It is safe to shine.
It’s safe to be visible, to be seen.
It’s safe to be me.
It’s safe to do my thing.
Not only that, but the world needs me to shine, to be seen, to be me and to do my thing.
The world needs my gifts, my talents and my ideas.
Just as it it needs yours.
Some of us are scared to shine. We are scared to be seen and heard, to be noticed, to stand out from the crowd.
Maybe we tried to shine when we were younger and we were criticised or judged, humiliated or hurt. Maybe it didn’t feel safe to be seen. So we put our real self – our authentic self – back in a box, along with our gifts and talents, and we closed the lid.
It felt safer in there.
It feels safer in there.
But it’s depressing too. Diminishing. Soul destroying.
It’s not good for us. And it’s not good for the world.
I know how it feels to be in the box, to be in the dark, to hide, to stay small, to stay quiet. I know how it feels to be so afraid of being seen that the darkness seems more appealing.
The child inside me has painful memories of being judged, criticised, embarrassed, humiliated and hurt, simply for being her, for being real, for speaking up, for being seen. Naturally she didn’t want to go back there. She didn’t want to expose herself to more hurt.
Stay in the box, Katherine. Stay small.
But eventually, the darkness got to me. My soul couldn’t handle it anymore. My spirit was bursting to break free into the light.
So I mustered all my courage, got lots of support and found the willingness to face my fears, to be seen, to put my head above the parapet and to share my gifts and talents with the world.
It wasn’t easy. It isn’t easy – this work I do, this path I’ve chosen.
Why on earth would someone who’s recovering from low self-esteem, low self-worth, fear and shame go into business as a writer, coach, course facilitator and retreat host?
Why would someone who’s recovering from codependency and who’s always cared too much about what people think of her expose herself to potential criticism, ridicule, rejection and failure?
Why would someone who was so desperate to stay safe choose to work in a profession that involves so much risk, that involves putting herself out there, online and in person, and asking people to trust her and invest in her, not to mention booking retreat and workshop venues many months in advance, hoping that if she builds it, people will come?
The answer is because she didn’t have a choice and she doesn’t have a choice.
She doesn’t want to live in the box anymore.
And she knows, deep down, that she has something wonderful to offer the world, that she has a duty to share her stuff, to do her thing.
Plus she knows how amazing it feels, how life-affirming it feels, how joyful it feels to do her thing – and she knows that her work is needed, that it makes a difference.
I know some of you, like me, struggle with being seen, struggle with bringing your true gifts and talents into the world.
And I’d like to reassure you that if I can do it, so can you.
I am writing this because I’m two weeks away from my next Dorset Love Retreat – an endeavour that requires me to take risks, emotionally and financially, to be responsible for lots of different, complex elements, and to trust that women will decide to invest in themselves and invest in me – to trust me with their money, their time and their hearts. (If you are one of these women, I still have space for you).
It’s in these moments, just before a big event on my calendar, that I really need to dig deep, remind myself of my worth, let go of control and cultivate a deep sense of trust – trust that it will be OK whatever the number of people in the room, whatever the outcome.
I am writing this too because I’ve just received some wonderful, heartfelt feedback from seven women who came on my last retreat, in early 2020 – a testimonial that brought tears to my eyes and that confirmed that I’m on the right path, that no matter the challenges and the difficulties and the fears and the struggles, it’s worth it because I’m doing what I was always intended to do and I am touching people and changing lives.
I’d like to share their feedback with you …
“Katherine’s Love Retreat in March 2020 has been an invaluable part of our lives. Katherine’s guided weekend provided us with a safe and supportive environment to explore ourselves, our pasts and the building blocks for fulfilling our dreams. Katherine’s insights shone light on areas for our self-care, growth and self-awareness. She shared her rich experience and has given us the tools to take on our own journey.
Our retreat was enriched by the comfort of our warm and welcoming guesthouse, healthy and delicious home-cooked meals, and walks and guided exercises by the sea.
We were lucky enough to attend the retreat in person shortly before the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020. After leaving the retreat, as like-minded women on a path to self-growth, we formed a WhatsApp support group. This group continues to provide us with support on our respective journeys through life, celebrating each other’s growth and achievements, no matter how big or small. There is always someone in the group with time to listen to you, so we never feel alone.
As well as our regular group calls and more recently meeting up in person, we share our thoughts, books, articles, and other information for our continued development. This group has enriched our lives, especially through Covid-19. We thank Katherine for the gift of bringing us together and the resulting long-lasting friendships we have forged.
Claire, Nat, Rachel, Fi, Bev, Charlotte and Joss.”
These wonderful words and the beautiful women who wrote them give me the courage to continue on this sometimes difficult but hugely rewarding path.
As does this testimonial from one of my individual coaching clients, Anne, who wrote to me recently with news of her engagement:
“At the weekend, on holiday in Santorini, my guy got down on one knee with a sparkly diamond as the sun was setting! The funny thing was that I had woken up that morning with my usual nasty voices filling me with doubts about a future with him, and yet when he asked the question I shouted ‘YES’ immediately! And then I just felt great.
I’ve worked with a few coaches, and I’ll be paying tribute to all my lovely mentors, but you were a very special part of my journey in helping me not to run away in fear from this relationship. I’m sure the nasty voices will pop up again, so I will have my notes from our sessions at the ready!
[The marriage proposal] was a magical moment that at one stage of my life I never thought I would get to experience. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for it all!”
And I have another lovely client who’s also planning her engagement and who shared the following with me: “Thank you for helping me to make this happen. The retreat with Katherine and the other ladies was crucial for me. It helped me to clear my mind and heart of my past negative love relationships and to lay the foundations for a healthy and long-lasting relationship.”
So let’s say goodbye to those ‘nasty voices’ – the voices that prevent us from doing our best work, from following our calling.
The voices that scare us into staying in the box.
The voices that keep us out of relationships or that keep us stuck in unhealthy, toxic partnerships or friendships.
The voices that keep us trapped in careers that put our souls to sleep.
The voices that stop us from embracing our true value and sharing our gifts with the world.
Let’s all step up and step out, be seen and be heard.
Are you with me?
How I Can Support You
The Love Retreat, Dorset, Oct 28-31 – We have a few places left if you’d like to join us on a magical weekend of self-discovery, healing, growth and laughter. The weekend includes powerful group coaching circles, beach yoga and dance, a fabulous beach sauna, delicious food and lots of love. We will be a small, intimate group of like-minded women, allowing us to connect on a deep level and giving me the space to support you all. If you’d like to find out more, email me on email@example.com or book a free discovery call here: Speak to Katherine.
Online Courses – Reconnect to Your True Self, How to Fall in Love – Laying the Foundations and Date with Courage, Clarity & Confidence. My courses can be taken in your own time in the comfort of your own home. They can also be combined with 1:1 coaching. Small group courses for women will resume in due course.
Individual Coaching – Please get in touch by email – firstname.lastname@example.org – or book a free discovery call via this link: Speak to Katherine.
My book, How to Fall in Love – A 10-Step Journey to the Heart, is available on Amazon and other online bookstores, in e-book and paperback. To download the first chapter for free, sign up at www.katherinebaldwin.com.
For recorded masterclasses and other videos, go to my YouTube channel.
For anything else, go to www.katherinebaldwin.com.