“My husband and I hadn’t been acting like we were a team. I won’t speak for him, but I’d say my attitude was one of struggle, resentment and battling. We were only half supporting each other,” says Rebecca Caution…
Rebecca Caution is a holistic life and business coach who helps coaches and consultants find self belief, create impact with integrity and thrive personally. She combines over a decade of commercial experience in client and project management for design and innovation agencies with holistic modalities like EFT, Matrix Reimprinting and breathwork in her coaching practise.
This past year, in a word, has been … Illuminating.
At first, my work was … Frantic. I was very much still in the habit of avoiding more challenging emotions, so when the pandemic began and we were first locked down, I reacted by absolutely throwing myself into my work in quite an unhealthy way.
I had been planning to run an in-person workshop in early March. By February, with news of the spread of coronavirus gathering momentum, I decided to move it online and alter the format to a course. After successfully running it with a few beta testers, I launched it on my website and ran two launches to sell spaces. The course was mentioned in Grazia (thanks Annie!) and has consistently got good feedback. I’m now in the process of reformatting and relaunching it.
At the same time, I was showing up daily in my free Facebook group, supporting the small community of women who joined in the challenging early stages of the first lockdown. I started my email list, a regular weekly newsletter and a weekly IG live series called “Changemakers” where I interviewed different women running purpose-driven businesses, including diversity and inclusion consultant and entrepreneur, Rochelle Robertson; somatic coach Tamu Thomas; feminist marketing educator Kelly Diels and Anna Jones, the vegetarian chef.
Whilst working with a few clients 1:1 (one of whom was a mum of two who returned from a year of maternity leave to managing a team entirely online and from home with little to no support!) and supporting my then-two and five-year-old children’s emotions.
On top of that, my husband had left his old job and was looking for a new one when the pandemic reared its head. As the main earner in our family this caused a huge amount of stress. He spent most of the year working on a consultancy basis whilst also going through rounds and rounds of interviews on Zoom. It was intensely difficult. Especially as he was also coming to terms with the fact we’d found out right before lockdown that the throat cancer my father-in-law had beaten 20 years ago had returned.
I look back now and wonder how on earth we managed all this!
What I realised I needed to do was… Stop, surrender and find spaciousness. By the last quarter of 2020, I was absolutely exhausted. The way I was approaching my work was having a negative impact on both me and my family.
My husband and I hadn’t been acting like we were a team. I won’t speak for him, but I’d say my attitude was one of struggle, resentment and battling. We were only half supporting each other. We thought we were acting like we were on the same team, but there was so much underlying resentment. The past year forced us both to drop that, to learn how to climb into the same barrel and navigate the river of life together and everything is so much better for it.
And so I … Stopped pushing. Stopped obsessing about growth. Stopped marketing for a while. Stopped looking ahead at how I wanted things to be, surrendered and accepted things exactly as they were. Something had to be done to keep things calm in our family, so Steve could focus on finding a job to pay our mortgage and prevent us from having to move in with our parents and rent our house, which is what we were seriously considering in the summer.
When I surrendered, everything became easier. I carried on working with the 1:1 clients I already had for the agreed period and took an extended break. I focused on looking after myself and my family, honing my craft through practise and study. I realise I was in a privileged position to be able to do this, but frankly, we didn’t have any other option at that stage. The energy in our house was like a pressure cooker.
Running my own business this past year has been … challenging and an incredible gift of a learning curve. The start of April last year was only the very start of my second year in business. Last week, I was pleased to realise that I posted turnover in every month of the last financial year. I’m pretty proud of that in the year of a pandemic when I had so much else to deal with personally.
Now, looking back over the 12 months just gone, I feel … Like I’ve shedded layers of myself and been reborn as the person who I was always meant to be.
In terms of the future of my business/work, I feel … Hugely excited, inspired and motivated, but without feeling the need to push or prove anything.
The hardest thing about working through a pandemic was … Resisting looking at the difficult emotions. Once I stopped avoiding the difficult stuff and started taking responsibility for it, everything became easier. I had met a holistic healer at the start of the year and did a lot of work with her on some of my childhood wounds, which was really transformative. She encouraged me to befriend a tree, which I did. I spent a lot of time sitting underneath that huge oak tree in an ancient wood near my house and I can’t explain how, but it supported me in ways I don’t even understand.
What I have done amazingly well is… learned to open my heart and trust that finding spaciousness, giving myself room to breathe and develop is the absolute right approach for me, to life and business. I feel energised to build my business slowly and sustainably and to enjoy the process. Instead of approaching it like some kind of frantic sprint.