Permission to Stop: Your Gateway to Freedom & Fulfillment

“I was dead, then alive. Weeping then laughing.
The power of love came into me and I became fierce like a lion,
Then tender like the evening star.”


At the beginning of 2012 I was sat with a wonderful and inspiring group of entrepreneurs in a mastermind meeting, all of us eagerly helping each other with the launch of our new businesses.

I’d wanted to run my own business for years and was deeply frustrated that I was still only doing the work I truly loved on the side of my corporate career. As much as I ached to bring my business to life, I had a familiar frustration and anxiety bubbling inside me. I was worn out from trying to formulate my ideas, continually going round in circles.

I was stuck. Again.

The rest of my life was on hold… I was approaching my 40th year, still single and living once more at my mum’s to focus on my business, side-lining my passion for adventure and travel and other things I loved, branding fun as frivolous and instead immersing myself in a multitude of personal development and business courses. It was a painful place to be, although I hadn’t fully acknowledged it.

Managing to hold out on my turn in the Mastermind hot seat until the end of our session, I finally took my place. Five pairs of eyes lovingly held me and my best interests at heart as we began to explore my business. I felt sick. Then someone asked, “what do you really want?” I paused, and as tears welled in my eyes I shared that I just wanted to STOP.

‘Then you need to give yourself permission to stop’ my fellow master-minder kindly said.

Relief came. Tension drained from my body and a wonderful calm swept through me. I felt clear.

That blissful feeling lasted a couple of hours, until I was driving into the countryside to see a friend. As I followed the winding road a dark energy crept up inside me and I was engulfed by a deep sadness.

My energy had been so invested in making my business happen and my identity entrenched in being of service through my business, and being successful, that without this, who was I? Where did I belong in the World? Did I belong? How was I valuable? At the expense of everything else in my life, it was all I’d been focusing on. I’d convinced myself that everything else was less important.

cultivate stilnessI believed I was working to fulfil my purpose. But why had I lost my passion for life?  Even for my work itself. I was empty and tired.

The critical voice inside my head let rip with an onslaught of harsh words about how useless I was and that I was nothing. They echoed the beliefs that drove my striving, but never quite arriving. I felt ashamed and a failure.

It was painful at first until I stopped reacting and, with detachment, observed the critical tyranny. Fully expressed, the voice went quiet, the pain slipped away and again I felt calm. 

The tyrant had lost its power. The gap was created for me to make a conscious choice.

I decided to fully commit to my mastering how to follow my heart, using my intuition. I wanted to feel alive and free. I wanted to live a life that felt in tune with me. And I wanted to create it effortlessly.

When we ‘stop’ we can see how we separate ourselves from love – by searching for it outside of ourselves in the acknowledgement of our achievements, hard work, being the best, being good, pleasing others.

Stopping gives us the space to hear our inner critic and to understand the motive driving our behaviour that takes us away from ourselves, our dreams and what’s true for us. It opens a space for healing and understanding ourselves so we can make new choices. And it allows us then to hear our hearts and receive our own wisdom.

Cultivate stillness. Be aware. Awaken to your own magnificence, your authentic power.  And choose to follow what’s true for you, embracing the unknown and allowing life to unfold. 

Ask yourself these 6 questions:

Consider the following 6 questions indicating common ways that disconnect us from our true selves, creating depletion, dissatisfaction and struggle and how you can make shifts to come ‘home’ to yourself:

  1. Are you moving in a direction that drains you and doesn’t inspire you, rather than knowing deep in your heart what’s true for you because it encompasses what you really love?
  2. Are you focusing the majority of your time and attention on one area of your life, most likely work, at the expense of your health, relationships and other activities that bring you joy and fulfilment rather than allowing your full expression through everything that matters most to you?
  3. Do you feel like you’re forcing things to happen in your life, thinking them into existence, needing to know ‘how’ to do it and working every step out mentally, rather than working creatively and in a state of flow?
  4. Do you a need to strive, achieve or do something important to feel valuable, because you believe that simply being you isn’t enough rather than knowing your interconnectedness with life and that you have a unique expression and purpose that contributes to the ‘Whole’ and to the evolution of Life?
  5. Do you feel the need to shut off or hide parts of yourself to be accepted rather than knowing we are all reflections of each other, that we are all of everything, that our essential Self is love – and freedom comes from accepting and allowing the whole of who you are?
  6. Do you have a tendency to want to please others and take care of their needs first rather than taking care of your own needs or wishes?

2012 was the year I came home to my heart. The year I invested in learning to use my intuition and imagination to effortlessly bring my heart’s desires to life – in every area of my life.  For the first time ever, I felt deep fulfilment and joy.

It wasn’t that my business wasn’t true for me. But I’d been trying to figure it out in my head, forcing it to life, which disconnected me from my inspiration. And I’d cut myself off from everything else that made me feel alive.

Through my journey of self-discovery and re-alignment with my truth I re-ignited my passion and vitality.  At the heart of this was a big dose of self-love. Love is the foundation of my life.

Giving yourself permission to ‘stop’ is a gift – it’s your gateway to freedom and fulfilment. The freedom to be you and make your life a full expression of you. Give yourself the gift.  Give yourself permission to stop and begin the journey home to love.

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About Kirsty MacAndrew

Kirsty has been helping busy professionals improve their confidence, well-being and fulfilment for 20 years. She specialises in helping professional women who feel stuck or exhausted connect with their body, heart and intuition and create a beautiful life.

2 Responses to Permission to Stop: Your Gateway to Freedom & Fulfillment

  1. Catherine Allison says:

    Kirsty, thank you for sharing this story in a way that is both supportive and inspiring to the reader!

    • Rita Graving says:

      Thank you Catherine, it’s lovely to receive your feedback and best wishes to you for joyfully creating everything your heart desires. ~Kirsty

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