So it was an interesting summer.
Over the last year I felt really awkward, like when you're clumping around in over-sized boots or tugging away at a jacket that has no “give.” As a creative entrepreneur, I've broken all the rules of doing business, and as a human I've been less than thrilled with how it's transpired. I thought seriously about sweeping everything off the table and shutting down for good, but I hesitated. And I'm glad.
As a writer and creative boss I value a vulnerable approach to showing up. I'm also very private, so this dichotomy (is this too much? Is this too little? Am I too closed off? Oof. Did I just over-share?) presents a tension I'm ungracefully tip-toeing across like a tightrope. (Off topic. Did you know that tightrope walking is called funambulism? I did not. Add that to your Scrabble repertoire!) In the interest of transparency, humility, and valuing realness over the tempting promises of glamorous boss babes (“Buy my program and in six months you'll be making seven figures, too!”), I've willingly shared some behind-the-scenes peeks at the highs, lows & ahas of my experience as a creative entrepreneur.
Today is no different. If you receive my letters you already know this, but a few months ago I literally had a God-sent flash of illumination. It was one of those times where the cliche “lightning strikes” is the only way to explain it. It was like a lightning bolt in my heart and mind revealing why everything felt extra hard, why I felt extra obtuse, why I kept taking one step forward, two steps back. And why I made less than wise choices in my business, over-exerted myself, and did it all wrong at the start of this year. I felt very out-of-character with myself, which led a lot of unhelpful inner dialogue... “You think YOU can help people!? Pfffft.”
But one day things changed.
It came from heaven. “Your name.”
I grabbed my journal like I was drowning and it was a life-jacket. MY NAME. OF COURSE. Gahhhhh...why did it take me this long!
Years ago, when I first showed up as Rain online, I needed the quietness and solace of a pseudonym. In time, I grew to love it; it fit me and reminded me of God's mercy. As Hillary Rain, I created a brand that served my business well for several years.
The last half-decade or so has been earth-shattering. The crescendo of the last two years, especially, felt like I was broken open, all my insides emptied out, and a whole new woman poured into this house of bones before I was stitched back up by the hands of grace. But in my unraveling, undoing, re-making, re-birthing, healing and personal soulwork, I never once considered that maybe my name didn't fit anymore. That maybe it was time to release Rain and show up fully as me. So when the phrase “Your name” came to me from the Holy Spirit, the revelation broke me wide open.
My work this past year hasn't “worked” because I was not me. And my going-forward work, my living, creativity, service, presence, writing, and art is meant to come from ME, not from my pseudonym. It is meant for you with love from me, not from the cloak I wore for safety or quietness. I wrote once that it felt like a secret message from God when the words slipped into my consciousness—you are the light of the world ... a city that is set on a Hill cannot be hidden. Out of context, perhaps, from the original quote, but it is there in black and white: “Hill” cannot be hidden.
Releasing Rain and quietly coming to embrace my own name is the culmination of this. Maybe this seems anti-climactic to you, but it is everything to me. As soon as the flash of truth came and I grabbed my journal, believe me: I've not stopped since. At the beginning of the summer I closed my website for technical and spiritual maintenance. I sketched out a going-forward plan. And would you know it, but in a brief few weeks, I re-designed my website, turned a course I wrote a few years ago into a book and overhauled it completely, put my program Dear Artist on pause for editing and relaunch, outlined a new series of writing workshops coming this fall, and for those of you in or near DFW, I added a page about my work as a massage therapist.
I'm thrilled to report that my book The Secret Life of a Curvy Girl came out this week in both digital and print. Dear Artist will relaunch later this month and I'm excited to present my writing workshops that I've dreamed of for so long: The Highly Sensitive Writer, Dear Writer: Writing for Wild Aliveness, Dear Writer: Rhythms and Rituals, and Writing for Introverts. They will begin as online programs and I'm hoping to develop them into in-the-flesh experiences, too.
As creative women, entrepreneurs, mamas, artists, and strong, determined souls, you are accustomed to doing hard things, brave things, deep things. You dive into commitment vowing to not give up even when it's tough. But sometimes the softest butterfly-flutters of change are all that is needed to begin a revolution. If you feel stuck or uninspired, or if you've been struggling to move forward in your own creative work (or any other area), maybe your life or business is simply waiting for you to make a small but mighty shift in how you show up or in the way you do things. Sometimes the greatest shift looks like a humble and tiny key that unlocks an entire new world.