But I do so love the change in seasons as much as the change in the colour of the leaves, and an excuse to change the things that the summer sun didn't work it's miracles on, hence being fully booked with lovely new clients right now I suspect.
For those of you reading this for a healthy dose of motivation and inspiration I've got a big one for you, all about a recent challenge I set myself and the people I met along the way, and within all that, a reminder on how to set yourself free from your own challenges.
A few months ago I read a book that inspired me to Google 'walks in Europe'. Between me and you, I was hoping for something with a pool I could do the occasional day walk from, but what came up as number one was the 'El Camino', which runs between France and Northern Spain. I'm acutely aware that life is short, and if I am going to do something, I want to do the best I can, so I started saying out loud that this is something I might do, to get used to the idea, but also, to make myself accountable (it's harder to back out of things when you tell other people you'e doing it!). In doing this I found a fellow walker buddy, and so it was on!
Now the whole thing is 750km, and we opted to do the last 113km; it was enough for me and it felt good to get my travel shoes back on, although the back pack took a little more getting used to in the heat of Spain!
You may have read me referring to the uncomfortable comfort zone, the one many live in where their head is in the sand and they're effectively on their knees, unhappy with life but stuck in changing it because it's so familiar/comfortable, in an uncomfortable way...anyway, I don't live in that, but I do have a comfort-zone of course, and I love my comfort-zone, but I still see the value of stepping out of it and challenging myself to learn something new, and this 'holiday' was definitely that.
Doing something like this reminded me to be grateful, even for the little things; a bed to lay my head after a long day, noticing the detail in nature, taking in the smells of roasting pine forests, as well as the sight of a sun-rising on a new day. Appreciating different cultures, yet the same language in acts of kindness, and the caress of a breeze on a hot, sunny day.
Along the route we met many people, doing the same walk, often in a different way. Some for 6 days, some for 6 weeks, some carrying a day pack, some a backpack and some had the weight of the world on their shoulders. Everyone of us, although in the same boat, walked to our own beat, doing the journey how we chose, taking on what we wanted to endure, and how we handled it was also a choice. Some did it alone, lost in thoughts, I'd sometimes overhear them talk to strangers about how they were driving themselves mad in their minds; some did it in groups, old and new friends alike, gaining momentum as they gained support. Some did it for someone who couldn't, some did it for themselves, when they'd been told by doctors they wouldn't; old, young, big, small, mothers with their newborn babies, mothers who'd left their 'babies' at home for some quality alone/daddy time... we walked together, and along the way we all wished each other a 'buen camino' - a good journey.
Enjoy the journey, as much as the destination
But one of the most interesting lessons/reminders that I want to share with you, was the fact we are all free to do that, to do anything really. Yes, we can talk about physical restrictions, such as jobs, mortgages, money, health, family...but know that our limitations always have a way around them, if it is important enough. And then it becomes a mental restriction, and knowing that, in of itself, can free you from all the 'shoulds/can't's/wishes' because you are in control. When you decide what you really want to work towards, you can find a way to make that happen, can you not?
As we venture into the last quarter of 2016 revisit your goals, get clear on the positive direction you are moving in, work out what is working (and what is not), what you want and how you can make the tweaks and changes to live your best life. Live your life in the amazing way you deserve.
Remember, be brave, be beautiful.