A very good friend of mine is a phenomenal girl - she has an incredibly generous heart, is a joy to spend time with and makes me laugh. We met when I was working at The Practice Rooms in Clifton where she was working as a counsellor, and it felt as though I'd struck gold when I met her. Whenever I ran into her I always felt better.
Ismene Cole is a counsellor and is currently training to be a life coach, but the thing that I believe makes her special is that she is just so intuitive and kind. She inspires me. So when she asked me to be part of a project she was working on, I leapt at the chance to help her out. It turned out she was helping me out.
The power of an awesome 'mission statement'
As is often the way, her email came when I felt as though the waterline was just starting to reach my chin, and within a week I felt pretty much submerged. Then I opened her email and felt incredibly humble.
I knew that she'd been working incredibly hard on her business and her website, but her mission statement was there clear as day for all to see:
Standing by you in the pursuit of greatness
I realised that I was incredibly lucky to have such a powerfully positive friend in my life. I then read further. She was working to pull together the stories that she felt needed to be told. Inspiring stories of people who had done something amazing, overcome challenges and difficulties, discovered a dream and made it happen. #begreat
She was asking me to share my story. I did my usual thing ... ran, hid, buried myself in work. That wasn't me. I wasn't 'inspiring' I was just doing what I love and, at the time she contacted me I felt I was doing things all wrong.
Fortunately for me, her mission statement kept going around in my head and I realised that as a friend that is what she does ... stands by to cheer, to support and to encourage. She wasn't wanting to put more pressure on me by asking me to bear my soul. She was helping me to recognise something within me.
I was scared I was loosing the love for what I do.
There. Said it. I was drowning in keys, cleaning, washing, admin, problem solving, problems I wouldn't have if I hadn't been 'over ambitious'. I have a very noisy, persistent gremlin who likes to sit on my shoulder and tell me all the negative things about what I'm doing, what's going to go wrong, how silly I am, what a spectacular hash I'm making of all aspects of my life. I realised that I was listening to this gremlin rather than my heart.
So I knocked him off, cleared my desk, re-read her email and sat quietly listening to my heart. In answering all of her questions, I realised that I couldn't 'loose' the passion for massage, for Bristol Massage Therapy. Yet I'd been doing a very good job of smothering it, getting distracted with tasks and to do lists, not giving my passion air, which was why I'd started to feel I was drowning.
Most of my clients know a fair bit about my story. They have nearly all come via my website where I am open and honest about who I am, where I have been, what happened 'before' massage became such a large part of my life, and what else I'm up to now. But for the 'rest of the world'? This is definitely outside of my comfort zone. So here it is, in all its glory.