I’ve been back to work fulltime for the past few weeks. While I’m grateful for the job and seeing friends there, I’m struggling to feel as much joy as I had when I was writing and drawing regularly last month.

For some encouragement and adventure, I launched a page on Patreon. Basically, I’m asking people to pledge as little as $1 a month to support fundraising for autism assistance dogs and establishing an online community for supporting mums to have more influence in workplaces.

The main reason I’m asking for pledges on Patreon is to get a sense of whether the meditations on YourGuidedJournal are contributing to other people’s wellbeing. One indicator of whether the meditations are valuable to others will be the number of pledges. Because, as I know from business, money is one key indicator of whether people are experiencing enough benefit or inspiration to actually go through the steps of giving even a dollar. 

It’s not about the numbers, but … they help

Reflecting on this first week, I feel pretty embarrassed and sad in this present moment. When I compare my own “numbers” of pledges with the success stories that Patreon publish on their blog, I feel shy. So I’m reaching out for some shared celebration, encouragement and honesty. I’m wanting to remind myself – and all of us – to celebrate that the glass actually is fuller than I’m seeing. Because 3 people so far have pledged in the first week. 

I’m not so much interested in raising funds – although that would be satisfying. I’m keen to see a number of $1 pledges, because that will give me a sense that enough people find the meditations life-enriching. I want to stay curious and trust that whatever response comes will connect me to joyful use of my energy. I’m happy reminding myself that I’m free to keep creating what I love and offering it to hearts out there. So long as it’s online, it’s possible for one other human to find and explore in a moment where they are wanting compassion, understanding and peace.

The relief of seeing the first 3 pledges

Like others who’ve launched a fundraising drive, I’ve felt a bit vulnerable about making the request. I’ve been experiencing quite a bit of embarassment and anxiety. I’m encouraging myself to practice staying in this space for a few weeks more to give the campaign a chance. 

So I’m especially grateful for the first three people who signed up. It helped me to feel a sense of being seen, heard and mattering. 

Thankful for skills to stay compassionate and persist

I’m also thankful to my body and inner wisdom which is expressing its emotions and experience to me. As I keep practicing self-empathy about the pain I’m feeling at “putting myself out there”, I trust that a choice will emerge naturally. I want to connect with the underlying needs and mourn the gap between what I want and what is right now. So I guess that’s needs for mourning, and maybe even self-trust and acceptance of limitations. Also, I’m connected to that shared longing I’m sure all humans have – to enjoy life, freedom to choose our hopes of dreams, and have inner safety and an innate sense of self-worth even when I’m disappointed.

I’m thankful to have learned that technique through Marshall Rosenberg’s sharing of nonviolent communication and trainers such as Mary McKenzie and Miki Kashtan on NVC Academy.

Thankful for the surprise collaboration – what will we create together?

Also, I’m celebrating that by taking the action – I’ve ended up having some other unexpected connections. For example, a friend at work heard about the reason I’d launched the campaign and felt inspired about what we could do together. She’s invited me to a coffee meeting on Monday to create a service together. We’re exploring how to connect more working mums like us with a community of compassionate and respectful peer-to-peer listening and practical support for housework which also frees our minds for creativity and contribution to the world. 

I guess that’s one of the key lessons in life and business – take action aligned with your purpose, and see what happens next. The action might not turn out the way I want … however it connects us with feedback and inspires us to turn our energy towards what’s life-enriching for even more people.

So far, the offer looks like this:

We’re meeting on Monday to shape up a first offer – within the constraints of our time and resources.  I’d love to hear feedback. Click here if you’re feeling inspired to share a few thoughts, feelings or suggestions. 

Again, thankful to Bernadette Haddon for your 52 weeks of thankfulness quest. It inspired me to find the upside and persist so that I can have the satisfaction of knowing I’ve persisted through the discomfort of the first quiet few weeks of a new campaign.