They say it's about the journey and not the destination. But I'm not so certain I wholeheartedly subscribe to this notion. It only tells part of the story. I mean, sure, if we are to find meaning in our lives, we need to stay present to what is. But isn't it actually the final destination that informs our travel?
With a busy family life, a day job and my coaching practice/online business, it was inevitable that I’d hit a wall the way I was going.
Constantly going, going, going….always busy, always collaborating, always offering one form of something or other in the cyberworld and IRL. My self-care routines slipped. I began to pile on projects and lose sense of my personal boundaries.
Last fall, the inevitable happened — I had manifested the physical dis-ease of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, which was a huge blow to me, the woman who harps on about stress reduction! The woman who has, in fact, contracted with Fortune 500 companies to teach the corporate world the virtues of stress reducing therapies! It made me feel like a big fraud! It was a wake up call, for sure! I had to (literally) stop everything I was doing and reassess why I was doing it!
A few years ago, at HeatherAsh Amara’s Firewalk workshop, I learned about the course correction metaphor. She explained that airplanes do not fly in a straight line from point A to Point B, but instead will kind of zigzag their way to their final destinations. Even with its intricate computer programming, its normal for a plane to veer slightly off course. But even at 1 degree off, the plane could miss its mark, potentially by hundreds of miles! Therefore, the pilot’s job is to constantly course correct and ensure the plane is on target to reach its intended destination.
The thing about this metaphor that always tripped me up, though, was that it implies we actually operate with the final destination in mind. Now, for many, that final destination is heaven or hell, a notion of religious conditioning and societal programming.
What if we just asked ourselves, "who do I want to be when I'm at the end of my life?" For me, the answer is an old Biddy Crone, hunched over my tea and talking to my great-great-grandchildren. I have to ask myself, "What stories do I want to be able to tell them about how I navigated this journey?"
Do I want to say, "oh, that one time I ignored my intuition and got sick and veered completely off course and that was it! I got lost and couldn't find my way again."
Or do I want to say, "With courage and conviction, I led a daring life and made choices that weren't always easy at the time, but in the end made all the difference!"
I tend to believe that everything happens for a reason, and that every burden I've dealt with has led to something better. I'm also a very reflective person and this whole diagnosis experience got me to thinking about how I could have veered from my own Big Why.
It's easy to fall asleep at the wheel. We are conditioned to operate in the day-to-day tending to all the so-called important distractions of work, bills, family obligations, yard work, etc... Add to that the numbing distractions of TV/internet/social media/evening cocktails, and it is easy to think you are floating along just fine on autopilot. The reality is that every day life has the potential to cloud the journey.
We drift further off course when we let those little 1 degree choices add up.
"It’s just one more glass of wine…”
Or, “If I don’t say yes to leading up this volunteer project, who else will?”
Or, “I’m going to skip the gym today…”
Before you know it, the angle of your 1 degree shift widens to 3*, 5* 10* etc... You can either continue on that route -- and end up missing your final destination — or you can check in with your inner pilot and shift back to center.
When I got the diagnosis last fall, my doctor told me to stop all extracurricular activities, to sleep as much as I could and also gave me some herbal remedies for restoring hormonal balance. In this forced stillness, I realized a number of things, one of which was that I had lost sight of my "Big Why."
I am grateful that my body wisdom spoke when it did. If I had continued ignoring the signs and veering off course, my destination would be miles and miles away, but instead, these past few months have served as a course correction in so many ways . I look forward to the day my old Crone self can say with a wink and a nudge, "that one time I was diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome? Oh, yeah that...that was just a wake up call. I got my shit together after that and the rest, as they say, is herstory."
In discussing my personal healing journey with others over the past few months, I became aware that many of us are feeling disconnected from our purpose. If you are feeling this, too, don't despair because you can always course correct! Just use the experience as an opportunity to reawaken to your own Big Why by asking yourself, "What IS my BIG WHY and where do I want to land?" "What choices have taken me away from my purpose?" "What can I do to steer the metaphorical plane back into alignment with its final destination?"
I hope this post lands in your heart. Until next time,
My name is Dawn Champine and I am the Creatrix of The Goddess Diaries. I am very passionate about helping women remember their REAL GODDESS selves.