Mr. Adams and I had a less than picture-perfect marriage for a long time...
In fact, just about six years ago I decided that I was going to leave him and get a divorce. I started searching for houses on the far east side of town to get as far away from the life we had together as possible (we lived in Dearborn at the time). You can thank a competitive real estate market for the fact that I am still married today. I was outbid on so many foreclosed homes in my neighborhood of choice that, by the time I finally closed on my tiny Cape Cod in East English Village, we had reconciled.
So we sold our Dearborn house and the whole family picked up and moved to Detroit.
Even so, it was still a far from perfect marriage - or even a good one. The incredible pain and sense of betrayal that comes from a near-divorce isn’t easily glossed over… I was reeling from some deep hurt and insecurities. I couldn’t - or wouldn’t - let my guard down. I kept one foot firmly planted in caution. We kept separate bank accounts. My name was the only name on the house. I made sure that I was always financially positioned to be on my own if I had to be.
It’s pretty safe to say that I also kept my emotional bank positioned to be on my own if I had to be.
Going all in...
One of the biggest decisions I had to make when quitting my job last summer to start my own business, was the decision to let go of the past and be “all in” in my marriage. I had to give up suspicion and “What if?” and trust that my husband was going to completely care for me financially and emotionally.
I had to make myself vulnerable again.
Now, Mr. Adams has stepped up in big ways over the past few years - he has earned the right to be trusted. Still the decision wasn’t easy. Know why? Because I had to allow myself to believe that I could have one of “those kind of marriages” - the kind where my partner has my back and would take care of me.
Why is it so hard to believe that we just might have a happy ending?
Now, truth is, my husband could flake out on me tomorrow and run off to Mexico to live out his days as a beach bum. (He threatens it every winter after the first big snowfall, in fact.) This could all be a big huge mistake. I could become a laughing stock tomorrow. Or the SheHive could become wildly successful because my husband believed in me and my vision and supported me in launching it.
Only time will tell how this story actually ends, but I know I have the power to direct it’s trajectory - fear or faith, scarcity or abundance, tragedy or fairy tale. I choose fairy tale.
So far, so good.
What story are choosing to believe about yourself right now?
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD
This past week has been one of hard decisions...
Some I had to make, some that were made for me. All changed the trajectory of what I was expecting of the foreseeable future in pretty big ways.
Luckily I am still on my annual girls’ trip in Florida, surrounded by the love and support of the amazing women in my family. It also means that there is distance between me and home so I can’t rush to action and try to “fix” everything. In fact, I’ve just had to sit here for the last few days, stuck in the muck of uncertainty and inaction.
I. Hate. The. Muck.
But as much as I hate the muck, I love the possibility of what lies ahead more.
Having all these days to just sit in possibility, sans any true action, was a rare gift. Granted, it didn’t always feel like a gift - I had definite moments of panic and sadness. But mostly it felt good to just dream and not *do* for a period of time.
That's not a gift I give myself very often.
Much of what we do at the SheHive, particularly any of the workshops I lead, are based upon the Intentional Change Theory (ICT) - a scientific road map of how people develop and grow. The first step in ICT is dreaming of what might be - defining the ideal future. It sounds so simple but it is, in actuality, a step most of us often bypass in favor of action. We start planning and doing before we ever really know where we actually want to go.
Or where we thought we wanted to go, as the case may be.
I thought I knew what my ideal future was.
I learned this week that the universe (that beautiful task master!) had other ideas. I was forced to reevaluate - go back to step one of the process and dream some more. I had to slow down - practice a little of what I preach.
It all reminded me that it is the journey - not the destination - that is the important part of the story. The juicy goodness.
I invite you to join me in slowing down.
At the end of this month we will be kicking off a new, six-month signature series at the SheHive - S.H.E.: the Story of Her Evolution. Meeting once a month, S.H.E. will lead you through a set of conversations, exercises and art projects that will help you define your ideal future - your ideal life story. I’m so excited about this series - it marries the heart and the head, science and art - but mostly it gives us all the much-needed to space to do lots of dreaming.
Join me on the journey?
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD
P.S. There is early bird pricing for S.H.E. - $100 off - if you enroll and pay for the series by April 27th.
Greetings from Florida!
I’m here on my annual girls’ trip. It’s the 30th year that the women in my family have gathered on Treasure Island to laugh, love and be with each other.
It’s the original SheHive. Except there’s a beach drinks and beach chairs. (Which reminds me… we need need beach drinks and beach chairs at the SheHive, STAT!)
There are storms in the forecast for tonight which kinda sucks. No one comes to Florida to sit in a hotel room and watch heavy rains fill the gutters. But I love a good overnight storm in Florida because tomorrow, on my morning walk at the water’s edge, there will be a bevy of treasures washed ashore just waiting to be discovered. I am giddy at the thought of what the morning will bring, which has me thinking…
Storms almost always bring about the greatest hidden treasures. So why do I fear them so much? And in case I am being too clever with my metaphors, by storms I mean those struggles we all face but try so damn hard to avoid.
As if we ever really could.
I abhor the idea that we ever have to suffer...
But it is true that it is often the greatest pain points that bring about the greatest growth.
Andrea and I were practically strangers when we she agreed to be my partner and help launch the SheHive. We spent our first few months being incredibly cordial to each other, but once familiarity and comfort set it, the politeness ended and we started to get real with each other. And what we found was that our real selves - well, they had very different needs.
As like-minded as the two of us are, Andrea and I have incredibly different styles. I thrive amidst chaos, high levels of collaboration and near-non-stop activity. I feel most alive when my mind is awhirl with one hundred ideas and I’m acting on 50 of them. Andrea, on the other hand, is designed for peace, tranquility and simplicity. While her mind is also always awhirl with one hundred ideas, she needs to concentrate on one at a time and she needs space and quiet to do so.
Both are, of course, valid ways of being, but at their heart kind of incompatible. We tried to avoid the storm that was brewing, ignoring our own needs… upset, compromise, rally. It became a pattern. Until about two months ago when it all kind of imploded. The storm hit. There were tears, words, more tears, more words and then a realization and resignation that this partnership wasn’t serving either of us. We were at an impasse.
Our business coach, Jane, suggested we explore the idea of brining in other women to help run the SheHive - a leadership team that could provide additional collaboration for me and free up time and space for Andrea. We both fell in love with the idea and called our Community Curator, Amanda, to walk us through the design of this new community.
A month later we launched the SheHive KeyHolder pilot...
a special, invitation-only membership that was created to expand the capacity of the SheHive while opening up leadership of the space to a group of trusted advisors who will help direct it’s future. Over the course of the next six months, the KeyHolders will share in the creation and delivery of SheHive programming while also working together to shape the future direction of the business and answer the questions, "What could the SheHive become if run by a collective of female leaders?"
If you thought this concept was the hidden treasure, let me assure you - it wasn’t nearly the half of it.
The group met for the first time last Sunday. One by one our new KeyHolders walked through the SheHive doors and carried with them the hopes and dreams of our future on their shoulders. (They also carried breakfast, a toaster, and stock piles of snacks, water and toilet paper for the Hive because women THINK OF EVERYTHING!) We talked, laughed and dreamt together and then set a date for our official planning session in early May. What has amazed me most about this group, so far, (besides the fact that they all said YES!) is that there is nothing - nothing - that has been asked of them yet that they have refused. In fact, they have answered every question with an offer even greater than the original request.
I’m so in love.
As I drove home last Sunday I found myself in tears again, but this time it was happy tears. This group exactly captures my original vision for the SheHive of collective female leadership.
And we would have never gotten here without the storm.
Had Andrea and I stayed silent in our suffering, had we not each been brave enough to say out loud what we needed - we would have never gotten here. We braved the storm and even though it sucked for a while, there was so, so, SO much hidden treasure on the other side.
Brave the storm, Queen Bee.
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD