How motherhood can unlock your true purpose
Back in another time, I sometimes lazily dreamed of starting a business.
Normally at the end of a lovely holiday when my mind was free enough to explore ideas and think differently before dutifully returning to the rat race the following Monday. After a coffee and the first twenty emails, any ideas of entrepreneurship and possibly also what really mattered to me, went out of focus.
In some ways I thrived on the pace and power of the corporate world but in others I also found it really drained me. Intellectually I loved the challenge of being involved in multi dimensional projects and the need to relentlessly build connections across a vast array of diverse, but sometimes extremely challenging and political, stakeholders. However whenever I felt authenticity or the connection with making some kind of positive difference was lacking or compromised, my inner self would lose balance. My heart and soul would fight against what I knew I had face into with a smile and positivity on stage at work and the stress and anxiety would rise up.
With time and experience I became more and more skilled at creating and wearing my work mask. The challenge was my private self and my professional self grew further and further apart. I created a whole alter ego which turned up to the office, meetings and presentations in London and even to networking and social events. I learned exactly what to say and how to be to show up as the polished corporate citizen I felt everyone expected and needed me to be, leaving my heart and soul buried deep somewhere at home. I think I even started to forget where...
Having my daughter and becoming a mum along with studying for a professional qualification in coaching around the same time, completely stopped me in my tracks. It led me to completely reevaluate my sense of identity, what really mattered to me and how and with whom I wanted to spend my life. It sounds strange but it felt as if my tiny daughter loved me just for who I was. On my coaching course, feedback seemed to imply again and again that people could sense I was hiding my true self - they wanted to know more and let myself just be. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this led me down a path which meant some big changes.
I was never someone who definitely wanted a child. I took the view that if it was going to happen then it would. But when it did, as soon as I found out, I felt an overwhelming sense of love. In short, the pregnancy and having my little girl reconnected me to my whole self. For a long time, I had locked away so many feelings and emotions - my self worth was solely linked to what I could deliver at work, what I could do for other people and had nothing to do with my own spirit or me as an individual in my own right. I think in the truest sense I had completely neglected my own wellbeing and it wasn’t until I had responsibility for the wellbeing of this beautiful little girl that had come into my life that I started to see this more clearly.
Reevaluating everything led me to a very difficult place in my life but one which also took me back to the real need to focus on my own wellbeing. I ended up with so much stress and anxiety that I slipped a disc and until my operation, I lost most of the feeling in the lower half of my left leg. i still have very little feeling in the left side of my left foot. I had to make some changes to the way I approached life and at the core of my wellbeing ‘why’ was so I could be the best mum I could be for my little girl. I wanted to show her how important it was to live in a wholehearted way and in a way which respected the need to take care of our minds and our bodies.
The outcome of all of this was the birth of what I call my second baby - Calm In A Box. So after all, and despite a very difficult journey to arrive at this point, the universe was guiding me to reconnect to my true purpose for the sake of a calmer, happier and healthier life for myself and my daughter. And now through the business for others at home and at work too. I’ve heard that this is quite common and businesses often emerge from something that is called ‘the entrpreneur’s wound’. It does go to show how we can use the most difficult times in our lives to create powerful and beautiful outcomes; ones that perhaps we never really dreamed possible.
Building the business has had it’s challenges - it still has - but it has also led me to become part of an amazing community, meet inspirational people, learn and grow new skills and also given me the flexibility to spend more quality time with my little girl. I can work on my own terms in a way which is fully aligned with my values. Becoming a mum helped unlock my true purpose and set me on a different path. It’s been scary and stressful, but I’m looking forward with hope and happiness in my heart.
By Sarah, Founder, Calm In A Box