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Making it Up As I Go Along

The Power of Making a Choice

· Insights,Something to Try,Attention

For the past 18 months, my personal mantra has been "I'm making it up as I go along". I have embraced the uncertainty of not having my own home and not knowing from day to day, or week to week, where I am going to be staying.

It has been a great experiment in being flexible, adaptable and resourceful.

I thought I had mastered it. Until this past week.

It was fine for me to be embracing my personal uncertainty when the world (despite all the challenges and changes in recent times) felt relatively stable. I had solid ground around me from which to be living my life.

Suddenly everything has changed. Last week I was ill, with what I am sure was a common cold, but who knows? I am still recovering and feel quite vulnerable. My options for where to stay feel reduced. And most challenging of all, I don't know where I belong. I feel very much a part of an international online community but I don't know where I fit with a local community.

When travelling, what I found most difficult were the times of not knowing. The way I chose to travel meant that constantly had unlimited choices about what to do and where to go. That would often send me into a head spin. I could lose myself in booking.com searching for the 'perfect' place to stay. Thinking I'd found it and then reading one negative review (usually amongst a lot of positives ones) and changing my mind. My head filled with chatter from all my internal voices each keen to have their opinions heard.

Through experience, I learned that the only thing that gave relief was to make a decision. Any decision. Being willing to accept that it may not be the perfect one but in making that decision I could move and take another step. The weight was lifted each and every time I got myself out of the anxiety and tension of the indecision. I felt lighter, I felt empowered, I felt resourceful, I felt energised.

In this current crisis around Covid-19, we are all in that place of not knowing. Things are changing so rapidly around the world. It's totally understandable to feel helpless, and scared but, having realised what it is that made me feel more grounded and able to cope with the uncertainly of my unfolding travels I am wondering what it is we can do today to give ourselves some sense of that.

What can you make a choice or a decision about today that may give you some sense of control? For some of you, it is putting your energy in to connecting with and offering support to your local community, for others, it's been making sure you have enough food and supplies to last you for as long as possible. But what if it were just a small thing. Perhaps a decision to make time to call a friend or relative each day to check how they are doing, or to take 5 minutes to sit quietly and focus on your breath, or to write a letter to a friend to let them know how much you appreciate them. It could be spending time outside and taking a close look at what nature is up to as new shoots appear. Perhaps taking a photo each day as a plant begins it's new growth and really noticing the miracle of nature.

Yesterday my lovely friend, Julia Barnickle, shared that she's been writing a card to a friend and posting it each day in the local post box. This may not be possible for everyone right now, but it is an example of being intentional and creating a daily habit which can have benefits on many levels. And amidst the uncertainly it gives a solid habit to ground us.

For me, my choice today is to continue writing, and sharing, my blog. What you are doing that gives you some grounding in these very uncertain times? Do share your ideas in the comments. You never know, it may be just the inspiration someone else needs.

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