The last place I wanted to find myself at the beginning of the second (third?) wave of the coronavirus pandemic was in a busy emergency room, and yet, there I sat, waiting to be taken away for a head CT.
As I made jokes with my sister, who thankfully was allowed to stay with me while I waited, I wondered how exactly I ended up in this predicament.
It all started earlier that day with what was supposed to be a routine eye exam. I thought I was doing a good thing for myself. Getting my eyes checked for the first time as an adult. I have perfect vision but because I have some other health issues that can show up in the eyes, I figured it wasn’t a bad idea to get a baseline for where I am as an adult.
It was all going great until the doctor dilated my pupils and took a look at my optic nerves. The tone of the whole appointment changed and then I had to go through a whole battery of extra tests to make sure nothing was wrong with my range of vision or color perception. All ending with me smack dab in the ER on a day when I was supposed to be editing my podcast, taking a business strengths training, and running a Q&A call for my tarot course.
From there, a bunch of seemingly unrelated symptoms suddenly came together. I would have noticed them sooner if I wasn’t so used to getting bad headaches from years of migraines, and if those migraines didn’t also make nausea a somewhat regular part of my life and if I didn’t have great balance from years of yoga.
Here I was several months into having all of these symptoms without really noticing.
Sure, it’s normal in a year like 2020 to disassociate from your body. I’ve seen it in almost every energy work session I have done this year. It is a hard time to be human and everybody seems to be having a hard time keeping their essence fully grounded in their body.
Anyway, the point of telling you all this is to say that I was ignoring the big things. I knew I needed to change the way I was doing my work. I needed to be more specific with what services I wanted to provide. I needed to adjust my rates. I had to pay attention to the insane expectations I was putting on myself. And for the first time since I started working for myself full-time, I had to pause and put my needs first.
I know that rest is revolutionary, but whether it’s nature or nurture, I have always struggled to slow down and trust that it’s okay to do less. I worked multiple jobs even back when I was in high school. I continued to do it when I graduated college and was working full time. When I quit my corporate job in May 2019, I was working there full-time, teaching yoga, and working on my business part time.
I was always doing. Listening to entrepreneurship and marketing podcasts while I was driving to the studio to teach. Creating yoga playlists and testing them while out on a run. Working out during conference calls that didn’t require me to be at my desk. I never allowed myself a moment to just be.
I tried to approach my own work in the same way. And it did not work. So here I am in the longest, most round about way telling you what lessons I’ve learned this year.
Lesson 1 – You are a human first. As in, take care of yourself before you are losing your mind and before you end up in the ER. You can do this in small ways, like exercising, giving yourself down time, reading – whatever your thing is. Do more of it. More than you think you need. And drink more water.
Lesson 2 – You can’t do it alone. Even if you have trauma that leads you to believe that it’s safer and easier to not rely on anyone but yourself, you can’t do it all by yourself. Everyone needs someone and for me that has been the gift of my community of entrepreneur friends, or as my boyfriend calls them, my business witches.
This awesome pack of brilliant, Intuitive people have encouraged me, talked Magick with me, inspired me, lifted me up on bad days, commiserated with me, checked my work, and all around had my back through the ups and downs of a very crazy year. I have only met one of them in person (and socially distanced) but they have all redefined internet friends for me.
Entrepreneurship is lonely enough but add in a global pandemic and it is an even more isolating experience. Having a community has been so grounding and and powerful for me. I am so grateful for all of the friends who have talked to me about work, finances, confidence, disappointments and who have celebrated every victory with me as if it was their own. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have that.
Lessons 3 – You aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. I have said it before and I will say it again. You’re not for everyone and also maybe even more importantly, they may not be for you. I learned a lot about being more intentional about the work I want to do and who my ideal client is. It is hard for me to not want to help every single person who asks me for something but I tried to do it, and it was exhausting.
Especially when you are a soloprenuer. You need your attention to be focused. When you have a team and you’re huge and famous you can chase every idea around if you want to. But when it’s just you, you have to be focused and efficient.
Lesson 4 – Sometimes the answer is not more training or education or anything else new. As a Sagittarius rising it is hard for me to accept that more education is not always the answer, but this year I came face to face with my tendency to avoid doing the work by just continuing to learn. If I’m learning, I’m not ready to do it yet, and therefore I can’t fail. I invested in myself more than I have since college this year and it was absolutely worth it, but I also realized how much I needed focus along with that. Now I realize I don’t need more, I just need focus.
Lesson 5 – No one is coming to save you. You have to save yourself. Sad but true. There’s no knight in shining armor who is going to save you from your own bullshit. You gotta put on your big girl sweatpants (yoga pants? Onesie?) and get to work. You have to make yourself, your happiness, and your health your number one priority. It might sound selfish but it’s not. When you take care of yourself you aren’t putting that burden on your loved ones and you are showing up as your best self in your relationships.
There are so many other lessons, big, small, heart-breaking, and uplifting but I have already gone on so long.
So I will just say this…Sometimes I am truly overcome by the immensity of my gratitude at just being seen and heard.
Growing up I spent much of my time feeling like an alien. I am a natural extrovert, so the sharing comes naturally, but the truth is, it’s been met with mixed results in my personal life. Some people find it endearing and other find it extra. The past year and a half of truly being out and sharing so much of myself so publicly has been scary. But every step of the way I have felt supported; by my community, my business witch friends, and even strangers.
I have received countless messages from people , some who I’ve met and some total strangers, who have read something on one of my social posts, or heard something on Living Tarot that resonated with them.
I certainly hoped for that, after all it’s been my mission to help other people feel less lonely on their own spiritual path, but the scope of the reach of the podcast (in just a few months) has been beyond what I imagined. If you have messaged me, written a review, sent me a letter or told your friends about my work, I cannot thank you enough. I promise I remember every single thing and it astonishes and overwhelms me.
After the year we have all had, I am going into the last few days of the year feeling mentally exhausted, frustrated, and definitely in need of a break, but I also feel immense gratitude to even be in the game.
I never wanted to be an entrepreneur because I thought it was too much hard work. I was certainly right about the amount of work – holy shit! What an understatement! But I also love what I do.
If I hadn’t taken on this hard work I wouldn’t have seen what it was like to create something from scratch, from my own mind – to pull it down from the ether and put it into form. Even more thrilling was watching people learn from that work and even take what they learned in Practical Tarot for Everyday Intuitives and actually apply it in their lives to find clarity. The feedback I received on something that was truly a labor of love was beyond any award I received in 13 years in corporate America.
I think that resilience is overvalued and over promoted by hustle culture, so I won’t say I have been resilient this year. Instead, I’ll say the more important lesson I have learned is compassion for my humanness.
I have been humbled repeatedly this year, and the only way to take care of myself has been to learn to give myself grace. I have allowed myself to show up vulnerably and imperfectly. I have made mistakes, and been corrected. I have stopped treating my body like something that can wait until I have a minute. I have stopped putting my health last and I am privileged to be able to make it a priority. Most of all I am striving to make caring for myself and my physical and mental well being a part of daily life, even when it’s not convenient.
It’s easy when you are young and relatively healthy to think that you can prioritize everything else first. I vow to put myself, my health, and my joy first in 2021 and I hope you will do the same.
Thank you for being a part of my world through this crazy year.