I started the SheHive on the heels of grad school and a straight 19 months of studying the science of how we learn and grow. After a lifetime of living by my gut, I was thrilled to finally understand the scientific research that supported what I, intuitively, had always known. So much so that I started identifying first and foremost as a scientist - leaving all that “gut” stuff behind.
And then came the SheHive - and an introduction to the “universe.”
Andrea, the woman who helped me to launch the SheHive prototype, used to say, “The universe conspires to support us,” a lot. I liked the way it sounded, so I adopted the saying, even if I didn’t really believe it. It was a nice thought, but I was a scientist - and the “universe” couldn’t be explained through the theories I had mastered in grad school.
But Andrea wasn’t the only one. There was Jane - my “woogity” shepherd - and dozens of other women who spoke of the unexplained without shame or fear. I started to listen to what they said. I found that, when I paid attention, I could see patterns.
Patterns that I started to chalk up to the universe sending signals…
Clients who said they would call, but didn’t until suddenly my schedule was free. Classes that got cancelled, only to be replaced with days out with family and friends that filled my soul. Leases that were unexpectedly terminated, only to be replaced with a space that allowed the SheHive to grow to three times the size. Telling a friend that I wanted to take the SheHive corporate, and a phone call five minutes later from my the organization’s first large corporate client. Bids on houses that were rejected, only to have the perfect home come up on the market within hours.
Time after time, disappointments have turned into unexpected silver linings.
Lately, however, there’s been a disappointment that’s weighed heavily on me. I’m one of the 5% of women that found myself in early menopause before age 45. For years it’s just been a happy fact - no more periods, no more worrying about babies - but for the past six months my hormones started to shift with a vengeance and I’ve been dying… extreme fatigue, brain fog, depression, hot flashes, mood swings. I felt like the winner of the world’s shittiest lottery. I couldn’t even pretend to power through - falling asleep most nights on my drive home from whatever client site I was at that day.
Thanks to the help of a great therapist and a great nurse practitioner, I’m feeling better these days. The hot flashes, depression and mood swings are gone - but I’m still not 100%. I can only make it through about three days at a time before crashing and sleeping for a full day to recoup. I’ve had to slow down - take days at a time off, hand off clients, cancel scheduled plans. I’m lucky that I’m surrounded by a myriad of amazing people that make the downtime possible, even if it doesn’t feel right to off load so much on to others.
Yesterday I received a card in the mail - a card from me. It was a thank you note I had written to myself in January at one of the SheHive new year events. I had been holding on to the note, along with the notes of a dozen other women that attended the class, for months - knowing they would get mailed at the exact right time
“Thank you for taking it easy this year. We needed it,” it read.
When I asked myself what I needed back in January, my intuition piped up with full authority… ease, a slower pace, rest, respite. But I didn’t heed the call. I had continued to schedule myself seven days a week, in back-to-back meetings and classes… until I just couldn’t anymore. When I wouldn’t listen to myself, the universe intervened. “You’re not going to listen?” it asked. “Let nature take its course and bring about a slow down you can’t ignore.”
I would have rather learned the lesson without months of hot flashes and losing my mind, but I probably wouldn’t have listened had the lesson been any less painful. I’m stubborn above all else.
The scientist in me still wants to discount the concept of “the universe.” I believe in coincidences and the fact that I find silver linings in disappointment because I have learned to develop extreme resilience through years of studying and therapy. But three years of being surrounded at the SheHive by women with viewpoints and experiences different than mine has helped me to accept that there are some things science just hasn’t yet learned how to explain.
I don’t know it all and that’s a good thing because the only thing I love more than being stubborn (and cherry cordial ice cream) is learning.
What signals are the universe sending to you these days? And are you listening? I’d love to hear about it! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop a comment below.
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD