Has the year unfolded as you envisaged when the clock struck midnight on January 1st?
Has magic shown up? Have you been faced with difficult challenges?
Has it surprised you? Delighted you?
When we set intentions and visualise our future, it’s invariably good. We dream of the wonderful experiences we want to have, which don’t include loss, heartbreak, challenges difficulties.
We dream of the money we want to make – always a surplus, with enough to do what we want and have plenty left over to invest in our future and give to charity.
We dream of an abundance of free time to do everything we love, to work less and play more.
And then life happens. It’s messy, unpredictable full of ups and downs. There isn’t this magical line in the sand that we cross that beforehand life was difficult and stressful, and after it’s all unicorns and roses.
Every week brings a mixture of highs and lows, joy, sadness, delight, frustration. Indeed, life is a gamut of emotions, and I’ve discovered that the more we embrace them, welcome them, enjoy them, the richer life becomes.
This week has been filled with adventures for me.
For years I’ve wanted to mark the summer solstice in some way. But not being a morning person, the thought of getting up pre-dawn to welcome the sunrise felt too much. Sleep was more important.
This year I was tempted by a dawn swim but it was an hour’s drive away – making it a 3:30am start! Insane. I flip-flopped – “shall I, shan’t I”, until I was invited to watch the dawn from The Wrekin – a 407m hill not far from where I live.
Crazily it meant leaving the house at the same time, and yet there I was walking up a very steep hill at 4am.
The sunrise was magical – beautiful clear skies and stunning views. So glad I made the effort. It felt good to celebrate the occasion and not end the day “wishing I’d done something”.
We also swam after our walk. A sunrise walk and a swim – the best of both. Home by 6:30am. Amazing to think I’d walked for 90 minutes and swam and it was only 7:30.
I did go for a nap when I got home – the beauty of running your own business.
To mark the end of the solstice we went for another swim – a different location and totally stunning. I wasn’t sure I’d make it but so glad I did.
And as I reflect on that magical day, I wonder what made the difference. What had me get my butt out of bed and celebrate instead of my habitual excuse of “one day”?
And I think it’s been a combination of things:
- Good friends.
There’s no way I’d have been able to get up at 3am if I hadn’t arranged to meet someone. My bed would have been too cosy – but I was accountable – I had to show up.
Golden Tip: if you keep procrastinating on something and It’s important you do it – enrol someone to join you. It could be in person, like my dawn walk, or it could be over zoom if you’re trying to get a blog post written or your accounts done.
- The mantra: “If not now, when?”
Life’s short – every year I kept thinking “one day” – always in the future, never now. How many more years was I willing to tolerate wishing I’d made a different choice? It turns out I was done tolerating. And if I could get up at 3am to go on holiday, I could get up at 3am to climb a hill.
Golden Tip: What do you keep putting off with the promise of one day”? Is there a way you could do it today? Maybe on a smaller scale or with a smaller budget? If not, can you set something in motion today – like opening a savings account and investing in it? There’s always a way, although it often means thinking outside the box.
- A deep knowing that I’ve never regretted anything that nourishes me
Having been wild swimming consistently for nearly a year I know I’ know I’ve never regretted going for a swim. That no matter how much I don’t want to go, how crazy I think it is, I know that when my body gets in the cold water it feels incredible and I come out buzzing. I knew I’d feel amazing when I was up watching the sunrise, and it would be totally worth it. I connected into that future me to get my butt out of bed.
Golden Tip: When something feels hard, connect into how you’ll feel once you’ve done it, and if that’s not enough on its own, give yourself a reward.
- No longer identifying with the “you’re rubbish” story
Each year when I didn’t do anything to mark the solstice, I could point the finger at myself and regret my choices, beating myself up for the things I didn’t do. Thanks to my consistent commitment to growth, that story is dropping away. I am no longer that lazy, good for nothing girl, who can’t get her butt out of bed; I am someone who makes nourishing choices. So much so that when my friend messaged me saying she fancied going again (starting at 6am mind) I was excited and said yes. Twice in 3 days. We didn’t see the sunrise, but we felt so accomplished knowing we were nourishing ourselves.
Golden Tip: Instead of constantly noticing what you haven’t done, and how far you’ve yet to go, start noticing what you have accomplished and how far you’ve come. It’s way more than you think.
We often think transformation happens in the big bold leaps – but it’s in the everyday micro choices that long-lasting change occurs. And it’s an ongoing journey.
So wherever you’re at on your journey – whether things are going brilliantly and you’re celebrating; or things feel tough and you’re walking through treacle – keep moving forward, taking the next step, making nourishing choices. One day you’ll look back on this time and see how everything fits together.
And if you’d like some help on your own journey, do get in touch.