Well hello there!

I’m so glad you’re here. Truly.

I live in Seattle and we’ve had three days of rain. Literally three whole days and it has not stopped. It has been horrendous. It is times like these I thank my lucky stars I’m able to surround myself with positive people. I know, I’m lucky, because not everyone can or chooses to. Perhaps you work or live in an environment where you don’t have a choice who you are surrounded by? This is tough, I know. I’ve been there. I call these people Debbie Downers, and boy they can bring you down, can’t they?! My (high level) advice is to make sure you are taking your Vitamin D and make social plans with people who fill your cup rather than drain it (and yes, this includes your wine glass 😊). The rains will soon be over and spring will be here in a matter of weeks!

Last week’s newsletter prompted an influx of emails, texts and even a couple of phone calls. So many of you could resonate with my words about living a two-country life. Many of you are doing the same, or had previously, and it appears you remembered it only too well. Living with a foot in each town, city, country or continent will always provide challenges and I thank you for taking the time to share your stories, support and offers to meet for a good old chinwag!

All the love got me thinking… Why is it that some weeks I don’t receive any feedback or comments on my weekly emails and others my inbox lights up? I concluded that when I open my heart to you, when I speak honestly about how I live, love and struggle you immediately relate in some way. Perhaps you see yourself in me, perhaps you used to feel like I do but have moved on. Or, you may know someone who is feeling the same or can sympathize. Perhaps you know how to help or offer advice. 

When I write this way, open and honest, you see the real me and not just the email asking you to (for example) set goals, plan your day/week/food, tame your inner critic, etc. You see the person behind the email, the one who is real, who works hard, the one who loves to help women be their best self, to make their lives easier, more purposeful, happier and fun.
In a way, those emails are also a version of my vulnerability. If I didn’t try and help you or add value to your life I think it would be selfish of me. Because I am good at it. (Yes, I’m putting humble aside for a moment. 😉)

So, while I’m here and keeping it real, there’s another thing I’m pretty good at; being open and honest. I think openness and honesty can never be overrated, they are the cornerstone to so many life situations. Over the years I learnt that if I need help with something, more than likely I wouldn’t get it if I didn’t ask. Sometimes asking for help meant eating humble pie. And I’m good with that — boy, I’ve eaten a lot of humble pie over the years!
I left home at 16 (without parental support). Fending for myself meant I had to speak up if I needed help, even when I wanted to curl up in a ball and hide under the bed wishing someone would do it for me. Through trial and error, I learnt there is a wrong way and a right way to ask for help; one way would get you the desired outcome and the other definitely would not!
Showing myself as open, honest and sometimes vulnerable, rather than a sure footed, cocky individual who came across as stand-offish or appeared bullish meant people were more eager to help.

Vulnerability, openness and honestly are three characteristics I value in myself and anyone I meet. To be truly vulnerable you must also be open and honest. They go hand in hand.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with showing your vulnerable side to anyone, ever. Showing vulnerability, uncertainty, the need for help, love or companionship may open a whole new world for you. It may lead you to people whom you may never have met because now they feel they already know you, can relate to you instantly, or they feel a connection and want to know more.

Why do you think some of the most popular people on social media are the ones who share their daily lives, the good, the bad and the ugly? Because people want to know ‘you’. They want to see how challenging something is for you so they don’t feel alone when it is the same for them. They want to learn from your mistakes; be inspired to pick themselves up and put on their ‘big girl pants’ when they see you do the same. Flipping heck! How often have you seen a woman on social media, 24 hours post-partum, standing in her maternity underwear, showing her lose belly skin with a bundle of joy in her arms telling everyone how tired she is?  I’ve seen quite a few, and they get 10,000’s of likes, not because of the new baby, but because she shared and bared herself to the general public to a resounding round of applause (ok – ‘likes’). People like people like them.

I’m not asking you to be uncharacteristically open, honest and vulnerable on a daily basis, but perhaps give it a try every now and again and see how good it can make you feel. Because it can.

Zoë x