Until as recently as a last year, I used to rush to my desk every morning straight from school run. Diligently attending to my to do list and squeezing every ounce of productivity out of my day.
The harder I worked the more successful I’d be, right..?
It's how I'd been taught to think and act all of my life. I'd never questioned it even when I moved away from a finance role to follow a creative vocation instead.
It was ALL about working hard and generating output.
Others would wax lyrical about the benefits of getting out into nature.
But if I went for a walk, I’d feel guilty about the emails waiting for replies in my inbox and the creative projects I should be making traction on. And I'd feel guilty about my husband slaving away at his desk downstairs.
I just didn't get 'it'.
But then things started to shift.
As I put more and more pressure on myself to be able to create on demand, I felt hairline cracks start to appear.
First of all I started to experience periods of overwhelm and anxiety, with projects starting to feel harder and take longer than maybe they should have. I was overthinking, overanalysing and being overly critical of my output, but it was manageable and no one would have noticed from the outside.
But then I got proper creative block on a project...
It just wasn’t flowing and the more I pushed my energy on it, the harder it became.
I spent hours second guessing myself and going round in circles. I worried I wasn’t going to be able to deliver, even though I knew I always did.
The stress of it all made me ill and I could see that rather than being a slave to another business, I’d just become a slave to myself:
I realised that forcing my energy was not the pathway for unlocking flow and that I had to take ownership so that I could do my best work for my clients.
I realised that if I wasn’t looking after myself in mind, body and spirit, then actually I was doing a disservice to my clients.
It was a call to arms to face into my conditioning - I had to work at breaking the old corporate working practices that weren’t serving me any longer. I had to start honouring my energy instead.
I used to walk for exercise alone but now I start most mornings in the forest.
I'm there to clear my head and fill my creative cup so it’s ready to pour freely over my projects.
It’s a non negotiable and it's been a revelation for my business - As I started to look after myself and my energy, my projects became easier and inspiration would hit more often and more strongly.
Plus people and opportunities started to come out of nowhere.
Self-care is not a luxury
We all have people in our lives that don't understand what it is to work for yourself. People who might comment frequently about the ‘luxury of being able to take time off’ and that ‘we can’t all escape to the forest or beach whenever we want’.
I’m learning to allow these judgements to wash over me rather than to dictate my actions as I once did.
I say that lightly, because shedding the cloak of our conditioning and other peoples expectations doesn’t come easily - It’s HARD WORK and a continual battle in self worth.
It means valuing ourselves enough to prioritise practices that help with our emotional and physical well-being, and that is not something that comes easily.
In general it doesn’t come easily to women of my generation who were raised to be 'good girls' and conform to expectations.
Learning to look after ourselves without feeling guilty about having time for yourself (however you want to spend that time) takes a lot of work...but it's a beautiful unfurling process.
For those of you who are not into 'the woo', the story ends here, a happy story of shedding old working habits and finding my way back to nature to unlock my creativity.
Woo lovers, continue with me since I'm going to reflect on how this was all written into my Human Design chart ready for me to discover when the time was right.
Unlocking inner radiance
When I discovered Human Design and started delving into the Gene Keys (a spin off of HD), this experience all made so much sense because it’s all there (as of course it would be) - scripted into my chart and in particular into my Radiance Sphere.
The Radiance sphere governs your physical, emotional and mental health and is a source of great personal vitality if you're living in alignment with your design…or the opposite if you are not.
I have Gene Key 15 in my Radiance Sphere which is the energy for aligning with natural rhythms and pace of life. It’s all about connection to the natural world, fluidity, honouring ebb & flow, celebrating seasons, and nurturing the mind, body and soul connection.
Honouring and working with the 15 unlocks the highest expression of Magnetism, but forcing my energy and disconnecting from nature is a spiral into the shadow state of Dullness - which is exactly how I’d describe that creative block when it hit...
Just becoming aware of this has been so reassuring for me and means I know what to do to come back into balance when I'm feeling off-kilter, so I can get back to doing what I love sooner.
I can’t begin to explain how much I love delving into this stuff and sharing it with people who are open to it.
It’s like a magic formula for ‘doing you’ - in life and in business - and I can feel the huge potential for us small business owners to integrate this into our brand, marketing, messaging and offers. If you're curious too, you can register interest on the sign up on this page.
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I'm a brand designer, photographer and Wix website designer based in the UK. I help wellness & creative businesses build their brand and online presence through photography and web, brand & human design, so that they can create positive ripples in the world.
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