I’ve been holding back on writing because I’ve had it in my mind that my next story needs to be about the ocean and how it’s healing me. I’ve been taking heartfelt notes of the lessons I’m learning from the sea. I scheduled a photo shoot (my first in years) to celebrate the beauty of the beach and started (and discarded) two drafts. But it’s just not flowing.
The ocean is flowing, just not my words about it.
I don’t want to force it; hence, no updates from me.
And, to be honest, my daily ocean swims are pretty far down the list of everything going on for me right now, so that story can percolate as long as it needs to. I’m here today to share a different story entirely. Here goes:
Three years ago, I embarked on a spiritual journey called The Spiral. I didn’t know much about it then; a trusted friend recommended it, and I had a government ‘personal development’ grant screaming to be spent.
The Spiral is an eight-week program that works through the body’s seven chakras (energy centres), clearing limiting beliefs, stuck energy and emotional charge.
I’d like to say that I was a sceptic, but I wasn’t at all! I was ALL FOR IT! I went on a quest to find the perfect journal for it. I mixed special oil blends for each chakra, and before each session, I cleansed my room with white sage and burnt chakra incense. I went all in.
The Spiral take 1, 2020. I had the perfect journal and everything.
Week one, the root chakra, didn’t disappoint. I received my clearing, duly journaled the experience, and noted the recommended integration practices. The main one was lots of grounding. (Walking barefoot on natural surfaces).
A lot of this.
And after sitting with the experience, I immediately realised two things:
- I couldn’t go ahead with the business I was in (The Travel Bootcamp and soon-to-be-unveiled Phhnix).
- I was an artist and needed to create art.
I’m not kidding you. I was literally walking around slathered in earthy essential oils (barefoot, of course), mumbling about going off the grid, living in the forest, surrendering to the universe, and allowing it to provide for me. And, of course, creating art.
Oils, grass, journaling. It was all happening.
I also discovered for the first time that I am highly intuitive and susceptible to other people’s energy. The word is ‘empath’, but I’ve never felt comfortable labelling it. I just know that I can get stuck in emotions, and when I investigate further, I can see clearly that they aren’t mine. I’m susceptible to catching them.
I also know, like really, really know, whether I’m a yes or a no to an opportunity.
And I was a HARD no to Phhnix. I sat my business partners down, one by one (the second one on a picnic blanket in the park), and told them that I couldn’t pursue the business.
We were poised to deliver our most successful event: our 2020 virtual Travel Bootcamp and its offshoot program, “The Accelerator Program”. Of course, I was totally willing to participate in all of that and deliver on my promises to the team. And after that, see ya later!
The Travel Bootcamp virtual, 2020.
At this point, my Spiral coach, Sand, reached out and told me she had heard I was exiting the business. She asked if I wanted to talk about it. I confidently declared that it was the right decision for me and that my intuition was strong.
I backed off from event prep, spent time in nature, followed my heart wherever it led me, continued to slather myself in essential oils, meandered around barefoot, and journaled like crazy.
It was very important to journal in all the colours. And textures. And nib sizes.
In another reality, I just might have ended up in the forest with my family creating art, but that’s not how the story went.
After some days had passed, I started to feel big things bubbling up. My addiction to work was unsustainable at this point. My inability to delegate work was becoming a problem as the business grew. I was carrying so much, and I couldn’t hold it anymore.
I broke down.
I shared my thoughts with my business partners and asked for a second chance. (On the side, they were full steam ahead, planning a future without me.)
It turns out that I was scared. Scared to step up in business. Scared to let go of control. But most of all, I was scared to be the new version of myself, the one who believes she is worthy of that much success.
We went ahead with the event, and that event, combined with the program and some content work, netted us our first seven-figure year.
Not long afterwards, we celebrated my 40th birthday in Far North Queensland in a truly lavish style. I also took delivery of my new Toyota Prado and was appointed Managing Director of Phhnix.
Celebrating my 40th birthday in FNQ. I looked and felt fresh, vital and purposeful.
When I finished The Spiral eight weeks later, I felt like a completely different person- a shiny, clean, authentic, conscious, vulnerable version of myself. I described it as feeling like I was the purest version of myself.
The business went on to have another seven-figure year with me at the helm, leading a team of up to fifteen staff and contractors.
Can you spot yourself?
To say that The Spiral was transformative would be an understatement. That period of my life was an incredible whirlwind of success. Many of you are here reading this because you were a client of ours during that time. You saw how I showed up.
Meanwhile, the girls and I took to calling my alter ego ‘Root Chakra Lauren”. She’s a hippy with an edge of smugness and superiority. She’s scared, but she’ll never show it. She smells a lot like sandalwood and patchouli.
I felt so much shame for how I showed up as ‘Root Chakra Lauren’ – as if I could be an artist or live alternatively (in the forest). What a fool!
I felt grateful that I’d realised the root of my fear, which I articulated at the time as being useless to the business if I wasn’t the one DOING everything.
And ultimately, I am grateful. I’m grateful that I went back to the business despite my fears. I’m grateful because I learned more in the subsequent two years of business than I thought possible. I’m grateful that I was able to step into that much discomfort and still show up. I’m grateful for every client whose life we were able to be a part of. Phhnix was a beautiful dream.
But that dream became my prison.
This was how I looked towards the end of Phhnix.
Being the Managing Director of Phhnix meant that I was the person responsible for steering the ship. And it was a huge hulk of a thing. I needed to upskill myself and my team in systems and dramatically upskill in leadership.
I fired people, hired people, oversaw vast swathes of money coming and going and slowly built our foundations as we continued to operate a brand-new business.
Amongst that, there was very little space for creativity. And my feminine side was dying.
I carved out a little space in my calendar to create again and spent a few hours a week on ebooks, but this barely scratched the surface.
Then I fell pregnant again.
When little Will came into being, I knew in my heart that Phhnix could no longer be my vehicle. It’s hard to describe, but I’d say it was the same certainty I felt as Root Chakra Lauren multiplied tenfold.
Walking away from that business felt simultaneously like the most liberating decision of my life and the most sabotaging decision of my life.
My inner critic whispered that I just didn’t have what it took. That I was weak. That I’d hit the ceiling of my extrinsic success, and I’d regret it for the rest of my life.
The inner knowing and feeling of liberation were still there but mixed with doubt and confusion. Did I make the right decision?
Regardless, I had to live with it. And live with it, I have.
I’ve spent most of my time since dedicated to personal development and unlearning the masculine way of living and working that had previously dominated my life.
I stopped doing things. I surrendered. I asked for help. I allowed others to help me. I let people see me. I surrounded myself with support and found moments of beauty and flow in the ordinary. It was singularly the most emotional year of my life. And it resulted in the most powerful experience of my life, the unmedicated homebirth of my son.
Realising my raw power.
William turned one last week. And in the past year, I’ve done very little. I’ve written a handful of emails (this is number seventeen, go me!), done one photo shoot, created some systems for cooking family dinners and parented my two little ones.
I’ve also delivered workshops in Fiji, Singapore, and Sydney while managing the bare minimum of life admin.
It’s felt … different. I’ve found things to love about myself without labels – entrepreneur, influencer, business owner, business coach, Managing Director.
You could say I’ve found myself.
I’ve embraced a more feminine way of being. Sitting back and allowing the universe to provide. Letting others lead. Feeling ALL the things. (I mean ALL the things.)
My baby shower, 2022.
And I might have gone a little too far in that direction…
I’ve gone from being a type A overachieving people-pleasing DOer who doesn’t stop to celebrate the journey whatsoever…
To being a laid back, emotional, creative human BEing who is filled with ideas for the future but with zero drive to execute them.
And it’s created a new prison for me—a prison of inaction and unfulfilled dreams.
So, I’ve embarked on The Spiral again. And I’m currently in, you guessed it, Root Chakra week.
It’s been different this time.
I spent a day or two slathered in oils and walking around barefoot, don’t get me wrong. But that experience very quickly turned into a massive outpouring of shame—possibly my biggest internal acknowledgment yet of the shame I carry.
This shame is deep.
It’s shame for being female. For being ugly. For being forgettable.
It’s shame that runs deep—intergenerational shame. I can feel it buried in my body, stored in my heart, stored in my hips, locking and immobilising my root chakra. At my lowest moment this past week, it whispered, the world would be better if you had never been born.
You can’t release what you haven’t yet acknowledged. What a gift my grief is.
But I faced it. I chose to feel it, and I will choose to FEEL again and again for all of eternity. Because when I choose to feel and shine a light on my pain, the shame shrivels up and goes away.
Shame hates an audience.
My intention for this Spiral journey is to marry my masculine energy with my feminine energy and to take balance into doing purposeful business. I want to feel filled with possibility and adventure again.
I have the ideas, and I know I have the skill and determination to do the doing. It’s time to stop hiding myself. To stop limiting myself.
So that’s where I’m at. Root Chakra Lauren, ALL of the Lauren’s, are beautiful and unforgettable.
And I’m here for the journey and to execute the next level of my life, for me and my family.
I expect nothing less than magic.
**Originally published to my email database on the 15th of November 2023**