16 Feb Wild Sea Women – Embracing the Waves
During lockdown many of us found ways of doing things differently, we found new interests, hobbies, took up new classes and a whole load of other things which we probably would never have dabbled with had we not been in these circumstances.
Since I started up Wild Sea Women in June 2020, I was amazed by the amount of interest. When I put out a post for the first gathering, I was expecting only a handful of women to be interested in joining me in the sea, but the number rapidly grew week by week and has since extended to other beaches in the NE and also one in Scotland, thanks to other wonderful likeminded women and friends who have stepped forward to lead these sessions and to offer great support to the Wild Sea Women Community.
When I first started WSW I was going completely into the unknown, not sure of which direction it would take (if any), I hadn’t thought about it, I just saw it as an opportunity to invite other women into the sea to experience the feeling of freedom (which I’m sure you can agree we all crave right now) along with the power of the cold and of course nature..
Then other ideas began to flow, like how to help relax these women who were nervous to take the first plunge (pun intended) and this soon began to turn into more regular beach classes such as yoga, breathwork, sound baths, fire dancers etc, it felt brilliant being able to offer such a variety of classes on our beautiful beaches and given we’d been limited to what we could do and who we could be with, this seemed like a perfect way to get us all out in a community to support one another.
Not Being Authentic
If you’ve been following WSW since it began, you may have noticed things along the way where I’ve been experimenting with both my own ideas for the group, and the ideas of friends and even business coaches who approached me (with a hefty charge). And if you know me well enough, you will probably have noticed some stuff (especially in the Facebook group) where you’ve maybe thought ‘that doesn’t sound like something Hayley would say’ and it wasn’t, it was painfully uncomfortable to post some of the stuff I’ve posted, it was not authentically me at all! But it taught me to follow my own heart and showed me which direction NOT to take.
Unable to keep up
Right from the get go, I was being contacted via every medium possible, messenger, instagram, text, whatsapp, email – all of it. I was inundated with messages, which I didn’t see as a bad thing of course as it was great seeing this much interest (thanks to each and every one of you). Wild Sea Women was growing quite rapidly, ladies would post their sea dip pics on social media and I’d be contacted even more, and with this I was being offered work, asked to promote and/or sell other businesses products, contacted by business coaches, TV, magazines, the media – in a nutshell, I was being asked to do more than I could handle, and though I felt so grateful and fortunate that opportunities were showing up in such a vast way, as well as helping my (Xhayle) business to grow in the process, I felt like I was drowning in all of it. I soon started knocking back opportunities purely for my own sanity, at one point I started regretting ever giving up my 9-5 job, life was much more straight forward then, but now I just felt like everything was a mess and lacking any structure.
Social Media – the thief of time
So, with all of these messages, I knew I had to reply to everyone, I’d open instagram and respond to the comments, the DM’s, then facebook I’d do the same, then I’d seen 100’s of whatsapp messages from all of the groups I’m in and you get the picture, I was doing everything I tell everyone else not to do, I’d watched the Social Dilemma on Netflix and told you all (as well as promised myself) to keep in control of the screen time, but that was soon out the window.
Ready to throw in the towel
The early morning sea dips which I used to live for and do religiously were no longer appealing to me, not even during the winter months (my fav time of year), neither were any classes I teach (online or in person), everything I’d worked to build up since quitting my career back in June 2019 seemed to be spiralling down, not because there wasn’t opportunity or lack of support, but because I didn’t have the energy, I’d lost my mojo and was just feeling out of control, and I got to the point where I was tempted to just close everything down completely. I wasn’t used to this much ‘noise’.
It soon got to the point where I’d see the messages, but I just couldn’t bring myself to reply, it’s strange because I’d happily read the message and in my head I’d know what I’d reply with, and my intention was always that I’d reply but I didn’t, I’d tell myself I’d respond later but later never came because by then I had another load more messages to read through – I was exhausted at the thought of needing to reply and then I’d feel really anxious (and ignorant) that I’d not responded in x amount of hours, then days, then w…..
Sooo, I began looking at ways I could continue to keep everything going because I know it was helping so many, and so my daughter Summer offered to help out, I gave her access to my social media/email etc but still there are things which she’s unable to answer and Summer quickly noticed how difficult it was to keep up too.
Fast forward to early November, I decided I was going to invest in some real help, help for my mind, I figured that if I could get my head together a bit more and take some real time for myself then everything else would be more manageable. I now feel like things have shifted massively. Although I’m currently living with my sister and her family while we seek a new home, and struggle to teach online classes (due to it being a little chaotic here 😂), I have felt such a strong desire to start sharing my work again and so I began last week when I was invited to host a Wim Hof breathing session for a group of 25 women and one man (Paul) (see pic above) on South Shields Beach with Paul Mort, if you’ve not heard of him then I encourage you to look him up here, his personal story is inspiring albeit lots of swearing involved 😂. Following this I hosted a private Wim Hof Method workshop with a wonderful group of people at Tynemouth Beach, I finally feel like I’m back. 🙌🏼
Every day is a new day, a new dawn, I have met the most amazing people this year, many who have become very close friends. best friends even and what a great reminder for me to know that I will keep going and allow everything to unfold without force. The way always reveals itself, just because we cant see what lies ahead, when we look back we see exactly why things have happened the way they did.
Conclusion and Intention for 2021
So with this, I wanted to let you know just how much I appreciate EVERY single one of you, every comment, question, message & email. Though I don’t always respond to everything, I do appreciate ALL of your messages and feel my heart filled with gratitude as I read them.
Therefore my intention going into 2021 is to start creating more videos and content in a ‘post and go’ type of fashion, which hopefully covers many of the regular questions I receive, along with tips and other bits of useful information. In this way, my hope is that I’m keeping you informed, but at the same time managing my time more and my own mental wellbeing more effectively and efficiently.
THANK YOU for all of your SUPPORT and LOVE.
Together We Embrace The Waves 🌊