Friday 8 April 2016 at 9:43am

My Letter to You…

OMG, it’s finally arrived. I feel like I am about to give birth to my unborn baby. Over the last nine months my emotions have been like a rollercoaster and wow I did not realise my own inner strength to get me through the dark moments of not knowing what the future may hold, the sleepless nights, and feeling sick from the immense stress and pressure I put myself under.

But boy, have I had my highs too, the freedom to create something that is so special to me and unique. Something that has not only helped me in my personal quest to find happiness and enlightenment but to help other women who too are on their own personal journey.

I decided to write to you to share my journey in creating the Rising Network which has a purpose to empower women by creating a vibrant community, designed to promote health, well-being and personal development by sharing knowledge, life experiences, tools and techniques online at events and online.

Our vision is to inspire women by providing an enriching environment where we can fulfil our true potential and thrive, and we will do this by connecting us all together.

It took me awhile to decide whether or not to bare my soul and vulnerabilities with you and to put it out there with no fear of judgement. I hesitated but decided it was something I had to do – so here I go.

I still remember it clearly, it was December 27th 2012 on a frosty winters days just after the hype of Christmas. I was sat in my blue arm chair looking out of the window into my bleak garden, frost had struck and everything looked the same. Grey. No colour. No life. An overwhelming feeling of despair filled me and there I was. Lost. Nowhere to go and no light in the distance future. I felt like shit.

I couldn’t figure it out. Everything looked OK on paper, I had a great job and loved what I did, and I had a supportive family and friends in an abundance. But there I sat alone with tears rolling down my face.

What was wrong? I didn’t understand why at the time and I didn’t know how to shift the feeling but I now know that I was disconnected with my inner self and was walking in the shadow and asleep.

As I sat there wallowing in this feeling, I started to feel worse.

“Snap out of this, Lily”. I told myself and repeated this a couple of times until my head starting scanning to find a solution. I was thinking, what can I do to feel better? And that’s when logic and pragmatism kicked in.

“I need to do something about this. I can’t be the only woman out there feeling this way?” I asked myself but really to reassure myself that everything will be OK. No way was I the only one feeling this way and deep down I was hoping that there were others like me.

The laptop came out and there I was searching for a forum, something, a network of women, anyone who could relate to how I felt so I wouldn’t feel alone.

Data overload and all I could find were business and industry networks for women or self-help groups but I wanted neither. My heart sank but I didn’t give up.

“I will find someone who can help guide me to fully understand myself but who?” I asked myself. I couldn’t find anyone despite seeing a sea of faces and profiles dotted all over the internet. I so desperately wanted to pick someone but I couldn’t. I needed to meet this person. I wanted to see their face and their expressions. I wanted rapport. Verification or a recommendation that they were “qualified” to help me.

The dark hole swallowed me deeper and the second wave of despair took over my body when I discovered the cost to meet this person. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to work with this person and they were wanting upwards of sixty pounds plus to have an initial chat. That’s an expensive coffee I thought to myself!

There must be another way? I wanted to meet a practitioner, life coach, therapist, whatever she or he called them self but in the presence of other women as I wanted to talk with other women to bounce off. To hear their stories, their challenges and how they overcame them. To hear about their successes and triumphs to inspire me.

At that point, I knew I wanted to access learning, life experiences, life tools and techniques to not only learn about myself and discover my true potential but to grow and thrive. To enjoy the journey of self-discovery.

Out of my own personal need, the seed for the Rising Network was planted. In January 2013 I hosted my first informal meetup to find these women and to get hold of tools and techniques. Since then without fail, I’ve held monthly events bringing women together in an upbeat and social setting where we can all develop and understand ourselves further whilst building a network of our own to inspire and empower us.

Now, in April 2016 I find myself here, the Rising Network online community almost ready to go live. An online platform where we can create friendships and build our own support network, a place to self-discover and explore infinite possibilities about ourselves and our true potential. A forum to access shared learning and rich resources like blogs, videos, podcasts and events which will help us on our way to rise up and evolve.

For the coaches, practitioners, therapists, or anyone working in the health, well-being, personal and professional development space, it gives you a place to share your wonderful offering and services to help others.

The Rising Network is an advocate of women, not only on an individual level but collectively as a whole to champion equality for women and equal representation in the workplace, politics, business, industry & media. We are also very passionate about raising the awareness of matters affecting women and girls worldwide.

I’m so excited! For those who know me or the network well, it’s been a long time coming.

Six days from now, on the 14th of April, the Rising Network online community will be live. A special thank you to those who have become a member on Meetup or for following the Rising Network online and for being there with me on my journey.

Even if we haven’t met before, you have supported me in a way you probably never realised. By stepping forward to like, join or follow the network because its purpose resonated with you. For me, that was encouragement and validation in itself that I’m creating something that is much needed by us all.

Big thank you and much love. See you very soon on the other side – on the Rising Network online community.

Love and light,

Lily

P.S. We are on Instagram, TwitterFacebook and Pinterest. Let’s follow each other!