My Feeling Expedition
Everything geared up inside me. Time to go. Right now. That feeling was fierce. I packed in a hurry. The roads going up north from Sydney along the East Coast of Australia had been cut for weeks due to flooding. They had opened two days ago. Still flooded, but passable. I had the remnants of a flu that had been around for a few weeks. But surely it’d be gone in a day or two?
It was so the right thing to do, but it took me one month later to realize why. But that’s what quests are really all about. There’s a sense inside you of needing something, want something. A yearning or desire for the future that you know is out there …… that you just can’t grasp. Can’t verbalize because it has no words. My feeling expedition.
What future me would I dream into being?
I wanted to see if the ideas I thought about my future were real. Coming from a place of heart and soul. Not a grass is greener kind of thing.
On my check list was the stunning Byron Bay hinterland, Brisbane (capital of Queensland), and a special small town that sits on a 8km long plateau on top of a rainforest – Tamborine Mountain, which is over an hour’s drive to Brisbane.
Now you might think I should know all this straight away. When you’ve been trapped inside a flat for 16 years, housebound because of illness, you don’t really know what would suit you. What kind of life you want. You have no past experiences to base it on ~ of what works for you or not. And some of my ideas were what interested me 13 years ago. Gossamer threads of the past – outdated, outmoded and of no use to me anymore. Or were they?
What I knew for certain was I loved the experience of packing up my mother’s farm, working outside. So a backyard for certain. A living space that didn’t feel like a box. Doors that opened up to nature and/or a view. I needed to be moving, outside. Physical. And in touch with the earth. These things I knew. And of course there is my (originally my Dad’s) beautiful dog Bessie. Should she stay on a farm or could I find a place and bring her with me? Read my story of packing up the farmhouse in 40 degree celsius heat HERE.
So, I got in my car and drove – drove all the way up the East Coast of Australia to Byron Bay. A 10 hour drive with breaks added on. Now, Byron is the Hippie capital of Australia. It’s located on the most easterly point of Australia with stunning beaches and alternative locals. All the towns in that area are green and socially conscious.
Now I Slip. Fall Down
And what happened when I got there? My head cold turned into a very bad sinus infection. I became super ill, in a strange location. I was also exhausted from driving and fighting off the virus for the last few weeks.
Emotionally, I melted in a heap.
My Kryptonite. My ill health was messing up my life and plans again. I’d paid money for the Blues and Roots Festival and couldn’t go. Money was going out the door. Old feelings of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome came back. Of everything being out of my control. The fatigue I felt was chronic fatigue real. But it wasn’t. It was my old neural network. Worrying how the future would turn out. Would I be able to cope with all these big changes? Would I collapse in a puddle of ill health every time something important happened? Worn out. Burnt out. Not forgiving. Beating myself up.
My inner voice shouted loud and clear, “This isn’t you.”
(Don’t worry the yelling wasn’t harsh. Although it was a plunge into very cold water, snap out of it kind of shout. )
Oh right… Okay…
It’s What We Do Next that Counts
The work I did next was powerful. I changed the story in my head. I told myself I was doing well. A sinus infection did not mean I had no control over my life. I was way more powerful than that. Way more. This was a momentary setback.
I knew how to Rise Regardless. This was my first time being ill after being housebound for years on end. You can read my article on How to Rise Regardless No Matter What.
These old thoughts and beliefs were nothing more than mental junk, triggered by my illness, that had come back to haunt me. To test me. To see if all the work I had done to heal myself was honest and true.
So I got back on my feet, went to the last day of the Blues Festival and had a magical day. I met up with old friends and new, saw great music and did night time photography. That night I fell in love with my new life again. This was who I had become. The new me was real and present.
We all slip, stumble and fall.
We get ill or overtired.
Projects, plans and dreams fall apart.
We all get burnt and upset.
Lonely and hurt.
When we make great changes in ourselves there will come a time when you regress to your former self.
It’s what we do next that counts.
Will you respond with courage, hope & earnestness? And get back to who you want to be. Who you ARE.
Will you recognize the slip?
Or will you let it overcome you? Will you drown in your own suffering? Your own mistaken thoughts and beliefs?
Will you Rise Regardless?
Will you trust yourself?
Trust all the hard work you have done, and are going to make in the future. The changes already rippling through your life. Trust yourself. You are more powerful than you know.
The problem with falling down is the mental state that comes with it; it blinds us to what is happening. And we all have our triggers. For me it is illness. For you it might be hanging out with friends who want to keep you as you were. Or after a few days on a diet you mess up and binge. Or financial stress. Family relations.
If you don’t know your triggers it’s harder to stop it in its tracks.
What are your triggers? What is your kryptonite?
It can be small too. Something triggers self doubt and then you end up procrastinating on your new goal for days or weeks, even though you know it’s the right thing to do. And these are the curly ones that you don’t see coming. They have a nasty creep affect. In that, they creep and take over so you don’t see it happening.
The next day I caught up with my friend Jane and her crew for 4pm cheese and wine that stretched into the evening. It was a great night and the conversation flowed.
Waking up the next day was awful. The tiredness I felt from being ill, still being on antibiotics and staying at an AirBnB, where the hosts were waking me up at 6am every morning, put me back into the old headspace.
This time I saw it sooner. A chuckle at the situation was waiting in the background. But I didn’t laugh out loud. My learning wasn’t complete yet. I wasn’t there yet: where I could just watch those thoughts float right on by.
Time to do it all again. Time to move about in a joyous way. The way you move and hold yourself affects your emotional state.
If you are sitting there concentrating as you read this article I want you to change your face into what I call a Buddha face. Form a gentle half smile, lips closed and relax you eyelids so they are half open. Relax the brow muscles. Really feel the Buddha face. Do this for a few minutes. After you have done this for a bit your body will follow suit. Did your chest expand and shoulders settle?
Now this is only from changing your face. Imagine what happens when you physically change your whole body. It affects the neurology in your body and your mindset. Research by Amy Cuddle has shown that when you hold a power move testosterone increases and cortisol drops. You can watch the TED talk here.
So I shook it off. I walked around in a loose, relaxed and powerful way. Then I talked to myself in a caring, loving and supportive way. It’s okay to be tired. Chill. Take time out.
A week later I’m in Brisbane. I stay in an environment not conducive for irritated sinuses. I get an allergic reaction to dust, and overnight I get ANOTHER sinus infection. This time I have to take high doses of steroid tablets to get the swelling down.
Round two, and my travel plans are now really unraveling. I’ve been on the road for a while now, sleeping in strange beds and am run down.
This time, I know it is a minor setback in the big scheme of my life. I am chuckling this time. The trigger/thoughts float straight past. I relax and watch really bad TV (although I did learn how to restore a 1935 Indian Chief motorcycle – but that’s another story!) and read some great novels.
And guess what? The sinus infection disappeared a lot sooner this time. The blood chemicals of stress are not good for healing.
When we slip, if we can see it for what it is, then it turns into a small wrinkle in our plans, rather than a major blow out.
When you make change and stretch yourself in ways that are beyond your comfort zone, you are changing yourself. You are creating new stories, ways of being and beliefs about yourself that support your new reality. (For example, I am an Entrepreneur and Encouragement Leader – I no longer see myself as an invalid.) I have set up a new reality in my head by Rising Regardless.
But there will always come a time when the old you will come back, just for a short time. This is when you say, “This is not my reality anymore. I know who I am.” This is the moment you believe in yourself. And in your ability to create the now that you want.
Supportive self talk works best. This can involve a snap out of it approach to jolt you into a better reality. But definitely do not do the “Beat Yourself Up” talk. It undermines the new reality you are creating and all the powerful changes you have already made. Fierce determination is commendable but it needs to be directed in a way that supports you. When you do supportive self talk you will add so much more power, drive and self love to your life. It will determine your future progress.
Decision Making and State of Mind
Do not make big decisions or plans when you are in a bad mental state. You are operating from a place of fear and contraction. Have you ever had that happen? Where it all feels too hard and you can’t see the way forward. And then a few days later you are on top of the world. Suddenly it all is easy and you know exactly what to do. This is because you are operating from a place of full power and love. You do not doubt your abilities. This is your rightful destiny. This expansive and confident space. Use it often.
So then ..
I deep dove into my quest. Forgiving myself for how I’d been when ill. Forgiving myself for future mistakes and stuff ups along the way. Grooving along to the new tunes in my head, the new stories I was creating, the new me I had become.
I felt larger, more expansive. Bigger somehow. Like I’d set my spirit free. Liberated.
I’d worked so very hard for the last 12 months. Doing all the work necessary to change my habits, outlook on life, doing neuroplasticity and loads more to set my future wide open. Courage every morning and evening. To do all that, and be wise and knowing with myself, it takes a lot of work.
I was free. Effortless and coasting. Free and believing in me no matter what. The kind of free that made me sing at the top of my voice in my car.
My heart knew it wanted to be free. Knew it was ready. My mind couldn’t see it yet. I was so caught up in doing all the work. That’s what my road trip quest was really all about.
And what about my original quest? Where will I move? What future do I want to create for myself? I’m not certain yet. But I’ll know real soon. I can feel it in my bones. It’s coming.
When we make great change, we inevitably slip. It’s what we do next that counts.
What is your kryptonite? What trigger holds you back? Lack of support from family and friends, self doubt, fear of change, trusting yourself, overwhelm?
Do you have a plan ready for when the slip happens? Can you see that falling down is your time for growth?
For example, if confidence is your trigger do you have a whole lot of evidence that you can do this and self talk ready in your mind for this situation. How you talk to yourself is critical.
How will you do it differently than last time?
When you have a yearning or desire that won’t go away it’s important to action it. You know why? It’s your soul wanting to take you to the next level. It’s your heart wanting you to explore the bigger you. The you, you haven’t stepped into yet. Sometimes it will surprise you. Your quest will take unexpected dips and wrong turns. If you follow it all faithfully through, even though there will be times you will be frustrated and confused, all will be revealed to you. Your becoming will be you.
Is there a deep yearning or desire you have that never goes away?
What can you do to start?
Are you holding yourself back because you don’t know how to action it? Does that really matter?
Is the yearning or desire so far removed from your daily routine that it doesn’t feel real? What could you do to make it more real?
P.S. Please leave a comment right now. I’d love to hear from you. I promise to respond to each and everyone.
P.S.S. Make sure you read my very popular post ‘8 Top Habits That Create A Bad Relationship To Self’.