The question “What’s your five year plan?” always put a smile on my face. Actually it’s more of a sarcastic grin….
If I was to count the twists and turns my life has taken over the last five years, in fact the last 15 years, I would definitely think twice about setting a five year plan or any kind of plan.
But life is all about that! Surprises, heartbreaks, challenges, failures, illnesses but also achievements, joy, love and fulfilment. Having a life plan is a great thing, you just have to remember to put it on the side from time to time and get back to it when you are ready. The secret is not to quit it all together when something happens in your life, but take your time and your life plan will still be there when you are ready!
To say my life has been challenging the past 2 years is an understatement, Russ and I bought our first house which we have been renovating – a very stressful situation to be, I decided to have a career change – another stressful and very unsettling situation, I lost my father from brain cancer, and my brother was misdiagnosed as bipolar and depressed only to find out much later that he had a frontal lobe tumour and has just gone through a life threatening brain surgery and survived.
We are talking about some pretty major life events here. With all these I had a choice: either dwell on what has hit me and how hard my life is, or keep going and keep trying to get back on track. It’s all about finding a tiny little grain of stability and strength and hold on to that until the hurricane passes. It’s about finding ways to heal yourself.
I read a quote once that really stuck with me:
“Healing doesn’t mean the suffering never existed. It means that damage no longer controls our lives.”
Everyone goes through major events in their lives and everyone is dealing with difficult situations but you need to find ways to heal, to recover and to keep moving forward. And this is what happened with me after my last major life event with my brother.
A trip that was booked at Lago Di Braies, in the Dolomites, Italy, helped me with my healing process this time. Being up in the mountains for a week and surrounded by nature helped me reconnect with myself, allowed me to put everything in perspective, rest and get my strength back. Having Russ by my side, who is the person that really gets me, understands what I was going through and allowed me to heal in my own time, was that little grain of stability I needed to help me find my strength. He was more like a huge rock than a little grain, but you know what I mean 🙂 A week without makeup, business plan or any kind of plan is sometimes all you need and the healing power of nature. We spent our days up there, hiking, drinking in those breathtaking views, eating well, talking but also enjoying each other’s company in silence. And that’s what I needed exactly to heal. Nothing else.
Getting away is not running away from your problems. It can help you have this birds-eye view and get you out of your tunnel vision. It can help you rest and get stronger to go back and deal with things much better.
Life is a beautiful thing and it’s full of challenges. We are all stronger that we think and sometimes it takes something bad to happen in our lives for us to realise how lucky and blessed we are.
Before the trip and during my dark days I was holding onto one more tiny grain of strength, and that was reading The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by the Dalai Lama & Archbishop Desmond Tutu. These two extracts describes best my thoughts about the importance of self care, especially those difficult times.
“I always consider myself personally one of seven billion human beings. Nothing special. So, on that level, I have tried to make people aware that the ultimate source of happiness is simply a healthy body and a warm heart.”
“Think about it this way. If your health is strong, when viruses come they will not make you sick. If your overall health is weak, even small viruses will be very dangerous for you. Similarly, if your mental health is sound, then the disturbances come, you will have some distress but recover quicker. If your mental health is not good, then small disturbances, small problems will cause you much pain and suffering. You will have much fear and worry, much sadness and despair, much anger and aggravation. ” ~ Dalai Lama
If you are going through a difficult time, I know it’s hard to think of anything else but your problem, but try to find your tiny grain of strength and hold onto that. Allow yourself time to heal. This time can be different for everyone so don’t judge yourself or expect anything. Take care of yourself, eat well and rest. Always remember that ‘this too shall pass’ and when you are healed, your life is a beautiful thing and is waiting for you to live it!
P.S 1 In this blog, I’m sharing some photos from this stunning piece of earth in the Dolomites. I was speechless when we arrived and the immense beauty of nature grounded me from day one. This is not a travel blog, but if you have any questions about Lago Di Braies I will be happy to answer, just use the comments section or message me.
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