As the year heads to a close I find myself writing a very different post than I expected. It may not even get to you this year.
But better late than never so they say...
The best laid plans... they say that too.
Which is fitting as every other email in my inbox over the last few days is a variation on reflect on the past year or plan for the next year, with the aim of making it bigger and better.
I resisted. Bored of reviewing where I've could have improved, where I didn't quite make the mark and my plans went awry. Fed up of getting excited by a plan only to have it only partially work out.
Then I realised that I was heading down a familiar downward spiral. Something was heavy, not quite right. A couple of setbacks towards the end of the year and doom and gloom was setting in and I didn't want to look at it. I just wanted to keep on going, keep working, keep aiming.
I call it the Ostrich way.
I didn't want to give up. Failure energy was surrounding me. I didn't want to feel or hear that it was there because I am committed and determined to my dreams and my business. I was scared if I admitted any negative thoughts they would come to pass. Instead of welcoming what was coming up and listening, hearing it out until it exhausted itself and would happily see itself out the door, I buried it. Kept taking action. The right actions. I mean this is the daft thing. I wasn't doing anything wrong for my business but instead of lightness and joy I was moving through treacle.
Finally I listened to a podcast and took a meditation workshop to review and create your year soulfully by Samantha Nolan Smith. This blasted me out of the heaviness I hadn't even fully realised was there and catapulted me back up into Freedom and Light. I let go of my story about events of the whole year and accepted, welcomed in even, a great ball of fresh pure light (as the visualisation came spontaneously to me) It cleansed the whole year and drew me forwards towards a bright New Year.
The next day things started to shift, people called me unexpectedly, clients booking, children behaving, ease between relatives. Amazing.
So in the light of this I spent a little more time reflecting on my past year.
First up, What went well? This was so much fun. I really enjoyed the feeling of seeing how far I had come and what I had actually achieved this year. All together on the page it seemed like a lot all of a sudden:
It put the odd setback into perspective.
But the most interesting part and the bit I really wanted to share today was the hidden gifts I found inside my less successful moments.
In the latter half of my year I totally and utterly failed to reach any of my financial goals.
Lets be clear. I am not facing financial ruin. In fact I feel richer and more fulfilled than I ever have. My mentality has shifted so far from what it was. But, nevertheless, I totally bombed out of every goal I set in the last three months.
However, on reflection and a little bit of inner work I am almost inclined to move it over from what didn't go so well to the other side of the page - what went well. I am questioning my approach to that question of what went wrong. Is there ever anything that doesn't go well once it is fully appreciated and you can let it go and move on? Or is it simply a case of perspective?
Previously I may have felt down looking at what wasn't great. Right now I can see only silver.Nothing has changed except my perspective of the events. I have dropped the stories and am approaching it all with joy and a sense of fun. Phew!
In the end I am ending the year in gratitude. I am so so so glad that no clients booked for a couple of months because it pushed up to the surface hidden scarcity issues so I could clear them. I am so grateful for the twists and turns in my clients journeys that helped me learn so that I can be of better service to all the women I will work with in future. I am even glad I accidentally recorded my New Year Gift to you all on the wrong setting and will have to repeat it.
Had I not done that you would have received that gift and next weeks post today and I may have missed out on these insights and the amazing power of the inner work that I do.
As the calendar year turns a page and I commit to sharing more of me and this powerful innerwork with the world in 2016 I would like to wish you all a Happy and Fulfilled New Year filled with silver, possibility and a whole lot of fun.
I would also love to hear from you. How did your year go? What gifts do your reviews of 2015 reveal to you?
The review questions that inspired this post can be found on Chris Guillebau's annual reivew and they and this post by Gulara Vincent in which she reflects on her own year in 2015 inspired this post today.
Here is the link to listen to the Create Your Year Soulfully Meditation Workshop by Samantha Nolan Smith
I’m all about transformation at BirthEssence. Usually that’s transforming your birth experience. Today its transforming your business experience, specifically with your wordpress website using Thrive Themes. If you don’t have a business or website then this post will be of no interest. In that case please forward it on to your friends/colleagues who do have a business and website and who may benefit,- then go and check out my pregnancy tips and motherhood inspiration posts instead.
Who doesn’t want a beautiful website that showcases your work perfectly and draws in lots of new clients?
I certainly do. I am lucky, my brother is a web developer and he helped me with my first site. So I had a good start despite being so clueless. But I was limited to what I could do on my own, and he was limited in time available to help me. I had this fantastic vision floating around in my head screaming make me, make me NOW!
I kept putting off doing anything. I had heard of options such as Optimize Press and seen what others had done... but it seemed like a lot of money when I had my brother on hand.
Meanwhile my big dreams were hiding behind my inaction and opportunities were passing me by.
Then I found Thrive Themes.
It was Optimise Press I was researching when I stumbled across Thrive Themes accidentally. Its tantamount to who they are and what they do that I very quickly made my decision. I took a big leap into the unknown by buying Thrive Content Builder rather than stay with what I’d heard of before and knew other people using.
I haven’t been disappointed.
Far from it. They have massively surpassed my expectations and I am having the best time. Already in only a couple of weeks I have rewritten and redesigned my new look website all by myself. I've added widgets, tables, testimonial boxes cool boxes and countdown timers like this one...
The time ticking away nicely there? That's the time left until the price of membership increases and is the impetus for me to write this post.
What and who are Thrive Themes?
They are conversion focused wordpress themes and plugins. All of their products aim to be super easy to use, in the front end of your website so you can see exactly what you are doing and fast. Everything they produce is fully customizable.
Thrive Themes: 9 conversion focused themes to build your website
Thrive Content Builder: Fast, intuitive, front end builder for word press.This was what drew me. If you can drag and drop in Word you can use this. You can always see what it looks like and adjust. You can be a total non techie and build a website like a pro. You can really get into the design fun. You can do almost anything with this.
Thrive Landing Pages: conversion optimized fully customizable landing pages, sales pages and lead generation pages. They act like a mini tutorial in how to write them as the text is instructions on what should go where.
Thrive Leads: List building plug in to build list faster than ever before.Includes A/B Testing engine
Thrive Membership: You get all of the above, plus the support forum, and anything and everything new they bring out.
I originally bought just Thrive Content Builder but was so impressed with the product and what it could do I upgraded to full membership to benefit from all their offerings. Which are growing at a phenomenal rate. It seems almost every week they add something else.
So why should you care about Thrive Themes and their price increase?
Right now the annual price for the membership is surprisingly low for what you get and it is going up at the beginning of December. But if you purchase now you are locked in at that price. Forever. No matter how many times the prices go up. You never pay more and you continue to receive everything new they bring out.
And they like to bring out new things. One of the things that drew me was their fresh innovative approach. They seem to be having so much fun and it is catching. I have had fun so far. I started out cautiously as I do. I was reassured by the 30 day refund promise so had nothing to lose. Instead I found myself buying the full membership.
I am so impressed with what they do and I am really only just scratching the surface of the possibilities.
I am a little bit shy to shout it out like this. Particularly as the links are affiliate links. That makes me even more shy. But when a friend said to me, 'Charlotte it is so great to see you so fired up and enthusiastic, you have really come alive,' I thought, Yes she is right. I am so enthusiastic. Fun and freedom are the two words that come to mind. I would be doing a disservice to others out there if I didn't share.
Perhaps you are one of the people out there who have been searching for exactly this, like I was. Perhaps this is exactly the post you needed to read today. If that is the case, go ahead and pick a link to click.
If you don't think you need to buy any of the products but are interested in free stuff to learn more about optimizing your website then you are in luck too. The co founder,Shane, loves to share and does a great blog and video tutorial series. Every subject from effective optins to layout and fonts is covered and he's always adding more. On 30th November he is hosting a Free webinar too. See below:
If you are even a little bit interested in any of the Thrive products then you may like to get to know them a bit better in this webinar on web optimization. Whether you are interested in Thrive Theme Membership or Content Builder or not, Shane's video tutorials, blogs and free gifts are amazingly helpful and this webinar promises to be another useful one.
One final thing to look out for is Shane Melaugh's bio which is inspiring in itself as he chose to share the story of how he failed ( colossally in some cases ) at 10 other businesses first. He has determination ( and a social conscience) and I found the story inspiring, comforting and ultimately highly motivating to stick at my business. I read it just at the right time on a day I was feeling a bit low.
So that's it folks. I hope that some of you reading found this useful. It has saved me money and hassle on getting outside help for my website and has been so much fun. It has inspired me and I wish to share with people. If this is not for you perhaps you have a friend who would benefit from this product? Please share it with them if you do.
Please share now to help others benefit:
Time left until the price goes up
Act now and see for yourself what they are all about.
Discover the world of Thrive Themes
& put the joy back into working on your website
From next week it's back to the pregnancy tips and inspiration. I have a few ideas clamouring for attention that just want to be committed to paper so watch this space over the next month or two.
The ability to uncover surprising and often unconventional solutions to challenges has been a big part of my path to enjoying a life of freedom and fulfilment. However impossible or insurmountable the problem first appears I have found that solutions are always available, accessible and usually strongly signposted. I have learnt to trust in these signs from the universe as to my right path, to the next step and confirmation my current choices are the correct ones. I now work to support others to feel intuitively into their next step and to heed the signs showing up in their own life
In a 1:1 session I listen deeply. I listen for clues and guidance for you and I encourage you to notice what’s in front of you in your own life. The trick is in noticing the signs, which don’t always seem immediately obvious at first. Once we’ve noticed then we can choose to follow or not. But noticing is the first step and I have in the past missed many helpful hints, even as I was tripping right over them, as they were just not what I was expecting or looking for.
I have always liked penguins. From fascinating visits to remote penguin colonies in New Zealand to more recent documentaries and films I kept noticing penguins. But not even the very recently invented game by my children – where I am attacked by two fluffy squeaking toy penguins was enough to alert me to a deeper penguin message waiting for me.
It wasn’t until I accidentally stumbled across the distinctive font of my logo during a search for fonts for my new look website to be launched in coming months that the penny dropped and I finally stopped to listen to the penguins.
Unbelievably I had never bothered to find out what this font was and here it was, the decorative curls of Penguin Attack were leaping out of the page at me.
As I downloaded the font, I felt mildly disappointed. Feeling that this was more than a coincidence and loving symbolism my mind was quick to wish that it could have been called something more overtly meaningful, like liberating freedom for example…
I apologised mentally to my penguin support for my critical judgment and opened up to the message.
Penguins may not be able to fly but they are masters of adaptation and genius at unconventional solutions to survive and thrive in some of the most inhospitable conditions on Earth and are loyal partners and devoted parents to boot. I was reminded I don’t have to comply with convention, that I can find my own way however unorthodox and that I can adapt to any situation.
I felt the relevance of their strength, resilience and originality in harsh environments to the current birthing paradigm in the Western world where so many women still give birth on their backs in a medicalised and risk averse environment and need to find courage to go against this grain, calling on their inner strength and intuition to birth their own way.
This unconventional solution that brings freedom into their salty environment in which they would otherwise perish really caught my attention.
I realized that filtering out impurities is a large part of the work I do at BirthEssence. The toxic salt water environment in our lives is our exposure to negative beliefs and stories around pregnancy and birth which we unconsciously soak up and internalise. In 1:1 sessions I work with women to process any unhelpful information they may have absorbed and imprinted and to release the detrimental consciousness stored in the cells. (The salt water.) We then drink in the energy and resources revealed in the gift from the experience. ( The purified water.)
Yet another relevant symbol of their transformative power. The shed feathers for the women I work with are all the unhelpful beliefs and stories that are holding us back. The feathers we grow at BirthEssence are feathers of courage, inner strength, and freedom. The freedom that comes when we trust in our bodies and babies. The freedom that we experience when we are confident to be fully ourselves and follow our own path however unconventional.
They huddle together for warmth and take it in turns to be coccooned in the heat and safety of the centre and to brave the cold in a protective role at the outside of the circle. Despite the size of the penguin colony they retain a distinctive personal call that is instantly recognizable by the penguin’s mate and offspring even after months apart.
This warm community support whilst honouring and strengthening our unique voice is a key feature of the work I do. We work together for the good of ourselves, our unborn child and for the future of humanity. There is an urgent call for strong women to stand up in their powerful essence and follow their inner blueprint for birth and so transform the world.
Believing the world to be a safe and friendly place they will make waves and transform the future of our planet. When we have done the inner work to clear out our secret fears, the impossible becomes possible and birth is returned to its rightful place as an empowering, transformational and enjoyable rite of passage.
I was delighted to find all of this and more in the message of the penguin, neatly embedded into the heart of my business through the name of my logo. Each time I see my logo I am reminded of the determination, and love of the penguin facing Antarctic storms and extreme cold whilst lovingly caring for its offspring in the centre of a supportive community. I feel renewed in me the determination to make a difference in the experience of women as they lovingly bring their children into the world and I feel supported as I do so.
The penguins and my children seem to be in cahoots, reminding me of their message with each throw of the toy penguins. I laugh and dodge and appreciate each ‘Penguin Attack’ message unwittingly bestowed on me by my amazing children.
And this is how it is. Otherworldly wisdom concealed in the everyday. We don’t always need to do long pilgrimages to holy sites to gain wisdom and insights in our lives. We don’t need to look so far at all for answers. All we need to know is laid out before us and all the strength we need is inside. Sometimes the clues are plain to see and sometimes it takes a little digging or a little imagination. Sometimes we need a little help to believe in ourselves. But we are always supported.
It is with fresh eyes I contemplate my logo and work and I am grateful. I am grateful for my hidden helpers the penguins, and I am grateful for the power of intuition, persistence, and the rewards of following the seemingly unconventional path when that is what is calling to my soul. The strength and joy that comes with being me. I am reminded again to watch out for the signs and then to follow them.
And so I invite you to consider your own life. I wonder what messages are waiting to be discovered in your everyday activities? How are unconventional signs leading you to freeing, inspirational choices in your lives? I would love to hear what signs and confirmations are showing up in your life so drop me a line below or post on the facebook page and let me know!
Looking for some support to ‘filter out the salt’ and regain trust in your body? Click here for information on how my 1:1 MotherNurture Sessions can assist you to feel amazing and strong on your journey to motherhood.
More about penguin symbology and other animal signs can be found here
And a short You Tube video my children enjoyed here