By: Brittney Pickett | Glass Cliff Divas
I have been neglecting you, and I owe you an apology for that.
Anyone who knows me knows that this summer has hit me like a tidal wave and left so much of my being in ruins. But just like any other natural event, it was simply a case of cause and effect.
Let me explain.
After opening our business in 2018, my business partner and I dedicated our souls to building something that did more than paid the bills. Like so many entrepreneurs we wanted to make an impact. We wanted to leave a legacy. And so it began. We started a business, found a community, and decided wholeheartedly to create our own too.
Bossi Women was born.
Like most business owners, more and more things showed up on our plates.
We thought we were delegating.
We thought we were resting.
We thought we had it all under control.
When Cait came down with a severe lung infection, everything stopped. Hospital visit after hospital visit, she couldn’t shake the infection.
Because our ideas around delegating and resting were very clearly broken. It only became clear to us when Cait’s health suffered to a terrifying degree. This had to stop.
As Cait began to heal, I promised her and myself, that I would never let her do that again. For the business or for anything else for that matter. I promised that I would never let our health and well being come last again.
Well, folks. I broke that promise.
As burnout crept into my life harder than I had ever thought was possible, I was left absolutely, unequivocally defenseless. I thought I had felt burnout before. I thought I had fought enough demons in my life and overcome enough obstacles that there was nothing a little bit of “suck it up” couldn’t fix. But, boy was I wrong.
See, the thing about burnout is that you lose so much of yourself as it’s happening; that even as you push on, you just. make. it. worse.
Every day that I tried to survive led to more mistakes, more failures, more disappointments for my family, my friends, my team, my business partner, and myself. I felt like I was waking up from a week long drinking binge every single morning. Every breath felt trapped in my chest and I felt physical pain when I tried to get it back.
My mind felt constantly empty and racing at the same time. Just a blend of schedules, anxiety, and frustration whipping by but nothing tangible to hold onto. I knew I wasn’t present in anything at all at this point. Yet, I dug. I dug deeper and deeper into what felt like an irreparable hole that, at the moment, felt bigger than any bout of depression I had ever faced.
And for what?
My life was good! I had a family, friends, love, a successful business, and a variety of stresses that I happily still classify as ‘the good kind’. Yet, I was uncontrollably falling apart from the inside out. So what was the fucking deal?!
I HAD EVERYTHING EXCEPT MYSELF//
The very thing I promised Cait I wouldn’t do, and she wouldn’t do, and we wouldn’t let each other do, I was doing it to myself. Slowly, almost unnoticeable at first. Until it was incredibly noticeable. But the train had left the station and I was far more delusional about the state of my well being than I realized.
Every person, the few that I allowed, that came in contact with me inevitably asked if I was “Okay.” To which I obviously responded – “I’m fine!” With glossy eyes and the most forced smile you could imagine. Honestly, who did I think I was fooling. It’s actually kind of embarrassing to think about.
It wasn’t until my 8 year old daughter looked at me, big blue eyes full of concern, and said. “Mama, are you okay? You look really tired.”
The word she used to describe me. Oh, sweet girl, I am so far past tired. Broken maybe? Lost? Who knows, really. I certainly didn’t have the words anymore ….
I didn’t have the words anymore.
They were gone. My absolute favourite thing in this world, gone.
What had I done to myself?
As someone that refuses to make the same mistakes, I have hit many varieties of rock bottom in my life. I am counting this as one of them.
Living the dream – my absolute best life.
Miserable. Hopeless. Scattered. Isolated and not present for any of it.
How dare I, right?
I called an energy healer and friend, and I asked for the help I needed to turn my shit around. My brilliant partner supported me. Cait and the entire team supported me.
Yasina broke my heart, filled me with hope, and gave me a to-do list that both excited me and scared the living shit out of me. She saw me and the lack of me that was left sitting in front of her. She saw pieces of my humanness that I had forgotten about after years of doing, providing, helping, planning, sacrificing, and far too much ‘sucking it up’.
My partner and I bought water fountains, and moved mattresses; we looked at paint swatches, and moved our desks to face the window; we talked about the energy we put out into the world and how my energy hadn’t seen the light of day in far too long. And these things brought me hope. It helped me feel like I could come home again.
I didn’t complete the to-do list and she told me I wouldn’t. The day she came to help me, she even asked me why. I was convinced I could do all the things she had asked of me, yet she somehow knew I would struggle to follow through on a particular task. I need to include this here because I want to follow through and maybe writing this will help hold me accountable. Perhaps writing will lead to people asking me, “Hey, did you do the hard one?” and then I will feel compelled to answer yes one day.
So, after accepting a little more ‘woo’ into my life, something I have been getting good at this past year, things started shifting.
I could breathe just a little bit deeper. The pain was there if I tried to breathe too deeply, but I was taking in the air like I hadn’t in far too long. The universe had put Yasina and her to-do list in my life just moments before I was heading out on adventures not suitable for me without her intervention. Adventures that I planned out of necessity that went far beyond my understanding when I scheduled them.
The day after meeting with Yasina, I headed out to celebrate true love between two wonderful friends of mine. I danced, and sang, I jumped off rocks into ice-cold water and spent time not anxiously wondering if I belonged with this group of women. I didn’t anxiously wonder because I knew I belonged there. I didn’t question how I looked, what I said, how I felt, or what I did because these women held space for me without saying a word. They held space for me when I hardly knew who I was. I could breathe just a bit more.
I came home to my family and I breathed some more. I asked myself what I needed and I made space for it. I showed up. I got present. I said no and I said yes. I did scary things, little things that scared me more than anything. I spoke my mind and I shut up and listened. I breathed just a little bit more.
The day after completing much of my to-do list, I packed my bags and set out on an eight day road trip with two of the greatest women I’ve ever come to know. To be frank, I know so many incredible women, I find that this is usually the case. It’s the very reason BOSSI exists. Nonetheless, these two women are beyond exceptional humans and I am honoured to call them my friends. So, I got into the car with my friends and we drove.
WITH ABSOLUTELY NO PLAN//
I wish that I could properly capture every detail of this trip. The mountains, the lakes, the serene moments and the scary ones. Even though my words seem to be coming back to me now, I am certain the right words just don’t exist to do it justice. But beyond what we did, saw, experienced, and said during our trip, were the things we felt. Of course, I can’t be sure about my exceptional human friend’s experiences, but I am certain about mine.
It’s amazing to me how long we can survive with our heads down, tackling our day to day without even realizing that we aren’t living at all. It never dawned on me that I could be loving, laughing, crying, stressing, with such a thick layer of numbness and disconnection attached to my soul that I wasn’t even feeling it at all.
But that’s what we have been doing. Not all of us, but far too many of us: Existing for the sake of simply existing and not even catching the point. For me, getting caught up in the pain and heartache in the world endlessly guilted me and prevented me from ever enjoying anything too much. Heaven forbid it should all slip away.
Shame on me for enjoying my precious spoiled life while uncountable others suffer more than I could ever fathom. How could I possibly slip into the bliss of experiencing this life that I have when I have done absolutely fucking nothing to deserve any of this. I don’t say this in self-deprecation. No. Old me would have, definitely. I mean this in the sense that I don’t deserve it more *or less* than anyone else.
I have my scars. I have stories I will take to my grave, and I have brought my dear friends to tears as I have confided the darker pieces of my time here on earth. I wouldn’t wish those experiences on anyone, and I am still struggling with the damage it has left inside of me. But I have also experienced incredible privileges beyond anything I feel worthy of. Learning to accept the dark pieces is part of the process.
But all of this has taught me not to get caught up trying to heal everything that isn’t pretty. What we can do is take those experiences and learn to apply them in the world as it exists to us. Find a way to apply our experiences to the bigger picture.
The truth is, the human experience is the only experience we (may) ever have on this earth. And mine has been exceptional so far. Anything that has cast a shadow over me has led me closer and closer to the impact and legacy that Cait and I dreamed of creating. Every dark day led us back to you. Every moment that I found truly human experience, there was an incredible woman who gave it to me. The real moments of growth and self love was given to me by the strength of other women.
You see, when a business runs out of resources, the non profitable items have to take the back burner. A business can’t create an impact if it doesn’t exist, right? So you, my dear, beautiful, and dedicated followers… well, you took a back seat. But we want to make it up to you. Why? Because simply put, you are our purpose.
You are the reason, and the why, and the vision, and the legacy. Born from the heart, and a burning desire to make an impact, Bossi Women is our soul’s creation. It is for inspirational women with limitless potential, who wake up every day determined to leave this world a little better than how they found it.
Everyday, with GCD, we help businesses get a little closer to their goals by leveraging our skillset. And from here on out, with the Bossi Women community, we are dedicated to building women up, encouraging them to be their light and their dark, to helping women experience the life they have been given, and not simply exist to serve others. We are here to show women how to create impact not because they should, but because their life experience compels them to do so.
Co-founder of Glass Cliff Divas and Director of Dream Fulfillment at Glass Cliff Divas
Glass Cliff Divas is a Digital Marketing Agency that offers sales and marketing solutions to small-medium size businesses. They create custom strategies that save time and make money. By bridging the gap between your sales process and your marketing goals, Glass Cliff Divas creates an effective strategy specifically designed to reach your business objectives.
Bringing her sales and business development experience to the marketing world, Brittney has been able to pair her deep love for process and strategy with social media and community building. Brittney is passionate about social impact and creating strong and generous communities for business owners. Through Glass Cliff Divas, she is able to work closely with her clients to explore ways to create social good in their industry with consistent marketing efforts! Find out more about Glass Cliff Divas