The Weeks That Changed Everything.
In the last 2 years I was hit by whole multitude of life challenges, that turned my world upside down, in more ways than one. The most earth-shattering was that I lost my dad. Well I didn’t lose him, he died. This was completely out of the blue, he was fit and healthy and young. He also was, and is, my absolute best friend and no #1 fan. He was the listener and the carer, and the one I went to with emotional turbulence and when in need of support. He was the one who held space for me.
At the same time as being hit with this paradigm-shifting news, I was also told by my landlords that I had to leave my rented accommodation, as they had decided to sell.
At the same time, my partner and I, of 4 years, ended our relationship.
Parent, partner, home.
My three pillars, all wiped out, within the space of 2 weeks.
It was only when a friend highlighted to me that these 3 experiences were up there in the most stressful life events to deal with, that I began to get a sense of the enormity of what I was going through.
I actually have a fairly unique relationship with death. I’m more curious than scared. It’s a topic that dad and I would talk about at length, both equally fascinated in it and kind of excited by the fact we live with absolutely no idea of what comes after life.
So whilst family members around me were telling me that this was a tragic accident and shouldn’t have happened, I quietly, utterly disagreed. As far as I was concerned, dad’s death was perfect, it couldn’t be any other way. This doesn’t mean it was easy, nor will it ever be. In fact, nearly two years on, it only seems to be getting harder. But hard doesn’t mean wrong.
My grief, paired with this overarching relationship with death, seemed to open up space in me for a response to the event which I wasn’t anticipating. Amidst all the nightmarish days and nights, clawing at the walls and roaring with grief-filled pain, I could feel a laser sharp clarity coursing through me. I became acutely aware of what felt deeply right and totally wrong. Whilst I was struggling to eat, sleep or take much domestic care of myself or my surroundings, I was simultaneously developing the ability to discern with great ease and agility.
This led to a surprisingly unique existence for the following year. I was more or less incapable of doing much more than going on long walks. And all the while, my intuition felt incomprehensibly sharp. I clocked out of all social media, shut down my website, stopped working entirely, and just listened. I listened to others, I listened to myself. I observed the patterns that were forming, and how I interacted with others. I began to become clear of my strengths and weaknesses. I gave space to observe my innate traits; The things I couldn’t help but do that helped myself and/or others, and followed this.
I realised that my life, be it work or play, had always involved supporting others, and that I was good at it. I love holding space, and looking after people. I love listening to others, really witnessing them, and creating an environment where I can help people create a toolkit that allows them to navigate their way through challenges. In essence, I love to help people find ways to move from surviving to thriving.
I realised that this was the why behind the pods - a physical manifestation of held space. It wasn’t about the materials, or me making them, it was about what the pods offer. They provide people with a womb-like space within which to let down their armour and meet their vulnerable, honest selves.
This realisation liberated my thinking in terms of how to move forward with Pearpod. I realised I could personally step away from the actual making of the pods, and instead focus on streamlining, automating, and driving more sales. Expanding the business in this way would allow me bring on skilled female basket-makers, providing job opportunities and support for women whilst also truly celebrating the traditional craft of basketry. This was much more aligned with my why.
It dawned on me that, up until this period in my life where I was essentially forced to switch off, I had always been ON. I literally hadn’t stopped. I was always working or making, and as a result, was constantly in a state of reaction, always responding to the next moment that arose, without much space for anything else. It was only once I entered this period of deep rest that the insights and clarity around how I wanted to live my life were able to emerge. If I hadn’t stopped, I would be charging down a path that was averagely fulfilling, rather than truly aligned, and definitely not healthy. Ironically, I would have been surviving but not thriving.
Due to the cosy, nest-like nature of the pods, the topic of rest has always been present within Pearpod. This period in my life, however, led me to understand just how integral it is to our wellbeing. As a result, rest is now heavily woven into all aspects of the business, both in terms of the content shared from Pearpod’s platform, but also into how we do things behind the scenes i.e. clear working hours, regular breaks, putting everyone’s mental health first, screen curfews etc etc (more about this in another blog post).
So from this period of intense metamorphosis, Pearpod 2.0 was born! With a redefined ethos, new website, streamlined product design and clear intention, we are now stretching into a new way of working, with a focus around rest and self-care, female empowerment, ethical design and traditional craft.
The intentions are beginning to become a reality as a small team of wonderful female basketmakers builds up around me, who I feel truly honoured to be working alongside.
I am excited to witness the evolution of Pearpod, keeping the why close to my heart and clear in my intentions, whilst allowing it all to authentically unfold.
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