Carla Van Raay
Carla’s goal as a Resilient Leader of Change: to successfully launch an online business with the general focus of contributing to the healing of the planet.
In this story, Carla describes several phases that she experienced from 2004 to the present, on her way to becoming a Resilient Leader™ of Change towards achieving this purpose.
I will describe several phases I experienced from 2004 to the present, on my way to becoming a Resilient Leader™ of Change. My goal was and is to successfully launch an online business with the general focus of contributing to the healing of the planet.
I have enjoyed success as a published writer writing about my life experiences in the fields of spirituality and sexuality. What I have never been good at is marketing my products, except for my first book, God’s Callgirl. My publisher did the promotional work for an entire three months, securing the book’s success as a best-seller in Australia and other countries. However, I have not been able to promote myself under my own steam, no matter how much I studied about marketing strategies.
My main problem was that I was a loner, used to working on my own, not a team kind of person and not able to attract collaboration. My computer skills were also limited. I paid a lot of money for expertise over the years, to fill those gaps. To date, however, none of that has paid off. I am still not successful in the sense that I have a business that works.
It seems that I had a lot of spiritual lessons to learn first. In late 2008 I became a member of The Cosmosis Mentoring Centre, with its headquarters and leadership in Perth’s northern suburbs. I moved house to live close by. Under their guidance and being assigned a Mentor as well, I grew enormously in knowledge of spiritual truth, in self-acceptance, self-love and love of All That Is. It was a very intense time, leaving little room for serious business development.
Since I was being well paid by way of royalties, I followed a suggestion given to me by someone who never contributed one cent to his own idea: to establish a healing centre by way of leaving a legacy. Astarte Inc was created after much effort and teamwork and generous contribution from a CMC member toward business development. However, most of the work still devolved on me, and it became too much. In Sept 2010 I had a minor stroke, followed by another one in January 2011. Soon after that, the committee disbanded and the plans were shelved. This left me with not enough money to live from, and I applied for the age pension, at the age of 72. This was not the first time I had received a social security benefit: for several years from 1992 to 2004 I received the Widow’s Pension, supplementing this with being a housekeeper or subletting rooms in a rented house. Membership to the CMC was financially demanding.
I wrote “Healing from Abuse a Practical Spiritual Guide” while a member of the CMC. The book did not find its mark, one reason being that I had signed with a UK publisher in 2015 whose system made it too difficult for Australian bookshops to stock it, and there was no local publicity.
In that same year, 2015, I felt inspired to meet up with Wendy Campbell, whom I had known and met with very occasionally over the years. This proved to be a pivotal point in my life. I signed up without hesitation to be a member of The Resilient Leadership Program, and a period of growth started for me like no other.
For the first time, I was connected to a team of wonderful, heart-based, practical in-the-world people and receive assistance as I felt ready for what each had to offer. Meeting up with Wendy on an informal basis had set me on a path of further self-discovery, and also on a practical path toward success in my business plans.
My decision to join the RLP was judged to be incompatible with my program with the CMC. When I was told this, I did not hesitate to choose my immediate future with the RLP. I suffered withdrawal symptoms and the loss of friends for several months. None of the members have chosen to stay in personal contact with me since I have been an ‘outsider.’ I finally realised that I left in very good time, grateful for the interruption to this attachment!
I then put my energy into the creation of an online journaling program with the help of a generous woman with skills which complimented mine, so I believed we would be successful. We drew up an informal contract clarifying that resulting incomes would be equally shared.
Eight months later we were still struggling with the first module, without creating an income from a mini-course we were offering at the same time as developing the main courses. The problem was that neither of us had marketing skills, and my colleague also proved to have very little time to bring to the project. She decided to focus on developing a business around her own unique skills and I could only encourage that. It was a very painful time of acknowledging defeat once again as all the information regarding the courses were removed from websites and the program shut down. We had both suffered financial loss and the investment of much time.
The experiences were a grounding for my next focus, which was the creation of a series of Journaling Guides for the use of sex workers and counsellors for those who had suffered sexual abuse. I reached out to my contacts within the healing of sexuality industry, but although they offered encouragement, they were not helpful. I realised eventually that I had been unrealistic in expecting the industry to embrace this kind of growth work.
All the while I have received encouragement from Wendy Campbell. Wendy helped me to clarify my thoughts and aspirations, never pushing me in any direction but waiting for me to come to my own realisations. All along I have also had the advantage of the sessions I have done with the RLP mentors; Catlyne Hos, who helped me home in on my motivations and values; Anne Radford with whom Appreciative Inquiry helped me subtly to change my entire approach to be more open and receptive toward people, situations and life, and Sally Paulin and Sue White, with whom I met up more than once and gained from their wondrous generous spirit. Alfred Leung has also kindly come to my office many times, to assist with computer work and business practices. I spent some time with George Eapen’s big thinking mind online, and felt his commitment to the planet’s ecology. I imbibed precious emotional education from each mentor of the RLP. I had grown during that year as in no other.
It is April 2020 and I find myself once more at a new beginning. It is for me to gain from my previous failures, in particular to be very aware of my motivations, and of the origin of my ideas and inspirations. The Resilience Program has taught me to be kind to myself in all circumstances, and this is of lasting value. It is the kindness that I have experienced from so many but especially from Wendy Campbell, that has provided me with the fertile ground for growth.
I express my gratitude to Wendy and the Team, to all my past teachers, to the Universe and the Energies working with me, and to my current and future collaborators and clients.
Carla van Raay
PS if you would like to read more about my journey, you will enjoy my first book, “God’s Call Girl: A Memoir”, available on my website. Please click here.
Perth WA April 2020
Photo by Rob Campbell.