Last week I collected the keys to my new place in Black Rock, and the following day the kids and I moved in. For the last 6 years I have been visualising this move, knowing that my move here would come. I’ve really tried to do what I needed to odo for it to happen. And I’ve waited patiently. During this time, the kids and I have lived in a number of different places – one place I rented on my own, which was followed by a brief stint house sitting, twice we have had no permanent accommodation (I am incredibly grateful that we were fortunate enough to have family to support us during this time), and our last stint was 3 and a half years house sharing with a housemate.
When I left my partner in early 2013, I had a fledgling start-up coaching business, with one client. I was actually, technically and in reality, completely broke. I had no savings and no real income to speak of. I don’t how I did it, how I left, but all I knew was that I had to take some action, that I simply could not go on like this in my life anymore. And I somehow knew that I would be ok, that it would be ok, that we would all be ok.
I did not realise it at the time, but this was taking action in faith.
I had not properly worked since I had my son in 2009, apart from some casual work at home. This was not because I did not want to work, it was simply that I didn’t seem to be able to find any meaningful, part time work that would fit in with the long and unpredictable hours that my partner worked. I had returned back to Australia in October 2008, 5 months pregnant and smack bang in the middle of the GFC. It would be fair to say, that my attitude towards my life at this time was not great. I felt like a complete victim and I don’t think I was a very nice person to be around.
I started my own business after realising that I needed to think more laterally about finding a job, after over 12 months of looking for and applying for jobs I was completely qualified to do, and then hearing nothing back. This thought had never crossed my mind before – it had never occurred to me that I would ever be anything other than an employee, doing work that while I was really good at, didn’t really light me up. So I wrote down all the things I could do, that I was good at, and that I really enjoyed, and officially started my own business consulting business. I called this business Vivacity Consulting.
I had no idea what I was doing.
As a result of this action, however, something started to happen. I started to change. I started to see life differently. I started to feel a glimmer of hope that things could be different.
I gave up a very serious drinking problem a few weeks later. I had always been a very heavy drinker and for most of my adult life I drank a lot of the days of the week but the drinking was escalating and was seriously having an impact on the quality of my life and my ability to function as a parent. Drinking every night – which was when I was trying to work on my business after the kids were in bed – was a disaster for my focus and productivity. It was like a light went on and I had a real reason to not be drinking. It was like I knew that I couldn’t do what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it; as a parent, in my business, in my life, in my relationships, in anything – while I was drinking.
So one day, I just stopped. No more drinking. In a way, it was the simplest decision of my life. I never questioned it, I never doubted it, I never once felt like I was losing anything. I just decided that I didn’t want to go on like that anymore.
At the same time I stopped drinking, I started meditating.
Both of these things happened from a knowing that I didn’t know where from, but I listened to that little voice gently and persistently whispering in my ear to “stop drinking and start meditating”.
And I took action.
Meditation changed my life.
Meditation has also saved my life.
Meditation started to open doors in quite incredible ways.
Over the last 6 years, as I’ve endeavoured to create something of meaning in my life through my work, and as I’ve endeavoured to work on myself so that I can actually do the work I’m passionate about doing – I’ve realised that it is only through experience that we really learn and grow.
So if you are not putting yourself out there, doing things that are scary, outside of your comfort zone, taking risks and leaps of faith - then in reality, there is no meaningful growth.
Vivacity Consulting became Business with Vivacity, which then became Fit for Biz. None of these iterations were quite right. But they were right for where I was at the time and it got me to the next step. And what I learned along the way, was only ever able to be learned through the doing.
What started for me as a vehicle to lift myself out of almost-destitution, to create the kind of future for myself and my kids that wasn’t available for us any other way - became the vehicle for me to start to heal myself and in the process, begin to want the same for others. I have invested all the money I have earned over the last few years in my own personal development and the development of The Happiness Hunter, I have taken money out of my super, I have borrowed money from my dad. I have done all of this because I believe in what I am doing and I have an unshakeable faith that I am on the right path and I am meant to be doing this work.
There have been many challenges and obstacles over this time. One of the most significant for me has been in addressing my money mindset – there is nowhere to hide when you are running your own business and need to consider (and talk about) pricing and payments and selling your products and services. It brings up beliefs around worthiness, visibility, deservedness and much more. But had I not been in the situation I was in, I would never have had the need to really address this and work to overcome it.
Over the last 6 years, I have worked with and helped hundreds of people realise that they too can have a different experience for their life. I didn’t wait until my life was perfect. I have worked with clients, run retreats, delivered keynote presentations while I have been experiencing pretty tough circumstances in my own life. And I have shared all of what I was going through with the people I was with at the time. Because that’s what makes me able to teach as I do. Because so much of what I teach can only be taught from lived experience.
So fast forward from 2013 when I packed a couple of bags to I didn’t know where, to 2019. Since this time, I have had opportunity after opportunity to understand how supported I am and to really start to appreciate the power that is within me – that is within each and every person on this planet.
None of us should ever define ourselves by our present circumstances. Our present circumstances are merely a reflection of what we think and believe. We can change these circumstances by changing our thoughts and beliefs. Knowing this, gives us the power to appreciate where we are, even if it is not exactly where we think we want to be.
I have had this move on my vision board for the last 5 years. Even with what could be considered pretty trying personal circumstances, the last few years have been the happiest and most empowering of my life. But in February this year I knew I had to get really clear about what I wanted to make happen. This move is a massive step up for me financially, and I am ready for it. It’s taken me YEARS to get to this point, but I never gave up believing.
And what I have gained is priceless.
What I have gained.
I knew where I wanted to be, I was happy to wait and happy to do work that was required on myself, because it’s an inner journey we need to go on for the external to manifest. Now, to actually be in this place, I can’t even begin to explain how amazing it feels. I feel like I’m meant to be here, and that this place was made for me and my kids.
I needed to get really clear on what I wanted, I needed to believe I could have it, and I needed to most importantly take action.
And now here I am.
Where do you need to take some action? Knowing that something needs to change, but that the only way for it to change is for you to take some action… without necessarily being able to see the path or having any of the answers just yet?
Don’t look back except to see how far you have come.
Grandmaster Issam Kadamani
Hello, I'm Fiona Redding, founder of The Happiness Hunter, co-host of #BusinessAddicts The Podcast and author of The Happiness Hunter’s Guide to Meditation.
I help people navigate life.