Over the past few months, I've been writing a book. Or at least an introduction and a chapter around part of my story.
The book is called Wholehearted Leadership Revolution and it's a collaboration with 9 other incredible and inspiring leaders from around Australia and the world. And all proceeds from book sales will go to support Free To Shine, which protects young women from Sex Trafficking in Cambodia.
I've wanted to write this book for the past handful of years since discussing what it means to be a Wholehearted Leader with my mentor Rob. It's such a many-faceted concept and yet clearly so needed given the challenges and complexities we were facing as a global society at the time. The topic came up again when we were co-facilitating a Transformation Retreat on the central coast of New South Wales at the end of 2021. We knew we had to get this message out to the world. And yet we knew it would be far more powerful if it included more voices and more perspectives.
So we reached out to leaders near and far who were on the wholehearted path, living and leading from their hearts and an inspiration to those around them and invited the 8 other authors you see in the book today. Check out wholeheartedrevolution.com to read more about the authors involved.
And then the real work began. The deep heart, gut, and soul searching required to really hone in on that something within worth sharing and be able to articulate it in a way that translates into English. I have to admit I found this quite confronting. Some of the long list of challenges were:
All the self-doubt, including both Imposter Syndrome (kinda like shame around not feeling good enough) AND Tall Poppy Syndrome (kinda like shame around thinking I'm good enough). There's an ironic paradox! How can you feel shame around feeling good enough and not good enough at the same time?? Hilarious. If only someone could help me integrate both humility and confidence ;)
Feeling awed by the amazing works-in-progress I was hearing from the other authors, inspiring me to really dig deep on my own journey and expose some of my most vulnerable parts.
Trying to communicate some of the deep dark truths about myself and about humanity that are rarely talked about. And because they're rarely talked about, facing the challenge of doing so in a way that's hopefully not too scary, heavy or overwhelming.
Wanting to share it all, my every step and yet struggling to balance that with including only the most important beats to complete the journey in a way that was clear.
At times the writing process was deeply moving, heart-wrenching and cathartic. Especially when reflecting on Mira's birth and some of the special moments I've spent with her, as well as the big bundle of bitter-sweet memories from my life and childhood that made me the unique person I am today. I remember breaking into tears numerous times while reflecting and writing, who knew that was going to happen?
At one point in particular I'd been listening to a random Spotify playlist of soundtrack music (great for writing to) for several hours. I was detailing some of my nerdy origins, including how hooked I was by Star Trek and how to me it represented fitting in and teamwork and how important that was to me. The exact moment I started typing the first sentence about Star Trek, the theme tune from The Next Generation started playing and I immediately burst into sobbing fits of tears. Some would call it coincidence, others synchronicity. What ever it was, it blew me away.
I took those opportunities to feel the feelings, and process those that were deep or lingered. So I found the whole writing stage deeply healing.
I want to thank my amazing wife Daisy who supported me to take the time to spend on this project while our daughter was still in her first 6 months of life. And my mother-in-law who's constant support made it all possible. And to baby Mira for the regular multi-tasking hammock-nap-writing-sessions (i.e. she napped while I wrote, pictured).
Most of all I'm incredibly grateful for this opportunity to push myself to get this message out and down in a way that can be easily shared with others. And so appreciative of the support from the other authors and Tarryn our amazing editor who all helped me through. I can't wait for launch day and to hear what you all think of the book.
To find out more about the book and our launch plans, come and join the Wholehearted Leadership Revolution!