And here I am podcasting again. I have had an on and off relationship over the years with podcasting, hosting shows that hit the top 20 in Canadian charts, and even being featured in curated categories on Apple Podcasts. Podcasting has helped me reach out and connect with people all around the world and feature incredible people in life and business, showcasing their brilliant minds and big hearts. So what happened?
I lost my voice. Metaphorically, of course. And if I’m going to be completely honest, I’m not sure I ever really had it. Even as someone who has been proclaimed as being a powerful speaker, over the past 2 years I have wrestled deeply with understanding whether or not the voice I had been using my entire life was even my own.
I felt deeply challenged in my beliefs
I felt deeply challenged in my identity
I felt deeply challenged in my views
I felt deeply challenged my freedom of thought
And even as a Canadian citizen, I felt challenged in my freedom of speech
The last two years, I have been immersed in an internal battle that has contested nearly everything I have ever known to be true about myself and the world I grew up in. It has been unlike any other journey of self discovery I’ve embarked on, as it felt more like 2 decades of life lessons coupled with personal growth squeezed into just 2 years.
I have been confronted with the responsibility of my own values system. Not the values that make us feel good in a 5 minute values exercise. The values that run through my veins, and deeply embedded in my DNA that constitutes my moral code. Freedom, integrity & authenticity are not just buzz words for me, they’re a way of life. The journey to truly living by these values however, has proven to be equally the most painful and rewarding path I have ever walked.
What does it mean to truly operate with integrity?
What does it mean to truly live freely?
What does it mean to truly be authentic?
These questions were not only difficult to answer, they were excruciatingly difficult to embody. Because to embody them, meant to withstand the extraordinary resistance from friends, family, business connections, clients & customers, who were undeniably supported in their resistance by key politicians and accredited media agencies, making them feel safe, comfortable and even righteous in their decisions to walk away from, ostracise, other & even condemn me, and millions of others like me.
But still, despite the pain of loss, ridicule, shaming, dismissal and being grossly misunderstood, I remained standing. Despite my firm commitment in my values causing people around me to become so uncomfortable that they made the decision to leave my life, I remained standing. Despite becoming unrecognisable to some, as I stripped away any remaining shred of inauthenticity in my body, I remained resolute in what I believe to be right & true.
In my committed effort to be the truest version of myself, and release any and all fear of self expression, thought & speech, a secondary concern crept into my heart. If this was the real me, had I been misleading prior to this point in my personal journey? Had I been deceitful? Had I been fake? The thought and reflection I put into this had me reeling. And I give credit to my therapist for helping me navigate this specific breakthrough…..Past versions of me were in fact real and true. Each of these versions of me were comprised of unique layers that had built up around my core essence through social conditioning, expectations, projections, beliefs and even fears. Each of these versions of me, while not my core, was still my truth in snapshots of my own evolution.
A sense of relief & deeper permission to change and grow washed over me as my therapist reflected this back to me during our session. But then I couldn’t help but wonder, if I didn’t know or recognize that previous versions of me weren’t my core, but rather temporary truths amidst my own journey of growth, then how could I possibly know that this version of me today, is the real one? To which my therapist responded with this question: If you were wrong about how you currently see the world, would it change your values? Would you regret how you showed up? To which I replied with a resounding no and in fact, I actively prayI am wrong every day. Reflecting on this, helped me see that no matter what direction the world takes, and what or who it throws into or removes from my path, my values of freedom, integrity & authenticity won’t be shaken any longer. I have naked in my truth and more vulnerable & exposed than I have ever been in my life, willing to face any consequence that came with it, while being entirely unwilling to allow these consequences, no matter how painful or difficult, to change me in any way in order to make others feel more comfortable with or accepting of me.
This is me.
I am rooted.
So here I am, friends. I am back after a hiatus from taking the mic as I navigated a personal journey, an awakening if you will, unlike no other. My goal here on the Sarah Swain Show is to encourage and inspire unapologetic authenticity in life & business through big and bold dialogue on my own and through conversations with brave humans. This is what it means to be free.
I wish I could invite you to join me on specific days of the week for a specific cadence of episodes, but what I’ve also learned about myself is that my best work is channelled when I least expect it. So some weeks may have a few shows, while others may have none. So stay tuned in. Be sure to get on my email list at www.businesswithsarah.com so you know when a new episode drops. And if my content resonates with you, I simply ask that you share it. Not as a means to enforce my ideologies or opinions, but rather to invite people to step into their own courage, strength, conviction and freedom of thought, too.
So thank you for being back here with me on The Sarah Swain Show.