I used to be one of those people who kept myself so freaking busy that it was easy to avoid knowing who I really was. I’d like to say this was an unconscious thing, but that wouldn’t be true. I was afraid if I examined myself too closely, I wouldn’t like who I’d become.
What if I needed to make changes? What if I’d helped build a world I didn’t even want? What if I had no discernable passion, no special gifts, no real goal in life?
What if I was just, empty?
So long as I continued to pile on the roles and responsibilities, I was exempt from ever figuring my shit out. Instead, I clinged to my achievements and busy-ness as my identity of choice.
But it’s not who I was. And it isn’t who I am.
Underneath all the layers of giving to others is the “me” I’d forgotten about.
Women can lose themselves after decades of wearing too many hats. For some it’s the career hat. For others it’s the mom hat. Then there are those who wear both, and still more who have the hats piled so high it’s no wonder they can keep their heavy heads screwed on tight.
Let’s face it, our instinct to nurture is just how we roll. What’s at stake, though, is who we are at our core.
Have we forgotten what lights us up? Have we shelved the things that matter to our own personal growth in favour of helping our loved ones become successful? Have we ever bothered to look “under the hood?” Do we even know what interests us?!
Self-discovery is the answer, but that it in and of itself can feel overwhelming. In my experience, the biggest trap to keeping our true selves under wraps is time. Rather, the obvious lack thereof.
She Walks the Walk has created a Self-discovery Curriculum that coincides with our most adventurous selves. We give you the tools to do that deep work so you can return to your life feeling free, at peace and, most importantly, inspired.
How do we find ourselves again?
Finding our way back to ourselves is an organic evolution that happens when we stretch our bodies, open our hearts and quiet our minds.
At SWTW, we believe rediscovering ourselves requires a longer exit from our lives. Expecting a two-day yoga retreat to have any lasting impact might be unrealistic. Taking “all this time” for ourselves is the first most pivotal step.
Our G’WAs are an ideal backdrop… Hiking in Guatemala’s cloud forest is about as far away from the office and your unloaded dishwasher as it gets. We purposely seek out locations with a degree of remoteness, and the allure of “mostly unexplored.” We want you on fresh territory, where nothing can tug at your sleeve other than our guide showing you the way forward.
These longer walking journeys are also designed to challenge you. (Hey, there’s no growth if everything’s a cakewalk.) Imagine feeling your body come to life again. It’s like being reborn. Physicality is the kickstart of self-discovery.
But so is spirituality. Not in the religious sense, more in the “getting still” sense.
We begin each day with meditation, to make space for reconciling whatever burbles up, or to welcome in new ideas about who you might really be. And while meditation is a core piece of our G’WAs, don’t be intimidated if you’ve never meditated before. We give you your own unique mantra, assigned to you by date and place of birth. To be clear, there is no audible chanting, and in fact, your mantra is highly personal and should be kept private. It will serve as an anchor point as your G’WA unfolds.
Journalling is another activity we encourage throughout your journey. We’ve designed a special She Walks the Walk journal filled with prompts to help you turn inward, along with sufficient empty space for you to create. We think writing has the power to purge what’s clogging us up, while sparking new dreams for the future.
Connecting with other women is a part of our process, as well. After a long day of traipsing through rivers and clamouring over boulders, bonding with your teammates is a given. We end each day with a cozy tea and some group discussion inspired by your own reflections. It might be an A-HA moment you had when meeting one of the locals enroute. Or perhaps an observation you made during your walk — how does everyone else feel? What new perspectives might our conversation generate?
And if you’re thinking “Nah, I’m not into sharing, I’ll just hit the sack and watch this downloaded episode of New Girl…” — you’d be surprised at how quickly we lower our guards over the course of one of our G’WAs. By the end of the pilgrimage, these virtual strangers will feel like your lifelong besties. Trust builds far quicker out here than it does in your bubble back home.
Throughout the course of your journey, we’ll also provide you with ample opportunity for play. Here’s a supertruth: our culture is obsessed with productivity. Prioritizing joy, laughter and silliness ranks lower than our own quests to keep the bills paid and climb higher up the corporate ladder. She Walks the Walk believes that having fun is as important as making progress. So come prepared with your sense of humour.
Stop looking for yourself in the midst of your chaotic life.
We combine tried and tested methodologies of Self-discovery into one epic adventure with the power to transform. So, if you’re craving an adventure unlike anything you’ve done before. If you’re ready to be stretched physically. To get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. And if you’re okay with vulnerability — our G’WAs may be a step in the right direction to finding yourself.
I’ll leave you with some profound wisdom from a dear friend of mine. He sent me these thoughts in an email when I was having a moment of frustration. In classic “Sam” style, I was beating myself up for not being as far along in this new creation as I’d hoped. I love that he opened up about himself, making me feel even more human in my yucky state of mind. I am sure there are some real pearls here for you, too:
My map was crap anyway, and the drifter that sits deep within me has had to sit up and take note, and consider actions. Why the hell did I do that, ignore them, make that decision…omg! ‘What have I done with me life’ meets ‘what did I set out to achieve in the first place’ that then allows me to compare and consider whether a success or other.
What are we actually comparing? Who are the judges? Did I ever sit down and write my CV for St Peter when I eventually reach the gates? And what actually is retirement? Really? Just not working…what at all…just not earning money… Retirement is a myth in my book.
You stop one thing, gain some time and then kick on to the next thing, often with freedom to choose, often not because things suddenly and unexpectedly happen. Time moves so fast as you get older (true although no scientific basis!), and the temptation is to hurtle on trying as we go to reflect, think and decide whether the route is the one we expected. Instead of really meaningfully stopping to pause, reflect, consider what’s going well, what could be better and what I am learning and what my judges are telling me.
Then starting the walk again with a clear view of the next rest place where I will do the same again… and again…My friend, mentor and coach
Jeremy, United Kingdom