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Rebecca Carpenter Photography Vicky-56.j

For the love of nature

It’s been a topsy-turvy few weeks in my world. I had a weekend back in April where I ended up completely alone with no plans. Instead of feeling delighted to have some space to shape my time however I liked, I felt upset and desperately tried to fill the void of an empty three days looming before me. I realised that I was carrying some very unhealthy emotions around within me, that I’d been believing and saying some pretty awful things to myself inside my own head without noticing. My self-esteem and the richness of my soul was on the floor being trampled in the dirt.

Revelations like this are big. They’re essential for our survival and I am so so grateful for mine - I saved myself with this realisation - but they are also very scary. I realised that in order to start to feed my soul and walk the path back towards enriched, confident living again I was going to have to blow up my life as it was and start again completely from scratch. That was a particularly challenging thing to do, when I’ve spent most of the past year surviving the aftershocks and crumblings of my old pre-pandemic life, watching everything I’d spent the past few years building fall away from me, without having any say in it at all.

My sensible mind said to me ‘but you’ve found an equilibrium... you’ve made it through the rough onto solid, stable ground. You’ve been coping fine here, shouldn’t you wait until you’re absolutely sure the last wave has definitely crashed down?’ but my soul said ‘no, enough of this. I’m done. I need a change.’

So I took the plunge, laid the first set of charges and blew up a big part of my current stable life; I left my job. I’m still watching the dust settle from that decision and feeling the vibrations in my roots. It was emotional; it will be difficult letting go of the people and systems I am so familiar with, the so-called safety we feel when we’ve been in a place for a long period of time and we know how it all works. We know the trappings, the pitfalls and we know how we fit within it all. It will be hard to leave the parts of it that I love. But I know that my soul is calling for something different and I am choosing to honour that call. To trust completely in myself, my inner feelings, my inner truth for the first time without needing to consult anybody else first. I’m heading off into the unknown.

Of course, modern life means that you have to work a notice period and you can’t just make a decision and march right off into the subset. While I’m still in the state of in-between (where the decision has been made but nothing has changed yet), nature is my respite. I head outside, walk down to the river and breathe deeply, and I know that my deep connection to the land, to the earth, to Mother Nature will see me through, keep me safe and help me find the next right step.

I’m doing all of this to be more connected to nature. My love for the great outdoors, the deep connection and calm that I feel when I’m outside with the wind in my hair and the sun on my face, has taught me that I’m not made to sit inside on a computer all day every day. I’ve been letting myself sit in a life that somebody else would be bowled over to have, simply because of the knowledge that others might be confused by my decision to leave it all behind.

But now I see that I need the wilderness, I’m being called into nature, to be my true self and to take up my true calling. I don’t know what the path is to get there, but I know that I need to go.

So here I am. A blank page before me and a life of possibilities to fill it with.

I think I’ll start with a nice long walk.

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