Posts Tagged ‘journey’

South Downs Way

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Yesterday, a friend and I finally finished our walk along the South Downs Way, through 4 counties and two national parks.  It is 100 miles long and you climb (and descend) 13,600 ft.  You can see from the profile above it is all up and down… subjectively much more up than down, but in truth the descents are almost as tough.

We weren’t able to do the journey in a single hit due to work commitments, but we it took us longer than we ever thought to find the six days it took us.  It takes you through some fabulous countryside with some breath-taking views.  However, by-and-large, it is very undeveloped with only two pubs on the whole length of the walk. 

It is a very do ‘able challenge, with some people cycling it in a single day!  However, it is reasonably demanding and takes some planning.  There is a fair amount of logistics involved it getting to and back from the end of each stretch.  You clearly need to plot your route and stay on it.  If you put all this together it isn’t so different from any business project – planning, support, execution.  There were times when you feel good about it and other times when it would be easy to just stop.  Sometimes you feel inspired by the challenge and other times it seems more daunting.  In the end, all you can do is take the next step and worry about the rest later, and in the end, that does get you there.

My favourite stretch was the bit from Devil’s Dyke to Rodmell where you walk on the ridge of the hills and have views to the south out to sea and and across the Weald to the north and the next bit to Alfriston and our second pub was good too!  I have always loved the metaphor of the journey when talking about Change and taking one with someone else is a great opportunity to get to know them and bond.  Companies often spend huge amounts on team building days but something like this can be a great way to get to know your colleagues and build a real and lingering sense of teamwork.

A journey to somewhere….

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

I have been ‘off the air’ for a while as I wasn’t sure what I had to say that was noteworthy.  I have found myself in something of a holding pattern and feel like a passenger in transit.  Writing about waiting in the lounge watching departure boards click-over and drinking coffee seems like a waste of everyone’s time.  At times like this I bury myself in a book or otherwise disappear into myself waiting to be called.  Just to clarify, I haven’t been travelling, but I do feel I am in this kind of space, waiting for ‘my flight’ to be called.

I have commented before that Change has many faces and phases, and one of these is waiting and passive.  I freely confess it is one that I never mastered and don’t particularly relish.  There doesn’t feel any glamour or glory in waiting; and yet, I suspect it is one of the most challenging, especially for western males!  Yet, here I sit, in a state reminiscent of that old American joke “Sometimes I just sits and think, and sometimes… I just sits.”   I tell myself that I am confident that Godot will soon arrive, and all will then become clear, and in the meantime, like Candide, I tend my garden.  Some days are easier than others, some are more fun, but then some days the sun shines and sometimes it is just gloomy. 

I have been delighting in Liz Gilbert’s writing in “Eat, Pray, Love” and sharing her journey and maybe that inspired me to share a little of mine, unglamorous and incomplete as it is, in the hope that perhaps others might just recognise that we don’t all have Ms Gilberts style or stamina and some parts of the journey are a bit like a traffic jam on the M25.  Waiting is part of the process of arriving and we mustn’t beat ourselves up when we feel are not making any progress or seem to have no control.

To my fellow travellers, i wish you patience, good fortune and “Bon Voyage”

The Physics of the Quest.. a recipe for transformation

Monday, February 14th, 2011

“…I’ve come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call “The Physics of The Quest” – a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: “If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself….then truth will not be withheld from you.” Or so I’ve come to believe.”    Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love.

It will come as no surprise to regular readers to learn that I like this quote.  Change starts with a willingness to leave the familiar behind.  It is obvious really, how can it be different it you are clinging to everything that you have and were? 

It is often the half truths we hide behind that hold us back and keep us hiding.  We tell ourselves that everything is okay, that we are happy as we are, that we don’t have time…  I am a huge believer that the Universe  speaks to us and can teach us if we just stay aware.  Notice what you notice, it is inevitably significant.  Why did it seem important?  Not just everyone, but everything has a piece of the puzzle if we do the work to find out how.  Treat it all like a Rubric’s cube and turn it round in your mind till it falls into place.  Do all this and I guarantee that your journey will not only be underway but you will already be changing.  Dare to tell yourself that you want or deserve more, or need something else and you can not only let go but move towards it. 

Often the hardest truth is not that we are in some way lacking but that have more potential and value than we dreamt. But this was said so much better below:-

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”   Marianne Williamson

International Wellbeing Survey – Results

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

MTV conducted a survey of 5,200 young people between 8-34 in fourteen countries to explore their sense of wellbeing  and how they see the future.  The UK came 6th, behind India, Sweden, USA, Denmark & France.  One of their key finding was that the people in the developing world were more optimistic and less stressed about the future. 

I think that this is a key finding.  If you think / feel that you are on a journey then tomorrow can always bring surprises and interest.   You never know what lies around the next bend.  If however, you feel that you have arrived and you have settled, then change is likely to be a bad thing.

I have always believed that my live is a journey and I aim to make sure that I am still exploring and learning till they nail down the coffin lid!  Amidst the chaos in the world markets at present is uncertainty, but also unprecedented opportunity and challenge and the space to make a difference.

Now is the time to feel excited and do something different!

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end”  Ursula K. LeGuin

“When you have completed 95 percent of your journey, you are only halfway there.”   Japanese Proverb




A journey into the unknown

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

We took advantage of yesterday’s fabulous wintery weather with a wonderful stroll in the Surrey/Sussex hills.  My son took this photo and for me it is so evocative of the odd monochrome light; it was like walking through a Japanese movie set.

It seems to tell a tale of two people setting off into the new year with the path beneath their feet but the future hidden in the mists.  If we can enjoy the beauty that surrounds us in plain sight, relish the gifts of the present and trust our feet to bear us forward then this year should be a good one.

I wish you all a exciting, awe-inspiring, beautiful journey this year….

“When you have come to the edge Of all light that you know And are about to drop off into the darkness Of the unknown, Faith is knowing One of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or You will be taught to fly”   Patrick Overton