15th July 2020 – 11.11am. I’ve put 33 minutes on the timer. It’s the Wednesday before schools break up for the summer holidays in the year of the pandemic. I haven’t written for this blog since November 2019, 9 months ago. Does the question of last year still ring true?
How to start to establish a community theatre company based in Newport, Shropshire whilst managing the demands of being a new parent and maintaining an income?
Yes, Moonstruck Astronaut community theatre projects are still an ultimate goal. However, with the life that’s emerging it’s becoming less of a one-pronged dream and more like a triangle of three. A triangle of three areas to my work life.
In July 2017, I posted this short comment to Facebook: ‘I step out beyond the known to claim the riches of my true potential’ Alan Cohen. Just saw & wanted to post to mark a moment! Hopefully it does for u too, however small or giant the ‘new’ is feeling right now.’
It’s funny I used the word ‘giant’ as that’s featuring in my mind right now. Back then all I knew was I was meant to leap to be there for my son and to move towards my long-held dreams of running a community theatre company.
Three years later, the new life that is emerging from having stepped out beyond the known is still strange to me, and still evolving. Although it now feels much more exciting than scary as I have ground beneath my feet and I can see a mountain, which is actually reassuring.
In order to maintain an income whilst still being flexible enough to be there for my son, and available for Moonstruck Astronaut long-term, I have three part-time businesses that have emerged in answer to the BIG question above:
- Moonstruck Astronaut C.I.C., a registered community interest company – formed to co-create yearly outdoor community theatre summer projects (albeit not this summer owing to COVID)
- Team LAMDA, Wrekin College – teaching LAMDA speech and drama to solo students alongside Head of LAMDA, the fantastic Lucy Willis who I thank my lucky stars I met in August last year.
- Being a Partner with Utility Warehouse (UW) – helping as many people as possible bring more money into their homes, by introducing them to saving or earning money through the FTSE 250 company which Which? magazine have recently named ‘Utility Brand of the Year 2020’.
The image of a triangle started to land in June to help me make sense of this completely different and entirely new set up to my working life. I like the idea of a triangle as it’s solid and stable (‘The triangle is the strongest shape in nature’ – a line from the start of the Boss Baby animation!) and can rotate or tilt in terms of where I’m best to focus my efforts at that moment in time. It also has that sense of a mountain too with being able to achieve Moonstruck Astronaut projects as the peak of success supported and grounded by my other self-employed roles with UW and LAMDA teaching!
I’ll focus in on UW in this blog as I’ve never shared it openly before. Utility Warehouse is the part that is very much out of my comfort zone, where I have been strongly guided by spirit and my soul – my ego mind finds it well tough! It asks me to drop many previous beliefs about myself and money and subconscious judgements. It’s been bonkers what goes on inside my head! However, these amazing wisdoms keep me going – number 1, ‘your mind only knows what you’ve taught it’ (ie. it can be full of bull and inhibit access to so much more wisdom that is beyond the mind) and number 2, ‘your mind is like a parachute, it only works when it’s open’. Too often closed minds miss SO SO SO SO SO much, as I have done in the past, and probably will still, but I’m working on it and I haven’t given up, despite the struggles.
So, here I am, two years in since committing to being a UW Partner and I am seeing the start of success. Basically, Nicola and I, who started the same day, have made it to a milestone (when you receive a box of heavenly chocs!) that marks our team are gathering customers well. We’ve named our team ‘Team Unicorn’ – I can’t get enough of unicorns (as you may have noted!!) and want the figure of a unicorn to be our anchor. Accepting of all in our uniqueness and leaving no one out, shining our authentic lights out into the world.
The UW part of me is still raw and unsure and unsteady, and I’m unsure when this blog will be shared, I hope it will. I always seek to be transparent and honest. Stepping ‘beyond the known’ is stepping beyond society’s invisible psychological rules. It’s BLINKING SCARY. For me it has also been facing a fear of rejection every time you reach out to share, and learning how to roll with a lot of no’s!
UW is different and unique in British society – it can be seen with suspicion as it operates differently. It’s actually very ethical and beautiful in how it shares money, of course why I’m drawn to it and believe in it, and am willing to go through A LOT of pain to honour it. Which I’m hoping will reduce the more it becomes a system for me and I can separate a deep-rooted fear of rejection from the truth that I am a good person and deeply loved no matter what, no matter other people’s reactions are to UW, which is influenced by many factors that are not in my control.
What I do have control of is connecting with my soul to help me last the journey. I take these psychological risks out of a deep sense of love and responsibility to serve, knowing there is a far bigger picture than my fear that seeks to hold me back so much. You have no idea how other people will react to UW, it can feel a big risk to offer it, it can be reacted to like marmite whilst, to me, it tastes like golden honey! I have had some deeply painful experiences, but then you simply have to get back to seeing the bigger picture (and I look at my hot air balloon image again). On the other hand, I’ve had many deeply fulfilling experiences when you do help someone simplify their life and save A LOT, and you know you have blessed their life. There’s still a sense of dirtiness that I am seeking to heal – money subconscious limiting that is not true, but I’ve picked up from the decade and culture I was bought up in. And then of course there’s other’s subconscious limiting beliefs and it can become a quagmire.
I am simply the messenger that it exists, but I still seem to ‘personalise’ the rejection which I really want to improve on – if it’s possible, to lose the emotional charge and just treat it systematically. You go through a certain number of no’s to find a yes sort of thing. It’s always wanting what’s for the highest good of all and letting go when things don’t go as you’d hoped. I was given great advice by Clare Hingott (an actress who is also a leading light in the UW world) who I had a 2 minute chat to at a UW event in Autumn 2018: ‘marry the process, divorce the outcome.’ Great advice I’m still learning.
It is also realising the perceived rejection actually is only in your mind/ego and not the truth of who you are, and working on yourself (see the two wolves story reference at the bottom..). I’m someone who can feel rejected if someone doesn’t take a crisp from me when offered! I’m a highly sensitive, empathic soul who picks up on other’s energies – which has it’s plus points, and it’s challenges.
Stopped at 11.33am
Please go to Part 2 of this blog, which is the next one... (to explain – my trusted friends who’d read it in full fed back it’s just way too long to read in one go!!!)