I happen to LOVE Autumn and Winter - and it's not just because my birthday is during this time of year.
I love nothing more than rugging up indoors by the heater with a mug of hot chocolate, a cat snuggled up beside me with a journal within reach. I love climbing into my big warm bed and wrapping myself in lots of blankets and thick knitted socks. I love that The Sassy Ms. Honey B has taken to curling up under the blankets between my boyfriend and I while we sleep - and I love the RIDICULOUSLY good nights of solid sleep I get during cool nights - no tossing and turning trying to get away from one another or feeling bothered by sheets on hot sleepless Summer nights.
I love spending time indoors, as well as getting out and about walking through crunchy autumn leaves.
But I think that most of all, I really love that the transition through the seasons provides me with an opportunity to reflect on the things that have changed in my life, to appreciate the things I'm grateful for, and to let go of the things that aren't making me feel so crash-hot.
I know plenty of people who swear by Spring Cleans - and I think that's great, but here at The Kitteh Palace, I have a seasonal practice of going through the apartment and looking at everything as if we're moving out and starting over. Anything that I wouldn't want to bring with me into a new life, gets donated, sold or thrown away (moving from a 3 bedroom house to sharing a 1 bedroom flat a few years ago was a big part of why I became way more discerning about my purchases).
Throughout Autumn, I took the opportunity to go further than just doing a material declutter. I went through my social media platforms and cleared away the visual noise and busy-ness that had started to feel like crunchy brown leaves hiding the fresh green grass that lay beneath.
I realised that my news feeds on both Facebook and Instagram had filled up with people I didn't really know, and businesses I had never shopped with. The irony was that as someone who avoids being over-exposed to commercials and advertising, I'd essentially curated an entire feed of ads - and most frustrating of all, hardly any of them applied to me, my life, or my goals.
I had allowed them to become an unhelpful distraction.
Over a couple of days, the UNFOLLOW button got a serious work out, and before too long, my online world felt way friendlier, and way less shouty.
I finally got around to installing an AdBlocker on my computer and I felt like I was well and truly on a roll.
Next, and most challengingly was the shedding and clearing away of the crunchy brown leaves that had built up around me.
Not the other people.
Not the material possessions.
Not the noise.
It was time to look at what wasn't working and get super, brutally fucking honest about what was really going on in my life.
Now the key here, and I cannot stress this enough, is that this process isn't about judgement or blame. It's about noticing, accepting responsibility, and taking steps to learn and grow and move forward.
The process of looking at your life and the choices you've made can be really confronting and challenging - especially when you're looking at what isn't working out the way you had hoped.
For me, the biggest thing that hasn't been working out the way I had intended has been my business.
The truth is that it just hasn't taken off as well as I'd planned - and it's not necessarily from a lack of commitment, skill, or effort.
If I'm completely honest, there has been some serious doubt going on behind the scenes over the last few months.
Old bullshit stories and fears about not being enough, paired with anxieties about turning 31 and still feeling a bit like I should have achieved more in life by now.
Add to that the almighty terror of, "HOLY SHIT I THINK I MADE A MISTAKE AND I WANT MY REGULAR PAY CHECK BACK NOW PLEASE" and things can start to feel really hard.
Does that mean that I'm chalking Rad Bitch up as a loss, The Girl Gang is folding and I'm throwing in the towel?
Does that mean I'm totally burned out, giving up on writing, and that this is about to turn into an angry rant post about how shitty I am about being sucked in by the allure of the Coaching Industry's marketing machine?
It means that starting and building a business is hard fucking work that just doesn't just do itself, and sometimes it takes time.
I love coaching. I'm extremely proud of the shifts I've seen my clients make in their lives, and I'm incredibly grateful for the way that pursuing further study and committing to my own development has helped me shift the way I deal with challenges.
This is by no means the end of the Rad Bitch brand.
There have definitely been a few stumbles along the way - and to be honest, I'd be concerned if building a completely new kind of business and becoming super-mega successful in an entirely new field had just happened smoothly, as if overnight.
A couple of hurdles are not the same thing as a dead end.
So what happens next?
What do you do once you've reached Peak Awareness?
Slip into a state of delusional euphoria and admire the view?
Obviously that would be ridiculous.
I'm not one to just sit on my arse and twiddle my thumbs, hoping that everything just fixes itself.
Which is lucky because it doesn't really do much good to wallow in disappointment.
It pays to focus on what you have already - gratitude journals exist for a reason.
Get clear on exactly what NEEDS to happen.
Then shift your attention to what actions you can take right now - even if they're only small, and get started.
So what exactly does this look like for me?
It looks like letting go of needing to push a barrow load of shit up a hill just because I started, and instead going with what comes naturally and easily for me.
Right now that looks like taking on some casual Nanny work - not just because it'll help make sure those bills keep getting paid, but also because I truly do love working with kids, and doing so will enable me to show up more fully when I am coaching.
It also looks like creating the kind of coaching business I want to work in, identifying how I want to continue supporting awesome women to achieve their goals, and to do so in a way that is sustainable for me.
While it may seem as though nothing goes on during Winter - besides eating big bowls of hot creamy soup, it's actually the perfect time for doing lots of introspection, getting creative and the deeply important personal growth.
Grab a sketchpad, pull out some coloured pens and do a bit of a Mid-Year Review.
Refine your goals and focus on what's important to YOU - the beauty of doing this after clearing away all those crunchy brown leaves is that you don't have to worry about getting distracted by what every woman and her cat thinks.
Listen to what feels right for you, and accept support from those who truly want to see you succeed.
And remember, it's okay to stop pushing shit up hill, but maybe don't let it roll back down and take out anyone who was coming up behind you.