“Life. Be in it.” is the mantra of an Australian campaign, promoting healthy, active lifestyles.
To me, something big underlies this motto: possessing a zest for life. Unfortunately, for most of this year, I lost mine.
After reaching two milestones earlier in 2014 – launching my ebook in Feb and turning 40 in March – I assumed I’d have some answers. That I’d know what the next big thing was, particularly career wise.
Truth be told, I suppressed what I truly wanted (I was scared that it deemed me a failure.) So, rather than make changes, I read countless books on life (um, I believe they’re called self-help books), meditated, and had reiki and kinesiology sessions.
While these practices have their place, no number of sessions could ‘fix me’, nor any amount of reading teach me what I needed to know about life – other than life itself.
After hiding from life for what was about 6 frustrating months, I began a scheme to get out of my head and back into life.
First, I quit facebook. Then, I pulled this blog back from a ‘gung-ho’ online business to a heart-centred space, without marketing lingo – only after giving it a go, I realised it wasn’t what I truly wanted .
The rate-limiting step, however, was my recent holiday to Sri Lanka. It prescribed just the right medicine, and put a zing into my being.
That medicine was a gorgeous couple on my tour. In their 70s, they happily got involved in all the activities. They danced, shared their travel stories, and trekked the rocky and uneven 30 kilometre trail with gusto – putting some of us young ones to shame. Plus, they’re wonderfully kind people. Jackie – who is 71, by the way – still cuts quite the figure in a bikini. Seriously, I was shocked to learn her age.
This couple doesn’t need a daily dose of green smoothies. Because what they have is a BIG zest for life. Something I truly believe keeps them young and happy well beyond their wise years.
Having been in their company – and other lovely folk on the tour – I got involved too, with a zestful attitude. Like riding a bike (I hadn’t been on one for 10 years) in Anuradhapura, one of Sri Lanka’s ancient capitals. At one stage the traffic was mayhem – picture cars, tuk tuks, motorcycles, other push bikes, buses, school kids, dogs and cows all at once. It was scary and eye-opening – yet fun.
And I also trekked the tea plantation country – all 30 kms of it – amidst the monsoon rains and leeches(!). (My thoughts and heart go out to all those who lost loved ones in the landslide due to the heavy rains, just a week after we were near the region.)
I’ve returned home with a renewed sense of self and an enthusiasm for making exciting, new changes. Almost immediately, this has had a spill on effect on my close relationships, my work (doing the type of writing for the types of clients I’d been dreaming of!) and, most importantly, my attitude to life.
Life, let’s play. I’m back in the game!