You may have noticed there has not been a blog so far this year. Well like everyone else I have been on my own personal lockdown journey and relearning an important life lesson.
I was surprised to discover just before Christmas that I needed two new hips! I had the surgery in mid-February and then just as I was beginning to be able to take a few steps without my crutches we went into lockdown. I hunkered down at my house in Norfolk with my dog Alfie.
My regular followers and coaching clients will know how important my ‘magic mornings’ are to me. Up before 5.30am, time for meditation or journal, exercise and 2 hours of work that is meaningful to me all before 11am when I check my emails and let the world into my life. This routine was all knocked for six as I struggled to cope with the aftermath of the anaesthetic (even now my eyesight is still not quite back to normal) and the physical restrictions of my two new hips. Life was difficult physically and mentally. I continued with my work but it is fair to say I was not working at peak performance.
As I settled into a lockdown routine I realised what a blessing it was for me to be forced to do less – suddenly it felt like I had more time. There was nowhere I had to go – in fact the only places I was allowed to go were out for my lovely dog walks and to the local shops to fetch food. I found I loved the solitude. I was alone but never lonely.
I remembered my own philosophy of making your own self care your absolute priority. I decided to be kind to myself and accept that I needed to do less. I focused on two things my health (eating well and exercising my hips) and doing the work I needed to do but no more. I gave myself the gift of time.
As I relaxed on my lovely dog walks I noticed my self-talk changing. Instead of: How quickly can I get around the circuit? What time is it? What shall I wear for work? What is on my to-do list for today? I began to become interested in the birds and the flowers and I heard myself saying to myself: Oh look at how the seagulls are enjoying the wind today! What is that beautiful wild flower I must remember to look it up when I get home? I took the time to sit on the steps of a beach hut and just glory at the huge Norfolk skies.
As I allowed myself time to heal I noticed that without any effort I gradually returned to my long established ‘magic morning’ routine. I became motivated to do more exercise and to try to shed a few lockdown kilograms. I became excited about my work again. I became ‘me’ again.
As I healed I found I was able again to consider others. On Zoom I spoke to friends and colleagues who were struggling on furlough income, trying to work from home without a childminder, dealing with the need to home school their children, living in close quarters with an extended family 24/7 and for some who lived alone acute loneliness. As I healed I was more able to empathise and do what I could to help,
I think I am now ‘back’ – back to full energy, back to full mojo, back to being able to make a good contribution to the world.
Once again the world taught me an important lesson – you can’t do anything to help others if you haven’t got your own health. Health must always be your master goal. This is at the heart of my coaching approach.