Welcome to the new look LemonAid!
So why have we re-launched this joint project of ours? To answer, that we need to go right back to the beginning…
When we first got together, we knew that what we were doing would probably be seen as the typical, clichéd midlife crisis:
Woman leaves husband and runs off with female best friend. Never mind the poor children, never mind the poor husbands…they’re just selfishly doing what they want. Gasp. Shock. Horror!
And yes, on the surface that’s kind of what happened (though it seems it’s not as common as folk tend to make out, probably because it’s not exactly as easy as it seems!). But that cliché – as anyone else who’s had their own midlife
crisis awakening will agree – masks the nuances and ignores some of the deeper dynamics that are at play when an awakening begins.
Alongside all the positive bits, the experience of our own awakening process and our relationship progressing has been pretty lonely…
We’ve each had to reexamine relationships and friendships that have been impacted by our actions and support has often come from surprising places. As we’ve faced challenge after challenge, we began to think “Surely we’re not the only ones facing this kind of stuff – midlife awakening or not” and I suggested to Becky that we start a blog to chart our ups and downs, and see if it might resonate with any other women we knew.
So We Started A Blog…
It was hugely cathartic writing about the stuff we were doing, rediscovering some of our passions, and experiencing new things. We got some really lovely support and feedback from folk we knew which spurred us on to keep sharing (while it might seem easy to share our stuff, believe me, it isn’t! I’m an introvert and Becky’s an extroverted introvert so we both have a tendency to want to hide!).
When we realised we wanted to write about some of the more private and difficult stuff – yes, sex was high on the list there! – we felt like we wanted a bit more safety so I suggested we make some of the posts ‘subscribers only‘, and charged a small monthly fee to read the most private and personal of posts…partly as a way to give us more privacy and so the people who did subscribe were folk who were motivated and invested enough to show this.
[Side note: £3 per month doesn’t usually break the bank so it wasn’t about the money, more the commitment and investment aspect that felt important i.e. if we’re investing so much of ourselves, sharing so much of ourselves, we wanted to do so only with people who also showed some kind of commitment/investment in the mix too!]
Self Worth, Self Value & All That Shit!
This aspect raised some interesting themes – particularly for Becky – around self worth and self value: “Folk won’t want to actually pay to read what we write or hear what we have to say, will they? Why on earth would they pay?”
I believe this is an all-too-common scenario for many women which I’ve experienced in my coaching work; we, as women, are often ashamed to talk about money…about earning it, charging for it, asking people to pay for our time/services:
- “It’s rude to talk about money and earning money”.
- “It’s not ok for me to earn my own money”.
- “What could I possibly have to offer?”.
- “I can’t do anything worth paying for”.
- “Who on earth would pay me for anything?”.
But pay they do and we are truly grateful to our small band of LemonAiders who currently give us the support, impetus and motivation to keep sharing ❤️
But Blogging Isn’t Quite Enough…
Blogging is great but now, after a few months of it, it’s not enough! It’s served a really valuable purpose for us both…
- It’s given me – though I’ve been blogging in one form or another for over a decade – an outlet to hone a different voice. One that’s more authentic, more personal, more ‘me’ than ever before.
- It’s given Becky the opportunity to get used to writing again as she also starts to write her book – and to have her writing read by other folk, not just hidden in the pages of a notebook.
But it’s pretty passive. We have comments open for LemonAiders to ask us any questions they might want about each post (none asked so far!), but blogging as a medium is not great for really connecting with people in an active way.
And so one of the ways we’d like to have a greater impact and connect with more like-minded women is by facilitating other women through their own Awakening – at whatever age – with our Awakening course.
As women, we are so unused to asking for what we want that we spend most of our lives not getting it…Whether it’s settling for mediocre sex because we’re too embarrassed to ask for what we really want in the bedroom (or out of it!!), doing everything ourselves because what’s the point in asking for help, it’ll just take longer, not asking for a pay rise because we’re not sure we deserve it or not carving out time for ourselves to do frivolous things because hey the planet might self destruct if we did! We find ourselves stuck in a life we never imagined for ourselves. If this sounds like you, we’d love to see you on the course!
The Promised Land Of Podcasting…
We’re also starting a Podcast! Jumping on the podcast bandwagon – which I’ve resisted for years, largely because I’ve not had much to say – now there’s the pretty big draw of not only to be able to share own own awakening stories, but also to create a way for us to better connect with folk we admire, respect and like, and share their stories too (since we know ours is pretty specific and unique, and with the gay element which not everyone will have!).
Our dream list of podcast guests include the likes of Brené Brown, Esther Perel, as well as (extra)ordinary women like us courageous enough to pursue their own awakening.
We’ll be starting with a podcast in which we each candidly discuss our own awakening experience – from why it felt necessary, to what actually happened.
Throwing Off Our Invisible Cloaks…
Imagine walking down the street and seeing another LemonAider proudly wearing an Awakening t-shirt, sharing a wink or look of solidarity and knowing that you’ve been ‘seen’ by someone who gets where you might be in life, too.
One of the recent events that impacted us – read: seriously pissed us off – was Anton Du Beke’s treatment of Susannah Constantine on Strictly Come Dancing 2018. It’s not the first time he’s been paired with an older woman and – far from being the supportive teacher and coach they need – we feel he has effectively belittled, humiliated, shamed, exposed, disparaged, and essentially undervalued their role in the partnership, caring more about his own image and ego than the role he was meant to be playing.
This reflects a wider theme that seems too common to be a coincidence – the invisibility of women as they approach a certain age.
I believe it starts with motherhood. Somehow women, when they become mothers, often become invisible as women. It continues into ‘middle age’ – with the physical changes (greying hair, post-children bodies, lack of time/money to spend on their own self care and image), and the onset of menopause which is essentially the loss of what was traditionally the woman’s key function in a society, that of being the bearer of new life.
Women are deemed irrelevant, purposeless, not taken seriously, seen as less valuable past a certain age in the patriarchal society in which we live ?
But before I head off on some feminist rant, I’d like to share our mission here at LemonAid…
This is taken from the 1-page strategic plan we’ve created (yes, we’ve been super organised and created the strategic plan, a 12-month content plan accompanied with a social media strategy, and product plan too!!), so here it is:
“Our mission is to build a profitable, values-driven business by sharing our own experiences of a MIDLIFE/ANY AGE AWAKENING with HONESTY and INTEGRITY, with people who have the COURAGE to pursue their own.“
One of the areas in our own wheel of life that we haven’t addressed as much as we’d both like is that of giving back. We’ve been so heads down and in the trenches with our own stuff that it’s felt like enough to just keep going for ourselves and our children (and with our exes in there too), never mind thoughts of giving back.
But it’s one of the core values we want to build LemonAid around so we’ve baked ‘GIving Back’ into the heart of what we do and will be giving back in the following ways, whenever we can…
- Kiva Lending Team – I first heard of Kiva a few years ago and really liked the model of micro loans to fellow business owners around the world. While the entire micro-lending system has its issues – like much of the the charity/non-profit sector – we want to do something rather than nothing, however imperfect.
- Supporting fellow LemonAiders – where we can, we’d love to support and encourage you to support fellow LemonAiders in their own giving back efforts.
You can see the current initiatives we’re supporting here.
If the above was too long to read, here’s your TL;DR of what’s now on offer at LemonAid:
- Free and premium blog posts, in the form of private letters to each other, as well as longer format posts exploring key areas of life.
- Free and premium podcasts, with interviews and snippets about our own awakening experiences.
- Our signature Awakening Course, for those who’d like to experience their own Awakening (however scary that may feel right now).
- An online shop with a range of t-shirts and mugs, with our own snappy slogans!
- Opportunities to support our own and other LemonAider’s giving back efforts.
Please enjoy, go forth and Awaken!