Another decade and another river of change. One minute I am on one side of the river feeling quite cosy enjoying a basket of picnic yummies, sipping on a chilled sparkling mineral water and debating with myself if I will take my shoes off and dip my toes in the water or not.

Before I know it another big ‘0’ birthday is upon me and I find myself going down the river. Now don’t start getting images of me floating on my back, relaxed and cloud gazing. No – it is nothing like that, more like me flapping my arms, water gulping, fully clothed whilst I try and keep my head above the water as I fight the current so I can stay afloat and take a breath.

I had decided for my birthday I would shout myself a ticket to visit a major influencer in my life. I flew to Sydney to watch Brene Brown deliver a stellar live performance on stage – four hours of soulful and thoughtful delivery. I left with gems of wisdom and decided my new decade was going to be different. I was going to step up and have courageous conversations with people.

Now, this is where the river of change comes in. I get easily excited when I set myself a challenge and my brain ducks for cover while my heart takes over and I leap in, fully clothed including boots with no armour for protection.

Brene did warn us that often courageous conversations mean you have to learn to embrace the suck. Having these conversations do have a suck, trust me. People don’t particularly like hearing the truth, they leave the picnic area in a huff without looking back to see if I am drowning or floating. Taking on the river of change can be messy and can feel like I am drowning at times however the river is finally becoming still and I can slow down and return to a place of calm and ease. If you were one of the people who received my honesty and didn’t feel ready, my apologies and forgiveness for the awkwardness of my words and my perhaps harsh delivery.

The river of change yet again taught me some valuable lessons:

1. Choose people who you know are committed to personal growth to practice on. Let them know what you are doing and ask for their feedback. Keep yourself safe while you gently test the waters, in other words take your bloody gumboots off before you dive in.

2. Take some tools with you to keep you floating no matter what the current is doing. It is okay to use a rubber ducky and to have some chocolate tucked away for emergencies.

3. Make sure you know what is on the other side of the river. Believe that you are already there and get curious about the following questions as you begin to create a new picnic ground.
– What does this new place look like?
– How do you feel on arriving?
– What will you say to yourself when you get there?
– What will others say to you as you reach the other side?

No wonder I fumbled – I took none of my survival tools with me. I kind of knew what it was I wanted from having more courageous conversations. I wanted to be more honest, authentic and create a better version of myself. This was and still is my intention, however the missing part of the story is I did not have a vision of what this exactly looked like. I hear the words a lot these days “create a better version of yourself” however I need to lean into this and know what will greet me on the other side of the river of change. I will hopefully have this sorted in my next blog. I’m about to get creative so watch out, I love that I am now sitting on a raft with my toes tangling in the warm and gentle flowing water. My basket has my creative tools in it so I can begin to create the new design of my life. As always I am getting a sense that the destination is part of this journey however taming the river of change is where the greatest learning will and is happening.

So the lessons I have learnt are; when navigating the river of change, always have a clear vision of where you are going, take some life tools with you and start practising new ways of being on people who you think can handle your new swimwear and will be honest with you if they don’t.

Lastly, I also want to let you know that I am organising an evening of Mental Wellness Tools this week. Two coaches and myself will come together and share one of our many passions of bringing the conversation of mental health into the arena.

Venue: Totara Park Village. Warkworth.
Date: 26th Sept.
Time: 6.45 for a 7pm start.
Cost: $20 or $30 for a family. There will be a supper break.
Bookings essential so please text me on 0211456432.

In the meantime I am trusting the river of change stays calm and eventually delivers me across the threshold.

Sharleen x