I’ve been sharing these past few weeks about my recent experience of walking the indigenous songline of the Jatbula Trail in the Northern Territory – and how life changing this experience was.
What I haven’t yet shared with you in detail is how difficult this walk was, and one of the ways in which the challenge of these few days helped me in more ways than I could’ve imagined.
On the very first day I reached a point where I really didn’t know how I would be able to finish. It was hard. Really hard.
Yet as I looked around me, it appeared that no one else was struggling much at all. I even overheard them discussing a more intense walk they wanted to do next year while all I could focus on was taking my next step on this one as best I could!
I was so used to leading from the front and feeling strong and yet here I was in 35 degree heat, and all I felt was weak, slow and like I was holding the group back. In my head and body I was really struggling.
But as with many other personal and professional challenges over the years, I was so grateful for the NVC I have learned that allowed me to accept things to be as they were and not to shove my emotions back down.
NVC teaches me over and over again to be with whatever it is that is coming up.
That evening when it was my turn to share during our evening “celebration and mourning”, I opened up about my day. There were tears as I honestly shared with the group how weak and behind I felt and even admitted that I felt like I must be a burden to those up the front. Then, I asked for others to share their observations and feelings about my experience and listened to what they had to say.
You see, it was important for me to not try and just work this out myself. I was on this walk with others and therefore, my experience was affecting them.
One by one they shared how they too were struggling… or how they were surprised and inspired by how I was meeting the challenge of the walk… or how the pace I was setting was just right for them. As each person spoke, my struggle dissolved and we powerfully united more strongly as a team.
By making myself vulnerable, not only did it give me self acceptance, it opened up a space for the entire group to connect more deeply and be vulnerable with each other for the rest of the trip – to create deep trust between us.
Why am I sharing this today?
Because we are in this together.
I see that the new opportunity we have as humans together on this planet is to be real, and build bonds from the strength of authenticity and vulnerability. Because when we see each other’s humanness then we are able to connect from the deep place in our hearts.
And that is in our home lives AND our work lives.
As humans, we are relying on each other to grow and learn and evolve from our vulnerability.
We are not meant to do it all ourselves and after this experience, I am even more resolved to stop living like I can.