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A letter to my past self…..

You're going to be OK.... trust me.

October 2016

Everything is going to be OK Jill. Over the next 2 years, a lot of stuff is coming up for you, but I need to tell you that you’re going to be OK.

Right now, you feel scared. You have so much going on, and you’re pretty much living on your nerves. That big smile that you show everyone is starting to fade, and the cracks are really beginning to show.

You feel so overwhelmed right now, and the stress, pressure and hurt that’s coming your way is about to ramp up ten-fold babe.

Today, you feel sad, you’ve been to the hospital with your Mum, your Sister, and your Step-Dad. The news you hoped to hear wasn’t good. It’s like someone has swept the rug from right under you. What just happened? How can your Mum go from being great 1 day, and coping with her Cancer so well, to the next when your hearing those words from her Oncology Dr.

She’s not having much luck, is she? You couldn’t make it up, when she fell down stairs and broke her bloody leg right after she got out of hospital. Plaster for the next 6 weeks. She doesn’t deserve this, none of you do.

By now you have been told she has up to 12 months to live. You also need to know that this isn’t the end of the story. Your Mum will do what she does best and fight this. You need to connect with your hairdresser Lorraine asap, and she will tell you all about holistic healing. This will open your mind and is a definite game changer for you guys. The next 4 months will be tough, and you need to listen to your body.

Take that time off work!

Seriously, you’ll end up breaking down in the office because let’s face it, the place is a friggin pressure cooker. Everyone needs something from you. You’re Boss, and her Boss have their needs, they want their pound of flesh and quite frankly, they don’t want to have to pussy foot around you. They will demand the way they always do. You are so desperate to fit in, but you’re drowning. Let me be clear… ‘THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU’ not really. They care about what’s going on for them. FFS, it already freaks you out that your peer group know more about the Business than you, your Boss also has long standing relationships with them, you don’t fit in to their world, so do me a favour, take the time off NOW!!

You do eventually, but by that time, you are a mess. Work is shit, the people are challenging, and even though you have tried your best, you will be let down, which will lead you to an even bigger challenge with work moving in to 2017.

The great news is, you do take that month off work, even though you let it get so bad before you do that you’re almost ordered to take time off. It’s great though, as you get to support your Mum by taking her in for her daily dose of radiotherapy. Yip, you guessed it Jill, she managed to convince the Dr’s to give her treatment. That’s the good news, the bad news is that this treatment is really hard on your Mum. She will struggle with it, so please prepare yourself for that.

Christmas 2016 is difficult for you. You feel under pressure, a lot of pressure to make Christmas special for everyone. You end up having 14 for Christmas dinner by the way. I know you have anxiety even reading this, as quite frankly you don’t want it, but it is what it is. You get through it…. Just! You’re going to get incredibly emotional on Christmas Day, like seriously emotional, and you’ll cry…. a lot, but you’ll do what you always do, and cover it up. No one will know.

I wished that you had already discovered Mindfulness, but you haven’t even heard of it yet, and meditation is something you think hippies and mega chilled people do, but this will serve you so well in your future.

It’s not all doom and gloom, and you’ll laugh loads and have lots of amazing moments over the next 18 months, but let’s not beat around the bush Jill, you got a lot of shit coming your way in 2017.

Have you started feeling sick when you see that your Boss is calling your blackberry yet? That will happen very soon. It’s not just her, it’s pretty much anyone. You will go to that ‘fight or flight’ place, straight away, you’re trying to think of your story, but because anxiety kicks in quicker than the shop tills on Black Friday, and you can barely speak, you ramble on and talk bollocks. Something happens to you when you need to speak up. Don’t worry, this won’t last forever.

Work is going to be a challenge for sure. Targets will increase, your boss will be on your back, in fact she friggin hates you from Jan 2017 until roughly May time. During this time, you will also be let down BIG time by someone very close to you. You’ll see it coming though, it won’t blind side you. It’ll hurt, but it will be a blessing, as this will really shape you, and lead you to where you need to be. You’ll want to help this person, you’ll want for them so badly to see things from your point of view, to have some self-awareness, but the truth is, they don’t, and they won’t. Stay strong, this will all happen for a reason, and you’ll see that soon enough. Hold your nerve girl.

You’ll lose that person from your life, and now is a good time to start to understand that you can’t fix everyone. Sometimes people have deep rooted issues, that no matter what you do, you can’t help them. This has nothing to do with you, and what you are doing to them, but everything to do with what is going on in their own life and head space. When they attack you, it feels so shit, but they have their own agenda, and will do what they need to do for them. Understanding this through time will serve you well.

It will be easier than you think though. It hurts you, and your family and when you hear your Mum sharing how much this person has really hurt her too, soon you’ll find it easier to let go of that friendship. You got to just accept that she will think you’re a bitch who screwed her over at work, but your reality is, she let you down, and threw you under a bus. You will never agree on this, so don’t waste your time. It’s done. Just make sure you have enough evidence, cause she’s coming for you. Forearmed is forewarned. Look I know it’s not your style, but trust me, you’ll need it for what’s coming down the line.

Ironically, for what will be a difficult time, you’re Boss, and Leadership Team will respect how you deal with this situation. You’ll have a huge site closure to Manage at the same time. This will come with its own challenges Jill, but you got this. Listen to your heart. Top tip, communication and documented discussions are key here.

The great thing about you Jill, is when this does happen, you find this inner strength from somewhere, and this is when you really start to rise and build relationships with others you never thought possible. Things eventually settle down, and just know that it all works out exactly the way it should.

The building will close in September, and you’ll relocate everyone. Yip, it’s happening baby! Of course there will be tears, the staff will be up in arms, there will be grievances, but you’ll handle it amazingly well. It’s going to be a bit of a slog, but this is your moment. This is what you’re good at, and my God, you’ll do a cracking job of this. Let’s face it, you don’t enjoy so much of the job, but the parts that you love is the people side. You’ll coach the team through the biggest thing to hit them at work for 16 years. You are the best person to take them through this.

The move is a success, and even though you have a lot of other shit going on in the background with that other work issue dragging its heels, you must stay strong. Your relationship with your Boss will be the best it’s ever been, as she now doesn’t think you’re a complete waste of space. You’ve done something that many others couldn’t do. Why? Because you have a natural ability to connect with people and take them on a journey with you. This is YOUR thing. OK, so your peer group know much more technically than you, but let’s be honest, you don’t like the job. I mean, how the hell did you even end up here? This wasn’t the dream. Right now, you have little confidence, and feel stuck.

You’ll have a big decision coming up in October 2017. You’ll take the opportunity for redundancy. You’ll make it clear that you want to leave, and this is THE RIGHT thing for you. OK it’s a little scary, and you’ll have a lot of self-doubt. You know you need out, but you worry that you’ll just go in to more of the same shit in another company. Ticking that VR box is the best decision you’ll make. You’re Boss likes you now, and she opens up much more to you. You share a moment with her, and she knows it’s the best thing for you too. Don’t be scared, the next 6 months are going to be Life Changing, in the most incredible and exciting way. But first, I hate to bring you more bad news, but you’re Mum is going to take a bad turn on Christmas Eve 2017. I won’t lie, it’s touch and go, but SHE WILL PULL THROUGH!

Christmas & New Year is hard Jill, but you and your amazingly strong family will do what you do best, pull together, and get through it all. The kids will still enjoy Christmas, because their Dad pulls out the stops. He’s great like that, bit like a swan he is, but you can tell he’s upset too. It’s not been easy for him either Jill, but he loves you and the boys so much. Over the past few years, you’ve had your moments, it’s been emotional, but he is fiercely loyal, and will do anything he can. He’s like any one, sometimes they just need reminded. Communication is key for you both. Keep talking, keep connected.

What if I told you he is the reason your life changes for the better in 2018? Stay close to him, reconnect and talk. It’s important that he understands how you are feeling over the next 2 years. I know, I know, you HATE showing your vulnerable side, you cannot bear crying in front of him. Listen to me now, this does not make you weak Jill. He knows something is up. He knows your distant, he’s a little scared to ask you, as he’s not sure how you’ll react. He doesn’t know entirely how to react, or even communicate with you, but know that he loves you and would do anything to help. He knows you don’t sleep. He knows that you’re worried sick. He knows that you are really vulnerable, and right now you’re not fully connected or present with him. He knows you’re taking your Mum’s prescription drugs (STOP taking those, they aren’t serving you) He knows you’re drinking too much but doesn’t know how to help you. He wishes it would all go away too. He doesn’t want to put any more pressure on you, by getting on at you, so he will say things like ‘It’s like a bottle bank out here’ hoping the penny drops. It doesn’t, you ignore! Also, going to the gym at 4:30am is not normal for you. I know you can’t sleep but speak try meditation instead. It will help you. You are confused, and lost right now, but you need to distance yourself from the things that are unhealthy and don’t serve you. You know this already, so make the right choices.

You get the news in Dec 2017 that you have secured redundancy. Great news but you are already dreading going in to another corporate role somewhere else. Right now, you’re rock bottom. Popping your Mum’s sleeping pills, with a confidence level of zero. You think you’re unemployable. You can’t even think about going for an interview. Here’s the truth…. You only feel sick because it’s not what you want to do. You don’t want to go back to that world. Honestly, you would rather do anything than go back, and eek your way through life. But with a confidence level of zero you don’t believe you have anything to offer. Yip, your anxiety is the worst it’s been.

Here’s the good news Jill. In February 2018, Daryl will give you book on holiday to read, it’s a self-help book. Bless him, what a guy. He obviously doesn’t find it easy to get the words out, and knows you don’t want to talk either, so he hands you the book. This is when your life will change. Don’t be scared, in fact, embrace it with an open mind. This is the moment everything in your life changes for the better.

You will knock back that new Corporate Role you’re offered, even though it’s more a money. Why? Because Daryl has noticed such a positive change in you, that he shows you support and encouragement in abundance. You turn to Mindfulness & Meditation. You don’t even know what that is just now, but guess what? This along with your journal will become your best friend. You are going on an incredible journey of self-discovery. It’s not all plain sailing, and your inner critic and ego will go in to overdrive. People will question what you’re doing. Some will say it to your face, and others behind your back, but give yourself permission to be OK with that. You no longer need to accept the stories you have told yourself or accept the negativity of others. Connect with what your heart craves, and what makes you feel good. This is when the magic will happen. Shut that shit down. It’s just noise. The outside noise? You don’t need validation from anyone. You’re a people pleaser Jill, but we are still working on that, you’ll connect with amazing ‘like minded’ people who will help you with that too. As for the inside noise…. These are just thoughts. You don’t need to act on them. It’s called conditioning, and you’ve been conditioned for so long that it just takes time and soon you will be able to rewire the brain with enough practice. You’ll enjoy this process so much.

You will understand that self-love is the best love. It’s not selfish. It’s the best thing you’ll do, as once you practice this, you’ll become so strong and connected with everyone around you. You will invest in yourself. You will part with money to do this, but you will recognise that this is more valuable than anything you’ve ever done before. You will then use this gift of yours to Coach/ Mentor and help others. You will serve people so well, that you’ll receive messages on a regular basis from Women & Men, expressing how much you have helped transform their life too. Yes, you heard that right, it’s not a dream, I’m not making this up. How do I know? I’m you! I’m you in September 2018.

You have a rough 2 years ahead Jill. It’s not all doom and gloom, but there’s challenges ahead for sure. You’ll cope the way you are supposed to cope. Every single challenge that you will embark on will be a lesson to learn. A lesson that will help shape the person you are about to become. You’ll ditch your Mum’s pills (thank god cause really, you’re not supposed to take other peoples’ prescription drugs girl) You’ll create and form new healthy habits. You’ll become much more connected to Daryl than you’ve ever been. You’ll be calmer with the kids. You’ll love, honour and respect your body from the inside out.

You’ll have everything you don’t have just now. Sure, you have the nice house, the clothes, the material things, but right now you are lost. This is exactly where you should be right now. I know that sounds shit, but you need to trust this process. This is all life lessons for you, that will shape your future. Life feels hard, and let’s be honest, in hindsight, you should have looked at this way before now. I think we can both agree that there was definitely a bit of PND after you had Eden. Even then you rode the storm, and instead of asking for help, you felt like shit, and weak. You don’t get any prizes for ploughing through it. Truth is, you’re hurting yourself.

You are an incredible human being Jill. You are strong, with an abundance of love. You cannot change many of the things that will come your way over the next 18 months, but my advice would be this. Don’t doubt yourself, you have got this, know that you have the power to make the changes you want to make. Investigate Mindfulness and Meditation (YouTube is amazing for this) Start connecting with people that will help you on your journey. Surround yourself with positive people who will lift guide you. Spend that money on a course. Cut the gym in half and switch it to yoga. This is great for the mind and the body, and you’re actually pretty good at it. Open your mind right now to the possibilities of ‘anything is possible’

Make self-love and self-care a priority, It’s not weak it’s the best thing you can do.

Lots of Love

You (In 2 years’ time) xx

PS – YOU ARE ENOUGH!

Originally published at www.jill-ritchie.com

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