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  • Writer's pictureMeghan Smith

The Mess IS the Experience

Finally a sunny Sunday here in the PNW. We decided to go to one of our favourite little hikes with our kids, 2 and 5. We always stop at the most delicious bakery on the way (I don’t know if you know this but sometimes kids need bribery to get their butts out the door—come to think of it, sometimes I do to—and unicorn cookies and ham and cheese croissants are high up there in the bribing currency).

We started down the trail, me smug about “how well it was going”, kids happily in the stroller, munching on cookies, sun shining through the trees, the temperature warm enough that I could take off my jacket, our family out in nature instead of in front of the TV. That’s the point I took this photo—just a couple of parents, out there killing it.

And then things, as they do, started to devolve. My daughter jumped a little too enthusiastically in a puddle, flooding her boots. My son dropped part of his cookie. They fought with each other. Cue what feels like endless whining and crying. In the last stretch to the car, my little guy falls, for about the 10th time, but this time right into a mud puddle. He’s filthy and soaking wet and a bit stunned. So of course he no longer wants to walk and is unwilling to be put in his stroller. My 35 pound beast of a 2-year old insists on being carried, soaking wet, filthy dirty, up the last hilly stretch to the car.

At this point, my automatic reaction is to call this thing a failure. Let’s never go for a hike again until they’re teenagers. Who were we to think we could have this nice, leisurely walk in the woods? THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS! I chucked my guy into the stroller and my husband pushed it up the hill to the car. He literally screamed the whole way. I fielded alarmed looks and knowing smiles from strangers as we went.

Driving home in the car, I realized this is experience is exactly like my experience of being an entrepreneur and someone in a leadership position. Things rarely go the way I want them to and people rarely behave the way I want them to. And from there I have 2 choices: call the whole thing off, label it a failure, vow to never let myself get into such a mess again. Or, realize that this IS the experience. Entrepreneurship and leadership aren’t about sitting at home plotting how to make things go perfectly so you never have to deal with people’s bullsh*t again. It’s about being IN the experience, without knowing how any of it will turn out—because you cannot know this!—and finding joy in the experience NO MATTER the circumstances.

The cool thing is that even though I got worked up about what a disaster our trip to the woods was, that experience didn’t last long. As we drove home, I allowed myself to see the experience as perfect. Likewise, everything in my business and leadership is also perfect. I don’t know how any of it will turn out, but I trust it will and I trust myself to enjoy the journey. Driving home I felt a deep sense of gratitude and lightness about the experience, my life and my business.

This is what I support my clients to do. Life as a powerhouse mom is full of circumstances, coming at you hot. I support you, in the face of that, to:

1. Be deeply connected to your kids and spouse

2. Be deeply connected to your passion and purpose outside your family

3. Say good-bye to guilt and suffering and hello to an outrageously fulfilling life.

I have 2 spaces open to work 1-1 with a mom and entrepreneur / professional / leader who is the right fit. Trust me when I say you will not need unicorn cookies and croissants to want to come on this journey.

Reach out to me by private message to set up a time to speak.

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