When Covid hit, I lost a tonne of money, melted down, wailed on the floor for a few days, and then was unexpectedly handed the most incredible work opportunity I’ve ever fathomed —
Then just as rapidly, the opportunity was whisked away, not before delivering a swift kick of crushing disappointment to the stomach.
It’s now four months later and I’m (unexpectedly) insanely grateful that things turned out as they did.
I’d love to share this mad story with you… to illustrate how amazingly things can work out when you surrender to the lessons life is delivering you…
Even when it feels more like life is bashing you in the shins with a spanner.
As most of you know, I’ve been focussed on running in-person corporate mindfulness workshops for the last couple of years while my online courses went partially on pause, and I also work with Smiling Mind, Australia’s biggest and most impactful mindfulness brand; a not-for-profit organisation aiming to get mindfulness in the hands of as many school kids as possible.
Amen to that — goddamn I wish I’d learnt these skills at school!
When Covid hit, Smiling Mind received an incredible opportunity from one of Australia’s biggest health insurers to run a month of live-streamed meditations to help their members and audience (of millions) through the hectic Covid rollercoaster.
To my complete surprise, Smiling Mind hand-balled the opportunity to me, to facilitate under my own brand instead!
Hell yes, I said (potential to impact millions of Australians? Um yes, ok!), and they put us in touch.
I was grinning ear to ear at both the game-changing opportunity, and also the honour of being recommended for it by the COO of Smiling Mind.
I immediately called my Mum to tell her the good news, having panic-cried to her the day before.
I couldn’t believe it, out of nowhere, this opportunity would possibly be able to save my two businesses, both of which were facing very uncertain times (cheers Covid!), and may even help me recoup the money I’d lost.
But then the health insurance company got back to me to say they’d literally just THAT DAY found another mindfulness consultant.
Cue crushing disappointment and the full blown resurfacing of my fear about the future of my two businesses.
As it turned out, the consultant they’d partnered with instead was one of my closest friends and an incredible legend, who’d already worked for this company once before, so it was actually brilliant and completely deserved that she got the opportunity, and I was so excited for her (while also gutted for myself!)
Now, four months later, I can honestly look back and say “thank GOD I didn’t get that opportunity!”
Firstly, as expected, my friend has absolutely nailed the opportunity, and has gotten herself into an incredible state of flow and creativity and is impacting so many people who are really bloody grateful for it. The opportunity turned out to be 10x as huge as it started out, and my friend is absolutely on fire, which brings me so much joy! I don’t even feel jealous that it was nearly “my” opportunity anymore, she’s just so perfect for it!
And with 20/20 hindsight, what happened for me instead was BLOODY PERFECT, though it sure didn’t feel like it for the first month!
Just after my meltdown and crushing disappointment, I became inundated with corporate Covid-related stress reduction workshops, which was a huge relief.
I started running insane numbers of Zoom workshops per day, and quickly reached an early stage of burnout where I couldn’t even call friends on the phone or read or watch anything much for 2 weeks.
Which subsequently forced me into a self-care and self-compassion regime that I would NEVER have bothered with if I hadn’t first got the point of burn out.
The self-compassion lessons I’ve learned from that period have changed EVERYTHING. (More on that another day).
The way I work has profoundly altered forever —
if I forget these lessons, can someone please kick me compassionately?
— I’m experiencing more joy, more excitement, more creativity and more flow than ever before… yet I’m working more easefully and productively than I ever have.
No more slave-driving Neville! (Well, y’know, he still gives it a good crack from time to time…)
And *brace* I know you all love Bloody Good Chap, as do I, and always will, we are still close friends, but it’s time for me to let you in on an event in my life that I haven’t shared with you yet.
As a result of “losing” this work opportunity, I’ve also (accidentally) met an incredible human.
Through a long series of events spanning a year — involving an Airbnb guest, a corporate partnership, a brother, a cancelled flight to Sydney thanks to Covid, and facilitating a Zoom workshop that I wouldn’t have been able to host if I’d not “lost” that huge opportunity
— I met a man via Zoom and began a Covid romance (in person… while social distancing)!
Fuck you Tinder/Bumble/Hinge!
Zoom is the new dating app of the Covid era.
Our connection is beautiful, though it’s early days for me and this fascinating man — so that’s all I’ll say on the matter for now… but I had to bring it in to illustrate my point…
When shit hits the fan, you NEVER know what is around the corner.
As my fridge magnet says, the best view comes after the hardest climb.
Also, an arrow has to be pulled back before it flies.
How many more cliches can we list? Got more? Let me know…
The wound is the place where the light enters you.*
*Sheesh, Rumi, maybe a bit extreme for this example? 🤷♀️
Sometimes the biggest disappointments and the biggest failures lead to the most beautiful outcomes.
If you’re suffering, disappointed or disheartened right now — see if you can welcome it.
Or at least not expend all your energy warring with it.
It could turn out to be one of the best things that ever happened to you.
(Pst — that’s a solid 7 lines of cliche. You’re welcome.)