As I took my morning walk in fresh air and sunshine and amongst the bare oaks and beeches, I began reflecting on Monday evening’s announcement from Boris. I am blessed to have Epping Forest lapping at the northern shores of Walthamstow. I have been in the Forest every day for the last year. Its been a playground and school with my daughter. Its been an office with my clients, and its been a sanctuary to connect with family and friends. How will I feel when we pass through June 21st and out into the new normal – after almost a year and three months?
Finally, after almost a year of living in the Forest of uncertainty, we have been shown a track that will take us out and into the bright light and big skies of our lives without COVID’s restrictions on our choices. The Forest edge is still a way off, but we can see the trees’ thinning as the muscular Oaks and Beeches are beginning to be joined by slender Birches and evergreen Holly. There appears to be what looks like clear sunlight up ahead as the track sweeps forward, meandering around the incline’s contours, a stream and some fallen trunks. Is this the track out of all this?
As we trudge towards the exit, the reality is that we will all emerge in very different states of physical and mental health. As tough as it has been, the Forest has become a familiar environment where new habits have had to be adopted, the old one’s dropped. Not all these habits have been serving us well.
For some, stepping out of the Forest carries degrees of fear, trepidation and varying levels of anxiety. What will it be like out in the open of ‘new normal’, however that might fall for me? For sure, we will all exit the Forest in a different place to where we first entered back in March 2020.
And this is the most significant opportunity of all. A chance to set a new course of fulfillment with meaning and motivation. An approach to bring vitality and energy to our work and our lives. Blossoming relationships, new missions. For the journey ahead, leaving the Forest behind presents an ideal opportunity for me to pause and reflect on what’s important to me and what gives me energy and what might drain my vitality.
Firstly, I’ve used my core values as a check-list, taking time to riffle through my rucksack of life and repacking it with my new habits that fuel my energy, friends that inspire and challenge me and opportunities that inspire me. I am taking care to leave out anything that I am tolerating or drains my energy. The second use for my core values will be when we finally do emerge from the Forest. Like a compass, my values will help me stay on a fulfilling and energising path. Should I stray, distracted by fear or ego, my values compass will guide me back to my way.
If you are anxious about your exit from the Forest of Uncertainty and are looking for clarity of mind and purpose of step as we near the sunlight and big skies of ‘new normal’, I’d love to hear from you. My ‘Values Compass’ programme can help ease the anxiety and enable you to reconnect with what’s important to you, providing a guiding compass for decisions to made and paths taken. Why not take the course that brings vitality and energy to your work and your life.