Consulting life gave me five years of freedom. Big projects allowed me to take significant blocks where I travelled, and worked remotely from any country in the world and created space for creative projects.
As much as I loved the freedom, I had to learn to be self sufficient and back myself: to have cash flow for the down times, to breathe through weeks where I had not quite signed that next project or client and trust the path – albeit uncertain – ahead.
It was through taking a number of spiritual journeys, retreats and my own personal development that I learned to manage, and become comfortable with that unsettling feeling between projects and not knowing my next direction. One of the biggest lessons I had learned was in yoga, in 2017, to breathe through a position, even when it felt uncomfortable, or too easy for that matter, and to centre my mind when it wandered.
Here are five practical things that I learned on the journey (I can’t say whether it was my business journey, walking the Camino de Santiago in 2016 or my yoga practice that most put this into perspective. If you would like to read more, these lessons are taken from chapters in my book, Six for Santiago.
- I am not afraid: snakes, confronting love, walking alone – these were all fears I had before setting out on my journey. You can surmount seemingly impossible projects or irrational fears by taking one small step toward it each and every day. Set a structure for what you would like to achieve each day (I use @migoals journal) and create “if, then” plans to manage anxiety. Looking back, you will see how far you have come.
- Seek silence from the noise: media / social media, social gatherings, family, work pressures take us away from the voice within. Hearing the important messages requires a reprieve from all that “busy-ness” that surrounds us. This is the perfect chance!
- Let it rain over me: Pitbull and latin-American beats are my go to when I need to get motivated for work. I usually crank Danza Kudero which has got me into trouble in the office when I have it playing too loud and I am in the zone. On one of the early days of my camino, I found myself a midst a storm, saturated – in the middle of a field with no where to take cover. When the storm cleared, I had made it through, I found myself embracing and enjoying the rain, singing Pitbull’s “let it rain over me.”
- You never walk alone: as much as you can seek silence from the noise, you are never alone – even if you are only walking with God (whatever you believe in) or the Source. Seeking silence from the noise allows you to identify the important people to share the journey with – and they will make all the difference through all of the emotions which we encounter walking life’s path.
- You have everything you need: it is tempting to pack unnecessary items when embarking on a journey where we don’t know the destination. In the same way, we see people stockpiling various (and likely unnecessary) items in this period of uncertainty. When walking the camino, we found that our needs manifested – whether it was a bottle of water, a plate of lentils or a warm shower at the end of the day walking. I also realised that the one thing I could not unpack from my journey (and life’s journey) was my journal. Ask yourself, what would you unpack and what couldn’t you live without? Often this is the very thing that will see you through – either something that brings you comfort or that you can commercialise.
This article is adapted from a presentation to my team last week. I’d love to know your thoughts and how you are breathing through Corona.
Breathing is an important part of daily life and it is not surprising to me that Corona attacks the respiratory system, so it is important that we learn how to practice staying calm and breathing through the times that we are walking through together. It is with this, that I am about to break a one month hiatus from lent – to hopefully share what I have learned in my spiritual journey this far with others who may need the guidance or reassurance right now.