And Cottleston Pie has been my mantra because I haven't been able to make sense of what's going on. I am swinging from elation to frustration. From excitement to fear. From supreme confidence to shrinking violet. Schizophrenic? I don't think so - but sometimes it certainly feels as though I might be "Slipping Away From Sanity" as Kim Carnes so aptly sang back in the 1980's!
It's been one of those weeks you see. After the amazing high of last Thursday, I've been expecting something magical to materialise. It hasn't, and I'm not very good at waiting. Patience has never been one of my virtues. And then again, neither, I suppose, has self-belief. Yes, I'm learning all about it now, and yet there are still traces of niggling doubts. Smaller, fainter and much further away than ever before, but sometimes still there in the distance.
"Are you sure you're doing the right thing? Have you done enough? Surely everything should have worked through by now? It's been a whole year you know - are you really trying hard enough?" Last year I would have likened these kind of thoughts to self-torture and cackling witches. Now I am faintly aware of them some of the time, but now more just as the background hum of a mosquito. Annoying yes, capable of causing an unpleasant reaction yes, but also very very controllable - so, you see, I have moved on in so many ways.
These days, when those kind of questions arise, I just find myself feeling a bit muddled. A bit fizzly - you know the picture and sound the old TV sets used to make when we tried to tune in to another channel? Well, that's what happens to me. And the mis-tuning today has been simply to do with my questions around the progress of the business - as in, what more can I do to get the contracts flooding in?
To prevent any kind of negative tailspin and make sense of these sort of times, I now consciously do my best to distance myself from what is happening, and take an objective look at "the facts". So I did just that this afternoon. And the facts are:
- I've contacted all my old clients to tell them about the business, and I have numerous promises of work as a result.
- I've met countless new contacts through referrals, and the work opportunities are massive.
- I have an amazing bunch of talented and inspirational people in the team, and more wanting to join.
- I've already held the first Team Day and I'm absolutely certain that we can create amazing results together.
- I already have two new clients on board and projects booked.
- And Audrey is an absolute super star!
And... and... and... The Top Banana Bunch has only been going since the middle of February for goodness sake! The first Top Banana took 5 months even just to land the first client!
And so I found that, upon reviewing these facts and reminding myself what I HAVE achieved, it really was to be simply a question of trust. Trust that there are things going on in the background that I just can't see for the moment. Faith that I AM on the right track and that I HAVE been doing enough. In order to feel that fully, though, I decided to give myself some time to realign myself - literally, to re-tune again.
So I went out in to my garden. Shorts and T-shirt on again, to de-weed the beds and plant my tomatoes and my flowering plants that I bought yesterday. It's a beautiful day, and as I pottered around the garden, listening to the birds, smiling at my ever-present entourage of pets, and feeling the warm earth beneath my hands and creeping under my fingernails, I started saying Cottleston Pie to myself in a "couldn't care less" sort of a way. Over and over again "Cottleston Pie!" every time any question or doubt popped in to my head. The words were always the same, but the intonation varied depending on the question. Sometimes the tone of my response was considerate, sometimes kindly, other times indignant and at some points downright bolshy. It didn't matter, because the response fitted every time.
What a brilliant solution! It stopped the annoying buzz from my mosquito thoughts, and also kept all options open! And so slowly slowly I let myself re-group and gently sink back in to the here and now. Until once again I now have the smile of contentment and safety back on my face and in my heart.
And it was at that point, literally just a short while ago, that I came back to my computer and opened an email. It came out of the blue from a dear friend of mine who has just landed a very senior role in a very major company. Great news all round! Great for her, and also potentially great for the business!
As my dear friend Anna just reminded me, there is indeed magic afoot