And gaps are important.
Thinking happens in the gaps.
Change happens in the gaps.
Sometimes big changes – sometimes small – depends on the gap …and the change.
I’ve been away again. I have been away a lot this year. As much as possible and I don’t feel guilty at all about it because for years – well just lets say it was hard for me to get away spontaneously or otherwise – this year was different.
I decided at the start of the year to make this set of 12 months, 52 weeks different. Month to month, week to week, day to day. I made conscious efforts to open a space for growth to occur because in order for growth to occur – we have to change, be different. Do different. And we need space and time away from our normal lives and the pigeon hole boxes people like to contain us in, that we contain ourselves in, in order for that to happen.
If I look back on my personal Instagram account I see trips away – both with family and without and for all sorts of different reasons. The common denominator being in so many of the photos – away.
Away from home. Away from safe harbour. Out on the sea of life – somewhere different. Seeing new things, thinking new things, feeling new things, doing new things – renewing – over and over.
Over the last 12 months, I have ridden to many beautiful interesting spots for camping or sight seeing but mainly just to be alone and explore.
I have flown away on business but included leisure activities that were challenging or just things that I decided on the spur of the moment might be a cool thing to do.
I drove for hours into the north west to do a challenge run that I had built myself up for over three months of running every day. I drove away with my younger son for a 24 hour round trip that added significantly to his Learners logbook but also to our relationship.
I read differently – not that this is a great change – I always read differently. But I did read many new books. Which – as always – made me think differently.
I ate differently. For seven months I was Vegan. For the last three months Feggan (made up word of course – I basically added in fish and eggs now and then). And now…now well that is another blog post.
I did differently – sometimes with pretty disastrous results but nothing I couldn’t dust myself down from and keep on keeping on.
The odd part is that none of it was particularly planned. The only goal was to live differently. After that the Universe showed up and started pointing me in all “different” directions. I have nearly travelled in every direction that a compass swings and in doing so have reset my own true North whilst out on the road.
Things have happened in those “away” gaps but also in those “right here” gaps, when the only thing I was doing differently was deciding to sit on the verandah instead of watching TV at night. Probably because whilst I was sitting there I was reflecting and writing.
This year I kept a continuous journal for the first time and whilst at the start I found the task of writing my thoughts down sometimes tiresome – now it has become compelling and something I love to do.
Journalling has been fundamental to capturing the many shifts in my internal weather pattern. The humble battered book that I carted everywhere has charted everything as it has occurred. The why, the how and the result moving forward.
Without the scrawling away in motel rooms and by campfires and under old trees and on my verandah or on the floor by my bed, I doubt I would have remembered it all and then this year – like so many other years before it would become a vague sort of blur or memories. Some standing out, some retreating, some forgotten altogether. Along with all the lessons. Which would be a pity. It would be a year wasted.
So this post is about gaps. Finding them in our lives and learning from them. And anyone can do it.
Get out of bed before everyone else. Go to bed later. Don’t watch TV – sit on the verandah or your stairs and watch the sunset. Go to the park, a river – get out in nature. Reflect. Reflect. Think. Be bored, be dreamy. Let your eyes rest on the horizon and then just drift away on a thought train. Put your phone down. Stick it in a cupboard. Turn it off. Walk away. Cancel social media. Cancel all media. Reflect and write down your thoughts – within in weeks if not days you will start to find yourself changing – months down the track you may well be stunned at how different you have become.
It isn’t a matter of being too busy. It is a matter of making time. And it is a matter of priorities.
Make alone time a priority and open the space for fresh potential to slide in.
We listen to so many other voices in our lives but so rarely to our own. It gets lost. Goes silent and eventually we don’t even know who we authentically are anymore. We think we are them – or their opinions or our own or a lot of other nonsense. When you truly find yourself and start listening – it will become a series of perhaps the greatest and most meaningful conversations you will ever have.
And YOU are right there.
All the time.
Ready and available to listen and talk things through.
It might take awhile but YOU will find you.
You will finally hear your own authentic voice. Not the harrying bitchy scald but the quiet loving soul. Your greatest comfort. Your own home.
It will come for you. It won’t be able to miss you. Or you it.
You’ll find your Self – in the gaps.
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