There is a map that exists in you and there are probably lots of roads on it that other people think are wrong turns.
They wouldn't go your way for all sorts of reasons (which they will tell you about a lot of the time) and they will probably encourage you to choose theirs instead. Sometimes they are so convincing that you end up following them in the opposite direction despite that quiet but persistent little voice that wants you to trust your own route.
Over the last few years I've really got to know that little voice of mine and I've found that it is always taking me where I need to go. When I hear it, I've learned that however unlikely it feels and however loudly my logic or my worries disagree, it's best to listen.
Sometimes, it pops up when you least expect it.
I set myself some goals at the beginning of the year.
I believe that our intentions matter. By setting them we dedicate focus and energy to them and we start to plot the journey to that destination. I've worked on a lot of those goals this year but one of them hasn't always made the top of the list.
Connecting with my body
As you might have heard me say, I made a promise to myself once that my mind would become a place I could walk through freely, and for the most part now I feel welcome there, it isn't the dark, hostile place it used to be.
But my body?
My body was an afterthought until not that long ago and I didn't take care of it for a long time. It feels sad to say that now because of the gift that it is but I also understand. Things happened that made me disconnect from it so much that it was uncomfortable for me even to see it, I absorbed messages too about what my body was 'worth' and started to value it based on superficial things like how it looked rather than the amazing vehicle that it is.
It was somatic therapies like EFT that supported me to make the shifts that talking, analysing and understanding just hadn't got me to, even if I felt more comfortable in my head. That was when I started to understand the power that connecting with my body, trusting it and bringing it in to my internal conversations about change and self-love could have.
What's an ice bath got to do with it?
As someone who sits under a blanket even in August I wouldn't have expected to find myself volunteering to submerge myself in icy water but I felt that little voice last week when I saw an event pop up on social media.
(The event was for Get **it done club, run by the very lovely Laura Teare-Jones https://www.tearejonescoaching.co.uk).
I had seen it and been interested before, but this time my little voice told me I need to go, and even though it was tricky to arrange, I listened and I went. The event itself was brilliant and well worth going to and it just so happened that while I was there I was invited to something else the following day that my little voice was also very interested in...
The Ice Warrior Experience
I didn't know anything about the Wim Hof method, the benefits or what this would entail, I just had that feeling...
I don't want to set up expectations if you haven't done it yet because everyone's different and the beauty of this is that it isn't about trying to achieve something or tick it off a list so it doesn't really matter what someone else experienced, it's about opening up to whatever it is for you.
What I will say is that it is for me it was about partnering with my body and allowing myself to push against the edges of my comfort zone. I resisted my usual impulse to research so I still couldn't really explain to you in great detail exactly what is behind how it works, let's just say there's a lot more to it than sitting in cold water!
The day was a genuinely amazing experience, especially as I was lucky enough to be part of a wonderful group. I left feeling clearer, uplifted and much more in touch with my body and the next day I woke up with a powerful sense of possibility and self-belief that hasn't left me.
I went with almost no expectations and I found it much more emotional, much more challenging and much more transformative than I could have guessed. If you're intrigued I would definitely encourage you to explore it and you'll find Angela's details below.
And it's been another reminder - to follow that little voice.
I set my intentions when I set that goal - then life happened and I got distracted but opportunities tend to appear if you're open to them and if you're able to welcome them in. We all know that when our eyes are fixed firmly on the ground we can rarely even see the opportunities inside our comfort zone, let alone take leaps for the ones outside. I had no idea that this one would appear and in times past I would have let my apprehension speak louder than my interest.
I don't like the cold.
I don't know anyone.
That would have been okay but it also would have been a turn in the road that I missed. Another choice to stay comfortable and less vulnerable but also smaller and less invigorated.
Connecting with my body in these last years has been like opening a door on another world. It has so much wisdom, so much to teach me.
If you spend a lot of time in your head there is a relief, a freedom and a real gorgeous, gritty trust in allowing yourself to lean in and learn a language that doesn't tie you up in knots the way thoughts and words can.
I'm starting to travel down the road of speaking that language much more fluently and the Ice Warrior Experience was like getting a lift part of the way in an F1 car. If you want to start a conversation with your body I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Trust your map
There are probably lots of places that are dark and unknown on your map, bridges that are tricky to cross and times when you feel like you're completely lost when you're actually exactly where you need to be right now.
My belief is that you can always make your way back to your path even if you have ignored your compass for as long as you've had it. Sometimes when we feel lost the temptation is to search for the next action when actually what we might need is to pause, reconnect and listen.
You might call it your heart, your intuition or a higher power but somewhere that little voice is whispering the next part of the route.
It might not be what you would choose or even what you think you want, but I have never regretted following it.
EFT is the tool that has kept me in touch with my own inner compass and given me the courage to follow it. If you are ready for a bigger, brighter life get in touch to see how it can support you.
If you are into authenticity and straight talking, you are up for trying something new and you would like to be expertly and gently supported through a personal challenge, I can't recommend Angela Bentley enough ( https://theicewarrior.com)
Thanks to Jo Squires https://themidlifeclaritycoach.com for organising the event and for roping me in at the last minute!
Thank you to Ali Ford Photography https://aliford.com/ for the amazing images and to a gorgeous group who made the day so safe, special and hilarious... x
I'm Jess, EFT Practitioner & mindfulness teacher, adoptive mum to two adorable little fireworks and a passionate advocate of the idea that change really is possible, no matter how far away it feels.