From the Basement to the Boardroom
Papa B has taken Esmé to her piano lesson and RJ is napping. It’s so rare that I have those moments of silence and yet I broke it. I don’t know why, but I just needed a release. So I loaded up some Florence and The Machine on Spotify and for three songs straight, I danced wildly and without any inhibition. It was the nine or perhaps ten minutes I needed to really get some of what can only be described as electrifying energy out of my body. What a year it has been. And I say that in hushed tones because there are still thirty or so days left and I know my spirit guides well enough to know that the party isn’t quite over yet. You know when you’re tired cause you’ve had the best night but you’re about to head to the cloak room but then you double back to the dance floor cause the DJ drops your song? The one that speaks directly to your soul and makes you move your body like charmed snake? Yeah, that’s how I feel about this time of the year. I could sincerely head for the door and leave knowing I’ve gotten more than my monies worth but I’m walking slowly cause I know my song is about to drop.
Earlier this week was a physical manifestation of how much things have changed for me in a year. Monday was the night of ‘TEATIME!’ live 2.0. This time last year I was running around, heavily pregnant trying to bring this thing to life. And it was wonderful. Women I adore packed out a basement in Crystal Palace south London and true, meaningful deep connections were made. We closed out the night by celebrating the birthday of Yvonne who runs @kemitelford and doing the ‘Candy’ dance. It was in that moment I learned how special ‘TEATIME!’ was but I was unsure about how to take it to that next level.
And I got swept up in life. I had to give birth, see a child off to big school, figure out how to make some money and settle into our new surroundings. My hands were full and I genuinely felt tremendously overwhelmed at times. The only thing I leaned on outside of my family were the notes I had written in my The Year Ahead journal. At the top of the year, I had spent about half a day, really reflecting on 2017 and being honest about the help I would need to draw the most out of 2018. The process was draining. I could clearly see where I had fucked up in 2017. I could also see where I had tried to hard to push against doors which instead of upon opening would be filled with love and finding a way to work with meaning, instead were empty and spider filled with nowhere near enough space.
It was time to try something else.
So I thought boldly. So bold that it made me uncomfortable. I set goals that at the time made absolutely no sense. I am not well connected or highly educated. These two things can sometimes stop me from moving forwards. But I set those insecurity aside and laid out my big plans. I promised that I wouldn’t just set these intentions but I’d work with the world to make them happen.
I would show up.
I would listen.
I would accept when things didn’t work.
It has been a test.
How do you show up when you don’t like to go out?
How would I listen when I loved to talk?
How would I accept when I’m scared of defeat?
Ok, I had days of being violently angry when something which seemed so sure, just suddenly fell flat.
I admitted my mistakes quickly.
But I never, not once, negotiated my terms and conditions. The goals remained the same.
Now I have to be clear, this isn’t a post about how to manifest. There are a million books and YouTube videos about that. I wouldn’t dare interrupt anyone’s spiritual journey in that manner. I can only write what I know, based on my experience.
So Monday was like...and I’m choking up even writing this, Monday was like the universe itself giving me a hug. Actually, a lady hugged me she’s goes by the name of Mrs Rodney on Instagram. And when she hugged me, I felt myself melt. That hug was like a hug from my parents. The squeeze said ‘I am so very proud of you’ and she may not have given it for that reason but it’s what I needed at the time. Because Monday was more that Teatime. Myself and my agent Francesca were in back to back meetings that day. And with every line discussed, I kept having these ‘rah are they talking to me?’ moments. These plans, these expectations, whilst I had prayed so hard my knees now have permanent carpet burn, now they seemed to be coming true, it was still so much outside of my comfort zone. But there I was, trying to find a way to live on purpose and be of service all whilst grappling with things like expectation and ego.
As fast as those meetings ended, it was time to host. As friend after friend came out of the lift at Mortimer House, their expressions said it all. One pulled me close and whispered
‘Bitch you went from a basement to a boardroom’ and we almost fell over from laughing.
The conversation was wide and yet inclusive. Attacking things like race and social injustice wasn’t going to be a fluffy talk. But Adrienne and Freddie both spoke with a candour which felt as if it were only reserved for us in that room. I couldn’t believe it. Here were two women I have admired since the internet was invented and there they were so ready to give their time up for me and this creation of safe space. The women who attended were just so articulate, beautiful, stylish and ready to access wider friendship groups and be willing to listen to others from very different atmosphere’s. Looking around at the room after, whilst it bubbled with chatter and love, I felt on top of the world.
And I still do.
This is not to say that everyday has been easy or things haven’t gone wrong this year. Oh boy there have been some utter catastrophe’s. But I have metaphorically (and literally) been to Specsavers and I’ve changed my perspective.
Who knew I had this much power all along? I feel like a muggle who has been at Hogwarts for years and I’ve only just realised that I am in fact a wizard and I can manifest ANYTHING. Now I know some people just aren’t about the ‘woo woo’ but it’s not even that esoteric. It’s simply willing yourself to get on board with the idea that concentrating on the good only makes more of that.
Like I said, it’s all so wild because the year isn’t even over yet. And I could leave now and be very happy with every thing that has unfolded, even the challenges. But like I said, I’m taking my time to head to the cloakroom because the DJ has yet to drop MY song and just because of that, I know the party isn’t over yet.