Collective Care is a written interview series with people who are changing the world. Most often, these folks are working at the intersection of creative, healing, and/or activist work.
I’m in love with the idea of amplifying the work (and self-care practices) of people who are building a more compassionate world. In this series, I get to chat with people who inspire me like whoa.
Today we get to meet Michelle Ward!
Michelle, take it away…
How are you changing the world?
(What is your change-making, healing, and/or creative work? This might be paid, unpaid or a combination.)
I help creative women discover and launch their dream businesses. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.
(Also, I’ve helped raise $90K for breast cancer research & treatment through my Avon Walk team in the past 5 years. I’m proud of both of these things.)
What challenges your heart in that journey?
That it’s never enough. I always want to do All The Things and make All The Difference to All The People. It’s been tough to slow myself down, take care of me, and realize that what I’m doing is “enough” to put some good into this world.
What inspires you to keep going?
My own dreams & the goals my family has. We want to spend our time in certain ways and have a particular lifestyle that I’m always looking to support, grow and tend to.
Also: My clients, for sure. To be privy to their biggest dreams and deepest fears is something I hold to be very special, and it honors and humbles me. To see them, too, launch that business and land that first client and quit their soul-sucking jobs… it makes my heart burst each and every time.
How do you support yourself or tend to yourself and your heart in that process?
What nourishes and replenishes you?
Baths. Naps. Runs. Reading for pleasure. Meditating. Journaling. Art journaling. Sun salutations. Essential oils in my diffuser. Deep breaths.
How do you experience care within community?
How do others support you in your journey and practice?
Ohmygosh, does it ever take a village. I have so many Internet Friends who are there for my freak-outs and questions, who hold space for me and cheerlead me on. I could not do this without them, or without the support and care of my family, or without the practical help my co-working / day care space gives me.
What’s your best piece of advice you have for people who want to make a difference?
Put aside the Vampire Voices (those are the ones sucking the good stuff out of you) that are telling you that your dream is too big, too silly, too unrealistic, too superficial. Instead, replace “No” or “Not now” or “I don’t think so, buddy” with “How?” Take one small step today, and another tomorrow, and another the next day. Baby steps build a small foundation.
Paint us a picture of the more compassionate world and future you imagine.
Not to get political, but one where love really does trump hate. It hurts my heart to think of all the pain in this country that led to Trump being elected (even though most American voters didn’t agree with his diatribe). If we lead with love, compassion, acceptance and inclusion – looking out for each other, giving generously of our time and money and gifts, taking action daily – then we’ll lift each other up instead of selfishly pull each other down.
Michelle Ward, PCC, has been offering dream career guidance for creative women as The When I Grow Up Coach since 2008. You may have seen or heard her in New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, Etsy, Newsweek, Freelance
How to connect:
You can find all of the Collective Care interviews right here!
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