“About 18 months ago I had a conversation with someone, a woman. She ended up homeless. She was in her late 50’s, maybe into her 60’s. She had separated from her husband, it wasn’t amicable and she was left pretty much destitute. She’d supported her husband in his career, raised their kids.
It drew my attention to the fact that if something happened to my husband, I would not be able to continue doing what I do because financially I wouldn’t be able to do it. It really – made – me – stop. Our partnership has always been very equal so to think that the financial side of things could determine my future was just, yeah, a bit of a shock.
Because of my husband being able to financially care for us, I could be intensely involved with my children and that was a privileged position.
On the one hand I felt like I was so lucky to be able to make the choice to stay home but it’s clear there was a flip side.
I didn’t work in the business for 4-5 years. I was working on it, doing administration, bookkeeping and recruitment while the children were really small. Whilst I’ve always been a practitioner, it was always contained because I wanted to be available for the kids. And anyway, to a certain extent my being in the background suited my personality because I’m an introvert.
On the other hand I had a realisation that we’d built this incredibly amazing business and my role had been enormous but the income generation had not been physically done by me. I’d created the structure, the framework and all the support mechanisms, the culture, but if something happened tomorrow to Andrew, I’d have to sell everything and close it down.
That’s how it was 18 months ago.
In a worst case scenario, what happened to that woman could happen to me. That conversation really galvanized me. Since then I’ve been on a bit of a quest.
It made me realise I have incredible skills, I’m really passionate about my work and I am capable of changing my situation.
How that looks is that I have extracted myself from the business in terms of the hours I spend managing, administering, caring for the other people, to now really looking at my own capacity to grow – financially and with my profile.
The stuff that’s required to get your profile out there, make products, be visible – it feels superficial, it’s not a conversation with an individual so it’s this kind of nebulous… clutter, or noise… noise is a good way to describe it. And noise isn’t valuable to me.
I’ve always had this thing about superficiality.
Well, it hasn’t been superficial because I realised a lot of it was just my fear of being seen.
When I say ‘seen’ I mean literally, it’s uncomfortable. In this interview I’m seen, but it’s more intimate, so it’s safe. Most people would say that intimate conversations are the most unsafe. But that’s what I do as a practitioner and I’m very comfortable there.
That’s a contradiction isn’t it?…
I want to reach 100,000 people, but I want them to feel like they are receiving who I am. Being seen sometimes can be literally on a big stage, and I’ve previously thought you can’t be intimate with say, 200-500 people. I now know that’s not true. Each of those 500 is just 1 and I’m talking to them.
That thing about being seen – in the business community, there’s a do-this-do-that rubber stamp culture that I don’t resonate with. It’s impersonal. It’s not genuine and not real. And it’s not intimate.
And with so many women out there I feel like they are ‘strapping on their personality’, that sounds terrible I know – it’s like they tie themselves into their body. They put on the high heels and restrictive undergarments, whack on the make-up, do the ‘corporate suit thing’, and then on their websites, I can’t find their intimacy. And yet when I meet them in person; they are so warm, so lovely, so genuine. But the persona, the façade, it’s not the real person and that’s such a shame.
I can’t do that. I’m so out of integrity when I try.
What I really love about the last 18 months is that I’ve found groups who actually resonate with that as well. They are doing those things that mean growth, or bigness, or reach, or something, but they are doing it authentically. So I have faith that it can be done. I haven’t seen many people do that before now.
I only have people on my radio show that allow me to explore who they are and are willing to talk about themselves. My guests are like my clients. They teach me so much about human beings, it’s intimate, it’s a conversation – the only difference is there’s a microphone.
As a practitioner I have incredible clients. They come to see me to learn how to manage and change their emotions. They are inspiring. They are at a threshold moment in life and the time for change has come to them. I love that and I feel very privileged.
They are my heroes because they come to me – a stranger, and they are prepared to stand in the face of their strongest emotions (grief, fear, addiction, loneliness, the hard stuff) in front of me.
That’s incredibly courageous. They are fearless, and so am I in the way I help them. And they don’t know who I am – they don’t know that I will care for them, respect them – it’s brave.
We do see so much superficiality around us so this is why it’s a privilege. Every time I am with a client I get to be grounded and reminded of what it is to be human and living your life.
Don’t get me wrong we laugh and have a lot of fun, because that helps break the trance of the tragedy.
But they are making the decision to take themselves on. And I guess that’s what I’m doing.”
Linda Wilson helps people to challenge and change the beliefs that no longer serve them. Her mission is to make self-care easy www.drwilsonlinda.com.