What I Learned This Autumn 2019

Do you follow along with Emily P. Freeman‘s seasonal reflection practice? I haven’t been consistent with it the past couple of rounds but felt drawn to the idea of stopping and reflecting today. I think it has something to do with the feeling of change, growth and intensity in my current season. Maybe you could benefit from some reflection time too?

Here are a few things that I have learned over the past three months.

I hate shopping for jeans and possibly wearing them too.

I used to live in jeans whenever possible. They were my comfort go to. Now, I can never seem to find a pair that fit my shape properly and there is always something uncomfortable. I could ignore this problem in summer where shorts and dresses were what was needed. As the weather has shifted back to the cooler temperatures, I have been in need of pants. The jeans I have bought have felt more like the better of the bad options than ones I love. Wearing them is reserved for when I need to be out and about and appear somewhat more dressed for the day than the joggers or track pants that I get away with on my working from home days. I need to find an alternative!

Running leadership events and speaking bring me alive.

I’m not sure why this feels so hard to admit. I think it is because it gives voice to a dream I buried in my teens and confronts the fears that have kept me from stepping into this dream (more on that later).

March was all about running a leadership weekend for the leaders I oversee in MOPS Australia. It was terrifying. It was exhilarating. It was exhausting. It was my sweet spot. Speaking at events and MOPS groups is the same.

I am taking steps towards this dream. Be on the look out for a “Speaking” page on my website in the next couple of weeks!

A pivot is coming…….again.

After several years in a row of position changes, internal shifts and life pivots, I thought I would be getting this year off to consolidate. Hahahahahaha. I had sensed a little angst early in the year but it was not able to be ignored in the last three months. This resulted in high anxiety, trying to work out next big pictures and life plans. After a wrestle, decisions have been made- although without clear pathways at the this point. Next steps are being pursued and I have returned to a bit of a holding pattern in some ways. The anxiety has eased (after some clear times with God saying I had to let go of the control) and I am choosing to be ok with not knowing the details and grand plans right now.

Fear is still at work in my life.

I shared about this in last week’s post. This lesson is tied into the pivot, the acknowledgement of wanting to be a speaker, my upcoming book launch and so much more. It can be so easy to miss recognising the voice of fear at work when we are pursuing new things. Excuses and justifications can seem so valid and reasonable.

In ironic (or maybe carefully orchestrated) timing, this past week has involved an article on “Being a confident leader” being due and prep for a session I am giving for the Boardroom Retreat called “Do it scared”. I had to relearn those lessons for myself to be able to be authentic in my words.

The battle is far from over but naming and acknowledging the fear is such a huge part of it. I choose to keep walking forward and do it scared.

All things books.

I have learned more about self-publishing, book fonts, cover design, interior book design, Scribus, and ISBNs in the past three months than the rest of my life combined! There have been many moments of feeling it is all too hard. There have been moments of wanting to give up and not face the vulnerability it takes to release a book. Then I think of those women who will read these words. I think of the encouragement and inspiration it will give them– the kind I needed on my leadership journey too. I have had to come to the point of not seeking perfection in every element and actually work on finishing. It needs to fulfill its purpose.

This week, my manuscript and book design will be completed and sent to the printer, ready to launch pre-orders in a couple of weeks. My email community gets to see the cover this week! They will also be the first to get access to pre-orders and to find out the exact launch date. (Join us here if you don’t want to miss out on all the fun.)

My rhythms are so essential but the first things to go in busy seasons

In the midst of all this learning and full headspace, I have had to fight hard to keep my rhythms of exercise, rest, family time and time with God. I have felt the lack of consistency with these areas when they start to slip. I cannot sustain this journey without them.

There is something so grounding in being able to distil an intense season into the key lessons you have learned. It takes the swirl in my mind and settles it into connected groupings that make more sense and can be processed through.

Write your own list this week?

I am linking up with Emily Freeman. You can read what other’s learned there and link up too.