“And I don’t know where to go, No I don’t know where to stay. Where do we go from here? Do you know?” - “Where do we go,” A Seat At The Table, Solange
I love this line so much because it feels like something that we all go through at some time or MANY times over the course of our lifetime.
When I took my break early 2016, I had a moment where everything felt like this.
I had a seemingly perfect plan for my business that crumbled right before my eyes and caused a financial crisis.
I had a relationship that was on the rocks, (the “PC” way of saying it was shitty).
I had “friends” that I thought would always be there for me (as I had been for them) who went completely ghost.
I had new people in my life who were losing faith in my ability to get it together who I seemed to keep letting down.
I was feeling uber desperate and panicky.
There was still a small piece of me that had hope, but it was DAMN small.
Now I totally brought all of this on myself...I 100% own that. There’s absolutely no way I could portray an image of a successful, powerful person that could help others also empower themselves when I was hanging onto my sanity with a thread.
Basically, I’d built up a successful empire and career that I wanted to burn to the ground.
It’s not because I didn’t love my work or love you. To the contrary. My old identity no longer fit.
And since I can’t live inauthentically, I got quiet until I could step powerfully again. Pain has a way of either shutting you up or making you want to holler! I did both.
"Where do we go from here?” I was looking around. I had no idea.
So when I saw, Solange speak of the fact that she’d been in so much pain, struggling with depression and trying to make sense of the darkest time in her life, I could definitely relate.
When artists suffer, it’s expected...and even applauded when they can turn their pain into the most beautiful art, as she did. For other professions, not so much. Everyone else doesn’t have the luxury or freedom to fall apart and have it be justified or forgiven and it’s killing people. Not to mention society romanticizes that pain for artists and it’s REAL for all of us. So real.
It was then that I started to see other entrepreneurs that I knew who were “keeping it together” on the outside because they felt their “Livelihood” depended on it completely fall apart...behind the veil.
Coaches who were headed for eviction.
Specialists who had to go live back home with their parents.
Big time Marketers who needed references for Bankruptcy Court.
It was brutal. But you know what? They all got through it. Some on their knees. Some standing, but they did and they turned their pain into their art. You can too.
I had to get quiet so I could get feel myself. So I could evolve. So I could share and reflect on the journey with myself and with you.
Here’s the thing, leaders all have a journey. We all have gone through the burning sands one way or another so we can get to the other side and throw you a rope.
My dear friend and spiritual teacher said to me, “You’re going through all this because you’re going to teach others how to REALLY stand in their power. Fully.”
At the time, I didn’t understand her. I do now. And I know this work is never done.
I have made a shit-ton of mistakes. You will too.
I am still cleaning things up. You will have to as well.
I am still growing and I hope to always be. I hope you do too.
I will fall again and I will get up again. So will you. Stronger. Deeper. Happier.
The most important and most PIVOTAL thing you can do to step back onto your path of power is listening to what the Universe is saying to you. Whether it’s to get still or start moving.
There’s inevitably going to be a time when you need to do one or the other.
Being able to turn your pain into your art requires a deep level of catharsis and to listen fully to what that voice is telling you. Your art is your life and anything that means anything to you.
For Solange, she got really quiet, went into the woods and for 4 years worked on her most poignant music to-date. A Seat at The Table cemented her as one of the most dynamic and powerful performance artists of her generation and our time.
For Oprah, when her network (“OWN”) was failing, she got still. People asked her what was she going to do? How was she going to save her sinking ship? She was depressed and she didn’t know. She got still for a year, listened for the answer, followed her heart and now OWN is thriving.
For me, I knew myself and my work would morph into what was meant as my greatest service to myself and to you. I got still and heard the answer that had been in my heart and muted for a long time. You will see how it all emerges soon.
However, I will say that crossing over the burning sands was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. Yes, I was bloody and in pain, but I want you to remember something:
It all heals. You get stronger than you ever thought possible. Your life, your family, friends and work take on new meaning. You TRULY fall in love with yourself and know that your heart and commitment are more powerful than anything you go through in this life. You start to TRULY live and love from a place of power in your life, not victimhood.
And on the other side, It’s a much sweeter ride (with sour patches here and there) and you’ll have the tools to handle it all. Trust.
Love you Fiercely,
P.S. Here’s a Video Solange recording the album. Just watching others create can be just as healing and inspiring as the finished product. Enjoy.