When I was 28 I quit the western way of life and booked an open flight to India. After 4 years at university, 5 years working at music festivals, and 1 year working behind a desk in a London dance company restoring my body to health after the years of festival-frenzied drug-taking (yes, a trauma response but that’s a conversation for another time) I dropped my expectations. I packed a bag and flew to Delhi and then onward to Goa. It was 2007.
Facebook had just become a worldwide phenomenon and I refused to start an account despite my boyfriend’s insistence. A week before I flew out he asked me to marry him, my second proposal up to then. There have been 3 more since. A proposal that I knew in my body came from the fear of losing me. I said “yes” but didn’t mean it, didn’t have the integrity nor the voice to speak my truth. I was leaving anyway. I thought it didn’t matter.
It took me 3 weeks to acclimatise. My days melted from one into another. I would wake up late, eat fruit and yoghurt at one of the beach shacks, swim in the Arabian Sea and lay in the sun, flirt with newcomers and go on daily adventures with new friends. I’d go to markets, ride motorbikes, eat rice and dahl with locals, smile and chat with the ladies in their saris, and learn about this new world I found myself in. I ignored messages from my boyfriend and called him as little as possible. I wanted to be devoid of any obligations.
A month in I took a bus 16 hours south into Kerala and did my first Vipassana retreat. 10 days of silence. I left with a small group of fellow meditators, all of us high on the sensual delights of life after being completely cut off for so long. I forgot my phone on the stairs of the meditation centre and my boyfriend couldn’t call me anymore. I decided I didn’t want a phone anyway. We travelled through Tamil Nadu and then I went off alone until I joined up with another girl I met on the way and we explored more of Kerala and Karnataka together.
I did this for 6 months all over the country. There was a continuous natural weaving of people, experiences, places, guiding me forward. All I had to do was exist. All I had to remember was to breathe, to eat, to be. Everything I needed: books, yoga, opportunities, friends, would magically reveal themselves to me like breadcrumbs on a path. At some point I left most of my belongings with friends of a friend in Delhi, carrying only a school rucksack with my favourite 5 outfits, some coconut oil, a few toiletries, my journal, a sheet and a cashmere blanket. I did not need or want more. Life felt so full and every moment so fleeting.
These details, while true, are not important. What is at the forefront of my mind, what I am yearning for so strongly right now, is this luscious freedom, the slowness, the feeling of fullness, the simple life where the only things we think of day to day are where we will sleep and when we will eat and where we will go next. I want to untether and reclaim my life. I want to take back my time. I want to choose a life that is the truest extension of who I am: free-spirited, intuitive, guided by the unseen, a true wanderess. And I want to do it my way.
Perhaps not entirely as boundless as I did then. I have changed. The world has changed. What stopped me from travelling was my desire to have a project to sink my teeth into. Floating through life became tiresome and I was ready to contribute. I wanted to give back. This time, I have the project. It’s work that I love and cherish immeasurably. I am exploring how to loosely hold space for both parts of me: the responsible, deeply caring, observational and intuitive businesswoman and the unfettered freedom-seeking spiritual nomad.
To do so I spend a lot of time sitting with and resolving any subconscious conditioning around my desire to live a fluid life where the act of living is prioritised before working, productivity and output. Something I am working really intentionally at is reprogramming the way I live my life and spend my time. I know that my internal belief systems state the external experience I have. Through massive clearing and cleaning out of what no longer aligns to my becoming, my true self, I am pioneering a new path, a new paradigm.
If you want to join me on this journey, I invite you to join us for Boundaried next week. A 2-hour workshop on Zoom exploring what it means to have radical self-responsibility and be integral with our actions and words. Specifically, with the way, we spend our time. So that it is no longer wasted. To reclaim our lives. For myself, and for you.
For the curious ones: at some point, my boyfriend came to see me in India and I ended our relationship in a very calm and centred way and broke his heart. And a year later got back together and then broke his heart again. Yes, I had a lot of learning and growing to do when it came to relationships. I still do.
I stuff Danger in his crate, hug my friend whose backyard AirBnB in Chichester I’ve rented for the past week and climb into my car. A soft low mist is hanging over the country roads as I drive towards Newhaven to catch the ferry across the English Channel. It’s romantic, mystical, the perfect picture to leave this island with as I trade it for another.
Apprehension of the border crossings ahead leaves me feeling tense. There’s an inner conflict growing within me, as I try to merge the version of myself that I have known from the past who would travel through the most questionable situations with complete grace and trust, and the version of myself now who feels overwhelmed and drained by the unpredictable uncertainty of the everchanging travel rules that make zero sense to me. I want to be cool, chill, at ease… but instead, I’m leaning into the subtle fear and trepidation reminding myself that whatever happens, it will be ok.
Boarding the ferry offers a welcome respite from my concerns. They check nothing as I leave the U.K. Even the security guard who is supposed to inspect my car asks me to open the trunk, takes one look and says “That looks very neatly packed, I’m not going to mess it up!” and then advises me to hide the houseplants so that I can smuggle them into France. I have 4 hours to fill and answer emails on the shoddy wifi and manage to press publish on a fun article I write on 13 films and series to inspire entrepreneurial women.
On the other end, I slowly roll through passport control prepared with my test and documents where I “on my honour solemnly swear” not to have the C-word and to get out of the country within 24 hours or isolate for 7 days. The 3 men squeezed into a tiny booth are excited to talk to me. As the only young woman amongst 200 pensioners in their mobile homes and 50 cyclists on tour, I imagine I am some respite to their boredom.
They look at my car, packed with life-things, the cat crate on the passenger seat and delightedly ask “You finish with UK?”. I assume it’s a rough translation for ‘are you leaving the UK?‘ and smile and nod. They celebrate with looks of glee and French-British rivalry is evident on their faces. They don’t ask me for my papers the I hurriedly had printed and then painstakingly filled out the night before. Nor my negative test. They look at my passport and see that it’s European and then pass me the scanner to scan Danger’s microchip. He’s cleared and they wave me off. After all the government elucidation on the website, I am surprised. I had anticipated an unpleasant inspection and interrogation.
I drive out onto the road towards the only hotel I have booked for the 4-day journey ahead and remind myself ‘right side, we are on the right side now’. I am surprised at how natural it feels. The relaxed entry into Europe makes me wonder a few things. One, I wonder if all these ridiculous rules have less to do with a virus and more to do with politics. I’m starting to believe that this pandemic has become a convenient excuse to globally tighten control. Two, I wonder if, since they didn’t ask for my paperwork, I am no longer forced/required to get out of France within 24 hours. Because a 10-hour drive tomorrow to make it out in time is terrorizing. Four hours later I arrive in Orleans. I decide to risk it. I look at the map. It’s a 12-hour drive to the ferry port in Barcelona and book another hotel in France for the next night 6 hours drive away.
Two more full days of driving ahead, I have a lot of time to think. I think about how I haven’t been very present with myself nor my life recently. I think about how I’ve been feeling like a body operating on autopilot. I think about how I miss feeling immersed and enchanted by the human experience despite its ebbs and flows, ups and downs. I think about how I used to be able to transcend and override fears and doubts quickly. I think about how I used to pride my ability to be present with things, moments, hours. I think about whether pride is an ego-driven feeling and if it’s spiritually healthy to recognise one’s strengths. I think about the fact that I have concluded that, no matter how consistent and comprehensive your spiritual practices are, they cannot compete with a lifestyle and culture that requires you to be racing forward, geared in the direction of more, more, more all the time. I, at least, cannot be the centred, present, whole I like being in this world.
I think about how, when I was at my happiest I had very few things, commitments, nor agendas. It’s one of the reasons I’ve always loved travelling to developing countries. No one holds you to the expectations of your culture and society to ‘pursue validation via success’ when you are in a culture or society that values being present, making food and family connections. Most of all I think about how I miss bathing in my own essence. I’ve been busy/avoiding it/feeling tense/uncomfortable in my own skin. I’m feeling the duality of shame and disappointment in myself, I want to be better than this, while also having compassion and understanding, for a life that has felt hard lately.
There is a moment, in a hotel room in the south of France when the pain back pain from my recent injury wakes me. I turn to see that it’s 1.30 am… and I breathe into the area, massage it and work on it the way my physical therapist and osteopaths have taught me, consciously thinking words of healing, release and learning when suddenly the pain subsides, and my left hip relaxes back down to its normal position for the first time in weeks. The body always holds the score. While I still can’t intellectually make full sense of it all, I know this injury is here to teach me something big and meaningful and necessary.
France is beautiful. I take all the no-toll roads. The idea of having to stop the car and run around to the other side every time I need to pay at a toll booth impales me. Id’ rather drive an extra hour here and there and see the scenery. Small cute villages, sunflower fields and windmills, a palace of dreams softly glide past. On the third day of my drive, I go up into the Pyrenees to cross the border into Spain. I need to wee but I decide to wait for one of those cute French roadside rest stops. Three hours later I’m still waiting and desperate and nearly at the top. I finally pull over on the side of the road, skip out into some bushes and pray that my wild wee will go unseen. Back in the car I’m so overcome with relief I miss the exit to Spain and drive into the tiny shiny shopping mall, liquor store and petrol station bespeckled tax-haven Andorra by mistake.
20-minutes down the mountains on the other side I see a Spanish flag and assume I must have crossed into Spain. Eventually, two men in uniform on the ragged edge of a road wave me down and I roll to a stop. I pull my passport out but they just ask me where I’m going and where I’ve come from and tell me to have a good trip. At the outskirts of Barcelona, I stop. I haven’t eaten all day and I run into a shop and buy a cheap sandwich. I’m relieved and exhausted. The final part of my journey, an overnight ferry to Mallorca, is a few hours away.
Danger is an absolute angel the entire way. Happily snoozing in his crate in the car without complaints, exploring the new spaces and demanding cuddles when we arrive in the hotel rooms. Until we get on the ferry. We have a cabin to ourselves but the engine is loud and the motion unfamiliar so he panics and tries to escape into a hole in the cabin wall. Finally, he settles in the little round port window where he can watch the water down below. Neither of us have much rest. I book a pet-friendly hotel 20 minutes out of Palma while I look for our new home for the next few weeks.
Exhausted, bleary-eyed I arrive at the hotel at 6 in the morning. Check-in is not until 2 pm but I hopefully ask if we can have a room early. They tell me to bring my bags in and then wait for a couple of hours. I ask if I should leave my cat in the car or bring him in too. “Cat?! We don’t accept cats.” the receptionist responds. I had emailed them two days earlier to check and received a response saying they accept pets up to 5 kg. Danger is 6.5 kg but no one is actually going to weigh him to check. I show them the email. “We have to wait for management to come in to ask,” I tell them I’ll be back soon and go find my car. I sit down in the driver’s seat, close the door and cry. I’ve reached my limit. I know everything will be ok, but I have no more capacity for anything.
Half an hour later, armed with a list of hotels that will accept us, I walk back into the reception. “It’s fine”, I tell them, “I’ve found another place”. It’s next door. An expensive resort hotel with a private beach, spa and sauna. I walk in and they get us settled by 9 am. Danger loves manifesting the best life for us, always. I have some breakfast at the breakfast bar, take a nap, and go straight into a full day of calls with private clients.
The first four days are full of work commitments. Between working and sleeping and trying to recover my energy from my injury, all the changes, and the long drive I have zero time to explore this new place I hope to call home. I struggle with the fact that I feel so exhausted and depleted. I should be happy. It’s warm. The sun is shining. I can swim in the sea. But I have no capacity for feeling pleasure right now. All I can think about is getting through this week, and letting my body rest and heal.
I start to feel some kind of reemerging. I’ve been here a week. My body is brimming with stagnant emotions that need to be cleared. No amount of shaking and meditating and journaling is shifting it. My mind keeps going to really dark places, filled with insecurity and self-doubt. I find it hard to respond to texts, kind words from friends, or do anything that extends beyond the most necessary. I know this is not who I am, but a response to how my body is feeling. I need help. I go see a craniosacral therapist. Her touch is tender, nurturing, subtle. She confirms that my body is completely depleted and full of sadness, anger… The next day I spend the entire day crying in the car while I try to understand this island, look at some potential apartments, and get an idea of where I might want to live. I’m releasing so much. It’s not pretty but it’s necessary. I need time to rest/cry/feel/read/process. Time that I don’t have right now.
Many parts of Mallorca are starting to close down for the winter. I don’t want to be isolated and lonely and decide I need to stay closer to Palma at least for my first 6 months while I find my feet, and narrow my search to 3 specific areas that give me good vibes when I’m in them, 10-15 minutes out of the capital. I look at more apartments. There’s one I like. It has a balcony with sea views, cute cafes nearby, and feels warm and welcoming. They offer to furnish it from IKEA for me. I negotiate a 100 Euro monthly reduction from the asking price and ask them if they would allow me to give them my preferences for the furniture. They agree. I have a home. We move in next week.
It’s Sunday as I stand on a London Overground train between Hackney and Dalston, sardined by the most people than I have been in two years, my nose safely tucked into my own armpit to escape the humid wet-dog smell emanating in the carriage. I smile to myself about both being in such intimate proximity of other humans and the fact that, if things had gone to plan, I would have at that moment, been 1,222 kilometres south racing through France and into Spain in Punto-baby on a 24-hour visa.
But “not on your timeline,” the universe said.
At the start of September, I do something out of character. I sit down and plan my trip to Mallorca. I write down dates and book ferries and hotels and mentally start packing my things. This is kind of fun, I think, I get why some people love planning. And that’s it. I feel ready.
A few days later I receive a call from the lady whose flat I’m subletting. She tells me she is going to come to Brighton for 10 days to organise and pack some of her things, clean the flat, and handle the handover to a friend of mine that I’ve arranged to take over the sublet. Great! I say. Where are you going to stay? I am shocked and outraged as she tells me that she expects me to sleep in the living room while she takes my bed and bedroom.
The conversation intensifies as I tell her that does not work for me and she refuses to look into alternative arrangements. After half an hour of back and forth, I end the discussion and feel my body fill with holy rage. My boundaries are being crossed and I am quietly furious. I want to know what my rights are and contact Citizens Advice where someone assures me that she has no right to request to stay in my flat while I am living in it. They send me legal documents that I forward to her in an email with a calm and formal statement that she is welcome to access the flat at agreed-upon times but may not stay there. She does not reply.
I am unaccustomed to having to take legal action and hold such strong boundaries. My body feels tense and apprehensive at this new experience. I know I am doing the right thing and also rewiring the parts of me that would have once allowed me to be subjected to such overextensions. I feel it in that quiet place inside that shows me the way.
Halfway through September, I take Danger to the vet for his Animal Health Certificate required for international travel. Inside, we wait 45 minutes until she sees us and then tells me that she can’t do the health certificate because his rabies vaccine isn’t compliant with the brand they accept. You’ll need to get another vaccine and then have to wait an additional 21 days before you can travel. She says. I look at her with disbelief. We are leaving in 10 days. We have ferries booked. We have nowhere to live. She looks sorry in that polite way that British people do, big ‘it’s not my fault’ eyes. She gives Danger new rabies shot and as the chemicals hit his bloodstream he wets and shits himself. Poor baby. We both have a nervous system collapse and drive back home.
It takes me a few hours to collect myself and self-regulate through reframing the situation, rest, handing it all over to the Universe and taking tangible steps to accept these changes. I cancel all our hotel bookings, reschedule the vet appointment and the ferries across the English Channel and the Balearic Sea. I also take to Instagram and ask my community for help. I need a place to stay for two weeks until I can attempt my trip again. Within 24 hours Danger and I are generously re-homed. I feel deeply grateful and so supported.
Twelve days before my move-out date from Brighton I hear back from the lady I have been subletting from. An excessively long, emotionally charged email lamenting me for not allowing her to stay in the flat and accusing me of having destroyed it and inviting strange people to live in it. It’s so ironic. I think to myself. The flat is cleaner and nicer than it was when I moved in and she’s suggesting that I’ve turned it into an opium den. It’s ridiculous. This woman is clearly mentally unstable. Again, I go to Citizen’s Advice who advocate that I acquire written accounts from my neighbours who have visited the flat and see who comes in and out, to affirm that her suggestions are untrue. As advised, I respond shortly and formally with legal statements.
A week later, she replies, again trying to assert her control and dominance with a novel-length email that I skim-read to learn that she will no longer come. She requests peace and time to do an inventory of her things before she returns my £1,000 rental deposit and requires me to give the keys to her friend who will then give them to my friend, instead of me giving them to my friend myself. Fine. I’ll give her to the end of the year. I have all the legal documents ready including information that she is receiving government benefits while being out of the country and will destroy her if she tries anything. My fury with her disrespect and lack of common sense is high.
I spend a week packing and cleaning until on the final day my lower back aches so badly I have to lie down in between washing the floors. I promise to book an appointment with an Osteopath as soon as I have arrived in my temporary home in London, the house of a friend of mine that is empty for a week while she is away. They are fully booked on Saturday and I have plans to see my friend on Sunday, the day I find myself in a fully packed overground train, and walking on the Heath for so many hours I have to support my back with my arm on the way home…
On Monday morning I find myself on an osteotherapy table in my bra and leggings underneath the gentle warm hands of one of the most attractive men I have ever seen.
He tells me that the acute back pain isn’t actually structural but rather a physiological response to the internal organs on my left (feminine) side contracting so tightly to protect themselves that they have pulled my spine and posture out of alignment. He asks me if I’ve been eating anything differently which may have cause inflammation but I instantly know it’s not physical. It’s emotional.
My finely-tuned super-sensitive system has been slammed with abnormal emotional challenges all month long and this is how it has responded. By curling into a fetus position within my own body. He spends an hour working through the tight muscles between my organs in my stomach, hips and back.
I feel relief and release and watch his gentle face concentrate on his work. Tall, dark and handsome, I wonder if it would be inappropriate to ask him to marry me. Come back in a week. He says afterwards. I’m leaving on Friday. I smile back regretfully. And you’re never coming back? His right eyebrow arches quizzically. Probably not. I laugh. At least not until after winter. I leave feeling much lightened and saunter across East London to meet up with a friend who jubilantly reveals that she’s pregnant. I cry, in part because I am genuinely so happy for her, but also because the emotional release from the opening of my cramped-in organs has begun. I find myself in tears from the smallest things for the rest of the day.
A full day of sitting down with private clients leaves me feeling stiff and sore. I book another osteotherapy appointment at another clinic, 90 miles from London, in the town I will spend the remainder of my extended time in the UK for the following week. A sleepless night of progressing aches and pains in my stomach and back bleeds into another full day of private clients. Moving, walking, bending shoots crippling pain through the left side of my body.
My movements begin to resemble those of Gollum as the gurgling protests in my stomach and acute pain that even seldom-used painkillers don’t offer respite to. By mid-afternoon the way I feel alarms me so much I call the osteopathy clinic seeking comfort. The girl who answers the phone looks at my file and assures me that it is expected that I would be unable to do anything but rest for up to a week as extraordinarily deep work had been done. I wish he would have told me.
I cancel the rest of my calls and the next-day yoga retreat that I had been given as a PR gift. Disappointed I find the only position that I can be comfortable in, lying down flat and straight like a sardine with my head propped up. From this place, I can watch films, type on my laptop and drink tea.
The next day, today, I just lie there and type. I type email after email until every email I’ve needed or wanted to write has been written. I write this. I pack up my life once more. Tomorrow we are moving to a new town. One we’ve never been to before. With a lighthouse and sandy beaches and an Osteopath who tells me to meet him outside of the rugby club that houses his clinic.
The month of September has been an extreme rollercoaster of tests from the Universe, recalibration, growth and healing. Landing me in this position here, right now. I know there are many gifts and lessons for me to learn. Lessons around flexibility and flow, around having humour when things change. Lessons around having a strong backbone and supporting myself when someone tests my boundaries, a sign of my growth and evolution as a human, woman.
It awes me how, over and over again, the body shows me that human existence is one interconnected system: thoughts, emotions, experiences, food, actions… everything you do impacts the whole. It’s a classic example of my reticular activating system in action. And if we zoom out and apply that same perspective on the world at large, there’s no question why the planet is facing the difficulties it is right now.
Photo by my delightful Brighton neighbour Fern Edwards.
The truth is that, with all my Earthly wandering and wondering, my deepest longing is to find is a place I can call ‘home’. The concept of having a home, feeling at home, and ‘home’ as a safe space has always been challenging for me. It’s one of the wounds I have to unravel in this lifetime rooted in a childhood where ‘home’ was a place I wanted to continuously escape.
I’ve found ‘home’ within of myself. I feel so anchored and safe and supported as a human being in the world which makes it easy to flit around. My body is my first and primary home. And I’ve created many ‘homes’ for myself.
Slowly and slowly… my time in each place is extending as my nervous system is recalibrating into deep relaxation… and I am finding myself yearning and longing for a sense of having landed in a place that holds my body and trinkets and love.
More recently, two years in Mexico. And now 18 months in Brighton. It’s been sweet, this little home of mine. Safe, gentle, calm, easy. But the blood in my veins and the marrow in my bones is begging me to continue inquiring. This is not it. I hear the winds say.
At the close of September before the cold weather drapes us in its shrouded darkness again, I am away once more, seeking a place that fits like the glass slipper in Cinderella.
I’m manifesting landing in a place that has:
≋ tall pine and eucalyptus trees, sweet grass and wildflower meadows, rich dark soil, salty ocean waves and spray ~ where there are more sunny warm days than there are cold ones
≋ people with an inclusive narrative that recognise and assume their own growth and healing being as important as the work they do in the world ~ where community, creativity, joy and play are valued as much as individual productivity and prosperity
≋ a culture that affirms and supports the rapid evolution of the living being that is life, breath by breath, through its laws, structures and measures ~ where we can grow together
Maybe that place I’m looking for is not one place. Maybe it is scattered like a splintered society across many cultures and places. Maybe that’s why I move around finding pieces that I like and holding them close until it’s time to go again. Maybe it’s that what I’m looking for doesn’t exist yet and I’m willing it into being with my seeking.
Maybe is ok.
Maybe is enough. For now.
I am giving myself 3 months to allow life to guide me to the place and spaces I’m meant to be in.
Our hope to circumvent heartbreak in adulthood is beautifully and ironically child-like; heartbreak is as inescapable and inevitable as breathing, a part and a parcel of every path, asking for its due in every sincere course an individual takes, it may be that there may be not only no real life without the raw revelation of heartbreak but no single path we can take within a life that will allow us to escape without having that imaginative organ we call the heart, broken by what it holds and then has to let go. David Whyte
Each person’s experience of life last year was different. For some, it went on almost as usual. For others’s life screeched to a shocking halt. Some found a comfortable balance point to navigate their way through it. Other’s deeply grieved their past life, or the loss of loved ones, and had to learn to let it all go.
I received a lot of questions asking how to accept the grief and loss that comes from letting go and how to keep moving. How to stay grounded and remember that life is beautiful and this time is just a phase.
Heartbreak and the certain grief that accompanies all types of loss are inevitable in life. Sooner or later in larger and smaller ways, we all have to face the vulnerable fragility of ourselves. Over and over again.
There are those who think they can escape it. They build impenetrable invisible walls. They opt-out of real intimacy and cautiously skim the surface of life avoiding the depth that can bring the deepest love, joy, loss and pain. But in avoiding they also miss out on living.
There is a simple answer.
The very nature of life is that we do not always understand, or see why things are happening or where they are leading us. Acceptance brings us the peace to take back control. To remember that life is beautiful and this is just a phase and that we are not victims of circumstance. We have choices.
We have the choice to change our perspective to one the emboldens our courage and our willingness to feel the full spectrum of life. Without avoiding. Without running away. Without playing the victim.
As the serenity prayer aptly says:
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Can we believe that this is happening for us?
Can we sit in the unknown and trust?
Can we have patience?
Can we surrender?
Can we then move forward when, and only when, life opens its doors to the next unfolding and invites us into its mystery? Then, can we say yes?
There is a reactive desire to jump ahead, past the grief, the pain, the challenges, the weirdness. We are pleasure-seeking beings after all. We want to speed through it instead of letting it sink in. We have fears that the grief will be too great to hold. That is will drown us. That we will get stuck here.
In the haste to move on quickly to the place where things feel sweeter, we look for ways to reinvent ourselves, to become new, to escape without having fully realised the gifts of our depth of feelings. Inevitably life will find a way to lead us back until we have fully surrendered to it. Until finally, in suffering, we find profound acceptance and transcend it.
Acceptance will lead us through.
One day this too shall pass. In the meantime, life is happening, hours, days, weeks, months are unfolding.
Can we live in the present and embrace the moment?
When I was 15 I went on a long overseas trip for the first time entirely on my own. I had signed up to be a foreign exchange student in the States for one year. I boarded the plane snotty-nosed and big, red eyes rimmed with tears and a knot in my stomach.
I was not ready.
That year ended up being the happiest time of life so far and formed my independence and sense of self in a way that is immeasurable.
When I was 23 I attended my first-ever electronic music festival. I was resistant and didn’t want to go and thought it would be full of weirdos and absolutely, definitely not for me. My boyfriend at the time promised me we would leave after 1 day if I truly hated it.
I was not ready.
At that music festival, I got to know the producers of the festival and other producers of other music festivals and all sorts of fascinating, inspiring, incredible people that I admired who hired me based on my personality and skills and ended up making music festivals my career for 5 years.
When I was 28 I wrote my first few blog posts. One day I decided to share one on Facebook. I was shaking and started to get all hot and prickly inside as my finger hovered over the ‘post’ button. I took a deep breath, clicked the button and then quickly closed the computer, terrified of what people would say and walked away.
I was not ready.
After that, it became easier and easier to share and to post and to write and after 2 years of writing and sharing I had a popular blog with over 10,000 readers every month.
When I was 30 I desperately wanted to turn my blog into a business. I came across a course called BSchool which promised me all the answers and thought about whether to take it or not for an entire month until 10 minutes before enrolment closed for the year. Sweating with fear I assembled all my resources and courage and paid the $2,000 even though it made me feel nauseous.
I was not ready.
That investment lead me to creating an online business that has allowed me to give my gifts to the world on my terms and has supported me on every level, especially financially across the past (almost) 7 years.
When I was 33 I bought a van to travel along the East Coast of Australia. I didn’t know anything about cars (I still don’t) or how to make my #vanlife fantasy reality but I pooled all my resources together and followed my heart, even though…
I was not ready.
Two weeks later my van blew up, but I fell in love and my entire life trajectory changed in the most wonderful and unexpected ways, that I am so grateful for today.
When I was 36, heart-broken, sick, confused and torn apart, I booked a flight to a town in Mexico that I had never heard of, knew no-one in and arrived there the next day with a suitcase filled with hope.
I was not ready.
That town became my home for two years where I tended to my heart, healed and grew. It was a safe container that held me in tender ways nowhere else had before and gave me everything I didn’t even know I needed.
I’ve noticed something interesting…
The very best things that have happened to me were the things I did when I wasn’t ready. The things that shook me and tore at me and made me feel the biggest feelings and pushed me and stretched me and scared me and lit a flame of hope in my heart and big dreams in my imagination…
Those things gave me the most, beyond my wildest dreams, even though…
I was not ready.
Don’t hold back, waiting to be ready. It will never arrive.
Even if you’re not ready.