and then. I released a tiny bit of my expectations around my income, my business success, if others perceived me as “powerful” or not. I reconnected with myself in small and subtle ways.
Energy and excitement around my work flickered.
What’s the “why” behind what I do?
Then last week Tara Gentile, a creative business coach, posed an important question to me and others participating in her 6-week program for entrepreneurs. She asked us to ponder our businesses in a larger sense – our back stories, the big visions, the “Why” behind what we do.
We were to write (did Tara say write? My creative heart swooned!) about our visions by answering the question, “I believe.” Here’s what emerged.
- What lights our inner fire and brings us most alive can serve and support others
- True power begins at our core – tender, vulnerable, wise. Only then can it blossom brightly into the world
- We need more women willing to lead with intuitive strength and grace
- Showing up with integrity and honesty allows others to do the same. This simple act can change the world
- We each define our own version of success (Tweet this tidbit!)
- Befriending our natural fears allows us to move through them
- Compassion and self-acceptance open us to our deepest power
This vision supports my work with Power Chicks
The words arrived in a flurry of bright-white insight, pure as snow. Inside, I felt as deeply centered as I do right now in this soft leather chair. There was no striving, no stress, no strain in those words. Just a sense of solid embodiment around what really matters – and an invitation to learn more about how we might truly open up to power in all its various aspects.
I certainly am willing – no, yearning! – to learn. And I’d like to share the journey with you. I sense our community here may deepen, feel more substantial, become more heart-centered. Will you come along? Here’s how to start.
Explore your own deep vision
Write a blog post. Simply start, “I believe…” and let whatever comes, come. It doesn’t have to sound a certain way or be just so. Embrace your brave self, let your goody-girl go (blow her a kiss) and open your heart.
In your post, include a link to this one. That way, we can find you and read your vision. Linking here also creates roadmap for others to read this invitation, and share their own visions.
Like what you read? Don’t miss a post by subscribing to the Power Chicks blog today!