A Summer of Non-Blogging

My last blog post was June 21, 2018. Today is October 9, 2018. Where did the summer go? What happened to my usual trip reports and posts on reflections about life?  What was up with the complete blogging hiatus?

I didn’t plan to take the summer off from blogging and business development. And indeed, I didn’t really take time off from the latter at all. All is well with my coaching and hiking business, Hike Your Best Life. I had clients over the summer and we shared time and moments of great transformation on the trails. We collaboratively set goals and created action steps along the way to reach and even surpass client’s goals–one step at a time, both on the trail and off. The effectiveness of the coaching/hiking model was affirmed! My excitement grew about what is possible when exploring life issues out on the trails with clients, and it continues to grow. I loved every minute of it.

I also loved every minute of the hikes and time spent in full-on personal introspection. As June rolled into July, I made a conscious choice to just BE over the summer. No blogging, no business Facebook posts, no marketing. I wanted time to let everything I had learned and become in the past year gel. I set out to firmly establish a foundation of WHO I AM NOW as I move into the next phase of business and personal life. I walked hundreds of miles on trails, spent hundreds of hours giving and receiving coaching, and chose to be fully present in my life and in interactions with others. I often turned inward in order to get centered in preparation for the next phase of being of service to others. Happily, the strategy worked!

Recap of Change

When I got reflective this summer, I realized so much has changed in my life in the last year, I simply had to slow down to catch up. Readers, can you relate? Have you experienced times of personal growth in life that are so intense that you had to step away from some routines in order to incorporate in new ways of being into your current life at a manageable, controlled pace? Sometimes it’s necessary to do less in order to do more when life is moving forward at a rapid pace.

I am a different person now than at this time last year. I am still a massage therapist, Mom, avid hiker, inspirer and motivator, and personal growth junkie. But all that has come together now to lay out clearly what is next in life.

What’s Next: Health and Life Coaching

This last year, I became a Certified Health and Life Coach. I created Hike Your Best Life and tested the model of hiking and coaching with great client success. I now coach clients on trails, by phone, and in person. What a joy to be able to be of service to women (and a few men) as they navigate aging challenges and life transitions and finally reach a pinnacle of bodily acceptance and self-care. I am continuing my training at the Mastery Level to further my coaching skills. I have witnessed time and again lasting change in both my clients and in myself as a result of coaching and being coached. It’s been quite the journey, and the path just keeps opening up to further exploration.

What’s Ongoing: Writing

I’ve been working on my memoir for two years now; in the last year, I hired an editor and progress is now moving faster. The working title is “No Crutches for this Mountain Goat”, and the book is a personal peek into one woman’s challenges with the intertwined adventures of hiking and finding meaning in life. The memoir is also about so much more. I believe the themes explored in the book have universal resonance beyond the specific context of my hiking journeys and my life. And all the time I’ve invested in the craft of writing is bearing fruit. I got an essay published, for the first time, in an anthology entitled So Much Depends Upon….The book is available in Bellingham at Village Books or on Amazon.

Master of Self-Care

In addition to working with clients and refining my writing, practicing and mastering the art of self-care was the other big accomplishment of the summer. I began coaching and writing with the hope that my life experiences and struggles would be of help to others who also struggle to find peace and true self-acceptance. We all have our stories, our lives, the things that led us to where we are now. My story has involved various types of long-time addictions, lack of self-esteem, feeling like a fraud in my own life, and sometimes, a “two steps forward, three steps back” pattern of progress. Yet even as I’ve struggled, my life has been fueled by a never-ending optimism that things will get better if I stay in the game of honest self-awareness and a strong desire to break free of the past.

Things do indeed get better, and this summer unquestionably solidified that realization. I have finally learned how to prioritize self-care and the self-respect and love on which it’s premised, above all else. I know that if I don’t care for and love myself I cannot be of effective service to others. I will detail this discovery process more in further blog posts, but for now, I can declare that self-care and living with self-respect are non-negotiable aspects of my life. A shift has occurred such that self-care has become an ingrained part of who I am. I care for myself now without having to remember to do so.

What Comes Next

The Blog

I have thought much about how to get back into blogging. An occasional hiking trip report may still slip in, but the focus has shifted. My blogs moving forward will explore a variety of topics in depth: Strategies for optimum self-care, including how self-care flows down to benefit all aspects of our lives and relationships; getting/keeping the body in motion; the big topic of women and their bodies–how we feel about them, what we have done to them that we want to move away from, how to nourish, love and accept our own unique bodies; what becomes available when one is fully present in life; visualizing and reaching goals in life that far surpass what we previously thought of as possible for ourselves.

The best way I could think of to make this happen was to blog through the alphabet. Other bloggers have done the same, and it seems a good strategy. I will tackle whatever topic that comes to mind first and foremost as we march through the alphabet. Anything is possible…let’s explore our lives together.

We’ll start off with a bang! A will be the topic of ADDICTION. At any point, I will take suggestions of topics further down the alphabet. If there is something you want discussed, throw it out there in a comment. Otherwise, I will trust my intuition as meaningful subjects come to mind. I want this next phase of blogging to be interactive and meaningful to all followers, not just those who love hiking.

Life is short and precious. Your life is unfolding before your very eyes. Reach out with both hands and take hold of what is there for you today.

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