A personal story about struggles, vulnerability and the subsequent learnings that have proven to be gifts that will enrich my life forever.
I didn’t know how to deal with this. I’d previously powered through various health challenges, moving countries and making a new life, as well as all the usual professional and personal challenges. My magic mojo had always seen me through, always looking at the bright side and seeing opportunities everywhere. Who was I without my mojo? I felt pressure, from me, to still be ‘jolly’ Jules, to put on a brave face, that’s who I was, wasn’t it?
I ended up seeing the Dr, due to severe whiplash, and he did the worst thing possible, he was kind. Next thing, I was sobbing, full-on snot and tears, telling him everything. He signed me off work, even with my wailing ‘No, I can’t, I’ve far too much to do, that’ll just add to my stress!’. He told me to take some time, tell work to bugger off, be kind to myself, talk to my friends and there was other support if I wanted it.
That was the beginning to finding a new ‘me’.
- Once I admitted how things were, first to myself, then to my friends and colleagues, most people were overwhelmingly supportive and understanding. Not everyone was. I found an upside to my lack of ‘niceness’ and my fundamental hunger for ‘positive energy’, it gave me a clarity and focus that I’d not had before. I had less patience and energy.
- I chose the people and situations that added value to my life, some stuff had to go. Need made me ‘brave’ – the focus I learnt has stayed with me, my life is the richer and more fulfilled for it.
- On the flip side, kindness and support came from some unexpected places and people (cue more tears) – these new relationships are, today, are enormously valuable to me.
- I’d always talked about needing to find more time to do yoga, meditate, read, walk, reflect – quality alone time, but never did it consistently, I was too busy. I now had that time, and a real need to feed my body, mind and spirit. I knew I had to invest in myself, to cherish my mojo, to lure her out of her dark corner and into the sunshine once again.
- I had to listen to my body, it hurt, my ignoring it and hoping it would just get better wasn’t working. My body told me, in no uncertain terms, that it would be ignored no longer. Friends recommended
- A great chiropractor and physio to help my body recover – having recovered, I now do maintenance, and my body feels, and works, so much better than it ever did before.
- A fantastically fun online trainer, whose workouts make me laugh and sweat in equal measure – I start each day with a smile in my step, and I’m slimmer and fitter than I’ve been for 10 years (skinny jeans, hell yes!).
- An inspiring yoga teacher, who helped with body, mind and spirit – she is now a great friend, and I’m studying yoga. It brings me joy daily.
- I tried lots of different meditation apps and approaches; guided, music, being inside, going outside. Over time, I’ve found that meditating in the morning, outside in my garden, listening to music/chanting works for me (love the Insight Timer app!) – I learnt that my mind has a lot of ‘chatter’ and doesn’t always want to focus, that’s ok, just be kind and nurture self. Sometimes 5 minutes is enough, I can always find just 5 minutes. The sense of space and clarity I feel in my mind afterwards is amazing.
- Being forced to focus on what enriched my life led to my leaving my previous job, to setup my own consultancy business doing something that I love! It’s early days, there are challenges, especially now, but I’m so excited about what’s to come. I’m investing time in my own development, have learnt a huge amount and am revelling in that! People have been phenomenally kind, generous, supportive and open. Added to that, I feel I’m making a difference for people and organisations, that is enormously rewarding.
Dear reader, I’m delighted to tell you that my mojo is now ‘back in the house’ – and she’s wiser, kinder, more focused, complete and excited about the future than she was before!
And finally, I’d like to share a gift with you, that I received from my Father in a dream, when I started on my journey from my darkness into the light. He appeared in my dream, and made me repeat 3 times,
“It is when you are at your most vulnerable that you realise how truly strong and loved you are.”
It’s become my mantra. Being vulnerable can make you braver than you ever thought you could be, and gives you, and others, the opportunity to demonstrate how special and loved you really are…