LIFE

The transformation of a journey

MEL NOAKES
The Self Care Coach

Being “on the road” to somewhere, whether literally or emotionally, can be a rollercoaster.  The highs and lows of the twists and turns where you have no real clue how things will turn out.  There is that knot in your stomach as you lie awake at night wondering “will I make it”.

A journey is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.

Photograph by Mel Noakes, Machu Picchu 2009

It can be a vulnerable place to be worrying and wondering if you’re making the right decisions.  Lonely too.  It can be unsettling to not know where the road will lead, if the path you’re treading is the right one.  If the process you’re going through is the “right” one.

But there is no real destination.  Lottery winners will tell you money didn’t make them happy.  CEO’s will tell you the problems they have simply become higher value problems.  Successful entrepreneurs will tell you that you never quite “make it” and just when you have things worked out, something else pops up.  Parents will let you know that no manual exists, it’s an ongoing, ever changing journey.

It’s why I love a physical journey so much.

“Life itself is a journey of transformation

Being a backpacker and ardent traveller, I can tell you the journey was always an experience.  I had to tune into my intuition, trust my instincts, make decisions, learn a new language, take many (many) wrong buses that led me on adventures that I couldn’t have imagined and met people from around the world that would shape my life in ways I would never have dreamt of.

Starting a business has been a roller coaster of a journey.  The day of an entrepreneur goes something like this.

9am “this is amazing, I’d never go back to work”

…. 2 hours later “Oh my god, I don’t know if I can do this!”

…. 1 hour later “I need a “proper” job” (maybe a quick download of the Guardian jobs)

…. 2 hours later “Hooray I’m an actual genius and everything is amazing and I’m doing this for life!”you get the picture!

You get the picture!

Becoming a parent is yet another journey many of us undertake.  Being responsible for another person’s journey for a short while. Shaping them, helping them, guiding them and hoping that the path they take will prove to be successful and happy.

And in all of these journey’s we take, we transform, we grow.  The process of change, or growth, is not always easy.  We have to stand up and believe in ourselves and our potential and consistently take one step in front of the other.

Yes, there are times we stumble, yes there may be times when we take a step or two back to reassess and course correct – but we move forward.  And it is within this that there is true transformation.

For as we undertake any kind of journey we literally pray silently “breathe new life in me, let me shed this old skin and grow into something bigger”.  We may have to say goodbye to things that at one time served us, that were part of our journey, our experience and our growth.  That is the true beauty of the journey.

It is the very essence of our being to want to grow, to learn, to transform, the largest part of the brain is hard-wired to crave new learning and new experiences.

To travel is to live.

Photograph by Mel Noakes, Machu Picchu 2009

If you are on a journey of any kind right now bear in mind these three things:

Be gentle with yourself.

The path is likely to be bumpy, full of twists and turns and unexpected happenings.  That is the nature of the journey.  Treat yourself with love and respect and a whole dollop of kindness as you’ll likely to get external bruises but the internal ones are of your own making.

Create positive affirmations, treat yourself when you’ve done well and celebrate the wins.  If there are lows instead of blaming yourself look for the learning.

Understand that everyone else is on their own journey.

We have a terrible habit as human beings to compare ourselves to others.  The old saying of “don’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” often comes to mind.  Focus on your journey, pay less attention to social media and what “they’re” doing.  You’ll see your happiness and productivity soar.

Enjoy the journey.

You are on the biggest adventure there is, to live.  We have a relatively short amount of time available to us.  Take the opportunities you have to experience life, don’t put things off for a rainy day.  Wear your best clothes.  Break out the best crockery or sheets or whatever it is – enjoy it all, as it can disappear in a moment!

To your transformation.  I’d love to know what journey you’re on right now – tell me about it in the comments!

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