Let me introduce you to the Bound Self

Earlier this year, I had one of those realisations that can change everything. As I was journaling on what it means to live an unbound life and tuning into the essence of me that is expansive, abundant and boundless, I recognised that there is also a part of me that actually wants to be restricted, tied down and limited.

There must be. Because otherwise I’d be experiencing complete boundlessness in my life. And I’m not.

I have times when I feel deliciously unbound, expansive and free.

I also have times when I feel bound by my circumstances. And if having is evidence of wanting (as one of my mentors, Carolyn Elliott, so eloquently suggests), then a part of me must want to be bound.

Although this idea was shocking to me initially, as I journaled on the idea of the Bound Self, I began to understand her motivations.

We all say we want to be free, to live a life with no restrictions or limitations, but the truth is that freedom comes with a whole host of complications – personal responsibility, the need to make choices, the need to decide what we really want and to claim it.

None of this is easy. Particularly when you haven’t been encouraged to live an unbound life by your family, your schooling and society in general.

How much easier it is to do what you’re told, to let someone else take responsibility, to allow yourself to be moulded by someone else’s desire?

In contrast to the Inner Good Girl, who wants to please others and is externally motivated, the Bound Self is purely internally motivated. She’s like the Inner Good Girl’s edgier, stranger and more powerful, older sister.

She wants to be bound because it feels good.

She enjoys the feeling of limitation.

Paradoxically, there’s something freeing for her about being tied down.

She appreciates the sensations of restriction and the drama of having few or no choices.

She savours it all.

And you might be reading this saying, ‘No, that’s not me. I don’t have a part of me that enjoys being bound’.

I understand.

This is an uncomfortably confronting idea.  But I invite you to reflect on your life and notice whether there’s a particular area (or areas) where your Bound Self is showing up.

Maybe it’s staying in a corporate job where you feel like you’re sacrificing your true self?

Perhaps it’s the way you’ve built your business, which means you’re stuck doing things in a masculine, linear way that leaves you feeling dead inside?

Maybe it’s staying in a relationship where you’re not able to express yourself fully, leaving you feeling stifled and frustrated?

There are endless ways the Bound Self can manifest her shadowy desires. She’s potently magical. And she gets her energy from the fact that we don’t tend to recognise or acknowledge her.

We endlessly strive for freedom and feel frustrated when we come up against limitation.

We focus on getting out of the box, rather than wondering if we could possibly enjoy the sensations of curling up within it.

And in doing this, we deny our Bound Self. We make her wrong. We shame her.

That’s why we keep finding ourselves in the same painful patterns of limitation and scarcity. Because the Bound Self is unconsciously beavering away under the surface.

So, what do we do to change this programming?

The answer is very simple. And also very challenging.

We let the Bound Self come out to play. We give her some space. We acknowledge and honour her.

When we give approval to the Bound Self, when we allow her to enjoy the limitation she’s created (rather than shaming her for it), she doesn’t have to work so hard.

Everything frees up. And a ton of energy is released.

(Once again, this is something I learned from my fellow witch, Carolyn Elliott, and her practice of Existential Kink, which she teaches in Influence, her class on practical magic).

Let me give you an example of how I’ve allowed my Bound Self to experience the pleasure of limitation.

Recently I set an intention to bring a certain amount of money into my business by the end of the year. As part of this, and in line with traditional Law of Attraction techniques, I allowed myself to get excited about what it would feel like to reach my expansive money goal. Doing this met the needs of my Unbound Self.

Then, to acknowledge the unconscious, shadowy desires of my Bound Self, I allowed myself to also imagine what it would be like if I made NO money in my business between now and the end of the year. And rather than sliding into panic about this, I let myself get excited about this possibility too – the shame, the drama, the feeling of restriction. I knew my Bound Self would love it and I spent some time allowing her to enjoy these feelings.

Obviously this doesn’t tie in with the traditional Law of Attraction teachings, because you’re giving energy to something you don’t consciously want. But the fact is that if there is any kind of limitation showing up in your life right now, then there is an unconscious desire for this. Your Bound Self will be at play whether you acknowledge her or not.

And, of course, it’s not easy to give approval to the Bound Self. Because we’re not taught to allow or even acknowledge these kind of shadowy desires (although it’s likely you will see evidence of their manifestations all around you). This is a practice and it can take time to move into a place of approval towards the Bound Self. (And when you do, this feeling of approval may be fleeting).

But whenever you do access a feeling of approval towards her, even if it’s just momentary, something magical happens. You stop being attached to what you believe you want, your conscious desires, and enter that transformational (and elusive) place of true non-resistance.

This is the alchemy of shadow integration.

I know that the idea of the Bound Self can be mind-twisting, so I’ll finish with some questions that will help you to explore what I’ve talked about in this article for yourself.

What would it be like to invite your Bound Self into your awareness? What does she look like? How does she move? What does she say to you?

Look back on your life. Are there particular areas where it feels like your Bound Self has been at play? What was it that she desired in these situations?

What does it feel like to acknowledge your Bound Self? How does she respond to being acknowledged?

I could go on, because this is fascinating to explore, but I’ll leave you with these questions to be getting on with. And if you want to carry on the conversation about the Bound Self, head on over to my free Facebook group and share your reflections. Click here to come join us.

The Surprising Power of Keeping a Secret

Secrecy is not something that’s generally encouraged. Secrets tend to be associated with shame, something that needs to be hidden. We’ve all had (or have) secrets like that and you can feel how they drain your energy.

However, there is a type of secret that can be energising. A secret that you choose to keep, just for yourself. Not because you have to, but because you want to.

In this era of social media and radical openness, there is little kept hidden or mysterious. There’s an urge, an expectation even, to share everything that happens to us on a daily basis.

But there’s often little thought as to whether this sharing is energising or draining. When we feel the need to habitually share, share, share, it diffuses our energy.

I remember an experience when I was travelling in Peru. It was before the days of social media, but still most people were taking lots of photos and so was I. I wanted to document my journey, so I could share the photos with friends and family and look back at them myself. But there was one guy who didn’t have a camera. When I spoke to him he said he’d made a conscious decision not to take photos during his trip. He wanted to be fully in the moment and he wanted it just for him.

This was unusual then, but it would be even more surprising now in the Instagram age of sharing every detail of our day. And I’m not against sharing. It can build connection and community. But when we’re sharing continually, or feel like we should be sharing continually, our energy is being directed outwards.

Conscious secrets can bring that energy back.

Recently I started an experimental practice of walking for 2 hours every day for 30 days. My initial impulse when I got the idea was to document and share the process with my online community. But I very soon realised that I wanted to keep this experience just for me. The whole idea of this walking practice was to give myself space, to nurture the body, mind and spirit in a powerful way. I sensed that the potency of this practice would be lost, or at least diffused if I was sharing as I went.

So I made a decision to keep this experiment secret. When I was out on my walks I didn’t take my usual photos. Instead I chose to drink in each moment for myself. And this felt powerful.

We have so many choices right now and so many opportunities to share our experiences. This is a wonderful thing. But just because we have opportunities doesn’t mean we have to use them all.

I come into contact with so many women who are passionate about changing the world, creating new ways and helping others, but many of them are getting burned out and feeling drained because they feel a pressure to be ‘on’ constantly and to be sharing with their communities daily. If you are one of these women, please know we need you to be at your most potently magical (not exhausted and run down).

One way you could do this is to experiment with the idea of conscious secret-keeping. Here are some questions to reflect on which will help you to get started:

Where are you diffusing your energy by sharing right now?

What project or idea are you working on that it would feel powerful to keep secret?

How do you feel about secrets in general?

Take some time to answer these questions and, if you feel called, I’d love to hear your responses. Comment below and let me know what comes up for you.

In the meantime, I wonder if you can take these words as permission to experiment with keeping more for yourself?

Here’s to nurturing the infinite mystery of you.

The 7 Principles of Deep Prosperity

One of the themes that comes up time and time again for me personally, with my clients and in my UNBOUND community, is how to create a truly abundant, sustainable income in a way that feels good.

What I’ve found over the past few years is that for us unbound women, it’s not enough to work on your own individual money stuff, sit back and watch your income increase. Although working through your personal money blocks is helpful, your soul demands more than that.

Throughout 2017 I’ve been exploring what is going to be demanded of us, as we move forward and create new ways of being and creating in the world. Because the one thing we can be sure of right now is that new ways are required. Our Unbound Selves won’t allow us to sit within the old structures. We are being called to create the new, rather than trying to squeeze into the existing ways.

This is why so many unbound women struggle to bring in the money they desire. (If you’re one of them, know you’re not alone). Even if you’ve been following all the advice that’s out there and you’ve done a huge amount of inner work, most of this is based on the old ways. And these will not work for you.

It’s time for something different.

That’s why moving forward all of the work I do personally and with my clients will be based on the principles of Deep Prosperity.

What are these principles? Well, they’re still forming and I’ll be inviting the women who work with me in 2018 to help evolve them, but in basic terms Deep Prosperity is bone deep. As an unbound woman it’s not enough to experience prosperity at surface level, it has to run through every aspect of your life and business, and flow out into the collective.

Here are the guiding principles:

KINDNESS I commit to making money in a way that’s deeply kind to myself, to others and to the planet.

CONSCIOUS I commit to making conscious choices about how I spend and make my money.

FREEDOM I commit to making and spending money in a way that supports the freedom of myself and others.

COLLECTIVE I understand that the way I relate to money doesn’t just impact me, but the collective. I commit to bringing more love and generosity into my relationship with money with the intention of healing the collective.

CONTRIBUTION I commit to contributing a proportion of any money I make to good causes, either individuals or organisations that are working to create new ways.

ABUNDANCE I remember that we live in an abundant Universe. I commit to allowing money to flow, to create, to surprise, to delight and to expand.

CONNECTION I commit to using money in a way that builds connection with myself and others, rather than fostering competition and isolation.

These are the principles of Deep Prosperity as they stand. As I said, they will surely evolve over the coming year and beyond as I co-create with the women who step forward to work with me in 2018.

And please know that Deep Prosperity is a practice not a set of rules. I’m certainly not meeting all of these commitments all of the time. The idea is to invite these principles into your life and business and explore what happens.

As a starting point, here are some questions to reflect on:

What do the words Deep Prosperity mean to me?

Which of the above principles resonate with me most? How can I bring more of this quality into my personal relationship with money right now?

How do I want to change the way I experience money over the next twelve months? What would help me to do that?

If you want to be part of the ongoing conversation around Deep Prosperity and how to create a new way to relate to money, click here to join my free online community – UNBOUND with Nicola Humber. See you over there my fellow UNBOUND woman.

3 Simple Shifts That Will Make You Prosper in Your Witchy Business

I remember the very last day of my hypnotherapy training. After a year-long course covering everything we needed to be amazing hypnotherapists and coaches, on the last morning there was  short session on how to actually run your own business.

It went something like this: 1) Get a website. 2) Tell everyone about what you do.

And that was pretty much it.

It’s been the same with any other therapeutic and magical trainings I’ve done since. There’s usually little or no teaching about how to actually get paid for what you’re being trained to offer. This results in lots and lots of incredibly skilled practitioners, most of whom are unable to make a sustainable, let alone abundant, income from their businesses.

And this pisses me off. Because the world needs more entrepreneurial witches. But most of the information out there about how to build a successful business is distinctly mundane and surface-level. The ubiquitous ‘7 Steps to Your First Million Dollars’ webinars and ebooks that you see online just don’t work for us witches. We need something, well, more magical.

So, after 7-plus years of experimenting in my own business, in this essay I’m sharing three key shifts that will help you to get abundantly well paid for what you do.

1) F**k the funnel. Let’s spiral

You may have heard of the term ‘funnel’ when it comes to sales and marketing. It’s meant to describe the client journey from initially becoming aware of you, to active interest and eventually purchasing your product or service.

Now I have no problem at all with sales and marketing. These are the processes that enable us to reach the people we’re here to help. But I do have a problem with the word ‘funnel’.

When I think of a sales and marketing funnel, my heart sinks. My mind conjours up an image of a giant sausage machine, with potential clients falling into the top and going through this horrible, mechanical process.

I know, I know! A funnel doesn’t have to be like that, but my mind just won’t have it. There is nothing sexy or compelling about the idea of a funnel. Our subconscious minds respond to metaphors and symbols. And this is why it’s crucial that the ideas we use in our businesses are resonant.

That’s why I prefer to think of a marketing spiral.

For me, the nature of the spiral more fully describes both the process my potential clients experience from the time they first become aware of me, and also the process I undertake when I come into contact with some kind of coach or practitioner I might want to work with as a client.

The spiral symbolises the journey of life, a gradual unfolding, an expansion and deepening of consciousness. Now, isn’t that a darn sight more sexy than a funnel?

The way I envision it, when someone first becomes aware of my work, they step onto a spiral with me. From whichever point they access the spiral, maybe through downloading one of my free resources, reading one of my books, or joining my Facebook group, we begin to co-create a experience. And that collaborative experience is unique for each person who steps onto the spiral.

The spiral also represents the way that at times, our potential clients may move further away from us. There may be points where they feel resistance to what we’re sharing and they retreat. But the spiral continues and if they don’t decide to step off completely, they will circle around again, always from a slightly different perspective.

The spiral is a journey deeper. It’s organic. And very much magical.

So, would it unlock something within you if you imagined your marketing in terms of a spiral, rather than a funnel? Are they any other words that trigger you when it comes to business? What other, more resonant, words could you choose?

2) Unbound pricing

Pricing can be a source of continual confusion and conflict for entrepreneurial witches. Often it’s tricksy to define the precise nature of what we do and that means it can be challenging to put a price on our services.

There’s a temptation to crowdsource prices, to compare with others or think purely in terms of hourly rates. But all of this ignores the unique quality of what you offer. It negates your magic.

The truth is that the very essence of who you are and what you do in the world is transformational. So when you’re choosing your prices (and yes, it’s YOU who gets to choose your prices), you need to consider the unique transformation you offer to your clients.

You also need to choose prices that allow you to be well-rewarded for what you do. (Note: It’s okay to be well-rewarded for what you do).

If the prices you charge mean that you’re going to be working all the hours just to get by, then you’re likely to be unconsciously repelling clients. Because, one, you’ll be exhausted, two, you’ll be resentful at some level and three, you’ll be continually anxious about money. All of this adds up to a big pile of heavy resistance.

So, when it comes to pricing, unbind yourself from others’ expectations and limiting stories about what you should or shouldn’t charge. Dissolve the old enchantments you have around money and your ability to receive it. Be aware of the energetic nature of pricing. Consider the transformation you offer your clients. And allow yourself to take into account what you actually want to receive.

If you want more help around setting your prices, click here to download my free unbound pricing guide.

3) Focus on what keeps YOU up at night

One of the standard pieces of marketing advice is to focus on what keeps your ideal clients up at night. The idea is that once you know what this is, you can share content around it and this will appeal to and attract people who want to work with you.

I get that. It makes sense, doesn’t it?

But as the unashamedly selfish witch I am, I’d much rather share what keeps me up at night. Whether it’s something I’m worrying about or something that I’m so excited about I can’t sleep, I want to be talking about that.

And this is not entirely selfish, of course. Because I know that if something is keeping me awake at night, then it’s bound to be on the mind of my potential and existing clients too.

This essay is a case in point. The idea for this article literally came knocking at 2am on a Friday morning when I was tucked up in bed and trying to get back to sleep. I felt an electrical sense of energy in every cell of my body, as the words started coming through in fully formed sentences. I knew that I had to share it.

Compare this to previous times in my business when I would have tried to stick to a rigid process of sharing one blog post per week based on what I thought my ideal clients wanted to hear. Although I created some good, helpful content, there was a dullness about it. Because it wasn’t lighting me up.

This year I made a commitment to share whenever something comes up for me, rather than sticking to a rigid, good-girl, consistent process. And I trust that whatever I’m sharing will be compelling to my audience. If it’s not, I still get to benefit from the creative process of expressing myself fully. So, at the very least it’s a win. And more often than not, it’s a win-win, because what I’m sharing resonates deeply with many of the women who read it.

So, what’s keeping you awake at night right now? What would it be like to share freely from that place?

If you’d like to explore the nuances of running a prosperous and aligned business, click here to join my free online community, UNBOUND with Nicola Humber.

And if this article has resonated with you, please click the share button below to share with other UNBOUND women like you.

Episode 23 with Ali Roff (Heal Your Inner Good Girl Podcast)

In this episode I’m speaking with Ali Roff. Ali is a practicing self-love warrior, Dossier editor at Psychologies magazine and certified coach. Voyaging on her own journey towards greater self-love, self-belief and self-esteem, Ali is currently working on founding a community which helps women cultivate more self-love through looking inside themselves for the answers, in order to live happier and more fulfilled, successful lives. 

During our conversation, Ali shares:

  • How experiences from school led to her losing a sense of trust in herself and questioning her own values.
  • Why trying to fit in with society’s idea of success left her, and many other women, with a feeling that something was missing from her life.
  • How deciding to leave a spirit-crushing job in finance to follow her dream of being a journalist was her first real act of rebellion against the expectations of others.

Find out more about Ali and her work at: http://www.aliroff.com

The strange reason you’ve been feeling like an outsider

Many of the women I work with as clients and within my online UNBOUND community tell me that connection is one of their most important values. It is for me too (alongside freedom).

But from my own experience and from speaking with these same women, I’ve noticed that we often feel detached from life in some way, isolated. It’s as if there’s a big party going on and we’re standing outside on tiptoes looking through the window, wondering how the hell everyone else seems to be having such a good time.

This is a lonely feeling. And when you value connection so highly, it can be deeply confusing to experience this profound sense of disconnection. It’s like being unable to stay fully plugged into the richness of life.

I’ve wondered for a long time why this might be. Not least because this is something I’ve struggled with myself. I’ve cultivated a deep sense of connection in my work, but often outside of that, even with close friends and family, I can feel like an observer, like I’m not fully present.

And I know there could be a lot of reasons for feeling like an outsider. Right now the world is not exactly set up for unbound women. So we can end up feeling ‘other’ in some way. But I want to share with you something that’s bubbled up into my awareness recently, because maybe it will resonate with you?

The question…

A question that popped into my head recently as I was journaling on this feeling of detachment was, have I ever truly allowed myself to arrive here in my physical body, on this planet Earth?

Maybe this seems like a strange question? I mean, of course I ‘arrived’! I’m here, aren’t I? And as I sit here writing this, on my porch, in the early October sunshine, I’ve been here for nearly 46 years.

But am I fully here?

Is there a part of me that resisted arriving?

When I ask myself this last question, the answer clearly comes back as a ‘Yes’. And if you’ll indulge me, I’lll share some more of my story to explain why this might be (and why a part of you may have resisted arriving too).

First experiences

My very first experiences in this life were traumatic. When my mother was six days beyond her prescribed due date, doctors decided that labour should be induced. Her waters were broken and I was eventually born via forceps.

The message here was quite clearly that nature (and my mother’s body) did not know best. My soft baby head was wrenched out into the world between a pair of forceps. Welcome Nicola!

The whole energy around my birth is one of panic, of rushing and being forced into a world I wasn’t ready for.

No wonder I wanted to dwell in my mother’s womb a little longer.

As a side note, please know, I’m not blaming anyone here. This was back in the early seventies. I was my mother’s first child and the prevailing idea was that medical doctors knew best. And maybe the way I was born was for the best? Maybe there would have been complications if I’d been born any other way? Who knows?

But I can see that maybe this is part of the reason why I didn’t allow myself to truly arrive here. A part of me wanted to hold back, retreat, not fully land in my physical experience.

And it’s not just during birth that this resistance to being present can show up. As the sensitive, unbound women we are, the day-to-day push and shove of ‘normal’ life can feel traumatic. Each time someone doesn’t get you, every time you don’t feel seen or heard, every time you can’t find the words to fully describe your experience, to make yourself understood, a part of you can long to go home.

But if you believe, as I do, that each of us has chosen to be here at this time, then you are home. So, the question is, what might help you to allow yourself to be fully here?

An idea to play with and three power questions

One idea I’m playing with is to hold some kind of Arrival Ceremony. The purpose of this ceremony would be to honour and send deep love to the part of me that has resisted being here, to let her know she is understood and to gently invite her to join me in making a decision to fully arrive. To create a ritual that claims my place on the Earth and in my body. To choose to be here in a way that feels good for me. And to acknowledge that every experience I’ve had so far has led me to a place where I’m able to make this conscious choice for myself. Choosing to fully land here from an empowered place of knowing.

How does that sound?

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, ‘Nicola, what are you talking about? This doesn’t speak to me’. And if that’s the case, thank you for hearing me out.

But if this idea resonates with you, then I invite you to ask yourself:

What do I need to do to allow myself to fully arrive?

What does the part of me that’s resisted being here need right now?

How can I make myself feel more at home here in this physical body?

Listen to the answers you receive and if you’d like to share, come join me over in my free online community for UNBOUND women. I’d love to hear what comes up for you around this.

I’ll be hosting a virtual Arrival Ceremony later this month. Click here for more details and to claim your space.

And if this article has resonated with you, click the share button below to share with other UNBOUND women like you.

Episode 22 with Diana Rickman (Heal Your Inner Good Girl Podcast)

In the episode I’m speaking with Diana Rickman. Diana works with women who have suffered a miscarriage, difficult pregnancy or traumatic birth. She helps them to acknowledge and accept their birth story so that they can release anger, guilt and disappointment and feel ready to enjoy a new pregnancy.

Diana is a Level 3 Emotional Freedom Technique and matrix re-imprinting practitioner with over 15 years experience of using and sharing EFT.  She’s helped her clients clear thousands of stories, beliefs and negative feelings. 

In 2015 she founded the mission-driven media and education venture ‘Your Emotionally Strong Life’.  Her podcast ‘The Emotional Freedom Show’ is available on iTunes and she is a co-author of The Book of Inspiration for Women by Women. Diana offers 121 sessions and regularly runs group training and workshops.

During our conversation, Diana shares:

  • How for many years she would do anything for anybody (apart from herself!) and suffered from extreme people-pleasing, leaving her feeling constrained and stifled.
  • How by pushing down a whole side of her personality, she developed a whole load of physical symptoms, including heart palpitations, eczema and food intolerances.
  • Why in becoming more of herself throughout her forties, she now has more energy and enthusiasm than ever.
  • And how the inner good girl can show up during the birth experience and stop women from asking for what they want.

Find out more about Diana and her work at:

http://www.dianarickman.com
http://www.emotionalfreedomshow

Episode 21 with Danielle Drozd (Heal Your Inner Good Girl Podcast)

In this episode I’m speaking with Danielle Drozd.  Danielle is a writer, teacher, confidence coach and mentor.  After 14 years in the blue-chip, corporate world of supply chain, she decided to change her life in order to achieve authentic success.

Danielle shares her life-changing journey, in her debut book I Have a Dream, a teaching memoir which ignited a desire to share her knowledge and empower others to find meaning. Subsequently, Danielle went on to publish a poetry anthology Voice of the Soul and a book Confidence through Courage teaching the reader how to grow into confidence.

As a coach, Danielle works with people to get clarity on personal roadblocks, to define a route for building confidence, and acts as a cheerleader for taking action.  Danielle lives by the mantra ‘Be the best version of you, ignite courage and take action!’

During our conversation Danielle shares:

  • How finding a female mentor helped her to challenge the good girl behaviours that had been holding her back in a male-dominated industry.
  • The power of doing one small thing that scares you every day in growing your confidence.
  • The void you can experience when you know deep down you’re doing work that doesn’t ignite your soul.
  • How listening to her intuition led to her writing not one, but three books!
  • And the transformation and creativity that can come out of the darkest of times.

Find out more about Danielle and her work at: http://www.danielledrozd.com

Episode 20 with Leah Kent (Heal Your Inner Good Girl Podcast)

In this episode I’m speaking with the luminous Leah Kent. When Leah struggled with post-partum anxiety, she saw how disempowered she had become in her life.

Though she had been a devoted student of personal development and spiritual growth for well over 15 years, it wasn’t until she’d reached an all-time high of chaos, pain, and disconnection that she made bigger, more lasting shifts.

Leah embarked on a two-year journey to reclaim her sense of self and experienced a profound healing after a lifetime of chronic approval-seeking, self-doubt, and soul paralysis. She also discovered her personal mission to help other women connect with their intuition and personal power to create similar transformations in their lives.

Today, she’s a a Holistic Life Coach, Tarot reader and Usui Reiki healer, devoted to bringing women together in circles of support to experience their full power, divine feminine strengths, and true radiance.

During our conversation, Leah shares:

  • How her family dynamic and growing up as the older sister polarised her in the role of the good girl.
  • And how this resulted in her only wanting to show the so-called ‘good’ emotions and hide the ‘bad’
  • Why becoming a mother made this unsustainable and the specific tools and practices she used to create healing and transformation in her own life.
  • And the power of allowing yourself to want what you want and how to make decisions from a place of pure desire.

Find out more about Leah and her work at: http://www.leahcherrykent.com and click here to download a copy of her free Moon Mantras Guide.

This is the reason so many UNBOUND women mistakenly fear they’re lazy

I hear women call themselves out as lazy all the time. Whether it’s my coaching clients guiltily sharing how they feel they should be doing more or online acquaintances posting to declare that one of their blocks is pure laziness, I’ve heard the ‘lazy’ tag over and over again.

I have a history with the the word ‘lazy’ and it used to trigger me big time. I’ve been called lazy in the past and it has cut me to the quick. Because at the time, I secretly feared that I really was lazy. In fact, at my darkest times I would imagine myself as this disgusting, slimy slug-like creature. I had huge shame around the fact that I didn’t want to be working super-hard or filling every hour of my day with activity. For many years I felt like there was something wrong with me.

But what I’ve discovered in the past few years of cultivating my own, unbound business is that there is no dark well of slothful, sluggishness deep within me. And what I aim to show you in this blog post is that your issue is not laziness, it’s something else completely.

My ‘lazy’ story

Let me start with a part of my story.

Back in the day I spent many years working 9-5 in a variety of corporate environments. And because I’d get up every day to go and sit in an office, I had the perfect defence against being called lazy.

I would show up to work. I would be physically present. Therefore, I was seen (and saw myself) as productive.

But in my time as a seemingly productive member of society, there were many days when I’d sit at my desk, pushing paper around and internally despairing at the mind-numbing drudgery of it all.

And every now and then, I would be unable to make myself go into the office, because that feeling of despair would overtake me. I’d stay in bed, fantasising about running away, doing something completely different with my life or, if all else failed, killing myself.

These were dark days.

But amidst the darkness and despair, at least I could convince myself I wasn’t lazy. Because I had a J.O.B.

Then in 2010, I started my own business and suddenly I had the time-freedom I’d craved for so long.

When I started my coaching practice, one my very first thoughts was, ‘How should I fill all of this time?’ (In other words, ‘Shit! How do I maintain the illusion of busy-ness and productivity now I have all this freedom?’)

Starting with the main intention of filling my time meant that for the first couple of years in my business I worked more hours than I’d ever done in my 9-5. And this wasn’t because I had to. It was because I chose to.

I chose to work all the hours because I didn’t want to appear lazy. What if people found out that I was actually this disgusting, sluggish creature who infinitely preferred afternoon naps to hustling?

So I created endless (and often meaningless) tasks because I wanted to look productive.

And eventually I burned out. What’s worse is the fact that I burned out even though my business wasn’t successful at the time. I was barely making ends meet. After all those hours I’d put in!

Something wasn’t right.

Because I wasn’t the only one.  I could see lots of other women around me who had made the bold and beautiful decision to start their own businesses, women who desired freedom and flexibility beyond all else, and those same women were all feeling exhausted, drained and most definitely not lit up or free.

So I started a journey of discovery into why so many unbound women were unable to maintain the hustle, hustle, hustle work ethic we’re told we need.  And here’s what I found.

The realisation

Most of us were brought up with the idea that to be a good citizen, you should go to school, get a job and fill your daytime hours in a productive way.

So, when you start your business, you carry that idea with you. Must. Work. Hard. Must. Be. Productive.

And then, like me, you start to feel tired. You don’t feel inspired and motivated in the way you imagined you would. In fact, very quickly you find that you’re falling out of love with the idea of having your own business.

‘Maybe I should go back and get a proper job?’ you wonder.

‘What’s wrong with me?’ you ask.

‘Oh yes, I must be lazy’ is the answer you come up with.

Well my friend, no. You are not lazy. You have simply been trying to fit yourself into an old, linear way of doing things. And as a woman, you are actually a magnificent, cyclical being.

You were never meant to have consistent energy levels.

You are designed to ebb and flow. Like the ocean.

To wax and wane. Like the moon.

To move from the light to the dark and back again. Like the seasons.

And what this means is that some days you will have oodles of action-taking energy. You will feel unstoppable. And on others you will simply want to be, to sit in the void and do nothing.

But of course doing nothing is not valued in our society. (Even though spending time in the void is vital for both your wellbeing and the creative process).

Busy-ness is valued.

So women have felt the need to fit into consistent, work-work-work structures. And when they can’t sustain this, they call themselves out as lazy.

What I want you to know, is that what you’ve judged as laziness is actually your glorious Unbound Self refusing to squeeze herself into a box that was never meant for her in the first place.

And the good news is that when you run your own business, you get to choose what you do and how you do it. You get to create your schedule. So you can harness the power of your cyclical nature.

How to harness the power of your cyclical nature

How might you begin to work in alignment with you true nature, rather than battling against it? Here are three simple ideas for you.

1) For the next 30 days, keep track of your energy levels and desires in a journal. Notice the times when you feel like you want to be in action, times when you want to be creating, times when you want to be with other people and times when you want to retreat. Notice any patterns and how they relate to where you are in your own menstrual cycle and the phase of the moon. (For more information on how to harness the power of your menstrual cycle, I recommend checking out Lisa Lister’s wonderful book, Code Red).

As you gather this intel on your own cyclical nature, ask yourself, ‘What would my days/weeks/months look like if I allowed myself to embody the cyclical Unbound woman I am?’ See what answers come to you and give yourself permission to implement at least some of them.

2) Experiment with doing less. Much less. You may have heard of the Pareto principle which, in very basic terms, states that 80% of results come from 20% of actions. What if you allowed yourself to do only 20% of what you usually do in your business? What would you let go of? What are those key activities that harvest the best results for you? What if you stopped doing all of that busy work?

In my experience, an approach of radical non-action can work wonders. Give yourself the space you crave and notice what emerges from that space.

3) Create an unwavering connection with your Unbound Self. Your Unbound Self is the expression of all of you (not just the parts you’ve decided are acceptable). She has no time for the old structures and ways of being. When you connect with her, you tap into a limitless source of personal power and access her timeless wisdom. This gal has all the answers you will ever need and she can let you know the most magical way to spend your time.

To connect with your Unbound Self, simply invite her in. Journal on what she’s like and what she has to share with you. And if you want some extra help with connecting with her, you can click here to download my free Meeting Your Unbound Self Visualisation.

And, if this article has resonated with you, click the share button to share with other UNBOUND women like you.