Back in December 2020, I decided to draw a card from my EARTHMAGIC card deck.
It was the very day after I launched my EARTHEART programme, and the card I drew made me sit up straight.
It was the TSUNAMI card.
Possibly the most concerning and ominous looking card in the whole deck, I read the words “Wake-Up Call” with trepidation.
At once, I felt like a deflated balloon.
It was as though I knew in that moment that EARTHEART wouldn’t be going ahead.
That in fact, given the current circumstances of my life, my leadership and my business, EARTHEART wasn’t possible, in the form I had seen it and presented it to the world.
EARTHEART had been a beautiful, but impossible, dream. And although the wave of emotions including everything from grief to frustration to exhaustion and anger resisted this intuitive knowing, there was also a part of me that knew that it was right.
All unfolding for the greater good of my life and my service. My legacy even.
But it was indeed a wake-up call. An earthquake.
One that would let no stone be left unturned. Nothing in the same place as it once stood.
In the midst of the rumble, it was time to face facts and practise what I teach: radical self-responsibility.
3 days later, as I looked out from the bedroom window, an eagle took flight right up close.
Magnificent, majestic and sharp; “Look at the bigger picture”, I heard him whisper.
“Stay focused on your long-term vision for the planet”, I said to myself.
As EARTHEART came and went, the old Wish Tree died too.
Having just moved countries, I had optimistically believed that the paperwork to run a business in Sweden would be completed within weeks.
Instead it’s ended up taking months and months, meaning it would not have been possible in any case to run the programme – or the business.
It was confirmed: I had been stopped in my tracks.
I was not meant to serve right now. I was meant to go within.
It was not a defeat to feel ashamed of, it was an opportunity for growth and expansion.
An opportunity for renewal and awakening to the areas where I wasn’t levelling up, but in fact dimming my light.
Over the winter, I asked myself: what was it I was waking up to?
There were 7 things.
1. The first thing I needed to look at head on, was that for the past 5 years, I had essentially been running a healing business disguised as a business mentoring service.
I just needed to take one quick look at the list of beautiful client testimonials to know that this was true. Although providing a loving healing space had been a wonderful and worthy and even nourishing cause indeed, I had to come to terms with the fact that this meant some other parts of me rarely got to be seen or make their greatest impact.
2. Another wake-up call was that my high-value online learning library of tools, strategies and good-practise models that holds the potential to enable the building of solid foundations of a heart-led business, was in reality seldom used by my clients, who were not ready for it, meaning that much of my medicine was never fully received. Many of my gems of wisdom were collecting dust in the attic. Reality check.
3. Leadership. Stepping away enabled me to see that
I had led with only some parts of me and left others behind as undesirable or uncomfortable or less conscious.
My since-childhood strong activist persona had been rejected on the basis that it had led to burn out and a feeling of never enough. And instead of questioning how I had gone about my work, I had thrown away the baby with the bathwater.
So much so, that during the BLM resurgence in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the pandemic-related anti-science movement, my community believed that they witnessed the birth of some kind of new, fiery and intellectual side to me, as I allowed truth-bomb article after article to flow from my heart and mind onto paper, causing ripple effects far and wide.
In truth, this part of me had been one of the most recognisable facets of my personality since I was a small child, yet the community I had built and poured my energy into over several years, had no idea who this version of Emily was.
“Wake up, wake up!” said the Tsunami.
4. Spending time in nature and embracing what matters the most to me, I came to know just how much I found the prospect of working with people who are uninterested in human rights and the protection of the planet, not just out-of-integrity, but outright boring too. The truth was, that those choosing to stay silent about hard things, and bypassing their roles in dismantling white supremacy and climate change, made me feel turned off and uninspired. This I needed to own. This I needed to claim.
My entire value system was at stake.
5. Embracing once again the very pragmatic and no-nonsense Scandinavian culture in which I had grown up, I came to see that I had neglected to fully share and celebrate my nerdy and perhaps not- so- glamorous love of grounded practical steps and strategy. Steps and strategy that enable us to move forward and actually make a difference in the world, not just talk about it.
Looking at the data, I had to face the painful fact that people were seemingly prepared to pay less for my services now, than when I started my company a decade ago.
Something was clearly off.
In January 2021, I was offered to speak for 2 hours and the organiser – someone who used to hire me 7 years ago – asked tentatively if $1400 was ok, since they didn’t have a bigger budget for the gig.
I felt just how much she valued my input.
Yet in my mentoring service, I frequently received resistance from potential clients to investing the same amount for several months of group coaching with me.
I had been undervaluing myself and it needed to change.
7. Lastly, I was able to see clearly that the support I had in place compared to what was actually needed to run my business, was not nearly enough.
Despite frustration and sometimes overwhelm, I had not allowed myself to be fully supported by a bigger team behind the scenes, enabling expansion and better flow in the business, more rest and recreation.
In summary, the guidance of my Wake-Up call was this:
YOU HAVE BEEN HIDING.
YOU HAVE BEEN PLAYING SMALL.
IT’S TIME TO SHINE.
Of course – ironically, hilariously and perfectly – “It’s your time to shine” has been the exact slogan of Wish Tree, plastered across the front page of my very own website.
The name of my very own community.
I had to laugh.
Where I thought I was being bold, I was in fact dimming my light.
Where I believed I was stepping out to shine bright unapologetically, I was in fact obscuring some of my greatest talents, gifts and skills.
Where I had come to understand my leadership to be purely from the heart, my mind, my intellect, with so much to give, had been neglected and side-lined.
My precious Wake-Up call showed me, loud and clear, that it was time for me embrace all parts of me, even more fully, and bring them home into greater wholeness.
It showed me that it was time for me to create a lane for myself that allows all of me to shine, rather than just some selected parts.
EVEN if it means losing people along the way.
EVEN if it means starting afresh.
EVEN if it means taking time out to re-group.
Because then and only then am I being the change.
Because then and only then am I in full integrity.
In the name of conscious entrepreneurship.
In the name of serving people and the planet in a way that feels good.
In the name of being in the business of Love.
I will be back in Time to Shine on Thursday the 15th April at 12 noon GMT/ 1 pm CET for our first weekly THRIVING THURSDAY session, where we explore the question: what do we need in order to thrive as conscious entrepreneurs?
These sessions are perfect for you if you are a change maker, heart-led business owner, space holder, social innovator wanting to serve people and the planet and make an impact whilst earning an income with integrity.
I can’t wait to see you there!
With so much Love,