Sunday, July 24

The most honest post I’ve ever written

…possibly the longest too.

For those of you that know me you’ll be aware that aside from my ‘day job’ I run a business.  I teach meditation and run personal and spiritual development workshops for women and do a little bit of business coaching.   For a while I’ve been thinking I need to get more serious about my own business so I’ve been working on a website and blog and creating a Facebook page and generally immersing myself in getting the whole thing online (cos I love me some online).

It has totally sucked. I’ve hated every minute of it (well maybe not the messing with code, I like the nerdy stuff). The rest though? Despised it.  I started and stopped and wrote stuff then scrapped it and wrung my hands and gnashed my teeth and cried tears of blood over the whole damn thing.

I just couldn’t do it in a way that pleased me.  At first I thought I was just being a perfectionist (something I’ve been accused of before) but I really didn’t believe that (on this occasion at least).  It was just all hateful to me, I was unhappy with the content, the images, the general feel and most of all the vision I had. I looked at other online stuff and found myself wanting (comparison is never a good thing).  I couldn’t work out what was wrong.

Then I remembered this...


This is Aislin shopping a few weeks ago, in full Hogwarts regalia including her wand.  When she got out of the car dressed like this I tentatively asked her if she was sure she wanted to wear her robes to shop.  She looked at me as if I was mad and said ‘yes, of course I do!’. And so off we went, muggles people stared, she didn’t give a hoot. Because right now, that’s just who she is.  So wise at 8 years old.

This afternoon, while wallowing in internet misery, I had an epiphany. The reason this work on the business is making me so unhappy and uncomfortable is that it’s not ME.  I have spent so long learning how to do this and looking at how others do it that somewhere along the way I lost sight of me.  This is the same me that conducts a perfectly successful business offline…but I was unconsciously trying to be someone different online.  Where along the way did I become so confused about my identity? At what juncture did I start to believe that the real me wasn’t good enough to grow my business further or that I had to be different to appeal online? I dunno.

I also realised that over the years, the most ‘me’ I’ve been online is right here on this blog. The one I don’t tell people about…HELLO!! I’m here!!  Posts have been erratic for a while now…but it’s still here and it’s still mine and it’s still home.

Ironically one of my business messages is about authenticity and here I was not taking my own advice…but let’s just skim over that for now *blush*. 
So here it is, the truth of me (at least some of it). Who I am and who I’m not…
  • I’m deeply spiritual, but I’m not about angels and unicorns.  I think both are cool, but they’re not my thing. You go ahead though.
  • I’m a bit of a hippy, but I don’t do tie dye…I’m lovin’ it on you tie dye gals…but it ain’t me – my hippy-ness is more internal. Internal tie dye if you will.
  • I meditate but I’m not a zealot, at the same time as I’m teaching you how to do it and singing its praises my own practice falters. This is my truth with meditation.
  • I sometimes swear – yes, even ‘fuck’. You don’t like it? Thanks for stopping by anyway. Ciao.
  • I read a lot of spiritual and self help books.  I rarely put any of it into practice. I like them though.
  • Except Eckhart Tolle…sorry Oprah …that dude sends me to sleep.
  • My humour can be both sarcastic and ironic. I’m not sorry about that.
  • I don’t give a crap about RSS and SEO and Google analytics or any of that. I care about people.
  • I’m not a perfect mother. I  love my children with every breath in my body but I get impatient and frustrated by them.  Sometimes I let them watch more TV than is appropriate because when I’m busy it makes my life easier. They have eaten baked beans for dinner more than once when I've been trying to work. I’m so tempted now to back this up with positive things I do for my children so you won’t hate me…but I’m not going to.
  • I worry people will hate me…or judge me…or criticise me.  See above. 
  • I’m not a perfect wife. But I’d take a bullet for him and fully intend on seeing out my days in his precious company.
  • I sometimes read and watch horror and sci fi (quite a lot in fact). I love Jane Austen and Shakespeare…but at times I have the literary taste of a 14 year old boy.  Judge away if that’s what you like to do. 
  • I have my own brand of spirituality…it’s a kind of Buddhist/Pagan/Celtic/Catholic thing and despite everything you’ve seen here I really am a compassionate person. 
  • I want happiness.  I want you to have it too.
You may be seeing some more businessy type stuff from me from time to time. It will be real.  It will be the authentic me.  It will make no apology for the fact I’m a flawed human and it will not try to portray me as some kind of blended personification of the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa and Ghandi. There will be no rainbows, unicorns or angels (I may occasionally mention dragons).  It will be me in all my glorious, disrespectful, irreverent, imperfection.

If you don’t like it you don’t have to read it, I won’t be offended.

Congratulations if you made it to the end of this post.


Dave said...

This is what blogging is for. I wish I knew you better. I never will. Except on here.

Caitlin said...

Yes, you're right Dave. It is what it's for and without it we wouldn't know each other at all. I'm grateful for it.

laoi gaul~williams said...

yayyyyy what a great post :)

i love the honesty-sometimes i trawl through blog land just to see whats out there beyond my own blog roll, and in reality too, and see how lacking in real honesty some people are. sometimes i just feel some folk will write (and act in person) in a way they want others to see them so we are seeing some 'other' them.
i see you not some 'other' :)

oh yes, i have never had a fluffy angel thing either and certainly dont after reading 'angelology' i picked it up thinking it might be a bit of a 'chick' book (i dont do chick!) but its fantastic and no-where near a chick book but tis freaking me out about angels now i can tell you!

Caitlin said...

Thanks Laoi, this has actually been a great exercise in authenticity for me. It's hard enough to do it at the best of times but in business when your livelihood depends on people 'liking' you, being 'yourself' can be very, very confronting. However what I know is that the kind of people I want to work with are the kind that want someone 'real' - warts and all.

And on your recommendation I just downloaded angelology to my kindle :-)