Making Slippers for Bats

Apr 12 / Jude Schweppe
About five years ago, I went through a period of what I would describe as 'demented, frenzied, stay-away-from-that-woman-she-looks-a-bit-mad SEEKING' as I desperately tried to figure out what the hell I was supposed to be doing with myself.

I had taken a break from my acting career after the birth of my first son and had found myself in a career that was slowly vacuuming the soul out of me and tipping me ever closer to the edge of that depressive black hole.

I needed to find my purpose again. I KNEW there was something else I was supposed to be doing, but I couldn't for the life of me put my finger on it.

For about three weeks, I paced up and down the living room, coming up with idea after idea, convinced every other day that I had had my EUREKA moment, only to throw the not-so-inspired idea out the following day and start the demented pacing process all over again. I drove my poor husband mad.

Eventually after almost a month of this carry on, I crashed and burned, collapsing into a snotty heap on the sofa one evening as I wailed and sobbed and berated myself for my lack of ability to just suck it up, get on with my job and be thankful I had one. To be clear, I was incredibly thankful to have the job. And I was also beyond miserable.

'What kind of mad woman are you married to?' I asked my (by now, slightly worried) husband. 'Why can't I just be grateful, get on with things, and stop wasting my time and energy coming up with hairbrained, ridiculous business ideas that are never going to work out?'

'They're not ridiculous business ideas,' he reassured me. 'It's not like you're sat here telling me you're going to set up a business selling slippers for bats. They all have merit, you just haven't found THE THING yet. But you will. Trust yourself.'

And he was right. I did. It took a lot more soul-searching (though in a slightly less frenzied fashion) a lot of reading and researching, a lot of coaching, a lot of exploring, a willingness to stay curious and listen to my intuition and a lot of support from my nearest and dearest. But when I found the thing, it felt like coming home. My heart, my soul and my body all breathed a massive sigh of relief as my purpose emerged from the fog and I began to get really clear on what steps I needed to take in order to start living it.

We get one shot at this. There's no dress rehearsal. We have to make a balls of things and f**k up along the way, in full view of the audience. But when we commit to the process and embrace the adventure and fully commit to living a life that feels meaningful and purposeful and joyful and creative and brave... the rewards are beyond bountiful and the world suddenly opens up in an exciting and expansive way.

Keep seeking, keep listening to the whispers, keep the faith.

And if you find yourself going through your own slippers for bats moment, know that I am so here for you!

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