We Don’t Grow When Things Are Easy We Grow When We Face Challenges

I wanted to touch base with you guys as it’s been a while since I wrote a more personal post. It’s a beautiful sunny morning so I am currently working in the garden. Our neighbour has planted some jasmine and I can smell the delicious scent wafting over the fence, heaven! It’s Friday too so not sure this morning could get much better! Today’s post, is about facing tough times, how we deal with them and the positives that can actually come from them. “We don’t grow when things are easy we grow when we face challenges.” (source unknown, found via Pinterest). I have been wanting to share this post with for a while but have been putting it off. This being for various reasons, partly being nervous about sharing something so personal. Also because I felt I needed to be in the right head space to properly articulate myself.

For those of you who may not already know I’m currently eighteen weeks pregnant, our little miracle is due in November! Steve and I could not be more over the moon to be expecting our first baby, we feel so lucky and grateful. It hasn’t all been plain sailing though, the last couple of years have been tough. We have been struggling with the emotional roller coaster of infertility.

Anyone who has been through it or currently dealing with it will understand just how hard and isolating it is. What angers and upsets me in equal measures is how in today’s society infertility is still such a taboo subject. Why do people find it so awkward when couples speak of their struggle to have children? It baffles me! Which is why I wanted to share this post today, infertility is not a subject to be shied away from. Couples who are struggling to conceive should to be able to talk about their problems and feel supported.

When we were having IVF the medical procedure itself wasn’t overly pleasant. The daily injections (having a fear of them since you were a little girl doesn’t help matters either) the regular internal scans and egg collection does leave you feeling like a violated pin cushion but it is all manageable. Especially when you know you are working towards having your precious baby.

Although what I found most difficult was dealing with all the emotions that come attached to it. The anger, upset, fear and the heartbreak of our first round being unsuccessful. I was suffering with acute anxiety and would go from being very tearful one minute to angry the next. The emotional turmoil effected me so much that I felt like I didn’t even know who I was anymore. All the while I was still running my business and dealing with day to day life, it all became a bit too much.

Something had to change, I knew I needed to get myself in a good place both physically and mentally.  Especially if I were to give us the best possible chances going into our second round. That’s when I really started to practice self care, you may remember my previous post all about the importance of self care which I shared a few months back? In case you missed it you can read it here. Mediation is so good for your relaxation and helping you to live more in the present moment. Something that is incredibly important when having IVF as everything is so out of your control. This quote by Mila Bron always brought me a lot of comfort whilst we were going through treatment “I am learning to trust the journey even when I do not understand it.”

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I also started having counselling along with acupuncture on a weekly basis which was brilliant! My acupuncturist Rahul was great. A wise and funny man who specialised in infertility so I was in very good hands. The counselling was when I really started to see a positive change in me. Talking through my problems was not only good to get things off my chest but also helped me to process my thoughts and look at things from a different perspective. I also decided to pull back on work as I wanted minimum stress whilst having treatment. It was a hard decision to make as I adore my business but it was 100% the right thing to do.

When you go through difficult times you learn a lot about yourself. It has made mine and Steve’s relationship even stronger which is something I’m very grateful for. It has also made me realise that I’m a lot more resilient then I think. Taking a step back from work has given me the time and head space to think about what I want. Asking myself what is it that brings me joy?

At the start of each year I set my goals (both professional and personal) and this year I decided I wanted to pursue new projects as part of my own growth and development. Goals that would push me out of my comfort zone, and would lead me to meet new people. Make new connections, and experience different opportunities. I wrote a list down this morning of all that I have done so far this year. Seeing it on paper has really made me realise just how much I have achieved so far this year! Sometimes it’s important to acknowledge your achievements and give yourself a pat on the back! As often we get so caught up in every day life that we don’t actually acknowledge the progress we have made.

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A big thing for me this year was wanting to teach more, we launched our floral masterclasses towards the end of last year and this year we have been teaching both our seasonal and one to one classes. I absolutely adore teaching! Passing on my knowledge and seeing the students beautiful creations brings me great pleasure. I intend to build on this, and will be adding more classes and collaborations for next year which I am really excited about! I also wanted to do more public speaking, this is massively pushing myself out of my comfort zone as I’m not great at it!

That being said I actually managed to do a flower demo at the Ideal Home Show back in April. Not only did nothing go wrong, I didn’t stumble on my words or cut myself with the scissors. I surprised myself as I quite enjoyed it! I have always enjoyed writing ever since studying English at school hence why I like to blog, but recently even more so. This year I set myself the target of blogging on a weekly basis (no pressure!) I have also started writing regular features for life style blog Coco Lane which I’m thoroughly enjoying. I’m currently mulling over where this love of writing could take me….

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Something else I realised was important to me was making new connections. Working for yourself can sometimes be lonely and especially as I class myself as a people person I have been missing that face to face interaction so decided to join the Girl Tribe Gang. A networking group for female entrepreneurs and it’s just what I needed. A room full of like minded ladies all looking to mingle and offer business support. To be honest I wish I had joined sooner! Becoming reacquainted with my camera was another goal I wanted to pursue this year.

I did a short photography course as an add on whilst at university but I will be honest I found the technical side so tricky and could never quite grasp it! I’m ashamed to admit because of that I have been rather lazy and always snapped my photos using my iphone. I know the quality on our camera phones now days is surprisingly good. Although I still don’t think they are a patch on a digital SLR camera if I’m honest. I booked myself onto the photography for florists workshop with Ria Marshall which I attended a couple of weeks ago and it was enlightening! Ria explained the technical parts so it was clear and easy to understand. Although I still have a lot to learn, I’m getting so much pleasure from using my camera again. I think my lazy phone snapping days are over!

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I have learned a lot from going through our infertility journey and grown because of it to where I am suppose to be right now. We will still be creating flowers for a small number of beautiful weddings a year whilst allowing us time to focus on our teaching and other projects. As well as what I feel will probably be my biggest challenge yet, being a mum! This quote “Our greatest progress often comes from our greatest pain” by Richard Norris really resonates with me. Out of our darkest days often there will be good times to follow.  Thinking of all those still battling with infertility. Be kind to yourself and know that you are not alone.

 

 

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