What a wonderful couple of days its been. Last Thursday I popped up to Byron Bay (mid way up the East Coast of Australia for those not familiar with this glorious little hideaway) to attend a personal development conference run by my coach, Marcus Pearce. Its been a wonderful weekend connecting with like minded people learning how to put together all the various pieces to create the life that you love. Learning is a lifelong passion of mine, so any chance to learn and connect with other people and I’m there – drop Byron Bay into the mix and wow, you’ve got a pretty potent combination! More than anything, though, the biggest lessons this weekend has been to know thyself and that connection and accountability are major keys to living a life you love.

The road to Byron

When I received the original email about coming to the event late last year, I didn’t even think twice about it. I found myself pressing the buy now button way before my head caught up with the usual ‘are you sure?’, ‘can you really afford this?’, ‘It’s a long way to travel, you know…’.  My head was obviously having a bit of a slow day that particular morning and my heart managed to jump in fast.  That’s not to say that the voices haven’t been piping up over the past couple of weeks, making me doubt my decision to come, of course. Turns out I am human after all – who knew! 

Following my heart

Deciding to come along, I was truly glad that I followed  my heart, rather than my head. I’ve had a fantastic time connecting with other amazing people from all over Australia. The conference was a full two days, but many of us took advantage of the stunning location to catch some much needed sunshine. A group of us arrived last Thursday in order to have an extra day to experience Byron. We travelled out to Crystal Castle on Friday, as a group, and spent a magical afternoon soaking up the sun in the stunning gardens, attending workshops and healings and just generally hanging out. It gave us a great chance to bond and get to know one another better, which was lovely.

Know thyself

As much as I love learning & connecting, this was yet another example of me learning to understand myself better. For those of you who know me well, it’ll come as no surprise that I sit pretty firmly entrenched in the introverted corner. I do really like people and I can be quite chatty and social when I want to, but I’m definitely someone who needs that time alone in order to restore my energy reserves. That definitely hit home Monday morning – I’d spent 4 full days with a group of strangers – as much as they were wonderful humans (& they truly were)…by the time we all went our separate ways, I was ready to fall in a heap. My energy reserves were well and truly at an all-time low & I could feel the early warnings signs of a cold developing. My body was sending me some pretty strong signals that it needed some time out!

Monday morning I had a long list of things that I wanted to get done (this blog being one of them…) – I’d just come off an inspiring weekend and I was ready to take action…..except that I hadn’t had two minutes to myself and I was utterly shattered. The old me would have just pushed through – things would have gotten done, but they would have taken twice as long as usual. Instead, I checked into my new accommodation and decided to hit the beach instead.

It was a gloriously sunny day, so hitting the beach seemed like the most logical solution. I know myself well enough to know that the beach is my spiritual home, no matter where in the world I am. Luckily it was just a short walk form where I was staying to Tallows beach. Not long after I had set myself up on the shore, I looked up to see four whales passing along just behind the breakers – talk about special! Not once did I let the usual guilty feelings come into play – I gave myself full permission to be present and thoroughly enjoyed the time I had taken out for me.

Connection

As an introvert, you wouldn’t think that connection would be the primary lesson that I’d take out of a weekend like this. The content of the conference was awesome and well delivered, but what I really took away was the power of connecting with other people. I equated it to why I love to travel so much – as much as it’s great to see new locations, my real love is connecting with people from all different countries and getting a chance to learn what makes them tick. 

One of my biggest takeaways over the weekend is that life often isn’t linear – I heard many amazing stories this weekend of challenges that people had overcome to get where they now are. We’re all different and we all value different things, but what brings us together is what’s most important – we’re all looking to live an exceptional life. One free of doubts and inner conflicts, fully aligned with what our hearts truly desire.

I had a big breakthrough yesterday when I met my coach, Marcus, in person. Since I was still in Byron, he met me personally at a local cafe for a coaching session. We went deep – oh yes, there were tears galore (me obviously!! ;)) but by the end I was so much more connected to myself and what I really want. I’ve talked before about following a path that felt set for me by my parents – the usual – do well at school, go to Uni, get a corporate job, blah, blah, blah. I did all of those things, but was I genuinely happy? Not particularly!

Of course, my parents were just trying to give me a healthy start and I’m eternally grateful for all of the experiences I’ve had so far, but I’ve always known that its their path, not mine. Connecting with other like minded people this weekend helped me see that its ok to follow my heart and whilst there may be ups and downs along the way, it’s well worth it.

Accountability

The other big takeaway from the weekend is the power of accountability – having someone who can hold you to your ideals and make sure you get the best from yourself is priceless. It’s easy to be persuaded by other people (at least for me) to stay small and not take risks. A couple of weeks back a very well meaning friend asked me if I was worried that I didn’t have more health coaching clients.  She was genuinely concerned, but I’d honestly never worried about it before that. Soon afterward, though, I found myself questioning if I was in fact doing the right thing. 

The truth is that to be brave, we have to be surrounded by people who are down in the trenches with us – people who know what its like to take risks and who can keep us accountable to ourselves. It’s not about ignoring the very sweet concerns of friends and family by any means, but more parking that to one side and staying accountable to your desires. 

 

You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with ~ Jim Rohn

 

Nothing could be more true than the quote by inspirational speaker and writer Jim Rohn above. By attending the event this weekend, I now have a group of like minded souls who have vowed to keep ourselves accountable. I also have my coach, Marcus, holding me to my highest standards. I won’t lie – being held to your highest standard is really scary sometimes and I know it would be so much easier to revert back to the old me, but by having this support, I’m much more comfortable to follow my dreams. 

For me, it’s about living from the heart – making decisions that truly align with who I am, rather than who other people think I should be. For most of my life, I’ve lived from my head, which has been ok so far, but now in order to truly feel like I can make an impact on this world, I know it’s time to step into my heart.

Now it’s your turn – I’d really love to hear below if you too are wishing to switch into a more heart centred way of living, but are wondering how to get started. Ask yourself – if money were no object, how would you truly want to spend your days? Would you keep making the same choices you currently are?

Biggest love from the heart (no longer from the head),

Shelley xx