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When life gives you space you didn’t ask for

Not going to lie. Coming into this holiday period was one memorable emotional mother of a ride.

Transformation, whether personal or organisational, is a ride. Sometimes it’s the scenic route and you’re going through well-planned Instagramable experiences, and in others it feels like a dark underground cave with white-water rafting experience when you’re in heels and a little black dress. Yup it shows up and you never asked for it.

Entering this holiday period, I experienced the paradox of layers. Layers of abundance, freedom and growth were everywhere. I felt huge privilege that I was physically safe, surrounded by community and that my boys were going about their young lives, without the horrors of war. Like is said, huge privilege. I felt immensely grateful that for the first time in decades, work was not overwhelming. On the contrary, there was creativity, balance and purpose. I love my friends and community. Abundance.

I also felt incredible rolling grief and anguish, as my daughter and our loved ones experience the horrors of war. My girl, far from this home, far from the privilege of safety. The world became a hard hard place. Beyond, in what seems small in the shadow of war, but took up a lot of space, I experienced the grief of a mother who’s parenting phase has moved to that of ‘loving spectator’. Family togetherness was always the central tenant of this time of year. We’d stop, pack ourselves into a tent and spend time amongst the trees, ocean and books. I still think that the bookstore at Bateman’s Bay closed because we stopped coming down to camp. Who was left to load up on books for the hammock?

In what is the unyielding rhythm of time and growth, I now have space. And in that sneaky way transformation shows up on our path, I had not asked for this space. I am presented with the change I had not asked for. I was simultaneously grieving and grateful for the freedom. I was faced with loss of what was – a ‘was’ I had worked hard to create. A ‘was’ I loved.

The time of year seemed to inject a flood of anguish.  Like most paradox experiences – it felt like a mess. It also felt like it was ‘first world problems’.

As is my practice, I took a big breath and I rode the waves. Lots of loving connections and bucketloads of introspection. I will not share here all the moments, but I wanted to share one. Yesterday, I was head down, ploughing through my adulting list. Then a text. A beautiful new yoga studio person I’d met the night before inviting me to a Yin session that night. And…I had space. I don’t even know what Yin is… I joined my first deep Yin session in my 5 decades. There I was doing something new, beautiful, experiencing a community and practice that will immeasurably add to my world. And I thought… the magic of having space.

This has happened many times during this holiday period. Invitations to places I didn’t know of. Conversations about worlds I hadn’t touched previously.  Invitations I could accept, because I have space.

This is what I wanted to share. Having space I had not asked for and my conscious decision to ride the exploration of the new freedom has been one mother of a ride (no pun intended). And I, like all path travellers, am not the same Noa for it.

I share my little story, because in transformation we often focus on our agency, habits and ‘doing’. Today, I honour the power of the spaces we have or don’t have, whether by design or by circumstance. I honour the grief of spaces that changed and the excitement of future unknowns. Wherever you are on this ride, I hope you have space to invite what’s next.

Namaste friends!


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