As 2023 draws to a close, I want to share with you my gratitude for your presence here.
Writing to you each week has been a pleasure, and has stretched me to challenge my thinking as well as my approach to “the work” as I endeavour to provide tangible value in my writings, or at the very least invite you to see things from somewhat of a new perspective. The curious, adventurous and pioneering aspect of you knows why that is important.
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes." - Marcel Proust
So with that, thank you for showing up.
Thank you for your engagement.
And thank you for the courage with which you’ve lived your life, no matter how quietly you’ve gone about it. Courage doesn’t always roar.
Actually, I’d assert it rarely does.
This has been a big year for many of us. I’ve had the honour of supporting some incredible humans in my practice who have been doing extraordinary and difficult work on themselves, across their personal and professional lives. I’ve witnessed and supported people working through grief and loss, pursuit of national and international business expansion, divorce, pregnancy and birth (both long-awaited and completely unexpected), conscious communication, business restructure, key leadership alignment, financial stewardship, challenging childrearing seasons, embracing life after divestment, addiction, corporate ladder leaps, rebalancing relationship energetics, and creating space for new relationships to come in where flying solo is no longer desirable… amongst other things.
Naturally, I continue to find it hard to answer when people ask me, ‘Anne, what do you actually help people with?’
What I seek to do always, is to meet people where they are at. One of my central mantras is all of you is welcome. It doesn’t matter what the topic is, we’re on a mission for truth. Because when you see things truthfully, you can act on them more effectively. I’ve spoken quite a bit this year about the relationship I see between being honest with ourselves and personal agency.
“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but my making the darkness conscious.” - Carl Jung
Like it or not, each of us represents an entire unique "world". Reality is too vast to be known completely by any single individual, so our human “selves” are each a collection of different aspects of reality, gathered through such things as our genetics, our environment, the formative forces that shaped us, our education and schooling, our life experiences and past relational dynamics. I seek to help my clients get a grasp on that through deep questioning and exploration. Understanding oneself more deeply and recognising the complexities of the human operating system as well as the context in which it exists is also a very humbling experience. The process organically makes way for more connected relationships through cultivating the ability to give presence to the “world” that is someone else.
We humans are endlessly fascinating, don’t you think?!
As such, I prefer to let go of trying to draw a line around the topics I work with. My clients try to do that when we first meet. They come with challenges like “the work stress has become too much”, “I feel like I'm not valued at home”, or “I just feel overwhelmed”. Sometimes it’s a sense of inadequacy that deprives one of connecting to their sense of hope for the future. It can be as simple as unshakeable apathy. The common thread is that they know they can be better (and that it could be worse).
Let’s be honest, people don’t call on me when life is 10/10. And if they knew what needed solving, they’d probably do it themselves. This work is exploratory in nature, and it can be real tough. Yet somehow, our sessions almost always end in lightness and possibility.
If there were no rules, the way I would secretly love to describe my work is like this:
I do heartbreaking work with people on their way to becoming their most courageous and exceptional selves.
If you’ve been an engaged reader with me here, you will probably realise that you’re doing this kind of work every day. You don’t need me (or some other professional) to do the work. But I am delighted to join those brave people who say YES to diving into the mystery a bit deeper and seeing what they can transform from the inside out when they have someone along for the ride keeping them accountable.
“This is how magic is done, by hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.” - Terence McKenna
I’ve had the feedback a few times that my writings can be a little serious and even sombre, and I’m okay with that. I am very in touch with the beauty of the work and I hope that you too can start to understand that we live in a universe that is governed by contrast. Day/night. Dark/light. Good/bad. I really do believe that by meeting our challenges more honestly and being willing to get a bit muddy in the process, we create our own “feather beds”. Though, we may not always recognise them as such.
We're living in challenging and fast-changing times. Life is asking a lot of us. We have to be compassionate with ourselves. But perhaps not too compassionate.
While we're talking about feedback, I'd love to hear from you about what would be useful for you to read about here in the coming year. Are there certain topics we've covered you'd like to learn more about? Something that's not been covered that you wish had been? A certain life event or challenge that you'd like addressed? I always welcome your feedback and will do my best to action it, especially where it seems useful for others in the audience too.
Thank you again for being here. I do hope you’ll stick around, and also know that you’re very welcome to get off this train if this no longer feels like information that is supportive for you.
So Anne, are you ready to roll up your sleeves for 2024?
I am! I’m really excited for what is to come next year. I have some plans to create more opportunities for conversations around important topics, both in the public space and a more intimate one, and I will also be launching a couple of new one-to-one offers in the new year to meet the needs of a broader group of people. Details to follow.
For now, I'll be taking next week off, so next time you hear from me will be in January.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas! May it be filled with connection and much hope and faith in the future. May love flow around you and beauty be found in the simplest of things. And may you be fortified to move into your next chapter and evolution as the new year approaches.
The coming year may ask a lot of you, but I know you've got what it takes to meet it. You're infinitely more courageous than you know.
And I look forward to continue growing more courageous together next year.
Thank you for being here.
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