Within these reflections, I’ve been sharing some personal stories with you—about my mom, about my weirdness, and my greatest lessons about gossip. So as 2015 comes to an end, I only felt it right to share with you some of my own behind-the-scenes journey and what I’ve learned from this year. This teacher is still learning lessons. Always!
Wow—2015! What a year. It’s true—some say that if you ever want to really see what you’re made of, try starting your own business! They weren’t kidding! :)
At the beginning of this year, I started off excited. I’d just taken legal and official steps to form my business near the end of 2014. My first book’s final draft was waiting to be submitted. Yet, I was still procrastinating on making my website, due to continued fears. These fears had started back around August 2014 and had come up on and off over the next several months. I’d feel paralyzed by the fears for awhile. Then I’d take a big leap, like finding legal assistance or talking to a business accountant. Then I’d feel paralyzed again.
Could I really do this? Did I really have any clue what I was getting myself into? What if there were a million and one effects from starting on this path, effects that I couldn’t even predict? (And believe me, you can bet I’d already thought of the million that could be disastrous!) ;)
So finally, after another period of fear and procrastination, at the end of February this year, I started building my own website on Squarespace. I found that Squarespace did have certain limitations. But I chose it because I wanted to be very hands-on with my website, and I wanted to be able to design it myself. I learned the tiniest bit about coding in the process, and I signed up for an e-mail service provider. Best of all, I designed my site exactly as I wanted it. :)
Finally, toward the end of May, my site was ready. So I picked a launch date and worked feverishly on last-minute details. On May 31, 2015, francinebrocious.com was officially born!
I’ll never forget that day. I was super excited and super terrified the entire day. Here I was, finally showing more of my depth, my truest, most authentic self. That self which I’d been so afraid to show others in the past. That self which, when I finally did find courage to show it, often way too late after I’d tried to conform, was often deeply rejected by others. And now, something deep down had possessed me to share THAT self? With anyone in the world? What was I thinking?!
Yet, there was a huge sense of relief, despite the headache I felt all that day. Finally, I had more of an outlet to be my real self. Finally. A place to consistently share what I’d learned and was learning along the way, to connect with others, and to learn from them as well. Finally, I was out of hiding.
So I started consistent weekly blogging from that point on, just as I’d promised myself I would. I was so pumped. I also had a list of guest blogs I wanted to submit my work to in order for more people to be introduced to it. There were a couple of other cool submission opportunities as well. And then there was my book, which would be ready soon!
I really enjoyed the blogging. But one by one, my other submissions were turned down. I was a bit taken aback. I knew I “shouldn’t” take it personally, but it was hard not to. Wasn’t I being my authentic self enough?
Uh-oh. It was the “not enough” feeling, back again, like it had been all those years with Mom. Now it had snuck into my business. So I had a new opportunity to integrate this age-old lesson of mine. Yes. I was enough, just as I was telling my readers. Yes—my authentic self was worthy and valuable and worth sharing, no matter what the reactions of others may or may not be.
My book was ready in late August. But the week of its release was a confusing roller coaster itself, because, due to some miscommunication, I was never told exactly when it was launched! So I picked my own launch date, finished up my website page for it, and launched it myself! (Said the Little Red Hen. And she did!) ;)
Once again, I was thrilled about my book launch. And once again...were there people out there?
Please don’t get me wrong. I was truly and sincerely thrilled when I’d heard a few people say that they’d bought it and were looking forward to digging in. Yet, there was something else I needed to reconcile.
Since mid-2014, I’d started to develop this vision for my future work. And since that time, my vision kept growing. And growing...and growing...and growing...
As my vision grew, I had to ask myself a lot of questions. Was it really growing for the reasons that felt truest to my heart? Did I simply want personal admiration and approval, or was it truly to help serve the world and try to do my small part to aid in its healing? And again, if what I envisioned actually came to be, could I handle some of the very likely effects of that? Could I handle effects that even I hadn’t thought of yet? (And you can bet that I’d thought of a lot of them.)
If there’s one thing I’m definitely good at, it’s envisioning things from a big-picture sense. And if there’s one thing I’m completely horrible at, it’s waiting for the time it may take to help that vision work its way into reality! (Not so) luckily for me, those things are at complete odds with each other!
So, while metaphorically screaming at my poor little vision seed which was just trying to grow, and giving it all the sun and water I could, and staring at it impatiently and frustratingly, I had a few more important lessons to learn yet this year!
It’s true that a watched pot never boils. It’s also true that a seed, when stared at impatiently, and screamed at, will not grow any faster than it can, or than it is meant to. And when it grows, it will grow in the best timing, and it will become one of the prettiest flowers you’ll ever see. Why? Because you gave it love, and also the space to grow on its own. So what is the best thing to do? Do all you can, and then let it be.
Yep. I took some pretty big risks this year, and I will continue to keep taking ones that feel aligned with my vision. (If you’re wondering about those risks, those may or may not be future stories for someday.) ;) But I had to work massively in the last quarter of this year on surrender and trust. And now, I’m committed to surrender. Yes—committed to surrender. Ah, the paradoxes of life!
Truthfully, it was very hard for me to commit to surrender. I do believe personally that there is an energy force much greater than myself, which I also participate in. Yet, after my experiences with Mom and my upbringing, I didn’t want to feel fully dependent on this force. I didn’t want to mentally separate the force from my own self, to the point where I just passively sat and watched my life happen to me. I wanted to balance my own independence and agency with a healthy sense of co-creation with this force—whatever we each may choose or not choose to call it. I wanted to do all I could, with my still-limited vision of this bigger picture of my life, and then allow this force to assist me.
There were many times this year when I felt like completely giving up—on this blog, on my work, on my sharing. But I had to learn some of the very lessons I keep trying to teach—funny how that happens! ;) I had to learn that I alone could be proud of my work and the choice I made to share it.
Though I was certainly grateful for them, ultimately it didn’t matter how many Facebook followers I had, or how many likes or shares or comments I received. And though I have developed a large vision, truthfully, it didn’t matter if things worked according to how I saw that vision or not. What mattered the most was this—no matter what, I was finally expressing and sharing of my truest self.
Could I be proud of that, no matter what I could or could not control? Could I bask in the light of my own star, no matter who may happen to see it or not? Could that be enough? ;)
Yes. I could. Yes, I can. And yes—it is. :)
After months of struggling with what I can and cannot control, with loving my work and still wanting to quit at times, with gaining a large vision and letting it go, with trusting both in my own capabilities and in a larger energy force, I am happy and proud to say yes. Yes, I can bask in the light of my own star. Yes, I can be proud of my own self and my own growth, no matter who is or is not looking. Yes, if I am meant to help manifest this vision, I can do this for the reasons truest to my heart.
Yes, I can fill up my own internal cup. And yes, I am here to serve. Those things do not have to be mutually exclusive. :)
The end of 2015 marks seven official months of my sharing and my business. Yes—just seven months! But really? Only seven months?! Seems like seven years! ;)
What will 2016 bring? Only it knows! :)
**What have YOU learned this year? I'd love to know! Feel free to comment below if you feel so inspired!
Even though I’ve learned that I **can** be satisfied just doing this work for myself, I am still incredibly grateful to have you here to read and reflect with me. :) I’m so thankful for your continued support of my work. I hope, if anything, that you’ve been inspired or encouraged to do more of your own personal reflecting in order to integrate, transform, accept, and learn to love yourself and your life even more.
If you’re looking for a very easy avenue in which to do more reflecting of your own, check out my first book, All About Me. It’s just waiting to be personalized by curious, reflective people who are open to continued learning and growing on their paths. If this sounds like you, please do check it out!
And if you’ve been inspired by my book or my work in any way, I’d be so grateful if you could share it with anyone else who you may think might benefit from it as well. The world needs more light, and it is part of my mission to do my best to spread more of that around! If my work reflects your own inner light, I’d be honored if you’d help me share that flame. :)