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“Try to enjoy the pain” I told my best friend when she was going through a tough divorce. She couldn’t believe what I was saying. How could I be so heartless and not offer an easy way out of her struggle. That’s what friends are for, right?

I had gone through a divorce myself couple of years earlier and the memory of crying myself to sleep night after night was still vivid. I remember leaving the office in the middle of the day to go to a park just to cry. I had felt so raw, so vulnerable, so cut open. It was like life was really flowing through me with all of its force.

Looking back at those days I can really appreciate them now. The pain was real, it was ravishing but it was also very cleansing. I was going through a metamorphosis.

It would be unrealistic to think that a caterpillar can turn into a butterfly without experiencing some kind of pain.

Looking back I can see that every struggle I have had, both in my personal life and in business (and I can tell you there has been many), has been an opportunity to renew myself.

After leaving my parents house at the age of 21 until settling in our current home 5 years ago (so for 20 years), I’ve moved house every 18 months on average; between countries, single, moving in with a man, moving out from a relationship. Every move, as you know, is quite painful. But every move has been a great opportunity for renewal and cleansing. And as s a result, I’m not attached to material possessions. It’s easy to get attached to things, people and places even when they no longer serve us.

Avoiding a struggle of de-cluttering prevents us from moving forward in life.

Four years ago I was extremely stressed out. If you met me you perhaps wouldn’t have noticed and I certainly wouldn’t have admitted anything. I didn’t realize how stressed out I was. How could I be, I was at home with two wonderful children in a loving relationship living in a beautiful house. I had no right to be stressed!

But my body betrayed me. I got sick. I started feeling loss of energy, I was constantly bloated and mentally negative. Those of you who know me would agree that it was not a very typical state of mind for me! This struggle, again, proved to be one of the biggest gifts.

It lead me on a journey to find my balance, both in terms of my diet but also in terms of managing stress, raising my consciousness and being present. I started meditation and learned to ‘be enough’ rather than feel constantly lacking. Would I have not experienced the pain I may have not discovered my happy place I’m at now.

When you feel quite comfortable and you are just about managing you are in a dangerous place because nothing is changing.

It’s easy to hold onto the lull of comfort rather than seek places where you can grow.

You settle for less, even though your ‘bigger life’ might be just around the corner. And the only thing that is blocking you is a fear of a struggle.

Author J.K. Rowling recalls her struggle “reaching rock bottom became my solid foundation I rebuild my life on”. If she had never let herself fall to the bottom, if she would have kept herself ‘just managing’, she probably would never have transformed into the brilliant author she is now.

There are two ways out of a struggle: you either go up or you go down. Use the life energy in a crisis to transform you, not to destroy you.

~ Miisa

If you are ready to explore your life choices with a like-minded group of women and not accept ‘just managing’ as a standard, join one of our DrivenWoman Introduction evenings in London Soho, London Shoreditch, Guildford, Helsinki, Singapore and Auckland New Zealand.

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