Someone asked me recently what my mission on this planet is. In answering, I tried to avoid the obvious role definers like “Be a good mom,” “deliver an outstanding service to my clients,” or “be a kind person,” etc. I do/am those things naturally, but they’re not part of my purpose. They’re not my fundamental reason for existing on this planet. After much rumination I realised that THE most important thing about living, for me, is personal growth.
It’s spring, so a good time to be talking about this. Renewal, a fresh start, and revitalisation all fit the theme of personal growth. “New” always presents an opportunity to change. We can resist it (many of us do), or we can be creatively challenged. A great example of this is 2020.
I live in London. Prior to April 2020, my full time practice was based at the Chelsea Health Club & Spa. This members-only club stands on the Stamford Bridge complex, home of Chelsea FC. On Tuesday 17th March, without warning, the club closed until further notice. Lockdown hadn’t yet started in the UK so it was a full week before this that my life changed forever. I jumped online fairly quickly (I’d been using Skype for years to consult with clients from other countries/cities.) But even so, my earnings took a beating. Coupled with this, I didn’t qualify fully for the self-employed Covid government grant scheme. All-in-all it was looking very messy.
Two weeks into lockdown I began communing in earnest with the pigeons on my window ledge. At that point I realised I might just go mad without something to occupy my brain. And so, I wrote a book. It’s the one I wanted to write for over a decade (New Holland published my previous 2 books in 2003). I was incredibly thankful I finally had the time to research and write this work. Despite this opportunity though, I was very angry about being prevented from my usual work with clients. I was also more and more distraught about my ongoing and mortifyingly compromised financial position.
Opportunities for personal growth
One day though, out of the blue, something suddenly clicked. I realised I was stuck in my thinking. I’d been chasing a pre-Covid goal, getting increasingly frustrated as it it moved further and further away. My lightbulb moment allowed me to see that the multiverse was offering me an opportunity to be creative. Why not consider a new goal, and imagine a life completely different to the one I’d experienced so far? I took the hint and started dreaming about where my life could go. I’m not quite ready to jump, but I’m setting it up for the very new future. Watch this space.
Train wreck, or life check?
Many have referred to 2020 as a “train wreck.” But is it possible it may have offered (and that 2021 continues to offer) opportunities for great growth and creativity? Don’t get me wrong – the hardship has been real. And the consequences have been profoundly impactful. But can we see beyond the obvious? Can we use this moment in our lives to create real change and meaningful adaptations; to stretch ourselves; to move out of security and into discomfort?
If 2020 created catalytic change, 2021 should be the year we stay open to everything. The year we give our all to finding passion and self-fulfilment. Let’s think creatively and expansively. Let’s grow beyond our wildest imagination.