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Hallelujah Anyway

These days, I've been reading Anne Lamott's work. Two of her quotes stood out:

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.

and

Grace bats last.

[baseball analogy where the cleanup batter (eg. Grace, God, Universe, etc.) bats last to bring all the players on loaded bases safely home]

... lead me to one of her books: Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy.

 

A heap of girl, pillows and tears

Combine that with the emotional highs and depths of:

... and you get a big heap of girl, pillows, and limbs that can't stop crying... like every hour, more or less on the hour (since my OCD likes it neat and tidy that way).

 

Ubud, Bali 2015 © Ellany Lea

 

Grace and Mercy

A long time ago, I heard a shocking statistic: 80% of women-lead businesses don't make it past 5 years. For me, this February 22 was my coaching practice's 5 year anniversary, which graced me into the 20% that made it.

It really gets you to look back...

There were moments of grace...

A dude stood me up once... so I took myself on a date to a wellness show. Of all the doors I could have walked through, of all the booths I could have walked up to first, CTI jumped out at me. The local ambassador for CTI literally jumped out at me. That moment launched my coaching career, who knew!

(If only the dude knew what a gift him not showing up was. I'd thank him profusely but have no memory of who he is!)

There were moments of mercy...

I spent months preparing for a business launch for one of my 4 businesses (during a time when I refused to accept my humanity and was sure I could pull off any feat without paying a hefty price).

I had recruited a great team, we prepared for months and months, and on the morning of the launch, 8 minutes before launch time, I'm told: grandma just passed away. Grief strikes. All else is lost.

Grief strikes. All else is lost.

There were moments of grace...

In 2005, I went on a 13-country Around-the-World trip. In 2015, I thought it'd be poetic to do it again.

I was in a relationship at the time, so I wiped that poem from my heart because I was role modeled that relationships are prisons that you capitulate to. The only way out is to wait for him to cheat, wait for the divorce, and run with $5 in your pockets. (Was totally set up for success, right?) 

Freedom just sits there until a women takes it.

But the Universe had bigger plans for me: She showed me betrayal, She showed me that I no longer have to be a socket for guys to plug into to recharge their egos, She showed me that freedom just sits there until a women takes it.

She catapulted me onto a 16-country Exquisite Freedom world tour. And at each city, she set up one of my CTI, Antigravity Yoga and Girl Gone International family members to catch me. What a soft place to land <3

There were moments of mercy...

By country 3 of 16, I was on a teeny island in the Phillipines with a storm coming. I had to reschedule a bunch of client calls. Luckily the Wifi signal was still good enough that Friday night, so I randomly called mom. Dad picked up and we chatted and laughed for an hour and a half.

Little did I know it was the last time we'd speak. By Monday morning, my little brother, whose diapers I changed, told me in tears that our dad had passed away. What a cruel place to land <3

 

Ubud, Bali 2015 © Ellany Lea

The Paradox of Belonging

If you view entrepreneurship as a fun side hobby or a lack-luster checklist of opt-ins, funnels and social media posts, you aren't going to last very long in the game. And if you do, it will lack joy and happiness.

Entrepreneurship has been a deeply spiritual growth journey for me. It's made me wonder: how did I get here?!? Or more precisely, how am I even still alive?!?

  • The Universe made me introverted... in a world that won't shut up.
  • The Universe made me highly sensitive... in a (toxic) world that overwhelms at all times.
  • The Universe made me a girl... in a culture that worships baby boys and drowns the rest.
  • The Universe made me a multi-potentialite... in a world that demands specialization.
  • The Universe gave me an old soul... in a peer group addicted to make-up and diet magazines.
  • The Universe made me gifted... in a world unkind to genius.
  • The Universe made me yellow... in a world cruel to color.

 

Really, Universe?!?

It gets better... The Universe made me

  • too bubbly for the introverts, but not ravin' enough for the extroverts.
  • too well-adapted for the HSPs (Highly Sensitive Persons), but not thick skinned enough for the rah-rah-rah business world.
  • too tomboy for the girls, but not girly enough for the guys.
  • too white (on the inside) for the Asian club, but not white enough for the world's elites.
  • too smart for my peers (smart shaming is a thing!), but not prodigy enough for a gifted program.
  • too successful for the creative artists, but not wild enough for the woo-woos.
  • too social for the geeks, but not hip enough for the cool kids.

The paradox of belonging: they say you are enough, you are loved, you belong. Really, Universe?!? Really?!?

 

WTF, Universe?!?

The Universe planted sequoias of ambition in my heart, but gave me a bleeding heart.

The Universe pumped adventure into my lungs, but clipped this canary's wings.

The Universe coded freedom into my soul, but shackled every limb with gender, parental, cultural, and social chains.

The Universe birthed me as the ocean, but omitted the instruction manual on How to Be Ocean in Small Human Body.

The Universe programmed me to love all people, but made me unable to withstand being around them.

WTF, Universe?!?

 

An Empty Nester at 35

And yet... here I am. I've travelled to 104 countries with business in tow.

In 2016, I went to 56 countries in 52 weeks as my grandest celebration as an empty nester... at age 35! The younger siblings I co-parented were all grown up. The mother I raised and protected was all grown up. The father I raised and nurtured had passed away.

In one fell swoop, my duties as co-parent, husband, wife, marriage counsellor, accountant, translator, financial planner, lawyer, nanny, maid, were gone. 

All gone. They sure don't make self-help books for this!

 

It was MOFO hard...

I cross paths here and there with adorable newbies who want to start an online business. They think it'll be unicorns and rainbows, with some sweat and hard work, of course.

They don't yet know it's going to be MOFO hard... Like, on your knees, begging-for-mercy hard.

Your people will die... and always at the worst times. Death will strike. Grief will follow.

Death will strike. Grief will follow.

The projects that you spent months preparing will not launch.

The ideas that you spent years preparing will fail because death (or divorce or illness or <insert anything life-shattering you can think of>) will strike.

You'll spend soul crushing time in front of the mirror hating what you see. You'll wonder why the Universe gave you so many short straws non-conducive to succeeding as an entrepreneur.

You will drop to your knees, begging for mercy when you see $735 left in your bank account and wonder WTF now?!?

You will be forced to examine everything that is wrong about you and change it.

It will be MOFO hard.

 

Forward anyway

So what's the alternative? A life of servitude to "the man", to corporate America, to a rotting 9-to-5 desk?

All those moments of mercy (there are hundreds more I could tell you about) brought me here. They brought you to me. They brought me to you. They brought Anne and I to our first RAWFEM "Roar to Riches" Business Accelerator, a magical co-created piece of genius, for those who don't have an empowered role model because they're too unique.

When you realize you don't have a role model because you're kinda it, it'll hurt. The sting of loneliness and isolation will hurt. Get down on your knees, ask for mercy, feel the pain. Forward anyway. Roll over flat on your back, ask for grace, feel the peace. Forward anyway.

Forward anyway... because what's the alternative?

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Freedom on!

xo, Ella

Ellany LeaAbout the Author • Ellany Lea is an elite success coach. She's traveled 100+ countries and writes about freedom at the intersection of: entrepreneurship, enlightenment, and enchantment.
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