This weekend I was in the company of five incredible women on a weekend wellbeing retreat. We spoke a lot about direction, intentions and living in alignment and my reflections from the weekend leads me here to the page today.
These last few months I have slipped out of alignment and found myself veering off path which has led to having to make some tough decision in order to find my way back.
I used to use the analogy, years ago, of a cave. It felt as if I was trapped in the darkness of a cave; too frightened of what other people would think, too anxious of the unknown and unsure of what direction to take to emerge in order to start a journey towards myself.
I’d occasionally step out, by speaking my truth or trying something new only to feel blinded by the light and retreat back inside to my comfort zone, to staying small.
The catalyst for me eventually emerging I’ll leave as a tale for another time but I remember so clearly when I did start this journey, at first it felt as if I was stood at the edge of a thick fog but I could see the horizon in the distance. I knew the only way to get there was to trust and enter the fog, keep putting one foot in front of the other and trust that somehow I would eventually reach the other side.
On that journey, walking my path, I somehow stumbled across what feels like my true souls calling (as cheesy as that sounds). To be doing what I adore doing and calling it work is nothing short of a pleasure. I love, with every fibre of my being, this work, this life. For the first time in my life I began walking a path that felt aligned, that felt easy and like it had purpose. I felt fully supported by the practices, rituals and tools that I knew to keep me on track.
…. And then somehow recently, I lost connection, as I had done many times before.
I made choices that felt driven by mind rather than heart, my inner guidance silenced because, in reality, ‘it made sense’ so then was worth efforting for.
The truth is, I struggle to earn a decent living from this work. Meditations and writing I share as a gift with a genuine intention of facilitating calm and love for those who need it.
Retreats give me a sense of flow and purpose I have never felt before, creating and holding space for incredible people to listen to their own hearts fills me up but, any retreat leader will tell you, they aren’t money makers unless you have big group sizes of 16 or charge £1000 per guest.
There have been many, many times over the course of these three years where I have been close to giving up.
I attended a business start up workshop recently and received some mentoring support and the advice given was, that the only way to make what I do an “actual business” is to have the use of a property so that I could churn out a couple of retreats a month.
It made sense financially and so I put the powers of manifesting into practice and found a cute rural property to call a retreat and do just that.
And so my wandering down the wrong path began and all my energy, time and focus was required to be ploughed into a physical property as the writer, meditation facilitator, coach side of me slowly started to morph and get lost in a role of house manager.
I become completely consumed by house keeping, making beds, hot tub cleaning, bell tent erecting, even doing my best impression of a cowboy builder in attempting to get a yoga Shala on the property.
Any poetry or inspiration that would normally flow into my morning pages, were lost to list writing, chores, worries and whinges.
The more I wandered down this ‘sensible’ path, with financial promise as the principle driver, all other areas of my work began grinding to a halt.
Funny how the universe works like that, making it so clear when we are not in flow! Writing pitches weren’t getting pick up, I had no time at all for one-to-one clients, offering meditation support or getting around to recording new meditations to share, all of it ceased.
Nothing was in flow, including me. I was exhausted.
We sometimes forget we are in charge of our own ships wheel. That it is our choices made, one after another, that have all led us to the very place we find ourselves in now.
We sometimes forget that we can choose again. To trust our inner compass.
The niggle, the inner guidance that I have become to know as a trusted friend was being silenced by the ‘shoulds’. My practices, rituals and support tools that I know serve me were being neglected.
In awareness I realised I had started to go back to sleep. In that clarity I decided to pivot, to let go of the lease of the retreat property here and go back to running retreats from various places and in particular somewhere very close to my heart, Botelet.
What I’ve realised this time is, wandering off path will always happen, it is part of the journey, it facilitates growth and it is the only way to really know when we are on track – what alignment and love feels like.
For the first time I was able to forgive myself immediately, let go of the ‘oh but what about all the work you’ve put in/financial investment/time’ or ‘what will people think’ because I truly know and trust that those are not good enough reasons to justify continuing to journeying down the wrong path. None of that stuff is worth compromising living out alignment for.
In deciding to pivot, which required having some tough conversations and redirecting, eventually I felt light, free and yet again excited about all that is yet to come. I found myself skipping and hopping back on track and emerging back into flow, writing again, recording meditations and supporting some wonderful people one to one.
And so here I am at the start of a new chapter and feeling excited once more about the uncertainty of unfolding. The feeling that I somehow know I am meant to be here and the challenges are essential to growth. The knowing that I can’t not do all aspect of this work now, I will never give up, it feels too right.
And so, in the universe and love I trust and I’m reminded life is the journey not the destination.
If you’re at the very start of your own journey, keep going, you’ll know when it feels right. Or if you’re feeling stuck or like you are not quite on track right now, anchor yourself into this moment, breathe deeply and know, its ok, you can always choose again.