Updated: Dec 21, 2021
I don’t think I am alone in saying that this past year has been full of changes. Change is a word most of us try to avoid at all costs but whether you like it or not, it happens. In life coaching, you discover that change follows a typical cycle and it’s not something to be feared, once you understand the process.
Change can also be viewed as an opportunity to clear what no longer serves you, letting the healing take place so new gifts can emerge. What the last two years have taught me is that change is inevitable, no matter how much I think I have finally nailed it!
What change also reinforces is the necessity to find ways to respond so it serves me and the greater good. Reactive actions don’t serve anyone, let alone me!
For my final blog of the year, and what a year it has been, I want to share my own experiences with change. It’s been a challenging, exciting, and sorrowful year but, on reflection, the changes have only served to grow me both as a person and as a transformational life coach.
Change 2021: Lessons, Growth, and Expansion
Spiders, Spiders, Spiders!
Spiders played a predominant role in my life at the beginning of this year. In fact, this little but mighty creature made known its impact in the last week of 2020 when I woke up one morning to find a huge blister on my stomach. I recalled a stinging pain the night before in the same area but was asleep before giving it much thought.
To cut a long story short, the blister turned into a purple sore which turned into a festering ulcer, eating away at the flesh of my tummy! My year started with three months of wound care at the GP’s rooms and numerous (unwanted!) courses of antibiotics. We identified this was a spider bite and it was confirmed when we found a sac spider in my bathroom.
While this little drama was unfolding, we also had numerous jumping spiders visiting our home over the three months. With so many spiders around, there had to be a message. Which got me thinking about insect and bugs' spiritual messages.
The spider’s spiritual message universally means creativity, tapping into the feminine power, manifestation, and “are you weaving the life you want to live?” The spider also means balance, connection with others, and working with illusion.
At the time, I wasn’t sure how these messages had any significance for me, but as the year unfolded, I was constantly reminded of the need to be creative while manifesting the life I wanted. Today, I can look back over 2021 and identify it certainly has been a year of creativity, using my feminine power, and manifesting to my heart’s content while slowly weaving the life I want to live.
My Life Coaching Business Went Online
Taking my life coaching business online was a biggie for me! In 2020, I didn’t have a single client as everyone went into “survival” mode to cope with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. While 2020 was a year of isolation for me, it also gave me the time to step back and introspect at a deeper level.
I was given the opportunity to start "dream weaving" the life I wanted for myself without external influences stopping me from this introspection. I believe spider came along at the exact right time as she was showing me it was time to put into action all that I had been dreaming of during 2020.
It was time to take my coaching business online and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. Almost instantly, clients were contacting me and thrilled to discover they could do my coaching program virtually. I’ve had a successful year, business-wise, and I’m loving the virtual experience.
One of the reasons I always rejected going online was believing I would not be able to hear my clients properly (I’m hard-of-hearing with Ushers Syndrome). I also worried that I wouldn't be able to build constructive relationships online that are essential for a coaching program to be truly effective. It didn’t take long to get rid of those limiting beliefs once I made up my mind to go online.
Both fears were allayed with Zoom being so user-friendly and I was able to hear perfectly fine! The screen posed no barrier between my client and myself, with both sides being comfortable talking virtually. But, one of the huge benefits of going online has meant broadening my reach. I now work with clients in the U.K, the Netherlands, Doha, and all over South Africa. Even I find that pretty cool! And, exciting!
I’ve Written 186 Blogs in 2021
Part of my marketing strategy for 2021 was to up my blogging. This meant writing blogs two to three times a week for my website. In total, with some help from my partner, Paul Lawrence, I've managed to post 186 blogs this year. While that may not seem like a big deal, it is when you’ve got to come up with 186 topics, write about them so they’re informative and useful for my readers, and be found by search engines.
I’ve had to learn a lot about SEO, keywords, and how to write a blog that looks good and reads well. It’s been a fun journey especially as I do enjoy writing. It has meant getting creative while finding the time to write a decent article with a minimum of 1,500 words (so Google finds it!).
I’ve learned a lot about blogging and will continue to learn how to use this art to empower my readers.
While blogging is a time-consuming exercise, it gave me the opportunity to write. It also gave me the opportunity to share my knowledge around anything related to shamanism, spirituality, personal development, life coaching, sustainability, and living a healthy life, mind, body, and soul. At the same time, as I did in-depth research so I could write meaningful posts, I learned more about these topics.
Blogging requires discipline and structure. This reinforced my need for a daily routine that fitted in with my clients’ sessions as well as copywriting work I sometimes do as a freelancer. What blogging has also done for me is realizing that, when I put my mind to it, I can achieve anything.
Okay, anyone who is under 35, please bear with me here! My daughter has been telling me for years to use Instagram as a marketing tool for my coaching business. Nonetheless, because it’s a digital platform, it scared me! I can just about get Facebook right, but Instagram? That got me running for the hills.
But, seeing as this was a year of change, I knew I had to tackle my fear around Instagram, once and for all! I did some research online before downloading the app onto my mobile. Putting together my bio was fun and before I knew it, I was Instagramming!
I loved coming up with new photos every day and finding inspirational quotes. I kept it up for three months but then life happened and for the moment, Instagram is not my priority. But, I intend to start again in 2022 so watch the space!
I realized that I had limiting beliefs when it came to trying something technical. I guess it was one of the reasons I stayed away from virtual consultations for so long! Instagram requires you to be creative too and I wasn’t sure I could be “artsy” enough to put anything interesting enough on this social media platform.
But, again, by forcing myself to think outside of my (little) box, I realized Instagram was a) easy and b) fun. But, it does take up a lot of my time and there are days when I’m stumped for creative ideas. This has made me realize the need for a proper marketing plan if I want to be serious about posting on this platform.
Life Happens: Loss and Pain
The first six months of 2021 were hectic and creative with dreams manifesting at a pace I never thought possible. The last six months continued along the same trajectory but have been tinged with loss and pain. In May, my nearly five-year-old nephew died in a tragic drowning accident. My world became topsy-turvey overnight and I’m still dealing with a loss and pain I never imagined possible.
Two months later, my aunt passed away after falling and breaking her hip. She was in her eighties and her life was a good, happy, and adventurous one. But, it doesn’t take away the pain of losing someone who has played such a huge role in my life since I was ten years old. What does one do with so much loss and pain?
I eventually realized I needed counseling to get me through two such tragic losses. I’ve learned that grieving is absolutely vital. I’ve also learned that you don’t push through the loss. You sit with it. You embrace it and you take it with you for the rest of your life. It’s about understanding the grief cycle and not resisting all of its stages which change with the winds of the day.
One minute, you’re bargaining, the next minute you’re crying. You wake up angry and go to sleep resigned to the fact that this is life and s@*t happens. My darling uncle, when reaching out to my brother (the father of my beloved nephew), wrote a beautiful message and ended it saying, “One can only keep on keeping on.” That’s my brother’s motto and I’ve adopted it too. Keep on keeping on because there’s so much more to do in this journey called Life.
COVID-19 Still Persists
I know I’m not the only one suffering from such loss and pain. So many people have lost loved ones to the COVID-19 pandemic and we continue to get infection and death tallies every day. COVID-19 has become part of our lives and I think most of us have learned to live with the uncertainty that comes with such a pandemic.
Change is a constant when living through a pandemic. Omicron is such an example of how one day you’re moving along relatively at ease with the virus, only to suddenly find your country is back in lockdown because the numbers have gone crazy overnight. COVID-19 still persists and with it, all the changes.
Covid-19 has been one of my biggest lessons in learning to live in the moment. I’ve been advocating, for years, the power of NOW and practicing this concept as often as possible. But, COVID-19 has really brought it home for me. By living in the moment, I have stopped dwelling in the past and hankering for the future and simply allow myself to BE in the present.
I choose now not to think beyond tomorrow. I still have my dreams and I still work on my goals. But, instead of sweating the small stuff ahead of time, I bring my attention to what actions I will take today. That’s it. Every action I take leads me closer and closer to the life I want to live but I avoid thinking about the outcome. Instead, I focus on what I am doing now to bring about change.
Change is scary and you have a choice when deciding how to navigate it. You can respond or you can react. By taking responsibility for your actions (or non-actions), you can dictate how much the change is going to influence your life.
I can reassure you of one thing – change is always going to happen. And, you don’t always have control over how it happens. But, you can choose how you want to make it work for YOU. There are many things that have happened this year that I wish hadn’t happened. But, they did and I had to find ways to make these changes serve me rather than swallow me up.
I wish for you, my reader, to find your way through whatever changes you’ve been presented with. Take back your personal power and make change your friend. By responding in a constructive way, you can rest assured your journey through life will be rewarding.