May 15, 2012
Onward! Adventure! Unknown!
I head to the airport in 15 minutes. Camino de Santiago: Here I am!
The person I am today does feel nervous, even a little bit TERRIFIED, about the next 5-6 weeks on the trail. But I know that this is a step taking me towards the person that I want to be and I’m incredibly grateful to have tapped into the courage today to lean into the transformation I desire.
Although big adventures like this one are often triggers for change – change is always available to us. I wish for all my friends and loved ones that you too may tap into the transformation that you desire. Be that change.
I suspect that I will be writing a great deal in the days ahead and should the spirit (and internet connection) move me, I will use this forum as a way to share what life is like on the road with me, Aimee, and a karate chopping “baby bean” (yesterday was the 6 month mark). In the meantime, I will leave you with the words that a dear, dear friend sent to me yesterday. They are inspiration to me and I hope to you as well:
Your sacred, unique self
Breathe light and life into all that lives in you
Bring space and meaning
to every breath
to every heart beat
Wrap yourself in honor
Let it be a warm caress
of love and validation
PRESENT DAY REFLECTIONS
I can still taste the optimism and buzzy energy I felt writing this original post. I no sooner hit the publish button that day than I was out the door on my way to National airport and beyond. It makes my face light up to remember that snapshot in time. I was on the cusp of something big.
At the same time, I can remember that my emotions were all mixed up that day. Yes I was excited and free, but I was also scared. Was I ready for the physicality of thus walk? What would happen back in the office while I was away? What if, what if, what if? Looking back I’m amazed by my own bravery. In my subsequent two pregnancies, when I hit 24 weeks I thought to myself: How in the world did I do that?! But the thing is, I really wanted this particular adventure. I had wished for it and then worked slowly and methodically to make it happen – dreaming up the journey with a good friend, making a budget for it, initiating the possibility of an extended leave of absence with my work. And all that was before I realized I’d be pregnant on this adventure, which added a whole new dimension to my planning.
I often look back on this chapter of my life and imagine how fearless I was. But fearlessness is literally about NOT having fear. And that was not me. (Still isn’t!) I was terrified as I left for the airport, but I still did it. I hit rough patches along the way (as I’ll share in the coming weeks), but I kept marching on. I pursue the thing I really want not in the absence of fear, but in spite of it.
In my work as an executive coach, I find that this is the norm and not the aberration: The things that we really want, usually scare us the most. To act in the face of feeling afraid, we need to cultivate an emotional antidote to the fear. Usually that shows up as something along the lines of courage/boldness/bravery. Ask yourself: What is it that I really want? Or try it a different way: What scares me? What’s holding me back? What emotion will serve me in moving forward despite that?
ABOUT THE SERIES
My Pregnant Pilgrimage is a blog series that I’m sharing in the Spring of 2017 during my present-day maternity leave. The arrival of my third little seemed a fitting time to return to these journal reflections from those last months of my life pre-parenthood. Learn more about this series here.