I’ve been quietly reflecting in my little house in Essex bemoaning the fact that I haven’t yet delivered the goods for my business coach, that I haven’t yet got on top of all that really needs to be done to expand the business and all the while, I have ringing in my ears, words from my closest followers saying:

“Jenny, you really should be more successful than you are!”.

What actually does that mean? What does it mean to be successful? This is what I’ve been in a practically meditative state for the last 6 weeks about and slowly the inner story is unravelling.

And allow me a diversion: it was all summarised in a phone call I had with one of my Soul Group Members who, when I said I really wasn’t a vegetarian, laughed and retorted wryly: “To be honest, when I saw you tucking into a ham salad at Group the other week, I thought to myself, ‘isn’t Jenny a vegetarian?’ We laughed and I quizzed why the hell everyone I damn well meet thinks I must be a vegetarian! I just didn’t and really, to be honest, still don’t understand how I project that kind of energy. All I know is that I do. Mix that with another ‘accusation’ that often comes my way: “Jenny, you are very spirtiual.” and here we have my conundrum.

How can I be successful at anything, if something that is essential to who I am, the very energy I give out, I’m not appreciating or using? And I realise as a result of this that I’ve been living certain aspects of my business from the outside in: let me explain.

When I went into business around 11 years ago, I’d had an epiphany towards the end of my training which meant I lost my fear of almost everything and just went at my new business with a level of faith that all would be fine.  I could see into the lives of my clients with a penetrating clarity, I could see them underneath all the rubbish they believed about themselves, and I worked heart felt to show them who they really were.  The only reason I could do this was because I’d seen and perceived myself underneath everything I used to think I was, and realised I was just human and nothing extraordinary – certainly not the ugly or fraudulent person that many of us think we are.  However, what I didn’t realise was that the ability to see that clearly, was indeed extraordinary.  While the initial epiphany created an almost zen like inner calm, after a few years, it established itself as just my base level of insight.  I didn’t have to work at it.  It just was how I had become.

It sounds as I write, like it was created by some meditative or spiritual state from which I emerged renewed.  But in fact, it came from some of my life’s greatest sufferings and torments.  I was sick of the way I was.  I was sick of the complaint, the helplessness, the sadness and the anger and I decided I would do what it took to change the way I perceived myself and my environment.  As I was ready for the change, the opportunity for change materialised in my environment.  It was a simple future progression, conducted by an inexperienced therapist on my second year of training that gave me that opportunity.  To this day, she probably doesn’t realise that that was the start of a new me.

I saw myself in that session in a future life completely calm and composed.  From that perspective, everything I used to feel just seemed small and ridiculous and I really had no need to keep reliving those dramas every day.  The insight profoundly changed the way I felt about people, my family, my work and my life.  From my future perspective, I realised I already had the capacity within me to see clearly and to not be tarnished by the living ghosts of my past, which I could now simply drop.  There was a deep sense of sadness at how I hadn’t honoured myself properly in the past, and a determination to stay absolutely central to my life and my life’s purpose.  In Buddhism we call this insight ‘zange’ which loosely translates as an ‘apology’. I was still aware of my programming: I could see it, like a film and yet still profoundly appreciate the deeper aspect of who I was.

These are my gifts.  These are things I am really good at.  However, despite that fact, I was still aware that my work would be better valued and validated by doctors, psychiatrists and the world of psychotherapy, if I didn’t advertise the whole ‘spiritual’ or ‘experiential’ nature of my work.  While I use the term ‘spiritual’ at times, I’m always careful to define it so that I don’t attract the new age, spiritual movement which can often, leave me feeling quite cold, especially when I meet people who I can sense are living from the outside in.  By that I mean people who use jargon that demonstrates they belong to that club, but not really understanding what those terms really mean to them, let alone what they mean to others.  I’m also a vehement anti buddhist jargonist, much to my fellow buddhists’ dismay at times, as I find real meaning gets lost in words and concepts that are way too high brow, learned or ‘out there’ to be relevant ‘in here’.

Spirituality for me, I have learned is really quite mundane. It’s all about just knowing and feeling life without interpreting it through other people’s words or other people’s conceptual filters.  It’s about being authentic and living in the here and now and having a curiosity and love for life that makes each day a beautiful new awakening.  And yet, here am I, anxious about being that whole person among my larger peer group.  Worried about not fitting in, or not being taken seriously…..the origin of which stems back to the unique circumstances of my childhood, my family and the mores of our culture.  Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, methinks!

So this is where I realised slowly over the last 6 weeks, I’ve been living from the outside in when it comes to my business.  And that’s because I need to confront my fear of being fully known for who I really am.  My intimates, some of my treasured colleagues and supervisees, get the full picture.  But when it comes to being me out there, I’ve been hiding.

As I’m writing I’m feeling a clarity I haven’t felt for some time.  I’m feeling a certainty at my core that this is what I need to do now.  You’ll hear more about my journey and how I’ve come to use my unique personal experience in my therapy career: my goal being to show you how to realise the value of YOUR experiences and how to value you.  The strap line on my site says, ‘Realising your true value’.  That’s what I promised to do when I set out in this training and supervision business.  And it’s something I want to share with you.

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