endings, beginnings and the art of practicing gratitude

When you’re in the face of change, the overwhelm you might experience can be all encompassing. That’s what I experienced when I first encountered it. In a short period of time, everything about my life that had once been solid, stable and predictable suddenly fell apart.

The security I’d been cocooned by for so long had finally come undone. I’d just hit ground zero.

photo via Carla Coulson

It was one of the most daunting and terrifying moments of my life. I felt like I’d been completely pulled apart. Career in question, finances shot, love life dissolved and a place you once called home, no longer yours. There’s nothing that can accelerate the process of change. It will force you into one of the greatest places of discomfort you have ever experienced. Leaving you wounded, raw and questioning whether you’ve made the right decision.

All my fears, doubts and insecurities raised their ugly heads and came to the surface. One by one, I was forced to confront them all. Unsurprisingly, I realised how deeply engrained they’d been embedded. When you’ve succumbed to an existence that serves to keep you comfortable and secure, the numbness that settles in makes for insecurities, doubts and long held fears to be conveniently kept at bay.

Nas beach, Ikaria

There was no other outcome for me. I had to abandon everything about my old life, in order to welcome the possibility of the new to present itself. I was being invited to step into change.

Transitions are never an easy process. We long to cling to the comfort and security that keeps us safe because it’s so familiar. The suggestion of stepping outside our comfort zone is terrifying because we are inevitably forced to give up a part of ourselves that we’ve come to know so well. We go into conflict between letting go of the familiar and surrendering ourselves to the outstretched path that promises limitless possibilities…

Despite my fear, I decided to step foot on that path.

cross, Lemnos

Gifts can often be presented in the most unassuming form. Sometimes decision we make can feel like they’re resulting in the greatest consequence. Despite it not making sense, we trust that this is the only way forward. What I believed was going to be my biggest downfall resulted in being my greatest gift. A single step toward a path of uncertainty has led me to experience some of the most exciting, challenging and soul enriching moments of my life. It has forced me to confront long held fears and insecurities that no longer serve me and recognise the significance of what they’re trying to teach. I now invite them to surface, instead of shutting them away…

photo via Carla Coulson

On my bedroom wall, there’s a picture of a woman on my vision board. She’s in the shadows, resembling a silhouette. When I first glanced at that image, I knew exactly what it came to represent. That image reflected me. The woman waiting to emerge, lurking in the shadows, being cracked open and stepping into the person she was always waiting to be…It’s seldom in the face of change that we are able to practice gratitude, yet more often than not, our most difficult moments are often trying to lead us toward experiencing the greatest breakthroughs. And it’s this alone that forces us to reflect on the importance of practicing gratitude.

Happy travels…Paula x

2017-08-03T15:19:41+00:00

2 Comments

  1. Bridget August 12, 2017 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Paula, what a gift it is for us who love your photos and words that you emerged and stepped into the light! I am that woman in the shadows, but I’m slowing, slowing moving forwards. Tiny step by tiny step. Your post is a beautiful reminder of how important it is to do so. xx

    • Mediterranean Wanderer August 13, 2017 at 5:42 am - Reply

      Dearest Bridget…
      Wow, I’m so touched by your words. Thank You so much for the acknowledgment. It’s so heartening to know that what is shared within this community has resonance for those reading it. We are always chipping away at ourselves, refining and re-emerging the essence of who we are. It is truly so special to have received your message. I hope you recognise the strength you have within yourself and understand that it takes a lot of courage to emerge from the shadows. There is no short cut to this process. You are on track exactly as you are.
      Thank you so much again Bridget..receiving your words completely filled my heart..
      Warmest regards
      Paula X

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