In case it is valuable for other people undertaking something fairly major I will share some of what I learnt through the course of this 12 month process.

  • Share your ‘crazy’ idea out loud (praps not with your accountant and other seriously pragmatic people). Stating your intention allows you to start feeling your way. It also allows other people to come forth with help, knowledge, assistance and useful contacts. On telling a work colleague soon after the dawn of the idea she said: It obviously sits close to your soul. Telling others also makes it harder to talk yourself out of it.
  • Put in place things that will encourage you. I plastered a quote from Goethe to the fridge:

Until one is committed there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:

That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.

A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance which no man (or woman) could have dreamed would come his/her way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.

In retrospect I can strongly attest to the truth of this. While I was quitting my job and packing up and relinquishing my home I was flying more by the hope that this was so.

  • I created a collage that included pictures of labyrinths I intended to walk and quotes from books on pilgrimage as well as some of the world’s great philosophers including Woodstock and Michael Leunig. Included the thought that came to me one cold, anxious morning in bed: I am tired of living a small, scared, defeated life.
  • One of the things that I turn to when facing major decisions that won’t appeal to everyone are divination tools such as Runes, Labyrinth Wisdom cards and others. I’ve already shared some of the remarkable ones that I drew immediately after my brain surgery. I find they are often an uncanny source of encouragement particularly when I am contemplating things that fly in the face of logic and ‘common sense’.
  • I can’t write this in big enough letters: reach out to other people: for support, for encouragement, for practical help. We/I have such strong values around independence and self-reliance yet every single person who extended their hospitality to me said that they benefited from my knowledge, my company, my experience. They were connected with the labyrinth and with each other. Obviously there was reciprocity in all of these aspects of my travels.
  • Be willing to live with ongoing uncertainty. You may only be able to see a couple of steps ahead at any one time.
  • That the linear models we create of set a goal, take action, achieve the goal are a false representation of how most of life unfolds.
  • Trust your gut feelings and your bodily responses to things: go with the ones that energise and enliven you.
  • Be prepared to change course and alter plans. What actually unfolds is likely to be far richer (though at times difficult and painful) than anything that you originally envisioned.