Every once in a while, when you’re not cursing the tech issues and the travel delays, Mercury Retrograde offers near unimaginable gifts.
You might not be familiar with the planetary event that’s something like an astrological starter drug because its effect is so clear and ubiquitous that it turns skeptics into believers. Here are the basics: about three times a year for over three weeks at a time the planet that rules communication and travel, Mercury, appears to be going backwards in the sky. This latest round runs from March 5 - 28, but some say you can feel the echoes for weeks before and after.
During Mercury Retrograde all sorts of misunderstandings can happen if you’re not extra impeccable with your word. Some say you should never launch a new venture or sign a contract during this period. It’s also that time of the year when a certain type of people (my people) say things like “of course Instagram and Facebook are down.”
Mercury Retrograde is also a time to review, revise, and re-envision choices you’ve made. (This is when the magic comes in.)
This particular Retrograde has been a cruel one in many ways, but I also am hearing powerful stories of looking back in order to look forward. I have my own “turn back to move forward” story for you, and I am almost certain it’s going to have a happy ending.
Let’s Consider the Progress Paradox
Transformation. Evolution. Growth.
These are powerful potent words. These are especially potent truths for us Transformation Professionals - the healers, coaches, and therapists who are here to support individual (and, by extension collective) growth.
And yet, we know that night always follows day, death always follows birth, and even planets move backwards from time to time. Perpetual forward motion isn’t actually a thing supported by the laws of the universe.
Plus, we know that this obsession with progress and the blind need to constantly expand can have dire consequences.
Think of the environmental degradation caused by the perpetual quest for cheap fossil fuels. Think of what we know about burst economic bubbles and the inevitability of recession (even if we’ve been taught to be terrified of it). Think of the stories of burn-out, anxiety, depression, and collapse you hear from entrepreneurs who felt they could never stop playing the game.
The constant need to push to adopt the next innovation and to hit the next income bracket has untold costs.
But it’s all so seductive…
Spiritual and emotional growth feel so good! It’s so easy to think we must translate our own internal evolutionary processes into “I need to share this with the world! Right now.”
But let me get back to my own story of accidental over-evolution
A Sovereign Tangle of Change, Growth, and Passion
Last year was a year of intense and gorgeous growth for me. (It’s nothing compared to the terrible beauty that is emerging in 2019, but that story is still being lived right now and isn’t quite ready to be told.)
In 2018, I launched the Sovereign Writers Circle. This same year I finally manifested the freedom to go back to visit Ireland for the first time in fourteen years. The relationship that’s most fundamental to my sense of happiness and security - my marriage - got stronger and more sure. My business felt more real and sustainable than it ever had.
All the while, I was working on my book about personal and creative Sovereignty. I was learning to use that word in conversation and how to live in as I moved through the world.
Everything seemed to be showing me that I need to consciously grow toward putting Sovereignty at the heart of all my work. Lots of wise people who know more about scaling businesses and being brave encouraged me to lead with the stuff that I talked about with such fire and passion.
So I rode the swells of Sovereignty as far as I could.
For a Few Months, The Sovereign Writers Circle Went By Another Name
Sometime in November I decided to change the name of my beloved online membership community from The Sovereign Writer Circle to The Sovereignty Circle.
The decision must have been a long time coming for me, but it emerged in a unilateral sort of rush. Sovereign businesswoman that I am, there’s no authority to ask for approval, of course, but I never even thought to call on the insight of the nearly twenty group members who had helped co-create this magical space.
Since I was keeping our powerful, effective structure the same (four writing practice sessions, one guest expert workshop, and one writing coaching and story healing call per month), the change wasn’t all that big of a deal.
Or was it?
Personal Growth Is Supposed to Become Professional Growth, Right?
Membership growth in the Circle essentially ground to a halt.
Why? I hadn’t let up on my marketing efforts or my passion for the group. In fact, I was throwing myself into the new year with big goals. I was wall papering Instagram with all kinds of magical sovereign awesome. I was spreading my seasonal 7MagicWords Challenge everywhere. I was offering free community writing practice sessions. I was shouting about the Sovereignty Circle from the digital rooftops.
And… crickets. (Ok, so it was the middle of a New York winter. Let’s say it was as silent as a nighttime snowfall in my new member applicants in box.)
But I kept going telling myself it was a temporary lull… This was growth. This was evolution. This was paying my dues to the gods of change. This was also exhaustion, confusion, and an entrepreneurial breakdown to breakthrough bound to happen.
Of course, it doesn’t take divine omniscience to know why the group had virtually stopped growing. It just required some perspectacles that weren’t clouded with the dust from the road name “I Must Evolve, Grow, and Change Right Now In a Very Public Way.”
Along with the name, I also adjusted the group’s sales page considerably, bringing in new images and talking to slightly different clients in a whole new way.
Without realizing it, I revamped the invitation a group that meets once a week to write, that uses writing as our primary discovery tool and medium to be seen in the world, and I didn’t actually say the word “writing” until about halfway through.
And, instead of talking to the people I know I am born to support - the healers, coaches, and therapists who have been the vast majority of my clients for years - I just started talking to a general woman wandering through her middle years in search of sovereignty.
I was so preoccupied with trying to embody and convey my new messages about sovereignty that I forgot to stand sovereign in the very thing that I’m known for, the very thing that I most wanted to offer to people, the very thing that people are asking me to provide.
The Biggest Mistake: I Accidentally Stole My Beloved Writers’ Collective Identity
One of the most powerful affirmations that guides my work in these days is “May I have the heart of a servant and the vision of a leader.” Creating space for the healer-writers in this online group of mine has been the single greatest privilege of my professional life.
But when I shifted the name of their group without even a casual “whatcha think?” to my members, I showed I was neither a confident nor a conscious leader. I was too busy leading us in a new direction to see how I was being called to serve.
Only when I started to look at the first quarter of the year and all the growth that hadn’t manifested the way I’d imagined did I realize I might have made a mistake when I renamed the group.
That’s when I asked my members how they’d feel about reverting back to the original name.
They were unanimous. In their hearts, this always was and always would be The Sovereign Writers Circle.
I’d accidentally taken something important from them when I deleted “writing” from our name.
As one member says, “I describe this group to people I know as: "my writing group for therapists who have their own story to tell.’”
And So, Thanks to Mercury Retrograde, Retrospection, and the Courage to Ask for Input… The Sovereign Writers Circle is BACK. (And stronger than ever.)
Right now I’m accepting applications from transformation professionals who are ready to write and live and more powerful story and who want to learn and grow with a like-hearted community of writer-healers.
Are you ready to discover more about yourself, your work, and the people you’re here to serve and finally put that into words with the help of a fabulous community and a leader who learns from her mistakes? We’re accepting new members through April 1.