Behind my house, there is a wood. It’s seldom used by humans and the wildlife pretty much have the run of the place. It’s a neglected wilderness, really - made worse by the storms that raged through the UK this winter.
Walking there can be tricky. Even off-putting.
Broken branches, hidden burrows, mud bogs, thorny bushes, fallen trees. Everywhere.
A moment’s lapse in concentration - and down you go!
Despite the messiness of it all, I have come to appreciate the beauty of this wood and the beauty that lives within it. Today there were daffodils. The trees were in bud. Some were already blossoming. Everywhere you looked, there was spring colour and growth.
Today, I knew I wanted to enjoy this wood more. The scratches, the twisted ankles and the mud on the seat of my pants were becoming tedious. I wanted to walk freely and easily. I wanted to look around me as I walked and really experience the full beauty of my surroundings.
I wanted my walks to be different.
When You Know that Something New Wants to Emerge
It feels daft to say it: until that point, it hadn’t dawned on me that I could do something about this.
I could create my own path.
It had seemed impossible before. Too much work. More than I could manage.
I had presumed I should just accept it, and continue to make do.
Well, no more!
So I started clearing a path.
Bit by bit, and as I walked, I started lifting objects out of the way. Laying them to the side.
As I worked, I was reminded of the deep coaching work that I do with my clients.
My clients are amazing people. Successful. Talented. Open. They come to me because they know deep down, there’s more for them in this world, and there’s more they can do. More they want to do.
They are tired of being stuck. They’re tired of the fallen branches, the muddy bogs, and the debris of their lives. They are tired of accepting the status quo. They no longer want to make do.
Yet, when we’re stuck like this, it really can be a struggle to see a possible, brighter way ahead.
The Path IS There .... It's Just Well Hidden
Yet, the beauty is there. The path is there.
It’s in you. And it’s around you.
It might be well hidden, buried beneath layers of old wounds and out-dated beliefs. The path we’re meant to take is right under our feet. Yet it will only reveal itself when we have done our clearing.
Until then, we remain saddled with our limitations.
For me, my own tendency towards “accepting and making do” was the first thing that gave me a jolt. It was a sharp reminder of the way I have often run my life.
And it was an opportunity to slow down, get curious and do my own processing…. “Where is this still popping up?”; "What impact does it have?" ;”What belief (s) do I hold that supports this?” ;"What do I want to believe or think instead?"
Nurture Your Soul
Clearing feels good. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
It releases us, and lets our soul breathe. It allows us to expand into possibility. And it enables us to give new life to the world we live in and that we want to create – for us and for others around us.
Each log or stone that stands in our way carries a lesson for us if we choose to look and listen.
And it can be the beginning of a whole new adventure.
So what does it take?
Mindfulness. Firstly, turn up your level of awareness and tune into to the thoughts and feelings that rule your life. Don’t be afraid. Just get used to being more conscious. Get familiar with your ‘seeing-eye’. Where do you get triggered? What creeps up on you? What is the weight that you’re always carrying?
Acceptance. Once you are conscious, you are awake. Remember you are human. We are the same. None of what you think or feel is inherently bad. In fact, it has served you well for most of your life. It is what it is, and it won’t help you to judge or beat yourself up.
Appreciation. There are gifts in the thoughts and beliefs that you carry. They have taught you well. And this is where you’ll find clues to how you can move forward. While, ‘accepting and making do’ takes away my power, diminishes me and holds me back from expecting more in my life, it also makes me flexible, resilient and unattached to fixed or false ideals. This is who I am.
Desire. The path clearing doesn’t happen until you really want it to - the status quo is just no longer tenable. Nor is it possible to clear your path until you believe that there is something else worth discovering. You have to want to replace the old limiting thoughts and beliefs with new empowering ones – and you have to believe that there is value in doing this. Otherwise, you may just as well remain entangled in the undergrowth.
Trust. As soon as we start to shift some of these obstacles out of the way, it changes everything. Nothing is the same again. So, just know that the process of change has already started. While taking action is necessary to move you forward, shifting your own mental and emotional state is the most important step you can take. Trust that what happens next, will follow naturally.
As I write this post, the gorgeous Spring weather seems to be calling all of us to get out there in nature over the next few days. So if you have a bit of path clearing of your own to do, why not get to work, and lift away a few dead branches of your own?
You never know what might emerge.
If this post has awakened some questions in you, and you are curious about doing some more path discovery work of your own, hop over to our Retreat page, and read about our Mid-Summer Mindful Walking Retreat, happening in June.
It will be nurturing, enlightening - and fun! And we'd love to have you there.