A transformative walk

I took a walk earlier today. Yesterday had been a long and busy day; doctor’s appointment, cemetery visit, work, met with a friend, lunch out, train to London, evening coaching workshop, drinks, late night train back. It had also been an emotional rollercoaster; I’d been apprehensive, excited, pensive, productive, challenged, nervous, resistant, worried, confused, energised, inspired, appreciative, frustrated, and drained. I’d been close to tears a couple of times, and experienced something close to an anxiety attack. To some this rollercoaster might sound scary but it was brilliant. Despite the emotions and vulnerability, I felt safe, truly present, and wholeheartedly alive. But all that and little more than 4 hours sleep meant I was quite tired this morning!

After a work call and checking my emails, I went out for a walk. I set out with no expectations of where I would go or how long for; I just walked. I ended up exploring some woods that I haven’t been in before. I was initially listening to music but I spotted a rabbit, squirrel, pigeon, and two magpies on my way into the woods so I decided to take out my earphones and appreciate the sounds of nature. I walked and listened and watched. As I did so, I started to reflect on some of what I’d experienced and learnt the previous day.

Suddenly, I was hit by a huge realisation. I’d learnt during the coaching workshop that resistance is strongest when it’s close to going, and applied this to some of the tension I’d felt the day before. Why had I felt so uncomfortable talking about my low self-esteem? Why did it feel strange talking about enjoying the gym but not having specific goals to change my appearance? Why did I feel discomfort when talking about how fortunate I am to have such caring and generous friends, like I should feel indebted to them? Could it be that I actually don’t hate myself, in fact I actually quite like myself, and am starting to see why others might too?

I realised that I’d been holding onto the belief that I wasn’t worthy of being loved as I am; that I always needed to be better. I realised that I didn’t hold that belief anymore and wanted to move on from it. At that point I hit a fork in the path…Fork in the path

I took the path that seemed most like who I am now; the me that respects myself and enjoys life and everything that it brings. It was a challenge to take the new journey, the road less travelled, but it was also exciting and liberating. I travelled through bogs (but I trusted that the path laid out for me would carry me through)…Beam over bog

I travelled over bumps in the track, sometimes not seeing what was beyond until I was right there…Hump in path

After a while, I was rewarded with some lovely views…View over Newcastle under Lyme

Shortly after that I was out of the woods and experienced an incredible sense of accomplishment and freedom…Field after woods

I ended my walk feeling so much lighter and at peace. I haveĀ freedom to be who I am and I know that I’m a lovable person as I am today. Not everyone will love me (or even like me!) and that’s OK. But it doesn’t mean I’m not enough. I’m growing and changing all the time, but I’ll never be perfect and I don’t want to be. I have some admirable qualities, and I have some less desirable qualities, and all of them combine to make me who I am. Right now, that feels pretty great.

What beliefs are you holding on to? Do they fit with who you are today? How might it feel if you could let them go?