but also the paradoxical nature of things when female leaders stand there blocking the door, guilting and shaming the female leaders and women out there who are ready to step up and off the abuse merri-go-around for good as "regressing," "disowning themselves in service to the patriarchy" and doing something wrong for choosing their hearts and to start daring to look forward again, instead of drowning in the constant revisitation of a past that feels done and no longer has a call or a charge.. Oh fuck, did i just say that shit out loud? Well fuck, I must just be brainwashed AF by the fucking patriarchy and New Caging it for wanting a little love and peace in my life.
Or maybe there's another possibility. Maybe in the healing journey from abuse there IS a phase where you step up and away from the merri go round and choose to explore what lies beyond the wound. Beyond the identity and the self worth we can inevitably sometimes also become dependent upon when we choose to share our trauma stories with the world and the world responds back with affirmations of our strength, courage and amazingness. What happens though when you come to the point where you're ready to let go of that story and that identity? And you no longer want to be a part of the public owning or holding the healing?
As i write this, i'm trying to infuse it with as much love and presence as i possibly can and I own that yes, i feel the tension of feeling, for some parts of it, done. And i don't share this lightly. Because i remember what happened the first time a sister called me out on my attachment to that identity back in early 2014. One minute, i was sitting in a cafe with her telling her about my life purpose in helping women who'd been through huge stuff in life move on and GET ON with living lives they love. The next day, I'm face to face with a Facebook post she wrote about women who's sense of self worth is completely derived on attachment to their trauma wound.
And suddenly, in the space of about 3 minutes, I felt thoroughly suicidal, or like my hold world internal world was ripping apart at least. Why?
It's no small thing when someone tells you to just let an entire identity your healing was dependent upon the fuck go.
Until then, I hadn't REALLY ever gone head to head with healing my trauma wounds until that point in that time to the level of depth i needed to. I'd done mental layers, as I found out that they existed. I did the body work and the work on owning my own voice and my rage. But i'd managed to bypass a lot of stuff in training as a Counsellor and deciding that i would shift my focus to helping others and was going to make my experience count for something by helping others going through the same thing
One of the hardest things for women and people who've been through a lot of crap in life is to trust that there really IS something beyond the identity of brokenness, physically and psychologically. And there are actually phases to the letting go. The letting go of being a victim, to being a practitioner and or owning your capacity to rebuild a new life was one phase. But then potentially moving beyond whole communities of women and men you healed and maybe worked with to the next thing are two others that can be JUST as fear inducing to the average person.
But coming back to my example of attachment TO the story. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with choosing to help people as the next step of one's healing journey, it can be a PART of the healing and necessary. BUT, at the same time, when you do so, you have to be really careful to keep your story and the affirmation people give you for it in perspective. And watch your potential dependency on that. Keep your self worth, well balanced. I suddenly realised in that moment that I didn't have a clue what my value was in the world BEYOND that identity i'd created as a healer. What else did i have that people would value and buy me for, if i let that go? And dare i say it out loud, what purpose did i have as a 30 something childless woman if not to be Mother Mary'ing those who needed Mothering the most because they'd never had it to the level they needed? (The wounded AND the abusers.) (Again, don't get me wrong, i'm not saying being able to help your clients heal by embodying parental energy is a BAD thing. But i am saying we have to watch our true motivation for doing so and ensure we're doing it for the right reasons and not just playing out own OWN stuff with clients in the process. That's why supervision is such an important thing.)
Back then, at times, I sat in the middle of a spinning merri go round, staring at an exit that periodically kept coming into view every few seconds, suddenly terrified of what lay on the other side of the door. Suddenly terrified of who exactly i was on the other side of that door. And who would be left if i walked through it. That moment feels ridiculously empty and lonely, because no one can walk through the door for you or WITH you. A part of you has to die in that moment and be reborn and that can't happen while everyone is still attached. All they can do is let go, and the ones you are truly meant to keep journeying with you will meet you on the other side of the door.
Who are you on the other side of the door? You are love. You are love in motion, wanting to express and experience itself in every moment. You are inspiring in every moment that you live your hearts truth and speak from your heart. You are someone who looks through the doorway to the merri go around every once in a while and beams a fuckload of love at it as an advert of what's possible to those still sizing up the doorway. But you're also someone tremendously courageous for choosing to live the life purpose that comes next. Whatever that might be for each individual.
Maybe you STILL solve people's problems. But a whole other set of problems to the ones you fast started working with. Maybe you train people in another set of skills that you didn't realise until now that you even had. Maybe you sell your creations. Maybe you nurture people in a whole new way. Maybe you start taking a stand for what you love, instead of what you're appalled by. I can't tell you what it is. Only you can feel it out for yourself what living a life you love, with those you love looks like for you.
But i'll tell you this much. As i stepped through that doorway, i tell you, it beats reliving the pain and trauma of it over and over. It beats being stuck as a part of a system chock full of unconscious rescuers completely invested for THEIR sense of self worth in your brokenness and you STAYING broken and a part of the fight. Not to mention feeling constantly shamed for no longer wanting to be a pawn on the battlefield that lies half way between the chess pieces of good and evil. "Angels" v's "demons", good guys v's bad guys, with 7 billion humans in between. Fuck that. Like the Devil card in the tarot, in life, (though at times it may not feel like it) any mental chains that you find loosely draped around yourself actually can be easily removed any time you want in reality and every person still caught up in that paradigm can run free at any time they choose, if and when they want to. (If you're not sure how, ask me.)
You are the maker of your own destiny, you get to write each and every chapter of this story. And you're just as inspiring to people everywhere when you go all out living a life you love, with those you love. Watching you, they may just give themselves permission to the same. That's an encouraging thought, don't you think?
Spend a little bit of time with me, and you'll soon find that there are 3 things i'm pretty passionate about when it comes to our future leaders and business. And those are, 1) helping them confidently bring forward more of their uniqueness in all aspects of life 2) in an increasingly tech focused, world, that has moved more online than ever, maintaining the quality of human connection that has always been the magic of face to face engagement and 3) Helping them master all the tools, practices and modes of service delivery that will help them do that, one of which i think fore sure is video.
BUT there is also some pretty good real-world evidence as to why in your business, if you've been resisting this whole video thing that the world seems to be learning towards now, it might be time, not to mention entirely necessary for the benefit of the future clients i know you're passionate about helping, to embrace it. This blog is about WHY:
OUR CURRENT ONLINE AND VIDEO CONSUMPTION BEHAVIOUR
For a start, Americans are now spending approximately on average 6 hours a day interacting with media online and Australian's are not far behind. Of the nearly seven hours we spend each day on tablets, phones and computers, according to the report done earlier this year by We are Social, in collaboration with Hootsuite, around 5.34 hours per day of that is online.
If you're curious to know what the latest figures (September 2018) on what the top 26 sites are that Australian's are spending their online time on, check out Vivid Social's latest September 2018 report here and the breakdown of U.S. online engagement in the Nielsen 2018 report here.
Now the big question.
HOW MANY HOURS ARE WE SPENDING ON VIDEO EACH WEEK AND WHERE?
Globally, Youtube is the world’s second largest search engine and we watch over 1 billion hours of video on there per day (15 million of those are being watched by Australians.) That's well above the 100 million hours per day in September 2018 spent watching Facebook Video and 116 million per day spent on Netflix.
That means a HUGE percentage of your potential clients would appear to be on those platforms watching video, both recreationally and it's where they end up when they're trying to solve their problems in all aspects of life. Video is a big part of online education, it's a huge part of workplace training culture, it's a part of what employees are doing when they're MEANT to be working. And for those working 9-5 type hours, they’re sitting on their daily commutes watching videos or listening to Podcasts. Before getting home to families where there are an average of 6 devices being used to access live tv, on demand video content, video games and, of course, all of the platforms mentioned above.
Bottom line, if you want your message to more effectively reach more of the approximately 85% of Australians alone who are still using TV's and accessing online video content for those above hours, you might need to be hanging out, like the chefeur at the airport holding up a sign for their VIP client, on video, holding up your message there as your version of yours.
IF YOU WANT TO WORK WITH GEN Z, YOU NEED TO LEARN THEIR PREFERRED PLATFORM OF COMMUNICATION
Wether you're wanting to work with young people as clients or are managing them in the working world, video is also the communication tool of choice of many young people. According to Stillman and Stillman in Gen Z at work (e.g. Gen Z being the generation born between 1995 and 2012,) when they interviewed 1000’s of Leaders, HR’s directors and Gen Z's themselves on life and working life through their eyes, as a general rule, Gen Z’s are all over video. When they apply for a job now, or university place, their CV’s and applications are all or accompanied by a video. If you look at recruitment platforms across the country, from the governments Jobactive, to Retail Recruiters, you might have noticed video applications in Australia are fast becoming the thing now in line with this. More than that, when it comes to meetings and videos, where a Boomer or a Gen X'er would come and meet a potential client or partner somewhere for a meeting, a Gen Z will likely set up a video chat with you from home, to your office. That’s normal for them.
Moral of the story, not only is video fast becoming a preferred communication tool of the present going into the future, If you want to work with Gen Z as a target market, it’s pretty much essential that you get a little better acquainted with my good friend video, in all it's online applications.
AS A HUMAN SERVICE BASED BUSINESS OWNER, PRACTITIONER, COACH, AND LEADER, SHORT OF BEING IN THE ROOM WITH YOU, IT'S THE NEXT BEST WAY TO CONVEY YOUR MAGIC
As a Practitioner, Healer, Counsellor, Coach, Mentor, Creative or Transformational Therapist, Leader, Speaker, Facilitator or Trainer, your essence and that unique presence that only you can provide, IS your magic and as a Mentor of mine was saying earlier this week, it's the one thing that basically nobody else can replicate. I've been saying it for years too. In a busy market place where there are now many people with similar training and skillsets, or even in a clinic, where there are 5 other Counsellors, the one thing that sets you apart and that they will choose you for, IS their resonance with your unique essence, plus professional and personal experience. I've said this before too, but never did that become more obvious to me than when i was trained, along with several other Mentors, to offer program content we'd mostly been taught and you'd have 6 of us lined up, basically saying the same thing to a group of clients. But clients would always pick who they'd pick based on who they felt they had the most in common with. Because that's the game of people and relationships and the nature of the human helping relationship, wether therapeutic or or a teaching one.
Thus, in order to connect with clients in a way that inspires them to work with you, it is absolutely essential that you be able to communicate a direct transmission of YOU (eg showcase YOU) with the most suitable medium to accurately capture and communicate it. Short of you being in the room with them, what is it? Yep, video.
While good writing CAN convey an energetic quality and personality for sure, it’s sometimes much hardER to convey with the same level of emotion and personality, your unique essence and the quality of the experience a potential client is going to have with you, in writing. Not to mention, it's infinitely more open to interpretation and falls victim to projection and misinterpretation far more often, because there's no verbal or less obvious non verbal communication to go off.
But, on the other hand, get equally comfortable with conveying the same message via video and it’s incredibly easy to remove these miscommunication hassles by using video, where they can engage with you with far more senses and thus get a much more realistic impression of the REAL you. Plus the experience they'll have in session or in an online program with you, wether online or face to face.
Not to mention, if you want to reach a much bigger audience, a global audience, video again opens up the world to you, to a much greater degree
with all senses engaged to a level that goes beyond what you can do on a voice call alone. Until you can get there in person, it's the next best thing.
Have I sold you yet? While Podcasts are definitely also a thing, video is holding our attention for a much larger percentage of each and every day right now and so is just as much a tool you want to nail. And the places it gets watched, where you want to be hanging out.
Cowling, D, Social Media Statistics Australia- September 2018, 1st Oct 2018
Tilley, C, Chart of the day- How we are spending our internet minutes, 2nd July 2018
De Spinola, C, 2018 Digital Report Australia, 15 Feb 2018
Stillman D & Stillman, J, Gen Z at Work, Harper Collins, New York, 2017
Time flies: US adults now spend nearly 6 hours per day watching video, Neilson Insights, 7 July 2018
Nat talks about Self Expression, Heart Centred Communication and Lifestyle for Leaders.