Breakdown before Breakthrough

This morning as I was in my Power of Eight meditation session with friends, we were focused on holding the intention for healing for the Amazon rainforest. When I went to bed last night, I was holding the rainforest in my thoughts as well, considering that the area that is on fire is actually bigger than the area of the COUNTRY that I live in!

That’s a lot of fire and devastation.

But, this morning, as I was in the meditation, I kept getting the message, reminding me that there is so much more life than we are aware of.

Below the surface of the topsoil, life is simply waiting to happen!

Perhaps it looks like devastation because I am looking at the surface. But dig deeper – look under the soil and see all the life that is sprouting.

The same way that this applies in a forest, it applies to my own life.

Break down to break through

How many times have you heard that after every breakdown comes a breakthrough?

When the seed gets planted, does it imagine that it is dying? Is it scared of the darkness and feel like it is drowning, when watered? And when the seed breaks open, does it have a moment when it feels like it is being split open? Or does it simply know that this is growth? That this is the moment that it was created for?

I wonder:
When the seed gets planted, does it imagine that it is dying?
Is it scared of the darkness and feel like it is drowning, when watered?
And when the seed breaks open, does it have a moment when it feels like it is being split open?
Or does it simply know that this is growth?

This is the moment that it was created for!

Building a new reality

Since the beginning of the year, I feel like I have been going through my own personal breakdown in order to get a special breakthrough.

For the past 5 years, I have had a full-time helper (sometime two) in my home. Someone that cleans (leaving quite a bit to be desired, admittedly), cooks (as long as you keep your expectations low) and someone that takes care of my daughter when she arrives home from school at lunchtime. This has been full of its ups and downs, but has also allowed me to work full-time and not feel so guilty about spending less time with my daughter, because she is loved and cared for.

In December, as every year, this lady went home to Nicaragua for her holidays and I once again I was back to being a mother fulltime as well as juggling my work commitments. Four weeks of juggling online panels (live), coaching calls, phone calls, client meetings and preparation of documents.

I will say this though: Having a five-year-old in the office is not half as chaotic as a four-year-old, without a doubt!  She is much better equipped for playing and colouring by herself, and happy to strike up a conversation with anyone who arrives!  

And over the weeks of the holidays, I realised that I was spending much more time with my daughter than I do usually – and it was good for both of us:

  • I was leaving the office earlier to go to the park throughout our tropical summer.
  • I noticed what she was doing when I was home, working in my home office. I was not just shut away in my office, trusting the nanny to keep an eye on her.
  • I organised my mornings to go to the Causeway for a walk with her and the dogs, before heading to the office.

Difficult. Doable. Beautiful.

walks on the Causeway, breakdown to breakthrough, first you have to breakdown before you can break through, break down to get a break through
Early morning Causeway

Making new decisions

Knowing that she would be heading back to school in March (yes, three whole months of holidays), I had some childcare arrangements in January and February, but I made the decision to forego getting the live-in lady to come back after Christmas.

We would be going it alone, and working out, along the way, whatever this meant.

And I have had my moments … quite a few… when I have thought “I can’t do this“. I have doubted my ability to mother effectively, to get my home organised the way that I want it, and still get my work done – especially since I was used to working 12+ hours a day, uninterrupted.

The problem with being “mum” is that you forget how tired you will be done when you’re done! Especially when there is a battle to get them to sleep. There are days I don’t have the energy to continue working every night until 11 pm.

She might finally go to sleep at 7.30 , and by 8.30 pm I am ready to sleep!

Starting to reap the benefits

So, here we are in August – with a lady that comes in one afternoon a week to clean and another lady that comes in occassionally for spring cleaning. And we have a beautiful new schedule:

  • One afternoon a week she goes to my nana’s (nanny when I was little) house for lunch and to visit;
  • One or two afternoon’s a week to her grandmother’s (dad’s) house, where she will always find an uncle, aunty or cousins popping in to visit.
  • Sleepovers at her dad’s that she never had before this year, because he counted on her having a nanny to take care of her. Now he’s more involved in her life!
  • Special afternoons that I organise some time off, just for the two of us.

With these changes (and a driver that is on call to take her where she needs to go), she has gone from living just in my house to starting to get to know her family and friends on a much wider scale.

Possibly, most importantly, because I am more conscious of her being an only child, I make a weekly effort to pick her up from school, and occasionally we bring one of her friends home with her! I get to watch her grow and blossom in herself and her friendships.

If I had known

If I had known how challenging this would be, might I have done it?

Possibly not!

I might have kept the fulltime nanny and carried on with my perfectly organised life flowing just as it was, without a 5-year-old interrupting my thoughts!

I admit, I miss being able to simply decide at 7.00 p.m. to go and have a coffee with friends! Now, I have to organise a baby-sitter!

I’m still learning to focus on my work when there is singing and dancing happening all around me, instead of staying late in my office to finish something up.

On the other hand – as I watch the growth in who I am and who she is becoming because of this change – I am happy for the devastation this caused in creating this change!

I’ve had my moments of thinking this was a breakdown. I’ve doubted my ability to handle this! I’ve been overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenges.

But now I am beginning to see that this was really just an opportunity for a breakthrough!

It’s not really a breakdown – it’s an opportunity

My invitation to you today is to have a good look at those areas of your life where you only see devastation. Is that really devastation?

What seeds are under the surface germinating, while you look at empty soil?

Be gentle and kind on yourself – the new growth will soon show itself.


  1. This is so encouraging to read, both how what was a struggle became a blessing for you and in terms of thinking what seeds there may be blossoming in my own life right now….I’m still thinking of them so I’ll let you know when I found them!

  2. How come your daughter had three months off school at Christmas?

    I’m glad you’ve found a way to see a positive in the situation, it’s a good way to get yourself motivated

  3. This is such a lovely post to read – so inspiring and motivational. You are incredible ♥ I was an only child too and my parents used to do the same with me – bringing friends home regularly, and I loved it.

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