NINE YEARS – NINE HOUSES
About this story
This is not a story about how I was down – found a magic fix – and now everything is perfect. I wish it was that easy. The irony is, it only becomes easy once you stop trying so hard.
I. have. tried. so. hard.
and I’ve repeatedly fallen on my face, eaten mud – gotten up -wiped my mouth, gurgled, and continued looking for answers, for magic unicorns, and happy ever afters. – With every fall it’s gotten less hard. I found ways to deal with my anxiety. It used to be bad. Nowadays I don’t worry about the outcome of things in advance. I live this life, this moment.
The biggest lesson
Plan your future but don’t stress out about it. Accept your natural pace, your qualities, and your current life situation. Two decades of working with women taught me that so many of us feel like as if we should be someone else, someone better. We hide our dreams, we downplay our talent. Mostly out of fear. Fear of not being accepted, fear of being visible, fear of being too selfish, and on it goes.
NINE YEARS – NINE HOUSES
In 2011 (#1 The Year of Insight) I was doing great. My spa business was well established. I had started it as a single mother of two, grinding my way forward, trying to be a good mom, make money, and keep it all together.
At this point the business had run with steady growth for over 10 years. I lived in my dream apartment on the best street in Helsinki. My kids were all grown up and away to College. I traveled constantly. I bought clothes and shoes as if I was running a wholesale business. Most of them I never wore. What can I say; I liked shopping! And did I mention I was in love with Prince Charming?
What could go wrong?
In 2012 (#2 The Year of Love) I lost Mr. Charming. The pain was crushing. But I got over it and found someone else to love. More about this man later.
My mom died later that year. I carried childhood trauma that I couldn’t deal with as long as my mom was alive. I had to be strong because she wasn’t. When she died, I crumbled and so did my perfect life. I avoided everyone close to me, as much as possible. I lost some of my dearest friends. I don’t blame them. I only knew how to be a strong woman, a fun girl, a supporting friend. I had no idea how to be sad, lost or helpless. I had never done vulnerability, so I didn’t.
I rarely showed up at work. I let my “girls” take care of everything. A lot of clients left, They would come back. We were that awesome. Or so I thought.
I spent many days online, talking to my new love interest. He was in the US, I was in Finland. Honestly, I couldn’t have handled a close relationship at that point. I needed a lot of me-time to work through my pain. I visited him, he visited me, but I never shared my troubles. He was my fountain of cool water. I didn’t want to contaminate the well.
The thing with me is, and always has been, that even in times of hardship I know there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t see it, but I know it’s there. In 2013 (#3 The Year of Opportunity) I decided to get to the end of that tunnel, no matter how long it would take me. I wrote the word SUNSHINE on a piece of paper.
In 2014 (#4 The Year of Growth) I got my coaching certificate. Shortly after I flew to Austin. I stayed for 3 months studying online business and marketing. I meditated, I run, I journaled.
I returned to Helsinki, worked on my business trying to turn it around. The business never picked up again. We had lost the bulk of our customers. The truth is that my love and excitement for the hustle was gone. My spa felt like a self-made jail more than anything. I wanted to be free again.
I moved to a cheaper flat to save money. I felt defeated. I worked and slept, worked and slept. Life was drab.
In 2015 (#5 The Year of Karma) I went to see my Lama (meditation teacher). I asked his opinion on what I should do next. He said, “You know what to do and your decision will be the right one”. I was mumbling to myself “well that was useful advice”, rolling my eyes just a bit, not to be disrespectful. I had expected some earth-shuttering advice like: ” Go to the Amazon and look for the hidden unicorn”! But I knew he was right. I’m a big girl and can make my own decisions. His reassurance gave me the extra confidence I needed for my big leap.
In 2016 (#6 The Year of Order) I organized what was left of my life, sold the spa, packed two suitcases and moved to Austin, Texas. Married, got a dog, and yes, a lot of sunshine. Happy ever after… riding the rollercoaster of complicated emotions. Waking up in the morning, feeling great relief from not having to live my old life anymore. Sad for the loss of so many things, mostly people…. Happy over new friends, possibilities, and the wild nature of Texas Hill Contry. I was grateful for my family and the people who stayed with me, even when I had little to give back. The willingness to love a less perfect version of me meant everything.
2017 (#7 The Year of Joy) All of us handle loss and trauma differently. I’ve been stoic my whole life. I didn’t even realize the depth of my sorrow, before moving to a quiet place that put little pressure on me in terms of responsibilities. I avoided any kind of stress, mostly sad people. My old me would’ve rushed in trying to fix the sad, mad and crazy. I was out of surplus.
I started reading again; books, articles, blogs. I’d not read a book for years. Now it was one or two a week. I watched people, the dynamics of groups. I started to unravel my own family and relationship dynamics. Everything started to make sense.
In 2018 (#8 The Year of Change ) I came out of the tunnel as if I’d run a marathon. Ego in shreds, grinning like a winner. The pain was gone. I was ready to be there for others again, on new terms.
It’s not about looking good or fitting in. Not about money or social status. You’re more than your belongings and embellishments. Being poor and out doesn’t automatically make you a good person either, so what is it?
The answer is simple, but it’s not easy; It takes courage to reach for something out of the mundane. You have to be ok with failure, with making a fool out of yourself until you get it right. You have to accept difficult feelings. You have to understand that it’s not about them, it’s about you. Worry less about what others think and more about owning your shit and changing your course. You’ll be happier, probably richer, and so much easier to love.
2019 (#9 The Year of Clarity) I started coaching again. I don’t know everything, but I learn more every day. I’m honest to a fault, that’s nothing new. I don’t buy bullshit, no matter how pretty the package. I’m compassionate without sappy sentimentality. Vulnerability doesn’t scare me anymore, nor does failure. I’m creative, curious, resilient af, and I have a whip.
I’m here for a new, exiting 9 year round. Another unpredictable ride coming up. I have no reason to be so goddammm happy, but I am.
If you want to get over shit, get real, and live up to your potential, then I might be the perfect partner in crime. I guess the only way to find out is for you to talk to me.
Nina encourages by reminding me to embrace who I am and focusing on tiny steps forward. I found the call was helpful as a good reminder to connect to my intuition as related to my business growth.
The discussion was a good reminder to allow my path to unfold for me especially when I am feeling stuck. There was also the aspect of pressing on and growing from my strengths despite having voices in my head.
I found Nina being really supportive. Knowing that I don’t need to beat myself up for procrastination and rather set up small achievable goals and then praise myself for doing it. taking it “step by step” and knowing that I am still doing well.
I loved the numerology part and the summary of the most important points in the discussion.