“This corner of the world is ours to transform.” Stephen Cope
Another week, another wood. This time Haldon Forest for a ‘Wellbeing in the Woods’ day. I laughed, I cried (although that wasn’t actually on the Programme) and I bathed in the forest with my fabulous companion Sophie.
During the last year, I met my own mortality head on inducing what some may call a midlife crisis, or what I am thinking of now as a midlife crossroads. In waking up and assessing the routes forward, I know I have a critical need to take the paths that lead to greater joy and deeper meaning. What will we do with our ‘one wild and precious life’? It’s such a cliché but like them all it is so true. Our human lives are fleeting. Staring up at the vast stars above us – as I have done before bed and on rising each morning over the last few days - we contemplate the wonder of our existence. It is such a fluke that us as individuals are here at all, just one different sperm reaching that egg and there would be no words here for you to read and in fact no you to read it. I’m so grateful to have truly grasped this as I tended to choose to ignore it before. This view has shown me just how valuable a life is and to focus on doing what I love and what is in line with my deeply held values. Part of this is simplifying my life so that I am not so overwhelmed and therefore allowing more time to be kind.
So apt to be sharing this special time in the woods this week with Sophie. I would like to celebrate her publicly here. I have a litany of things to be eternally grateful to her for during my difficult year: helping with my children; sending me inspiring podcasts and messages; visiting me when I couldn't get out and bringing me thoughtful gifts and yummy plant based food – amongst so many more things I that I could mention but you might switch off - and we are sharing this growing journey together. An idea started to form in my recovery and from that early seed it has grown and taken shape as we have tended it together. Excitingly (and scarily), the time has come and we are sharing it with the world this week: the launch of our business Wildness and Wellness. It encompasses all things that are good for our minds, bodies and the planet. Sophie and I have such complementary skills and a shared vision of a happier, healthier and more connected world and we wish to be in service and to help others.
So, exciting times ahead enjoying the journey, whatever that will be. Meeting new people and further putting to the test all the subjects I talk about here: feeling the fear and doing it anyway; putting myself out there risking criticism and failure because I want to learn and grow; being more mindful and kindful; connecting with nature and revelling in the outdoors; enjoying plant based food and plenty of it; sharing laughter and tears and it being ok; and being compassionate and kind to myself in the process. I am aligning my values and the truth of who I am and in all areas of my life trying to connect with people and the beautiful ‘pale blue dot’ we call home.
“Use our talents to start a movement, share a meaningful story that leaves people feeling uplifted. Share our truth, stand up for the impoverished, help others to connect to their passions, create community or give a compliment. It’s what we do with our God given talents and resources that matter most.” – Light Watkins
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