I think I have hit the high-point of adulting in my life this month. There’s this feeling in my chest where my heart starts to flutter and beat harder, and I have to bring myself back to the present and breathe, over and over again, while being incredulous of my current reality.
We bought a house. A beautiful bungalow built in the 60’s by an italian family who left the secret garden of my dreams as their legacy. There’s 4 giant grape vines twisting and climbing their ways up and over our balcony, creating a canopy of welcome shade. Also, a plum-tree, an apricot tree, and a peach tree. There are purple Violets growing wildly through the grass and an entire length of roses. I sense there will be much more secret magic for me to discover when we move in. Every time I think about our new home my world freezes for a moment as I allow the joy to envelop me.
I applied for my Canadian residency. It took us several weeks of chasing paperwork, asking for letters and referrals, digging deep for long-lost addresses and photos to plead our case to Canadian immigration and prove that we are, indeed, in a loving relationship and would like to remain that way. Now it’s a waiting game. Who would have thought that that fateful day two and a half years ago when I picked up a stranger on the side of the road and my van blew up, would have led to this.
I’m co-hosting my first-ever 2-day workshop in London in exactly one week, teaching an ebullient group of women exactly what we have learned over a decade’s combined worth of experience of what it really takes to run a heartful business that works. We’re peeling back the virtual curtain on the yin and the yang of business including systems, structures, cycles and self-care. I cannot wait. It’s going to be magic.
The funny thing is, I never really wanted a business. What I wanted was a lifestyle: a way of life that allowed me to live as closely to my inner guidance, my heart and soul, as possible.
I wanted a lifestyle that allowed me space and time to simply “be”. That gave me opportunities to travel or at the very least, the freedom to do so. That provided a platform where I could help. And be creative. While financially supporting me in a way that promoted expansion and access to more beautiful life experiences.
Following my heart step by step over the years I found my way.⠀So did Claire. We teach you everything we know at The Heartful Biz Workshop in London at the end of the month. If you’ve ever felt this way, and you’re in or around London, then this workshop is for you.
All that… is a lot of adulting.
Apart from showing off how I’ve been aceing adulting recently (honestly: it’s mostly my man, Julien, who leads the way with these things) I wanted to share with you 11 very adulting things I do to run a freedom-fueled heart-led business.
We all know how we want to feel is the main reason why we are motivated to do, well… anything. For example, we start businesses because we want to feel free, aligned, creative and abundant in our lives. However often we think that “when I get / do / achieve this and that, then I’ll feel the way I want to feel”
Journaling provides a different option. It allows us to sit with ourselves and internally analyse what we want to feel and choose to feel it, right now.
Instead of setting tremendous goals for myself I sit down every day and journal. This allows me to tune into how I want to feel and intentionally write down the things I have to do to ensure that I feel that way. What that means is that my business is a result of my mindset and the feelings I foster. As opposed to a sequence of reactions to being out of alignment with the way I want to feel, and scrambling for a way to get back.
I won’t deny that systems and structure were something that I resisted for a long time. The very yang approach to business completely turned me off. Until I figured out how to do it my way.
Now my days are most closely tied to the energetic flow of the days of the week: Tuesdays + Wednesdays are a combination of client calls, admin, and writing; Thursdays are dedicated to creative projects; I mostly take Friday’s off to have fun and socialize; Saturdays are all about planning, managing, and scheduling for the week ahead, with some client calls mixed; and Sundays and Mondays are absolutely always “me time” unless absolutely necessary.
I always start my days checking in with myself and what I need: a variation of exercise, meditation, journaling, quiet time, and: doing my daily Instagram post.
Having this structure allows me to manage my time and energy levels in a way that allow my business to flourish and grow. Which brings me back to my first point: it feels good because it working.
MAKE SPACE FOR SPACE
As you can see, I build in a lot of space into my structure, 3 days of space in fact. I need it to feel free. I need it to do good work. My business runs on creative output, and creativity requires space to swell and bloom.
There’s a huge misconception around being successful which is: that you have to work long, hard hours and do things in really complicated ways. This is a lie driven by a culture that prefers to believe that life cannot be easy.
The whole point of running a freedom-fueled heart-led business is to prove that things can be done in a different way. Creating space is one of the key factors of true success and feeling how you want to feel.
No (wo)man is an island. — John Donne
What that means is that human beings depend on each other. Even you, nomadic self-sufficient digital business woman, even you. The most valuable and important thing I have ever done in my business in build and nurture relationships.
I would reach out to anyone that I encountered and admired, send them an email, and tell them that I thought they were a beautiful bright light in the world. Sometimes they wrote back and we became best friends and gave me their bed to sleep in even though we had never met. Sometimes they wrote back and we became cool acquaintances who shared and supported one another across the internet. Sometimes they never wrote back.
The relationships that I cultivate and nurture are what carry me and my business forward beyond all else.
MAKE USE OF TECHNOLOGY
There’s a huge list of incredible tools that I use every day that allow me to run a freedom-fueled heart-led business. Most of them are listed on my love-list here.
FIND MY TRIBE + LOVE THEM HARD
My tribe is unique in that they do not fit a specific demographic. Instead, they come together through a unifying feeling and motivation that they have towards life, work and creativity. They are like me: rebels, freedom-seekers, artists who question the norm and want easy, honest, straight-forward integrity and solutions for living a good life.
I find them, and they find me, through this very specific equation of what we are willing to accept in our lives and what motivates us to move forward.
I love them hard, by giving them everything I’ve got: I wear my heart and soul on my sleeve for them, and provide resources and mentoring, both paid and free, as well and entertaining and helpful weekly emails and daily social media posts to keep us connected, tight and heard.
MOVE WITH THE MOON
I plan my projects and roll out my ideas with the moon, meaning…
There are two main moon cycles:
Waxing Moon is New Moon to Full Moon and is the most fertile ground for creating things. This is when the moon is getting brighter and bigger, representing the illumination of ideas, concepts and creativity. It the strongest time for creative projects, ideas and generating new materials.
Waning Moon is Full Moon to New Moon and is perfect for contemplation, working through the details and filling in the gaps. This is when the moon decreases size and light and is a time to turn inward, begin exploring your deeper aspects of your project an idea, putting in the structures, details and tying up loose ends. By the end of this two-week cycle, there is a sense of release and completion.
The two weeks of the Waxing Moon and the Waning Moon cycles moves through 8 different moon cycles every 3.5 days:
New Moon: Perfect for starting new projects: planting the seeds of the project even though the idea may not be fully formed yet.
Crescent: I begin to form a plan or course of action around my new idea or project.
First Quarter: I focus on using my unique creative expression to create the content for my idea or project. This is a highly creative few days for me.
Gibbous: I’ll receive more insight or confirmation on how to proceed. I may revisit what I’ve worked on this far to determine my next steps. This is a time to be open to allowing inspiration and intuition to guide me and to trust.
Full Moon: This is when I tweak my plans and efforts. I might even totally scrap my project or idea, if I realise it doesn’t have staying power. The Full Moon is a time to readjust as this is when I have a clearer picture and understanding of the project (or its lessons). It’s also a great time to get others on board.
Disseminating: I often market a new course or program at this time, and then promote it for two to four weeks throughout the moon cycles.
Last Quarter: This phase is about completion and transitioning. My intuition is strong and I feel the energetic last final ‘push’ towards finalising the original idea or project.
Balsamic: Here I create space again: I release and move my attention to the future, to the new moon. It’s a time to set new intentions and start cultivating space for new ideas to arise.
LEAD WITH MY HEART
Everything I do, gets checked off by my heart and intuition first. What that means is that I feel into the things that I am thinking about doing, and if they feel good, I go ahead with them. If they don’t I backtrack and find out what’s out of alignment and wait for guidance on how I should move forward.
Living and running a business from a place of alignment is all the matters to me. There’s no point to running a freedom-fueled heart-led business if I am not in alignment because it would mean that it is neither free nor heart-led.
I use my heart, with my body as a conduit, to guide me.
LEAN INTO TRUST
Running a freedom-fueled heart-led business requires tremendous trust. Every day I have to be able to show up, do my work, and trust. I wrote this article about how to trust when you feel terrified that everything is going to fall apart. I hope it helps you in those moments that you most need to lean into trust.
ADJUST + GROW
It’s easy to think that once you have your big, beautiful business idea, everything is going to go smoothly from there. Many of us are pacified by the idea that if we build it they will come.
However, business, especially a heart-led and freedom-fueled business has a spirit of its own. It requires flexibility, room to grow, and for you to have the ability to adjust with it as it does.
Instead of getting really stuck on how your business should be, open to new ways of showing up, sharing and being of service. By adjusting to your business and releasing your expectations, your pathway to success and purpose in much smoother. I’ll be sharing lots of examples of how I had to release and adjust my business at The Heartful Biz workshop next week.
One of my best skills is my ability to lazer focus. I choose a task, I focus until it’s done, and I move on.
I learned to do that many years ago when I used to work in music festivals. There was so much loud noise and distractions and people in party-mode that it required an ability to zone everything around me out so I could complete my tasks.
Now, I write a list of tasks at the end of my work day, ready for the next day. When I set down to start work, I look at my list, choose a task, and lazer focus. This way my work gets done. Giving me space and time for what’s truly important: life.