I recently saw a quote on Pinterest that immediately resonated: "Behind every successful woman is a a tribe of women who have her back."
While I have always had a long list of people and things I am thankful for in my life, this year has been different. This year has been a very personally challenging year, picking up the pieces and undergoing huge transition after my family and so many others lost their homes in the Valley Fire of September 2015. I hope you don't mind me sharing a bit of my personal journey...
While I hoped and tried to bounce back to "normal" quickly, I found that with every major transition that followed (moving to temporary homes, moving the business, changing school for my kids, hiring new employees, buying land to build on and then deciding to sell it and purchase a home), along with dealing with insurance, trying to be supermom, running a business, etc., I found my ability to cope more and more difficult.
I have never enjoyed asking for help, and for some reason I struggled so hard with the idea that if I wasn't strong, I'd be letting myself and everyone around me down. So I continued to push myself to get up every morning and run at my usual pace despite my lack of appetite (I'm not a stress eater), and a constant feeling of fatigue and heaviness.
There were plenty of days where I couldn't make it to work because I was dealing with insurance or moving or other personal matters, but it wasn't until this past July that I finally came to my breaking point and admitted that I needed help. I have shared on our blog that I struggled with postpartum anxiety, and the natural remedies I used to mange it. But the anxiety I was feeling this summer turned to panic attacks, and I began withdrawing. I felt like a total failure because I wasn't able to push through it.
It's hardly a surprise that I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and put on medication. But what also happened was that my eyes were opened to the immeasurable amount of love and grace that had been holding me all along.
It is incredibly humbling when you allow yourself to face your fears, let your guard down and accept that the world (and your business and household) will still go on without your micromanaging it. My Zoe Organics tribe rushed in and took the load right off my back during those times when I just couldn't carry it by myself.
I've learned a lot about leadership in the past months. I've learned that a leader doesn't go it alone. No one should. I've also learned that most "stuff" can be replaced, but not your health and not your people. I've learned how much I love this business, what we stand for and the work we do providing families with safe skincare options. And it goes way beyond that. There is so much more work to be done.
So, while the usual list of thanks runneth over, at the top of my list is my precious tribe. My big-hearted, full-of-grace, quirky, fun-loving tribe who always has my back.
And I've got theirs.