Hello, everybody, welcome back to the pyjama interviews, a podcast for women experiencing chronic illness. I'm your host, Michelle Irving. And I'm extremely thrilled to share with you today's guest, Samantha wills. Plus, stay tuned at the end, where I'll be sharing more about how to connect with Samantha and her book, plus how to connect with other women as part of the pyjama interviews Facebook group. So welcome to the PJs, interviews. Samantha, thank you so much for having me. It's a real treat to speak with you. I've read your book. so grateful for it really touched me deeply. I'm wondering if you can share with us first why you wrote it? Yeah, so
I write off code and data. And look, it's been in work for gosh, I've only started it three years ago. And obviously with the current climate it was due a year ago. But it was really great that it got pushed back because I was able to add, as you spoke about just in that intro, some really important elements to it. So I started writing it to kind of parallel. Well, when I signed the contract, it was as a business memoir. And as you know, the more that I wrote, I realised that it's, it's about showing that parallel is what I really wanted to do with the book and kind of like that public brand and and private life. And, you know, not just the highlight reels and the hurdles that what's that human elements in between? And how do they coexist? So what people might have seen publicly versus Hey, this was really going on behind the scenes. So it's, it's probably my most vulnerable work or body of work to date. And, yeah, I really wanted to share that information, not only with other creative entrepreneurs, but with with women, I think it relates even if you don't have a business, it's very much about you know, we, we try and keep running at the top. But underneath, it's, you know, there's so much more going on. So I hope that that's communicated in the pages.
It really is. And to me, there's that parallel in that sort of stardom, and that lots of flashing lights of you in the public realm. And then the inner dynamic, which actually is often the experience for women living with invisible illness is that there's the public front, and then there's come home and be in the foetal position in pain on the floor. So one of the things that I really found touching in your book is that this was a spiritual journey for you as well. And you talk about it as the alchemy of the human spirit. And the dark emotions are where you go, both personally but you actually share about this in the book. I'm wondering if you can talk to us about you know, it takes a lot to go into the dark emotions, and sometimes you don't have a choice. So what were they like for you? And how did you find your way through?
Yeah, and I, the way that you speak, it is so eloquent, and you make it sound like I was like, I'm just going to go into a dark place. Just so gracious of you, which was not the case, I chose none of those dark times. But you know, as you said, the universe boxes into those darker times when when we have to and you know, as his life we go through these ebbs and flows. And I think writing the book and the gift of hindsight and especially when you're there, you know, mapping out a book and, you know, filling in those blanks you do get to see where those dark spots were, how you descended into them and and the purpose of why you were there. And you know, throughout the book, there's there's many there's many darknesses that I speak about, but as you said, I call it the the alchemy of the human spirit. Because as a, you know, as a jewellery designer in a past life, I love the concept of alchemy, and you know, the traditional meaning of turning base and dirty metals into gold and something beautiful. And as that relates to, to the human element, it's like, Alright, well, we can't, you know, it's down in the trenches that we onboard, or we leave down everything that we don't need. And when we can shed that is when we can start the ascent. And that's not to say it's a one and done type of thing. It's like we go through that to wait till we hit it again. And you know, I guess probably, probably the doc is
pivotal moment in the book is when I talk about the relationship that I was in, when I found out that my partner three years was cheating on me. And I describe it like a Jenga set the game of Jenga, where you know, there's all these moving parts, and at the time, outwardly, like, my career looked like I was having a dream run my profile was doing all you know, having all these incredible opportunities, in relationship, all these things. But the thing with a Jenga tower is when you move one piece, you know, the whole thing comes crashing down. And that's really what happened in that situation. And that forced me into a darkness that you know that in the book, it might seem like a password in a few months, but it stayed for a lot of years, and I was down there because I had to, you know, really sit with myself and I often say it's in the dark, we really start to see ourselves. And you know, I really believe we wait until we can shed what we're down there to shed we we won't move through it. So I've communicated
a lot of those stories in the book.
Yeah, I think for me, I mean, this is my language, I think of chronic illness as the mythological trip of polyphony, the queen of the underworld, and she goes down and Maiden, she has that relationship with death, she finds her sovereignty, and then she comes back up to the overworld. Absolutely. And that seems to be the cycle of part of your experience, as you talk about it as well. It's not like I had this experience worked it all out. Now I'm set. The entrepreneur journey is like this.
And, you know, it's the hero's journey that we, you know, Joseph Campbell, and we're all we're all going through it, we're all on this, you know, spiritual path. It's just how much at the time or when we're going through it, and how much we realise. And the way that you so beautifully put it in with in mythology is, yeah, you go down, and you come back up a different person, and then she's much more equipped, and she's got this beautiful, no shining armour on when she emerges. And then she faces the next thing on the path. So, and everything in life is that it's just how, where we're perceiving it.
And there's also the shift in identity. I think, what this is one of the most fascinating things to me, because it's so stark in your book, that there is this conversation with yourself about your brand, and you and your identity. And I'm wondering if you could tell us, you know, that happens to all of us, but this happened to you on in pretty big way. So could you share with us a little about, you know, what you have learned about working with your own identity? Yeah, I
mean, when you ever so modestly, name a brand after yourself, which I did you kind of like, Alright, well, I guess I'm in this for life. You know, at 21, I didn't think too much about it. I just code. It's not the
And you know, over that time, and the brand, you know, got this incredibly loyal following. And this exposure, and Samantha wills, which was a person then became this brand, and then it's like, Alright, well, smartly, was the person and the brand coexisted. Because, you know, my story was was the brand story. And vice versa. Right? You know, I was identified in my adult life as a jewellery designer. And then I remember one day in the office, you know, it was kind of because I was based in New York, most of the time when I come back, and the phone rang. And if someone was calling for me, the person who like some of the world's, you know, is the brand name. And then like they knew in the office, they like, do we call her Samantha wills? Or is that confusing? So we want to start by calling me SW and keeping the names not the boss for the brand, but which was fine. And that name has has stuck? Definitely. But then when you get to a point where like, Wait a second, if the brand's if I no longer want to be smothered, as a jewellery designer. What does that mean? Do I break up with that brand? Do I get the name does does the brand Can you even have that name after it's been so commercial? So, you know, there's a whole dichotomy which I touch on in the book, but I really don't even think even at this point, you know, two years on after closing the business, I don't think I've even processed it entirely. So that's from an outward sense, I think from an inward sense, I'm working with the identity, when you do have that public facing element it can be it can be almost like a double identity in a way where you kind of showing up and having to be this you know, hold it all together. And and as he said, it's exactly the same with chronic illness. It's like an invisible illness. Now I can see but you're pushing one way, but then doing all this work the other way. So it's this constant juggling and it's, it can be exhausting at times. Yeah.
And a lot of pressure because one of the things that happens and it's so clear that you tell it so poignantly is the expectations of others and not wanting to disappoint them. And then all of that emotional dynamic that is going on while you're trying to work out who you are.
Right. And I think we have to protect that. Like I did an Instagram post recently, which I think you're referring to which is I hadn't my friends were coming over and all that I celebrate my book, it was all great. And I was just so overwhelmed. Like I have so much on my plate and with the book coming out and it was just it just all got on top of me and I hate to disappoint like we all do. I had to call my friends on I just I can't do it say they've got babysitters and change their schedule and, um and i think at the end of it like people people around us love you they understand, but for some reason we take it upon ourselves that everyone's gonna hate me, they're all gonna get angry. And we we create into a much bigger anxiety bubble than it already is for us. So I think returning to the facts, rather than telling ourselves this fictional story around, my friends are going to hate me, they're not going to want to be friends with me anymore, which just, you know, fans, the flames that it's really everyone around you loves you and wants the best for you. But we often forget that so.
And you talk a lot about what I think of is that critical voice that sort of embedded that every entrepreneur has every woman has in the culture that we live. And I'm pretty sure you talk about fear and faith, like how to move through these processes. Could you share with us, you know, if you're sitting and you have things in your heart, or you want to do but you've really got this critical voice? And you're really, really afraid? How do you work with that at any time in your career and your life?
I think the words that you just use work with it is really important, because for so long, you know, in the book, I actually give imposter syndrome, its own character, like it's an actual person in a book to me. And I say that because I'm like imposter syndrome has been my plus one that events, he comes with me, you know, every whispers to me at night, he's always there. And I think that, for some reason, we're like, I have to get rid of that, which is the ideal, but I'm like, is it I don't think it's possible to get rid of it. So I'm like, Alright, I'm gonna learn to live alongside you, I'm
going to acknowledge you, and I see
you there. But I'm going to need a moment because I have to click on this. So I'm going to need you just to be quiet for a moment while I XYZ. And I think when we stop trying to find things so hard, and you know, try and jettison from our lives, I might, let's just coexist for a minute and see how that works. And to what you said earlier about fear and faith. I think that's certainly and is something that I'm really further exploring myself the power of that, because I'm like, every crossroads, and I talk about crossroads in the book. But that doesn't have to be a big life decision that can be every single day decision, we could stand at a crossroads 100 times a day. And I think every time we're at a crossroads, we're always presented with fear and faith. So our ego mind loves familiarity. So take a relationship, for example, you know, you're in a bad relationship. But you know, it's easier to stay. It's like, I know what will happen if I leave, even if it's uninspiring and awful, and all the things you shouldn't stay the ego minds like, but you know, it's a stay here. So that's the fear choice, the choice of faith is like, I'm going to take a step forward into something unknown. And I truly believe that when we choose that faith, the step of faith that we start to walk towards our destiny, and our destiny is the things that are that this soul contract were assigned when we come here, and they're waiting for us to take that step of faith. The opposite to destiny is fate, or it's like it's a faded outcome, if I stay in this fear. That's the fated outcome. So I think, you know, it's the heart. I'm not sitting here being like, I choose faith every time because I think it will get fairly clear, I didn't do that. But I think when we look at it that way and look at if our ego thrives on familiarity, is this exactly in this moment where we want to stay forever? And I think it's a really powerful way to look at decision making.
Yeah, I think that's fantastic. And I think one of the things that is so important if you're physically in pain, or you're in the foetal position, which you talk about a number of times, both emotionally but also physically, that we're, we're in that moment. There's also the reminder, this isn't going to be forever and in pain, that's hard.
Absolutely. And I think in you know, in the case, in my medical sense, you know, when I talk about endometriosis in the book, which obviously is an outwardly invisible disease, definitely not invisible to the to the woman, you know, experiencing it, and it's so common one in 10 women experience it. Until, in my case, I was like, Oh, this page is gonna ask for another 10 days this month, and then you kind of you know, numb it with some nuraphone and as women were just like, Oh, you know, it's meant to be discomfort You know, that's when he's told me that since I was little, you know, periods on a fun time and we normalise this pain, but no one knows. You know, physically I can be like, Well, you know, my hands this collect your hands that colour we can be like, we can compare that. But with pain, if I'm like, Oh, I'm in a lot of pain and you're like, I'm in a lot of pain. And we're talking about the same issue. There's no comparison. So we we then just normalise what we're going through. And I think that, you know, I was in the foetal position so frequently and even more frequently as it just progressed. That Up until I started really listening to my body and, and stuff and started to put her first rather than dismissing her as I'm too busy, I'll get to that in a moment, then I couldn't see an end to the pain. And it was only and when I said honouring that to be like, I'm gonna, I'm gonna listen to you. And I kind of, I put the analogy like, my little puppy dog, if he looks up at me, and he's crying at the same time every month, I wouldn't be like, you'll be right, like, get on with it. So why do we not treat our own bodies with that, in my case, I did not treat my body with the same respect. So it's one lesson for me? Well, I
think it's a long lesson for all of us actually, as women, because what happens is emotionally, we are taught to not make anybody uncomfortable. And we're taught to people, please. And this is ingrained very early. And if we become a public front, to everybody else's emotions rather than our own, then what I heard in your book, is that pushing through was part of the way you did business before your body even started to signal to you.
Definitely. And it's, and I don't know, if we ever undo that thought process, to be honest, like, if you think about how early on, it's, it's globbed on to us, even in a DNA sense, like we just absorb, which might have seen our mum do or whatever it is, and I don't think I don't think in my lifetime, I'll ever be able to undo that true. You know, thought process in my mind, but it's a different thing to then be aware of it and you know, even conversations like this, and I know, as a society, we're starting to talk about it a bit more at least being aware of it a start, but I truly think it's so ingrained in us, we've got so much to undo before we can redo that makes sense.
And where do you think the entrepreneurs spirit goes from creativity, like from that spark, to push through and then overextend? How did that work for you? Because that looks like the journey.
I think that's every entrepreneurs journey. Like there's no rationality as a creative entrepreneur, I don't think it's, you know, when when people like a work life balance, I'm like, who who made that up? Like that's, that's definitely not a creative entrepreneurs. terminology. So, I think, I think, you know, purely as a 90% creative person, I'm driven on that, and it just like something inside of you, and when it holds your curiosity, come, hellhole come hell or high water, nothing else really matters. And you just push forward and push forward. And which is great. In some ways, don't get me wrong. It's it's that drive. But there has to be a point. And I think this comes down to listening to our body because our body's like, you know, you're tired, you need to sleep you're, you're rundown. So I'm going to make you sick. There's, there's all these things, but it will whisper to us for so long. And then it just starts to shout. And that happens in the entrepreneurial sense as well. And I think for so long we glamorised You know, I'm so busy, I can't do this. I haven't had a holiday in three years. And it's like, there's nothing glamorous about that. And especially if you value your work and you value what you're putting out into the world, you should be taking a lot of time to rest and recharge, if you do value yourself as that vessel. So yeah, I think the entrepreneurial spirit as we talk about it, you don't realise how to nurture it until you actually burn out. And you got to be like, oh, okay, I'll revisit that. But I think I think that burnout in a way is important.
Right? And so it seems to me that that burnout also came with your body being in pain to a point where you're like, Okay, this isn't normal. I'm wondering if you can talk to us about that moment where you thought, actually, this really isn't working. And then there's an amazing journey. Like it's a big journey you go through at that point. Yeah.
So I mean, to add context, just really quickly, so I was in the relationship, I said, that broke down in 2015. I was on the pill, since I was 17 years old. So I was probably 35 by this point, and I was like, I'm just gonna go off the pill and give my body a bit of a break. And, you know, my cycle just instantly was like, much heavier, very, very painful. And I'm like, oh, okay, well, maybe this is what happens after you got off the pill. There was hardly any information. I truly, I probably hadn't even heard about endometriosis at this point. I mean, it might have heard it, but it's not something I'm like, maybe it's that. So I jumped on the good old internet and start googling symptoms, which is a really bad idea. But we see these headlines and so great when you get older, your period gets heavier or it gets more painful and I'm like, okay, I normalised it push forward, push forward. So over the next few years, just you know, up to my dose, Have nurofen every month and tried to know my body, I would be like reminding me This is hindering my life and just really treat it like it was an annoyance rather than assigned to go and get help. And, you know, as time progressed, then in 2018, I decided I made the decision to close my business. And we did a six month closure. So by the start of 2019, my pain was so chronic and so bad, it It felt felt like entire organs were passing through my body 10 days a month, and it just got so mad that it just spiralled really quickly. So I preface that because once I finally got to the doctor, and when I finally got to the doctor, I do all my medical stuff back here in in Sydney, because I was back and forth from New York. And in my mind, I truly this might have just completely normalised that it's, it's a heavy period, and it is what it is. And so in the doctor saying about something else, and it's kind of like, oh, while I've got, you know, I've got some really bad period pain. And she's like, Okay, I need you to go and see this specialist. This doesn't seem right. And she gave me the referral.
And the specialists was
having availability, like a week or two weeks later. And then I had a meeting, you know, just before that in New York, and rather than waiting a few extra days, and taking that specialist appointment, I got back on the plane, and was like, I'll deal with that later. And even, like, it still upsets me now to think that wasn't that long ago. And so anyway, when I finally got myself to the specialist, and she, you know, did all the tests and things and you sat me down, she said, You've got two fibroids on your uterus, the size of oranges, and you have chronic stage stage for endometriosis. And I don't know how far it's spread through your body, like we need you in an operating theatre. And that was a moment of almost relief, where I'm like, oh, okay, this isn't, this is gonna have to be my life. This isn't, you know, isn't normal. But it's also a moment of shame, where you're like, how did I like the the look, the doctor gave me of empathy was one I was unable to show myself. And it was a really sobering moment. So yeah, to then, you know, move forward from there. But I think then once this, there is no diagnosis. And you know, there's a lot of women I know that, you know, and specifically speaking on endometriosis, where it's just not that well. I guess race it like, there's a lot research coming out around it now. But even in a medical sense, like women will go in and literally the amount of messages I get when they're like I went in and spoke to the doctor, and he told me just to it's a period cramp or take and and they then you know, you feel you're crazy, because you're like, well, hang on a sec. So I think getting that diagnosis is a moment of relief for everyone and brings this, you know, light at the end of the tunnel on finding a treatment plan and finding what's best for you. So, but yeah, it was, it was it was a lot and I'm not proud of it. It was as I write in the book, in that operating theatre, I was just in floods of tears to permit different reasons. So it was a journey, to say the least.
There's something so powerful in the relief of the diagnosis, and there's a grief as well. And part of what you're talking about is that grief for not having attended to body earlier, and the mind that you endured, that potentially wasn't required. But we do this with ourselves. Not only are we sad for what we have, but then we're sad about ourselves not attending to ourselves. And that is
someone else that way, you know, like if someone was asking for your help, and you put them off for 10 years, and I think so many is an out of body experience, don't you think? But when we talk about that grief, it's almost like you want to hug yourself, but you are yourself. But you've treated yourself so badly. So it's very powerful.
And there's a moment there that really touched my heart because you're there in that surgery. And there are women around you, you know, nurses and doctors. And it feels like when you write about it, you felt really well cared for by the women in the room.
Absolutely, like even when I wrote it, and even when I read that article, or that part in the book back now, it still makes me tear up that these especially the lead surgeon, Dr. harrion was just an angel in scrubs. She was just like the best and then she had a female team around her. And they just they held me and it was in I talked about that in the energy sense where they were just like, you know, we'll take good care of you. We'll take good care of you and and they did and it was it was just the most it's really hard to put into words how special it actually was in a situation like that. It was it was very divine feeling.
Yeah, I certainly felt it and which is a testament to your capacity to take the feeling and translate it across. To the page. And I also felt that heart of me thinking, Oh, somebody had pain and chronic illness and chronic pain, and women were there for her. And that is really, to me why I started the PJ interviews is so that we can have these conversations, that you're not alone. And that, to me is what part of what your book is about is also saying you're not alone.
Yeah, and I think and to your credit, and to the platform you've created, these stories are so important. And it's, it's within storytelling that we see a bit of ourselves in others, and vice versa. And that is the connection. And I think, especially as the world is now and you know, chronic illness as one thing, and then the world, the way it is now is is so isolating, both physically and emotionally. So I think, you know, it's really important, first to be vulnerable. And then second to have these stories facilitated and exchange. So yeah, the the work you're doing is, is so needed. So hand on my heart. Thank you.
Thank you so much. One of the things that I really got out of reading you is like you weren't afraid to tell everybody through this book, all the things you did. And that included? It seems to me fine tuning your intuition, and working out how to listen to that voice. Can you share with us what it feels, what that voice feels like? And how you know, it's real, so that we can also learn to listen for it?
I think the word intuition is not a new word to us. Even as children, we know what the concept of intuition is, I think the main as I got older, and I can't even pinpoint exactly where I started to look at it, there's a much more tangible concept. But, you know, I talked about in the sense of the body, where it's like, you know, like I said, before, the body tells you when it's hungry, it tells you when it's tired. It also tells you when something's not right, it tells you when you know, when we say gut gut instinct, that means that physically, like, that's a communication mechanism. So I think the times I mentioned when I hear a voice in the book, which sounds incredibly woowoo you know that and there haven't been that many times, like that time at the crossroads, I felt a voice in it, it felt like it just enveloped me. So that's not a common thing for me to hear. But I think you know, it's about learning our own language of how our body is, is talking to us looking at where you want to talk about synchronicities, and I don't I don't believe in coincidences, I think it's something happens, you know, twice, it's, it's a message that's trying to guide you in the way you're going. So, you know, bringing our awareness to that and how it speaks to you might be different as how it speaks to me. And I think the place to start though, is the body and you know, what gives you goose bumps? Do you get goose bumps when someone's lying to you? Or do you get goose bumps when you're, you know, in fight or flight mode and, and even journaling down, you know, I felt this way today, and then XYZ happened and then kind of, you know, cracking the code yourself in a way. But I think first and foremost intuition starts with the body because she is such a magical being that just, you know only ever wants the best for us and is trying to communicate with us all the time, it's just were usually probably listening to her so we can start to listening to her a bit more. She's, she's the keeper of the case.
And you went on a process where you trained yourself as the well, like you went to learn mindfulness, you chose a range of things. And you did them at a time, which is, you know, no coincidence, when you were not sure who you are, what you're doing. And that's what it seems to me opens you though. Okay, I've got to find something new here?
Well, I think a lot of things come up comes out of our own frustrations, right. And it's like, once we get fed up with our own behaviour with that's when we make a change, and everyone has to do, you know, to truly follow that true, authentic. Next step of of our hearts is, people can tell us that they blue in the face, here's what you should do. And until you get to that moment, I think I was just, you know, at a loss I had probably in the lead up to the decision to close the business was a two year journey for me of like, hang on, is this just a creative block? Or has my creativity, you know, abandoned me completely?
What does that mean? And kind of grappling with that? So it's, I don't know, I think the realisation that it is a process and it is a journey, and it is one that is often slow to unfold because we're so impatient as human beings that we want the answer yesterday. But yeah, and I think things made us here is that saying that when the student is ready, the Teaching will appear. And teachers, you know, don't appear always in the forms that we think they're going to they, they come in many, many different disguises in our lives. So just an awareness of what is happening internally, versus what is presenting externally, I think, you know, the things that went across our path when they do are there for a reason.
And it also looks to me that you were really nourished by your parents along this process. But there were also times where you had to make a decision, you know, you'd accrued a lot of debt when you were starting to grow. There was a lot of business advice, it seems to me like there's a number of men coming in talking to you. And I'm wondering, did you learn different things about being a woman in business from what works for you than the way the world treats you? Or looks at you? Yeah, it's
a great question. I think, um, you know, having my own business from the age of 21. A, and being in the fashion industry, it wasn't quite a female driven industry, I think, you know, in my relationship with Jeff, my business partner in the book, he is kind of like the ultimate right brain, kind of like, alpha male, where I'm sorry, left, left brain come out, and I'm very right brain, you know, very emotive. So, I think the lesson, you know, when you come up against someone like that, and he and I were business partners for a very long time, you, you take on a little bit of that, it was I think, for me, that journey was learning to find my own, you know, in this case management style and way of doing business and not just adapt to his because, you know, that might have been the more the quickest and effective way, but it wasn't true to me. So I think, you know, we see things along, especially, I guess, in the sense of entrepreneurship of how we're meant to do things in you know, in an effective way. But that's not always true to entrepreneurs who are heart LED. And so I think that was probably my biggest thing is owning that, I don't have to be that hardcore, masculine side as, as a CEO or as a, you know, a founder, and it took me a lot of years to be okay with that.
And you also learned about boundaries, you talk in the book about learning to say no, and that seems like it is a constant conversation for us internally. But if you don't have the boundary, you don't actually create love and context and work that works for you and other people. Can you share with us what you've learned about working with boundaries, particularly in a female orientated business,
I mean, I'm still pretty terrible at boundaries, to be honest, I'm very, very aware of them. And I also I think, even even worse is I'm aware of them. And I can see when I'm not in any place, and I see what it does to my, my soul and my body and everything. So,
um, yeah, I
think as an entrepreneur, as a solo entrepreneur, especially like, you get things thrown at you a lot in the burnout is super quick, because it is just you. I think in a female driven company, you know, we were a young female team as well. So obviously, there's a lot of emotion and a lot of, you know, things flying around that way. So putting in this kind of structure and support that, I guess, I guess, you know, is boundaries, but in a way that also nurtures rather than, you know, it's
not a hard no
boundary, but it's a nurturing one on both sides. So you have to be like, Hey, I have to put a boundary here, because here's why that's important to my health, or well being or spirit. And, you know, that also helps that other person as well. So I think anything around putting things, putting these in place, we're probably not comfortable putting in place, if we can do it with an empathy and, and communicate that empathy. I think that makes it a lot easier to to put it in place. And it's, it's been received by both parties as it's intended.
And you're moving because of boundaries flexible. So it is a conversation. It's not, I can't do this. It's over.
Absolutely. And I think that's the difference between giving up and surrender, you know, I talked about surrender a lot where, you know, the word in itself might be might people might think, well, I'm surrendering, I'm giving up or it's like, No, I'm surrendering, the struggle is that I'm surrendering, I'm putting my hands out and, and unclenching my face to see the natural flow rather than these, you know, you know, hard struggle of just anxiety holding on to a set outcome. So I think it's the same in in that context as well.
Yes to centre Parsons talked about that. She's an ABC presenter, and she talked about, you know, a lot of pain, unable to move through crimes for a long period of time. She lives To put her palms out, so that she could also receive the love that people wanted to give her. Because it was so painful for people to love her to her.
Yeah, yeah, no, that makes sense. makes it seem so easy to do this, but it's the hardest thing in the world to do. So it's a real journey.
And you've made a clear choice. Like, it's very clear to me, you have chosen to tell what's true for you authentically and in the vulnerability. Could you share with us why you have made that choice. Um,
I think I made it initially, you know, and I've always been quite candid on my business journey with the cement monster nation over the years. And when I, when I really consciously started to share business stories with that vulnerability, it was probably at a time when, you know, Instagram was in its peak Highlight Mode. And when I started to share more vulnerably, I just got this wave of incredible energy back and in, that's to me what manifesting and manifesting is not this mood board where we've been, you know, our dream car and holiday destination, manifesting to me is getting to your true authentic self. And then what is authentic to you has room to connect is the magnet that connects to you. So for me, I want to have vulnerable conversations. So in that case, I need to be vulnerable to attract that everyone's going through you know, as in an entrepreneurial and startups and everyone's going through the exact same shit, just no one was really talking about it. So it just opened this whole, you know, in my orbit conversation around this, this realness and for me, there's nothing more exhausting then trying to uphold living as anything other than your true self. And it's whether we know it or not, if we're trying to uphold something that's not authentic, it just drains out our life energy, and it's I just didn't, I don't have the patience or the energy for it. So, you know, I wanted to tell vulnerable stories and have wonderful conversations.
And I think that's what makes it such a beautiful way of connecting with others. And particularly, if you're living with chronic illness, you know, a lot of the world wants you to be well and wants you to be well fast. And there's a lot of advice about what you should do. But there's something about having a conversation between people living with pain that both affirms the experience but normalises that within a there is a safe community, there is space for you.
Yeah, and I think it's, it's the most as simple as it's a simple act to do. But the simplicity of being like, Oh, hey, this happened to me. And there's always like, Oh my god, that happened to me too. And it's like, hang on a sec, we've both been holding this back. And it's this. And then here's my community, here's my community, like the opening the door a tiny bit with your truth just opens a whole new world of of embrace, I think.
And so now that you've, you know, gone through this massive journey, and with the enjo How do you care for yourself? Now? Like, how do you live now having been through this process? Yeah, it's, to be honest, I
wish I could be like, oh, and you know, I listened to my board and all this fun on this, and I'm just like, Oh, my partner was like, have you gone to the doctor about XYZ that you said the other day? I'm like, oh, not yet. I'll get to it. He's like, do you need to pre read your book? Um, it's, uh, you know, I'm not by any means sitting here being like, I've worked it all out. No, and I'm applying that I definitely think that human endometriosis is, is an ongoing issue. It's,
I'm back at the doctor every six months now, get more opera sounds and it goes back. So you need to find a treatment plan. I think how I'm living differently is it's not a long put off. It's it might be like, I'll get to that next week. And then it's like, holding myself accountable to that. So definitely treating my body I think with much more respect around timeframe of being kind to her.
And in terms of knowing that the indo grows back and that how have you reconciled that with yourself? It's like, is this something that's just part of me and I'm going to care for myself? Or do you still have those frustrations of like, Are you kidding me?
Um, no, I think my treatment plan included a marina IUD, which essentially stopped your period in you know, for treatment.
So for me
that that specific treatment plan has been a game changer for me like and it's not for everyone. But for me, it was a game changer gave me 10 days of my life back a month later. Incredible. So that has just taken a whole weight off. So I think my approach to it now is one of nated awareness, like I needed to pay much more attention to my body and what she was saying. And I think it's allowed me to tap into my intuition more and get to know that language a lot quicker than I probably would have. Do I want the illness? No, I don't. But I think you know, I see, I see why I have that I say that my platform needed to be more than jewellery. And, you know, here's my outfit of the day. It's like, Alright, let's talk about this. And let's, let's add a normalised conversation around it. So no, I'm okay. Living alongside of it. And you know, it's still very early days, I've really been diagnosed a year now. And it is growing back, like, you know, six months. So I guess
we'll have to do this operation again. So. But yeah, it's living alongside it. And I'm okay with that.
Yeah, I think what's amazing, and what you're sharing is the it's part of the experience, and you've learned how to use it for your life, like you've learned how to make sense of it in a way that makes sense for you, and create meaning in your life through it, as opposed to severing it. And saying, I'm going to ignore it, or this is this is terrible forever. Right? And
I think anything we ignore lingers, right, until, in a way to be nothing like you have to embrace it with open arms. But I think ignoring things in my experience, just they come back knocking
Is there anything else you would like to share with women in this moment, just that's important to you, for women to know all through the book.
I mean, hopefully, I communicate my journey in the book that I hope the thing that people will take out of it is to trust in the process. And I realise that's quite a disposable and overused statement. But I think in the gift of that I've been given an offline site to be able to sit down and kind of map this part. 15 years out, I'm like, man, at this point, I was so anxiety ridden. And I'm like, oh, it worked out, okay, kind of thing. So just, I don't know, my, my message would be, I hope this even if it can release the grip a little bit halfway and just bring your awareness to what is presenting, because there is just so much, you know, infinite beauty and opportunities of things that we you know, we have such a tunnel vision, and things are meant to work out this way. And it's step 123, I'm like, man, if we can step outside of that be like, wow, and I couldn't do that for a long time. So I hope that in the book, that people can take that away, and just just look up and around a little bit more,
it suddenly really moved me and it touched my heart. And, you know, I've embarked on this journey of coaching women with chronic illness and going that entrepreneur experience while doing it, I was like, okay. It's not my first business, but there's a difference between being me in the world. And, you know, running a business that's about highlighting other people.
Absolutely. And as I say, when you know, these stories are now no longer I'm pointing here, because I have a book if I can find that your stories are now no longer just my stories, if you see a bit of yourself in these, there are stories and if you know, they will take from what what they need and, and it is true, we are all connected in some way, whether that is through chronic illness, whether that is through experience. So yeah, I hope this, I hope reading this book feels like a hug to a lot of people. And I hope that I have this opportunity to speak with people like yourselves and share stories like this.
Thank you so much. We're gonna put all of your links to the foundation as well as to the book so women can go and catch it. And what I want to say about that is Samantha has truly captured that dissent and the rise in the cycle and you will find the resonance of your heart and your being in your soul through reading this book.
Michelle, thank you so much. It's so lovely. I appreciate those words. So, so deeply. So thank you so much for your time and this opportunity.
Connecting with Samantha wills has been one of the most delightful aspects of my year this year. I reached out just really gently to her on Instagram, she immediately said yes. And it's been a love affair ever since I'm part of Samantha's community. And what I want to share with you is firstly that you can be that too, if you follow her at Samantha wills on Instagram. Plus, you can follow me at Michelle Earning official on Instagram. And you'll also find details in our show notes about how to join the pyjama interviews community, which is a gorgeous Facebook group where you will have direct access with me. Plus connecting with other women across the world who just like you are navigating, how to live with chronic illness, and also stand in their authentic power. I'll see you next week.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai