There are only 2 weeks remaining in our formal Escape the City Tribe School process – our last official night together is Tuesday 25th April 2017. This brings up a variety of emotions within me – excitement that I will have more time and opportunity to fully implement all that I have learned so far, and apprehension that I will now have to implement all that I have learned so far! The double-edged sword that comes with increased knowledge and awareness!
I have felt the difference in myself over the last few months – not in the way I anticipated, but noticeable nonetheless. It’s as if someone has given me permission to be myself. To stop living my life to an imagined set of standards, or attempting to impress (or placate!) an invisible audience! It’s been a challenging, exhausting process, but I feel all the richer for taking part – if only for the clarity and confidence I now have within myself.
Last Tuesday’s session was inspiring, and then became unexpectedly very helpful afterwards on a practical level! We heard the stories of three former ‘Escapees’: Chloe, Lily and Pippa. All three stories were exciting, inspiring and reassuring in very different ways. The key message I took with me were words from Chloe – she told us that she had gotten to a point where her fear of the unknown was outweighed by her fear of returning to where she had been. I hear that. I feel that.
Then, on Friday, in a paralysed state over my fear of contacting venues with a view to arranging the first event for ToGetHer Further, I reached out to Pippa, following up on an offer from her to help. Her words were so calming, reassuring, inspiring and motivating! After just a few minutes on the phone, I felt energized and managed to contact 4 different venues – putting myself out there and publicly introducing myself as ‘the founder of ToGetHer Further’ for the first time!
Saturday and Sunday formed our last full weekend together as a Tribe – and you could feel the energy in the room had changed so much since we first came together. Spending Saturday practicing our narratives, talking about our transitions and ambitions in the present tense – and owning the truth of our statements, felt so freeing and empowering. Why are we wasting time living to other people’s standards, instead of embracing our own strengths and values?
It was with this motivation that I attribute my bravery on Sunday morning – I had read an article by Daisy Buchanan in The Pool on how having therapy was the greatest adult gift she had given herself. It resonated with me so strongly that I had to share it publicly, and I had to own my truth and share how much it has benefited me to have been in therapy for the last 5 years. It was only after I shared this on Facebook that I realized I had never been so open about being in therapy, and that if I felt some sort of shame to that in the past, I certainly didn’t feel that now! If anything, I felt like it was something I had to share, in the hopes it might motivate someone else to get the help they needed. [Side note: Another observation I’ve made through Escape – I am at my best when I am ‘channelling the greater good’!]
On that note, I will leave you with these inspiring words from Martha Beck, courtesy of the Beautiful Writer’s Podcast:
“Every time you get more honest, you get more magical.”
So please, go out and live your lives as honestly as you can, and see what magic you can make.