Many years ago when I worked in the Retail Sector of my former Company, I’d look forward to our annual conference as it was a fantastic opportunity to see my colleagues and understand our Business strategy for the year ahead. We’d have workshops, team building sessions, a black tie dinner & award ceremony topping the night off with a good old party to celebrate. I remember a particular conference in Brighton like it was yesterday – why? Because that was the year I walked over hot coals..
It was the last session of the day and we had an inspirational speaker whose energy was infectious. When he told 300 Managers we would be going out of the hotel and across the road to the beach to firewalk you could feel the room fill with excitement, apprehension, laughter at disbelief and a little bit of panic. I remember saying to a colleague ‘I’ll give it a go’ but really thinking ‘holy moly, what if I get burnt?’ We were given our brief and marched across the road onto Brighton beach where the scene of fire and hot coals emerged..
Orderly queues were formed and the fun began, as I watched my colleagues ahead of me completing their firewalk, I thought this is something really special as I could see their faces light up with the sheer shock and elation that they had actually done it. It came to my turn and I remember the atmosphere was filled with screams of support, encouragement and people I didn’t even know were shouting my name psyching me up to go for it.. I took a deep breath and set off across the bed of hot coals.. 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. feet in bucket of cold water and a small bottle of champagne was handed to me to congratulate me on what I had just achieved.. I mean, really? Hot coals? Me?
I can only describe the experience as the ultimate high, adenaline was pumping so hard, just the fierce exhilaration of the challenge.. I called my husband but he couldn’t understand a word I said as I was screaming so much down the phone at what I had just done.. It felt good, no, it felt fantastic! Wow!
I feel proud to say I’ve walked on hot coals – the experience was simply amazing!
The Leading Ladies Company and Ignite Firewalking are holding an event in Manchester on 13 April – dare you do the seemingly impossible?
Or I’ve just become smarter with age.. You see I still have a job to do, 3 hours a day or if I need a day off I add those hours to the next day as I have a fantastic boss who is flexible with the hours I work. It’s also a huge advantage that I am living in the future, 7 hours to be exact.. so when the UK are tucked up in bed I get my days work done..
2 weeks ago I was dreadfully unhappy, so much so I told my husband I didn’t want to be here anymore. I didn’t want to tell him as he’s having a ball, he’s found his vocation in life and is building some incredible friendships so it broke my heart telling my best friend that I just wasn’t settling down in this paradise. But something has happened in the last 2 weeks which has given me a completely new outlook on our life.. I cannot say what the turning point was as I honestly don’t know but what I can say is that I have a calmness and settled feeling now, something I haven’t really felt since we got here. I had some coaching the week I felt my world was falling apart from my boss, Amanda Brown, where as always, she gets me to focus on what I want and how I would achieve it, so perhaps it was this that gave me clarity and the courage to face what was making me unhappy.
This last week I have spent some quality time with my husband, met new friends, seen old friends, jumped on stage with Fat Boy Slim and lived my life! You know what, I’ve loved every minute of it and am so happy I pushed through the sad stage of this journey as I now know that the future is looking pretty darn rosy..
My morning routine goes a little like this..
- Husband up for work at 6.45am doing his very best to be quiet (personally I think a baby elephant would be quieter)
- I stir in bed anxiously trying to get a few more Z’s but think climbing Everest would be less challenging
- Husband sees my eyes flicker and starts a full blown important conversation – are you serious?
- I grunt my reply and turn my back to try to go back to sleep
- He leaves and I’m wide awake..
This is no bad thing because I need to be up and in my routine.. My routine that consists of coffee, followed by exercise followed by browsing social media sites both personal and Business, followed by move from bed to kitchen/office to sit at my laptop ready for the day’s work. At that kitchen table I listen to the birds outside, watch the neighbour’s cats chase each other, observe the workmen through the trees banging their tools in unison and do my best to be creative in my paradise. Sometimes that’s easier said than done as I drift off into a world of my own reminiscing about family and friends and the life we left behind 6 months ago..
I stare at my banana tree and suddenly realise that my bananas are gone.. This is a travesty, there is a banana thief in the vicinity.. Hang on Lisa, you’ve never once plucked a ripe banana from that tree so why am I so concerned?
The point I am trying to make is if something is right under your nose and you do not seize the opportunity then someone else will.. Do I care that the bananas are gone? No, as I don’t really believe they were ever mine.. What I do care about is taking that moment to truly see what is around you. My life was so hectic before our move that I didn’t see what was right under my nose until it was gone. I have all the time in the world now so have no excuse not to absorb, appreciate and utilise the opportunities that are presented before me. Don’t get so consumed in your life that you don’t see what is around you, as before you know it, those bananas you never had, will be gone..