9th Jan 2020, Inverness (46 days since PCT). ⁣

I’m like a small nervous bird – feeling twitchy and flighty. It’s so tempting to fly away to somewhere warm and new and exciting. ⁣

And yet I’m here with my flock. And my beautiful nest. ⁣

And I know this is my place for now. ⁣

This is where I can do work that gives me meaning and where I can be with my ‘home people’. This is where I choose to live my values whilst still dreaming and reaching beyond what is. ⁣

This last week I noticed myself think hundreds of chaotic thoughts about what’s next. And I’ve over heard my fast chatter about all my ideas. ⁣

In this moment I’m hugely energised and excited as messy ideas are beginning to take more solid form. ⁣

But other ideas will just be that – ideas. We can’t do ‘all the things’, some ideas are just distractions that are fun to explore. And I trust, in time, my values and intuition will guide me. ⁣

Suffering comes if I judge myself in this process but peace comes when I accept its inevitable messiness.⁣

It’s okay to sit with not knowing and with uncomfortable feelings. It’s more than okay, it’s necessary. ⁣

These chilly, ‘weathery’, short days of winter have much beauty, as does this messy business of living a good life. ⁣

And this little bird isn’t flying anywhere any time soon! ⁣

Unstuckified Retreat⁣.

Faces of ladies at the retreat.
Joyous retreat faces.

6 January, 1999. Inverness.

When I sit at my computer and think about how to ‘market’ my work, my energy dries up. Instead I want to be ⁣outside moving. Or I want to be connecting with someone in the real world. Or ideally both. ⁣

So instead I time travel…. to Monday 25th May 2020. It’s the last day of the Unstuckified Retreat. ⁣

I’m sitting in the first floor lounge of Forse House in Caithness. Sunshine’s pouring through the large window panes and soon we will be outside on the big lawn. ⁣

I see the faces of 12 women. We’re sharing brunch before we part. As I gaze at their faces and hear the background music of chatter I feel waves of joy and pride wash over me. Then waves of connection and love.⁣

Each of these women have trusted their intuition, and Lindsay and I, enough to come here on retreat. ⁣Amidst their busy lives they’ve chosen to pause and to let go of control for a few days. ⁣

They’ve worked with me on questioning unhelpful thoughts and clarifying their values. They’ve mapped out how they can live more in alignment with their values. We’ve dreamed together and shared our visions. We’ve stretched and moved our bodies on yoga mats and outdoors in the house grounds. ⁣

Each of us came with own story and each of us leaves with maps for new ones. ⁣

It feels real and messy and exciting and there’s no where I’d rather be and on one I’d be rather be doing it with.⁣

My Unstuckified Retreat runs from 22 to 25th May in Caithness. Are you one of the 12 faces at the brunch? I hope so!  More details here.

‘Befriending my⁣ Mind’⁣

My niece and sister sharing a hug.

1 Jan 2020.

After an unexpectedly ‘eventful’ new years eve, I awoke on the 1st of January not feeling as peace filled as I’d hoped. Rather I felt discombobulated with the familiar shadow of self doubt clouding my mind. The voice that judges me and tells me I’ve messed up. ⁣

One of the great things about hiking the PCT was that I became more conscious of my mind and I worked to befriend it. I got pretty good at calling myself out on my own BS. ⁣

So I politely disagreed with my 1st of January shadowy chat. It sounds kinda cheesy but I want to be a best friend to myself. The kind of friend who gets it, who laughs at and loves me regardless of my mess ups. ⁣

The rest of the day was well spent at my parent’s house with my sisters, nieces and nephew. We shared delicious food, chat and sat around as the kids got sillier and crankier. ⁣

But there was no rush, nothing else that needed to be done and nowhere else to be. ⁣

In bed that night I reflected at the ease and peacefulness I feel when I spend time with my parents. It’s hasn’t always been like this but it’s been there for the last couple of years. There’s a calmness in their home that radiates from them. And when I’m in right relationship with both myself and time I can feel and receive it. ⁣

The thing I want to pursue most this year is the peaceful calmness that comes from being in right relationship with self and with time, regardless of where I am or what is happening. ⁣

What feeling are you seeking this year? If you don’t know, I’d love to help with my 9th Feb ‘Goals with Heart workshop’ in Inverness. If you know how you want to feel but can’t feel it I can help at my May retreat, my Women’s Wellbeing Treks for Wellbeing or one to one counselling.

Wishing you a calm peacefulness whatever stories your mind is telling you just now. ⁣

‘Re-habiting my home life.

Life After Trail – day 36. Inverness, 30 Dec, 1999⁣.

The end of the Trail. Time to rehabit my old life.

Last night I set my alarm for 7.30am with every intention of walking up the mast hill for sunrise. ⁣

It’s 7:30am and it doesn’t feel like such a good idea. I’ve a sore throat, I’m tired, my mind seduces me with ALL the reasons to justify another lie in. ⁣

Now it’s after 10, I’m on the move but my mind isn’t happy. It wants me to be running – despite the fact that I’m not allowed to at the moment! Now it wants me to be working. A list of ‘shoulds’ floats through my mind’s eye. ⁣

But with each step my busy mind slows down. I notice the current pulling the water in the canal, I feel the smoothness of the muddy hill track. The bird song takes it’s place in the soundscape. ⁣

I see familiar faces. Iona and Derek from Parkrun cross over the pavement to chat. My speedy sister runs past. Half way up the hill I meet Ross running a Turkey Trott with his fire-brigade colleagues. ⁣

As I plod up the steep final section to the mast, a hardy mountain biker musters all of his power to make it to the top. Yet he still finds energy to greet me. ⁣

People often say they see me as a very motivated person. And that exercise habits must come easy to me. I wish that was true! Although nature and movement are my medicine I’ve struggled to get back to old habits. ⁣

Yet arriving home from this simple walk this morning, I feel quite changed. I’m inspired by the place and the people. ⁣

A habit starts with an intention followed by an action. Action is often met with internal resistance. Inertia doesn’t like to be challenged. But each day it gets easier. Especially when our habits are grounded in a commitment to living our values. ⁣

A walk up the mast in Inverness may not sound as sexy as walking through California on the PCT but for me it’s all part of the same thing. Its all made of the same stuff. Both are me trying to live out what I value. ⁣

So tomorrow at 7:30am? Hell yeah! ⁣

Ps. I wrote a haiku: ⁣

Despite snoozing alarm⁣
I’m still here walking self back⁣
to life, to noticing.⁣
Moving beyond body⁣
Into muddy field, ashen sky.⁣
The perfect wake up call. ⁣

Pacific Crest Trail prep – the nerves and butterflies

It’s just 6 weeks until I fly from London to Seattle (1st of July 2019)  to begin the massive adventure of walking the Pacific Crest Trail.

This is my third – and penultimate monthly blog about my prep for my SOBO (south bound) PCT attempt.

In this blog I touch on both the factual / logistical elements of preparing for a trek like this, and the very real feelings of nerves and excited butterflies.

I’ve found this blog the hardest one to write thus far. Its content is dependant on my working out details of food resupply and timings.

Whilst part of me quite enjoys geeking out on logistics, I also find it hard, and so I procrastinate seeking easier rewards.

(My February prep blog HERE and my March one HERE). Continue reading

It Takes a Village. Pacific Crest Trail Preparation Blog No. 2

On the 1st July this year, I’m leaving the UK to head off for a massive adventure. It’s just over 3 months away and time seems to be passing very quickly.

Last month I decided to start a monthly Pacific Crest Trail Preparation blog, with hope that it will be of interest and also that I’ll find some accountability in the telling, to help me get my laid back arse into gear.

(If you missed it you can read my February one HERE).

This is to be a real life, non sugar coated, telling of how I feel as I prepare for something that scares the life out of me! (Today’s blog is pretty tame – talk of pants and bras is as ‘real’ as I go. Next month’s might get more interesting!)

I’ve named this blog “It Takes a Village” as that’s what I’ve learned and felt this month. I’ve felt an unexpected, and therefore all the more precious, sense of interest, care and kindness and assistance. Continue reading