On Purpose - Summer Edition

Aug 2021

With summer underway we've already been introduced to warmer temperatures, longer days and new sense of vibrancy as the world is starting to open up. I love the summer period. I find it's a great time to reflect, take stock and review what you have accomplished but also to set your focus for the rest of the year. I thought I would share my learnings so far - I seem to have had a few!

This time last year I had to make some significant changes in how I was running my business, what I wanted for myself and how I wanted to shape my future. Without covid I would never have had the courage or the time to reflect. I was busy on the hamster wheel of life, barley looking up and didn't have the head space to consider what I needed. I made the changes in August last year and as arrive at the 12-month mark of my new way of working, living and being, I've discovered a few things about myself along the way. I hope you find these learning's interesting? I wonder if they resonate and if you too may have had or felt something similar?

The power of reflection - this year I started off with my affirmation. I bought myself a new journal and a fancy pen and sat down to write. This was the start of a reflective year, since then I have found myself with pen and journal at the ready. Making notes, catching my thoughts and expressing my feelings has led to greater awareness and understanding. Through this process I have posed many questions, that I am now able to start answering. Taking time in this way, with me, gives me the opportunity to dump my brain literally on the paper and once it's out I feel lighter, I have clarity and I understand myself so much more.

The power of de-cluttering - I did my first de-cluttering in the spring, like a woman possessed I took to it as though my life depended upon it and emptied every draw, cupboard and wardrobe in the house. Spring clean went more towards spring clear out. This clear out went beyond my clothes and excess stuff, it moved into an emotional clear out. In March I did my second de-clutter when I sat down and wrote my first book. This outpouring took me to places I didn't want to revisit, but I stuck with it - persevered and dug into things I had buried so deep. I sobbed as I pulled the words out from within me onto the page. With all of my de-cluttering, I untethered myself from my past experiences that no longer were serving me and it gave me space for new things to come.

The power of self-expression - writing the book gave me permission to express myself in ways I didn't know I was capable of. This was my invitation - express myself in a way that was right for me. I chose to stop pleasing others and put myself front and centre. Grow tall, express my needs and be honest with myself first of all and then with others. Self expression should be easy, but I have always found it difficult in fear of hurting others feelings or not meeting others expectations - but something changed when I released myself of the expectations of others and instead was clear in my communication.

The power of simplicity - this year has been about experiencing the simple things in life, things that are at my disposal and are free. Hiking in the hills, swimming in the freezing Scottish sea, creating a garden, writing the book, reading a book, creating a podcast, trusting myself, baking a cake and eating it all in one go (not good for the waistline but very satisfying) and being in nature. These may sound simple things but before I made the changes, I never made time for any of this. I was always too busy. I never appreciated the joy that simplicity can bring.

The power of being me - This last 12-months has taught me to slow down and take the time to get to know myself. The real Gillian, the one who has always resided within me but the one who was hidden or out of reach because of all the roles I'd been playing. I have learned to embrace myself just as I am. I am no longer apologetic for who I am. The strengths, talents and gifts I have I now let them shine through. The realisation that being me is all I needed and everything I needed, was already there inside me, has been the biggest revelation of my life so far. As I enter my 50th year next year, my promise to myself is quite simple, show up just as you are.