by Joanne Hutchinson MBA
She sat in the corner with a warmth radiating from her being.
She was Calm.
In contrast, I was nervous and feeling a little overwhelmed with what I was in for.
She looked up and we exchanged greetings. I asked her if the map was free or if I need to pay for it. She smiled and said it was free and to please take it.
Then she enquired, ‘are you doing the Aotea walk?’ I nodded and replied that I was feeling nervous about how hard it was going to be and if I had bitten off more than I could chew.
She smiled and offered these words to guide me.
First, she exclaimed ‘that she would love to walk it, but now she was too old and couldn’t do it.’
Then she stared deep into my eyes and with a heart-felt grin went on to say, “I believe all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other.”
And with that little snippet of wisdom, I found myself relax completely.
I knew she was right, and I knew my mind was over-thinking things and filling up with unhelpful thoughts and that I could indeed, simply put one foot in front of the other. The thought of jumping on the next plane and returning home faded into a distant memory.
That was last month when I challenged myself to a new adventure – to walk the Aotea Track on Great Barrier Island which is a 3-day/2-night 28km hike, solo. I have never done something like this before, let alone solo and in fact just over a year ago, I would never have even contemplated doing such a thing. I simply was not fit enough, worried about safety nor had the experience of walking with a pack.
But time had moved on. And I had grown in capability and desire to test myself with new challenges.
The desire was lit as if by magic just three weeks before I arrived at Great Barrier airport. It was a clear autumn day when I was walking the beach and gazed across the sapphire blue ocean. There in the distance stood the mighty peaks of Great Barrier piercing the sky. I knew instantly and intuitively it was the answer to my quest for a new adventure.
Not having done any three-hour hilly walks with steep climbs for a while, let alone three days in a row and with a full pack, this was yet another challenge to get walking fit and prepped in such a short window of time!
Still, I knew it was do-able. I knew it would be hard. And I knew I had all the right gear. I had studied the tracks and looked at the weather and chosen a path that best reflected my capabilities and physical condition so that I would not only achieve this goal, but also and more importantly, enjoy the experience.
Things fell into place quickly, which is always a good sign.
I was excited and swiftly jumped into action with a mind full of all the details that needed to be attended to. Nothing beats preparation and preparing for success.
Every cell in my body was on fire with excitement and eager anticipation.
And then, something would happen.
Fears would rage within me. I would wake up at night with my mind on hyper-drive thinking of all the things that could go wrong and worrying about what I had or had not packed.
Each step moved me forward, and then it activated some fear that would surface from the depths of my soul. These fears centred around ‘what if’ questions like what if I have an injury, what if the weather is horrid, what if I fall, what if I get sick and on they went. Some fears were real, some were imagined, and some were the real risks that needed to be addressed.
These thinking styles are commonly known as future projecting, black and white thinking or catastrophising – all of which are unhelpful. I loved what was unfolding as it was the perfect teacher to harness the power of my mind, the default patterns ready to examine and re-direct to thoughts that were helpful.
I could write a whole story on my 3-day adventure and what it taught me but if there was one thing I mastered on those three days, it was my mind and being in the present moment.
Just ‘one foot in front of the other.’
Just thinking this alone cleared my mind and allowed me to enter a meditative space where I became one with the moment.
Fear and excitement are on the same spectrum in terms of being a similar energy – we can tremble with excitement; or fear.
Our mind can be busy imagining how awesome things will be, or what could go wrong. I love these mind games which are disguised as opportunities for self-mastery.
A lot of unexpected things happened – some were beyond my wildest dreams, and some were not and one in fact, left me in tears (: which burst out in a vulnerable moment when I was making a short video – it remains in the memory of my phone, a humbling human moment that for now is unpublished.
But from that low at the beginning of the day, I was rewarded with the ultimate high – ascending to Mt Hirakimata with grace.
On a perfect sun kissed day, with the most panoramic and picturesque views to die for and the deep sense of bliss as I sat on the highest mountain and looked in disbelief at the trail I had walked, for two solid days. This time the tears that leaked from the corners of my eyes were from sheer joy 😊.
The thing I love about these experiences is that once you start, you are committed. Once you are on the track, there is only one way out.
There is no going back so you face into what is presented as it is presented, and you discover you are more resourceful than you knew, stronger than you thought and more capable than you give yourself credit for.
“I believe all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other.”
Just the other day, I reflected on my goals over the last three months and I surprised myself – I have achieved them all.
“I believe all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other.”
Joanne Hutchinson MBA
Great Spirit NZ
‘It’s a way of BEING’
NEW Workshops in July:
1. Goal Setting and Manifesting Virtual Workshop
Imagine how awesome it feels when you achieve your goals – you know that sense of personal accomplishment and sense of inner pride? Knowing how hard you worked for it and what you had to do to achieve it…
The solstice point is just a few weeks away now which represents a six-month marker. The Earth now slowly turns towards the growing light as we head through the winter and onto the spring seasons. How have the first 6 months of the year been for you?
This is a perfect time to re-set your goals. I like to work in 13-week cycles which represents a season and I developed a roadmap and planning process that I use very quarter.
If you are ready to take some timeout to think about what is next for you, then I invite you to sign up and pre-register for my Goal Setting and Manifesting Virtual Workshop coming up on 1 July.
Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to PRE-REGISTER and I will send you more information soon.
2. Resilience and Well-Being Workshop
I have had a number of people ask me about running a workshop on Resilience.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed and juggling many demands, then this workshop might be perfect for you. We will look at the games the mind plays, different thinking patterns and then strategies you can use to allow you to shift state into something that feels more positive, empowering and uplifting.
Wellbeing is at the heart of resilience and a life well lived 😊. If this is something that resonates with you, then I invite you to pre-register for my Resilience and Well-Being Virtual Workshop coming up in mid July.
Simply email email@example.com to PRE-REGISTER and I will send you more information shortly.