Before, back in the day, I wrote a lot. It was effortless. I didn't try hard at it. I simply let the words wander through my head for a while, and then poured them out. Tidied them a bit. And sent them out into the world.
And then I stopped. OK, more like slowly ground to a halt, with occasional blog posts about... I don't know what... the kind that start with "I haven't blogged in ages!" The kind that did not fill me with joy.
I've missed it. Words still go through my head; there are still things I want to talk to other humans about. And I know without a doubt that as I put myself out there, as a coach, I also want to write. As I learn and grow I want to share. And, oh yes please, I'd like to inspire too.
So I got to thinking about what it is that's holding me back... and I've discovered that it's two things...
Which is great because I can do something about both of those things! Let's tackle them one at a time.
Why am I holding myself back? That's just crazy, I want to be out there, doing, sharing, healing, inspiring. Don't I? OK, so in the old days, I blogged in my own safe space, my cosy little wool shop, talking to people who encouraged me, who got me and who wanted to read what I wrote.
What's different now? This is my still my safe space, I'll still be talking to people who want to read what I write. Right? Otherwise they wouldn't show up.
The difference is self-doubt. As I've settled into my coaching journey over the last few months I've been hugely inspired by this awesome lady (Sas Petherwick) who coaches, writes and podcasts all about self-doubt. An absolute breath of fresh air she is thoughtful, insightful, a joy to read and, by the way, completely passionate about helping women cultivate self-belief.
As I learn and grow, and get better at listening to myself, I'm understanding my own self-doubt, getting to know it and where it came from, what triggers it and how I can find my own journey through it. You can definitely expect to read more about that in future posts.
It's by no means a flawless process but recognising the moments of self-doubt allow me to really question what it is that sits behind the holding-back. Up until now, thinking about writing, it's been fear... that no-one would read my words, that people would read my words and judge me, or laugh, or never come back, or come back and say things I didn't want to hear, that I would or could write sentences that would damage my future business. But now I'm really thinking about it, I'm thinking... really?
Really? So, how likely are any of those things? And, what actually happened when I used to write. OK. Better already. Get out of my own way. (You know that's the simplified version right? The real conversation was longer...)
Why is stuff holding me back then? Because it's everywhere, and when I do get an urge to write I see a hundred things I need to sort out first.
About a year ago our family unit underwent a full house declutter and it was the most amazing experience. We felt lighter and brighter, we kept the stuff that we really loved and, having got rid of the rest, we got to really see the stuff we loved for the first time in ages and then thought about what it meant that we'd kept what we'd kept. And getting rid of so much stuff also meant we had less to clean, dust, put away, not put away and just shuffle instead...
So, what really came out of the decluttering? I'll give you just one example for now... having found my art-stuff, I started sketching again, and then, with creativity back on the agenda (and way less time spent moving stuff round the house) I was in the right space to discover hand-lettering, which has been a wonderfully natural way for me to combine my love of drawing with my passion for words. And I've been able to bring this into my volunteer work at the local school.
And now? We didn't make it into a sustainable process the first time - a huge learning which will form part of my space-coaching work going forwards - and a combination of gifted items, home-working and its associated gubbins, and items purchased far earlier than needed has led to, you've got it, an new accumulation of stuff.
Here's how I found the space today to write again.
Firstly, this morning, finding myself a bit low, I finally got into the declutter part 2. There's more to do, but making a start was super energising and so necessary. And then I took only what I needed - laptop, notepad, pen, water - and sat outside, with nothing to distract me*. It was simple really, once I made space.
* this little guy tried hard to distract me for a while and then he joined in the moment and sat quiet on my keyboard instead. We got on just fine.