Another wall: Hitting the pain barrier and moving beyond – Part Deux

Back in the autumn I hit my first ‘brick wall’ in this 40 ways to celebrate 40 adventure. The initial buzz and energy was fading, and I needed to find both resolve and more crucially refreshment and a refreshed perspective to break on through to the other side. I got that breakthrough in the form of a message from a former lecturer, who applauded and loved what I was doing, but wisely advised that I be kind to myself and create a range of bigger/longer and smaller/shorter things.

Well, here I am, over 9 months into the adventures, having moved beyond that barrier and created a gig and hosted a day on Soulfulness, taken on more challenges, experienced some great things and taken some more journeys.

As things stand I have now had, completed, taken and created

9 Experiences: (With plans made for the 10th and final one)

6 Challenges: (Plus another in progress, and 2 more lined up for next week)

6 Journeys: (with plans made for 3 more, including 2 at the beginning of April)

9 Creations: (With plans for the 10th and final one underway)

This time in just over 2 weeks I will only have a small handful of my 40 ways to complete. The end of the journey, a joyous rollercoaster of a journey, will be in sight and I have very mixed feelings about it. A sense of delight for all I have experienced and that the sometimes intensity of this approach will be at an end. A sense of missing the intentionality and energising that this year has brought. However, bring on 41 and a fresh challenge/way of life!

I sense that this coming week is going to be pretty tough and full on, starting on Monday. I am taking on the 5 day Mean Bean Challenge to raise Awareness of, and money for, the work of Tearfund. I’m also doing it as an act of solidarity for those who don’t have enough to eat and an experiential challenge. I did the challenge a number of years ago and have distant memories of the feeling of hunger, and the shock of realising just how reliant I am on caffeine and how I so easily take for granted the chance to feed and refuel as and when I wish.

In addition, and straight off the back of  ‘Mean Bean’ I am going to embark upon my 40 hours of silence. The timing is good as my family will be away and I can create and carve out the space to be intentional. I definitely want this to be an experience and a rest as well as a challenge. In that vein, its like Harry Potter, its an experience at heart, but the discipline and commitment I have lacked in reading it up to now make it a challenge. For me, Silence is something that I find appealing and fascinating, and yet I am very aware that I have neglected the opportunity and not cultivated the discipline beyond a few minutes or hours or in the context of being led on a retreat for a day.

Marathon runners talk about ‘the wall’ and hitting it around the 19-20 mile mark in the 26 mile adventure. The timing of these challenges, combined with the nature of them, will I think feel like hitting that wall. I’m no runner and I have no idea what I’m talking about really, but I think the analogy works in the context of this year overall.

However, I am hoping that in the midst of this challenging week, I will find life, joy, hope and purpose and know that in the midst of the challenges, there is some real potential for discovering some treasure and a refreshed perspective on life, on gratitude, on rest and reflection and on the remaining aspects of this year of living and enabling ways to celebrate being 40.

Bring on these 2 challenges and may it act as a springboard for the remainder of this year.



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