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Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

The concept of ‘Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable’ has been showing up for me A LOT in the Dawn Gluskin – Storyteller & Copywriterpast several months (hat tip to my Red Elephant mastermind leaders for this great phrase and concept!)

We’re all familiar with the expression of “the magic happens right outside of our comfort zone.” And, anybody that has even taken a leap of faith, carried onward with a heart beating out of their chest, or otherwise tiptoed outside that warm and fuzzy feeling of their zone of comfort can attest: Yes, there is something quite magical on the other side! (Shoot, the act of bravery itself is pure magic — regardless of the outcome). Continue reading “Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable”

Are you calling it in? The Power of Intention

Don’t you love how small efforts, over time, turn into radical shifts?

I recently had one of those “holy sh*t” moments.  You know – when you pause for a minute to take a little inventory of your life and realize, with immense gratitude, how lovely it is.  And, furthermore, you realize just how far you’ve come.

For me, this had shown up in the form of feeling supported, which was something, once upon a time, that felt quite foreign to me.

You see, asking for support is not something I’ve always been good at.  In fact, I used to be pretty awful at it. (I share a funny story in this video below about an 8-month pregnant lady in a bikini moving heavy furniture & yard debris in her front yard. Spoiler alert: That lady was me. And, this is a peek inside how ridiculous I used to be!)

As for “why” – well, that’s a pretty deep subject and a whole other post! I guess I had to prove how strong I was or something. It’s what I call the “superwoman complex” — and it’s a real thing. I see it All. The. Time. We’ll explore that some other time. But, for now, back to the coaching call…

A few years back, I was talking to one of my business/life coaches about how stressed and overwhelmed I was feeling. I had two young daughters at the time (one still in diapers) while trying to run multiple businesses and juggling everything else life was throwing at me. My self-care was practically non-existent and I was feeling the burn. She totally called me out on it: “Well, Dawn, you are really good at a lot of things, but you’re pretty bad at asking for support.” I felt in denial about it at first.  But, then, she continued, “You have so many people that would love to support you and you don’t let them in.”  She asked me when the last time was that I had asked for support and/or took someone up on their offer to help? She quickly added that employees didn’t count.  She made me realize that despite being a giving and generous person, I was shutting people down from being the same to me.

At that point, I decided that I truly wanted to FEEL supported in my life  I knew that I would have to open up to allow the support to flow in. I set that intention in my mind and heart and adopted a new mantra of, “I am supported”. Truth be told, I didn’t even believe those words at first. But, I kept saying them, and thinking them, and feeling them on a daily basis until they became my truth.

Without any grand outward calling for help, and by simply acknowledging my desire, calling it out as my intention, and opening myself up (energetically) to receiving …   support started trickling in for me in big ways. And, it hasn’t let up since.

As for my “holy sh*t” moment of recent: I was just back from a brilliant mastermind in NYC and really loving all the supportive entrepreneurs in the group who “get it” and have my back and want me to succeed as much as I want it for them. I was appreciating how lucky I am to be able to travel for business and personal growth & know that my two daughters are well-loved and taken care of by the supportive family that steps up when I’m away. Also, having just recently graduated from yoga teacher training, I was honoring the fact that I went through that journey with such an amazing and supportive group of teachers and fellow trainees. And, to top it all off, soon after giving up a chunk of safe and steady income doing work that I was grateful for, but didn’t love, all sorts of new opportunities starting showing up: new partnerships, new clients, new programs. In realization of all this and with immense gratitude, I exclaimed out loud, “Holy shit. I AM supported.”  And, it feels pretty darn good.

And, I want this for you as well. Whatever it is that you desire in business and in life, subtle shifts starting right now are going to multiply for you BIG TIME over time.  That is the power of intention and how it creates reality.

The words of Paulo Coelho from one of my favorite books, The Alchemist, ringing in my ears: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Truth.

But, you have to let it be known. And, step into the energy. And, feel it. And, become it. And, as your thoughts change, so do your actions. And, as your actions change, so do your outcomes. And as your outcomes change, your life becomes wide open to all the possibilities and opportunities your heart desires.

It all starts with intention. So, what is yours?

With So Much Love,

Dawn

The Power of Owning Your Story

We all have parts of our story that are a little more difficult to own up to than others.

Since, as humans, we are wired to avoid pain, we often end up locking those portions of our tale up in a closet somewhere, never to see the light of day again.

But, if we decide to let them out into the light, and maybe even give them a little cuddle and say, “I get you” – something quite magical occurs.

Really, what it comes down to is this: You can own your story, or your story will own you. Either way, you can’t re-write the past, but you can influence the next chapter.

When I started a technology company in my living room at age 30 and grew it from $0 to $3 million in just three years, I thought I had arrived. I mean, by all versions of societal success, that’s about as arrived as one can get, eh?

However, almost as quickly as we rose into our PR friendly “success story,” things began to crumble.

As happens in business sometimes, I took a zig when I should have taken a zag. In hindsight I see my biggest mistake was not having a bad-ass finance guru by my side, looking over reports and then calling me up saying, “Dawn, what the hell are you doing? Do you want to go out of business?” Yeah, I needed that guy or gal. Because, you see, I was really good at making sales and growing the company. But, at the time, forecasting and managing cash-flow weren’t my strong points. I mean, I can manage my own piggy bank. But, when you’ve got millions coming in and going out to the tune of hundreds of transactions a month… things get complicated quickly.

Work your strengths and outsource your weaknesses. Business 101. Duh. How did I screw that up?

So, long story short, after 7 years in business, I decided to close the company. Err, well, the Universe decided for me. We were losing obscene amounts of money and the stress was too much. I was drained financially, emotionally, spiritually. And, it was time to move on, on. I think I handled it pretty well too. If “well” could take the form of feeling sorry for myself, and repeatedly asking the old, “whyyyy meeee?” Then, yes, I handled it like a champ!

In my mind, from a karmic standpoint, I had done everything right. I chaired non-profit events and gave freely of my time and money. I put my needs behind those of my employees and kept them on payroll while not paying myself. I was kind. I worked on myself daily. I helped people from the heart. So, what the heck did I do wrong?

Then, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Wait a second. This is what I had been praying for everyday. As part of my morning ritual, I had asked repeatedly to be guided to the people, places, and things that would help me grow into my highest and best self so that I could be of the most service and able to help others. I certainly never expected this to be gifted to me in the form of a failed “successful” business, though.

It took me over a year and a half to go from “Hey, thanks a lot Universe. Waaaay to have my back on that one” to realizing that everything was happening for my greater good. I was being pulled and stretched and expanded beyond belief so I could become more awake, stronger, and even more aligned with my soul’s purpose. And, once I finally helped myself, I was in a position to help even more people. The Universe was carving out a path for me. Now, I understand all that money I lost was my “tuition money.” For reals. Pain and loss are pretty darn good teachers. I have the equivalent to a master’s degree in financial know-how now. And, while I did have to tuck my tail between my legs and go work for one of my old competitor’s for a while, that was actually quite humbling. And, it gave me the space to know that I really, really, really want to be an entrepreneur. It also gave me crystal clarity on how I want to show up in the world and how I want to serve.

It’s funny how things come around full circle too. You see, as a little girl, I never said, “I want to sell electronic components when I grow up.” I just sort of accidentally fell into that industry. In fact, I always knew I would be a writer when I grew up. That is, until the world convinced me that I would never make any money doing that. So, instead, I majored in business, and found myself in a long career of sales and marketing. Ten-year-old me knew what was up, though. Now, I am back to my roots and fostering creativity and storytelling and copywriting for soul-centered entrepreneurs — all things closely connected with my life’s mission. It took me being really out of alignment to be able to come back home and see things so clearly.

Sharing this part of my story publicly is not the easiest thing I’ve ever done. As a matter of fact, I have procrastinated, stared at blank screens, wrote and re-wrote more times than I care to admit. But, that just tells me how important it is to share. We live in a society where everybody puts up their highlight reels on social media. Our darkness stays hidden. We suffer alone. But, when we bring it into the light, pure magic happens. We heal. We give others permission to “fail” fantastically. We inspire them to own the parts of their story that they may feel shame around.

Brene Brown (who I absolutely adore) says, “When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending.” Amen, sister. I had let mine define me for a little too long. But, stepping into full ownership, I feel empowered.

This time around, as I write my brave new ending and build new businesses that are more aligned with my purpose, I’ve decided to re-define success. It matters not how many zeroes are in the revenue numbers on the balance sheet at the end of the day. Instead, it matters how many hearts are touched, how many lives are changed, and how much creative fire flows.

Maybe you are reading this and see a reflection of a part of your own story inside of mine. Maybe today is the day you shift the perception and, instead of feeling shame around it, you own it as part of your truth. You don’t have to share it publicly (unless you want to… it feels kind of nice, actually). But just allow acknowledgement for the hidden gifts within… for the sake of your own healing. You are beautiful and magical and perfect, especially because of your flaws. Those cracks are what let the light in, baby. Be blessed. Be well.

Republished, as original appeared on Huffington Post.