You will create things and they will burn at you from the inside because you can’t not create them – and you must never be afraid of the fire.
Just recently I closed down my Shining Lights program. My brilliantly successful program, which I had birthed from scratch and which had created incredible business results like this;
It had over 200 members. Those who did the work reported back amazing results. Money, time, happiness, mindset results. From my program, great things grew. Not least, an incredible, uplifting community and friendships which I hope will continue for many years into their beautiful futures.
Confidence was won, money earned, partnerships formed and deepened.
But as with all light- there was a darkness. I could feel it drawing in.
People complaining more often in the group about their lives. People beginning to not show up. People uncoupling and unconnecting.
It wasn’t the group, or the program that was at fault.
But something had changed. The energy around something once light and powerful had become negative, tainted by darkness.
There will always be a yin to the yang, dark to the light, negative attracted to positive.
And so I made the choice to close it. I gathered those remaining true Lights, and their incredible driving forces for their own lives and we became Leading Lights – unafraid of change, of growth, of moving on.
Powerful leaders with huge shining potential. I am incredibly proud of all of these women, of their resilience, their determination, their ability to see things as they really are, and to be working with them as they enter into greater levels of success in their business and life. From the heart.
And then the storm broke.
Words of hatred against me. For closing down the program, for who I was as a person, for decisions I had made. People who had experienced huge success got sucked into the vortex and spilled out complaints to one another in private, secret groups.
And it spiralled into venom. Venomous comments (and a ton of lies and false perceptions) which grew like a fire as people got drawn in and added their own fuel.
As I read each word, I didn’t know what to think or how to feel, so my body responded for me.
As my body shut down, I went through a period that was strangely like mourning.
I had elephantine butterflies in my stomach that wouldn’t leave.
I had nightmares, I couldn’t eat properly. I cried. I was scared to actually leave my house on occasion- it’s amazing what happens when you forget it’s actually a handful of people online judging you and instead it feels like the entire online world.
And that sounds dramatic –
but when you have actual entire groups being created with the specific intention of hating you –
when you have those people talking about ‘spies’ and ‘Charlie supporters’ and ‘we must be careful this doesn’t get back to Charlie’ people-
and I’m talking fully grown women with grown up children even here! –
deliberately writing blogs about about me and tagging me in it and purposefully leaving negative reviews on Amazon-
when you have people you haven’t even spoken to for years show up and write a vitriolic post in the hater groups out of nowhere –
yes, it shakes your level of perception about what is real and what isn’t real.
And what’s more, I didn’t understand how people could in one breath, talk about me in that way, and in another say how they downloaded all of my trainings and play me in their car every morning. And talk how much they missed it all.
That safe space you say you love and miss? I made that. You know those trainings you say you’re desperate not to lose? I made those. That amazingly positive supportive community you lament the loss of? I made that too.
And no, you don’t get automatic right to everything I’ve created including my personal time for free, because you ‘were my friend’ and therefore deserve it. Yes, I do have boundaries around communication when someone gets removed from my program. No, that doesn’t mean I treated you terribly. Yes, my emails often are contradictory. Like most people I evolve and grow and my opinions do likewise. Yes, I have not followed through on every promise and replied to every email. I am human. Yes, absolutely, my business is designed to make money. Most businesses are, and I am good at that, which is why you joined my program in the first place.
Have I ever caused you deliberate harm or did anything with any intention other than good? I think you know the answer. Have you implemented trainings from my programs that have benefitted your business? Have you made lifelong friends, grown a community, increased your income, changed your mindset towards what is possible, found support, positivity, refuge, light? You know the answer.
My thoughts spiralled.
But outwardly, I was quiet. Took time away from social media and reflected.
And one of the comments came back from one of my incredible wonderful clients, and it was more powerful than she knows, and the very point of this post is for you to realise this too-
‘Well at least you know you’ve made it, now you’ve got haters’.
And it was something I was told several times over the next month or so.
I was told by my clients, by friends, by mentors, at a mastermind retreat in New York.
And I reflected upon this.
Because it was something I had never considered.
That actually, the haters are a part of your success.
The darkness, the emptiness you must go through whether from people or clients or lack of money or loneliness or whatever it is –
It is PART OF YOUR SUCCESS.
The darkness IS what it means to be successful.
Without darkness, there can be no light.
Every truly great thing has been birthed through opposition. Through defiance. Through, indeed, hatred and darkness.
It isn’t the darkness that destroys us. It’s the darkness that makes us.
Look at every single successful person you know. Success is entirely divisive.
Is the great Jose Villa- a fine art photographer, or blurry and woefully over exposed?
Is Beyoncé a beautiful gifted artist or a trashy part of a manufactured music industry?
Perception is inevitable. Some people will love you. But it is essential we make room and acceptance for those who do not,
And I had this realisation.
I realised she is successful because people love, or hate what she does.
There can be no more apathy.
There can not be people who are only lukewarm.
Not for you.
Because they’ll never make you happy. You’ll never make them happy.
You will only ever gain part joy when you are the whole time showing up as this part facet of yourself when you know you want to give all of you.
Not just the polite, public, ‘I love my job!’ side. Where you go home and collapse after. Where you sit feeling despondent at why this no longer feels good any more. Wondering if it’s all worth it.
The real side. Speaking your truth and walking your truth and talking about what matters and goddamn shining like you’re supposed to.
And when you choose to step aside, away from the lukewarm, and into full LOVE for who you are what you do and what you desire- you will gain a tribe of people who LOVE you and love who you are and love what you do.
And that is what true Leadership is. A leading artist. A thought Leader. A leader in almost any sphere.
And what we need are Leaders who stand tall in who they are. Who remain resilient. Who continue regardless. Who continue to love on and shine on, regardless.
And you’ll do it Phoenix rising. Beauty-full from the ashes. Stronger and stronger and onwards and upwards and those that get it? They’re with you upwards on their own incredible journey.
And those that don’t?!?
Everyone is on a journey. Their journey is not yours.
And so I realised how I actually came to first become detached from my haters, and then to begin to picture, daily, sending them love, light, and more success.
Because it is thanks to them my message has been given fresh wings and breath and power.
What the world needs now. Love sweet love.
Love and Light, just like I’ve always said.
I know some of us are fighting hard battles. I know it is easier to say things from behind a screen that you would never say or even think in ‘real life’.
I understand people- even those involved- would probably be horrified if I told them there was one point I actually contemplated ending my life over it.
Yep, in a split second moment of absolute self-pity, I wondered if my kids would be better off without me around. My thoughts for the tiniest minutest fraction of a second, began to eat me alive.
And that fraction of a second was also the second where I reminded myself who on earth I am – who on earth we are – and what we are here for.
That split second was where I found myself again.
That split second was when I remembered that darkness is always given with the light. The split second I remembered I am the daughter of a King, loved by God, a child of the Universe, valued.
The split second you reach the bottom is the opportunity you are given to realise that you can reach the top.
And those who love you? Are going to love you, and support you, and send you messages of love, and will build a fortress around you. They know deep inside, the truth of the light.
And those who don’t? Are showing you what you need to know.
And you will be reborn through the fire.
You just have to walk through it to the other side. And here is how I got through it.
Carried on showing up in the smallest of ways. In my Leading Lights group, where even in there I felt horrifically vulnerable, I carried on showing up anyway.
Some days I had to drag myself out of bed to do it. Some days I would leave it until midnight, until the very last minute of the day I had said I would, in an attempt to pretend I didn’t need to. But I did it. I forced myself to do so even though my whole body and mind resisted. I kept myself to account, kept holding on, kept creating.
I hid the logins I had for the main group somewhere I could forget they existed. So I didn’t need to read those messages in the groups any more. So I didn’t need to think about them, cry about them, or give them power, any more.
I counted my blessings. Every single day. A list, I wrote out slowly and deliberately, carefully, noticing all around me. I was thankful nobody could take away my sky, the sunlight, the breeze.
I avoided people. This simultaneously broke me and healed me. We were back in the UK for the summer, and I was meant to see the family and friends I loved and missed from the island 1000 miles away. Instead we created small, soft, family adventures until I felt whole again.
You might need silence. You might need space. You might need hugs from tiny hands or giant arms or the love of your sister. Do not bear the weight of obligations and commitments. Be what you need to be, do what you need to do.
Despite having a near-panic attack the day before I flew to New York, I went anyway. I hoped and prayed that the energy of those in the room at the mastermind I was due to attend would be the gentle feminine energy I needed to rebalance, to feel restored in the belief of sisterhood again. And it was.
Every single woman there was loving, embracing, gentle, strong. I felt warmed by their presence. I felt blessed to be a part.
I felt conscious of everything had happened, like I was a failure.
But I was reminded of all I have done and achieved.
All of the goodness that had occurred as a result of everything I had created. I felt like healing was beginning. Go to what your heart is called to.
I hid from social media and stopped emailing and writing. Not particularly because I felt called to hide, but because when my thoughts were swirling I was pretty certain whatever I wrote would come out as nonsensical. But also, in truth, because feelings of shame and embarrassment.
How embarrassing, after so much success, THIS. How embarrassing, this happened to me. How shameful, I created a program called Shining Lights, and these groups are anything but.
And I then I remembered what I have taught since the beginning
Don’t entertain negativity. Guard your thoughts. Refuse to associate with those who deplete your energy via negativity. Nurture light. Embrace all of who you are. Take pride in your stories.
Ultimately, I am terrifically proud of creating such creations such as this. Shining Lights, Leading Lights; I know my programs are extremely powerful, imperfectly perfect creations that work.
Leonie’s post ends with her saying
This is me. All of me.
It’s okay if you love me or not.
Because I love me.
And how it’s necessary to talk about the truth-telling of big and hard things.
And this is a big and hard thing to talk about. To go through. To touch and feel that darkness.
But every day, I am learning indeed to forgive what happened, to send love and light, to love myself and be stronger and shine my light MORE for those who need it.
But most of all, to be unafraid of the darkness, the hard times that will always come, whether that’s times of lack or hardship or love breakdown-
Because it’s there in the darkness we get to find more of our light. We get to become, to realise, and to fully OWN, all of our light.
To MORE success, more joy, and absolutely more and all of you.
To Shining Lights.
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Leading Lights stemmed from the incredible program that was Shining Lights. It’s like that, but intensified. It’s a combination of powerful, transformational trainings, facebook group accountability, and support designed to nourish your soul, keep your business on track and growing, and your love and light turned ON.
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