Okay… not really tigers and bears, but, I couldn’t resist the homage to a great movie…. Some of you had noticed that posts have been delayed this summer. That’s for good reason – I took time off for an awesome African Adventure – where we did go on safari and see lions, and zebras, and giraffes, and rhinos, and cheetahs, and springbok, and warthogs (oh my!!)

Stop by and I’ll happily gush about all the amazing things I got to see, do and experience over 16 days in Botswana and South Africa, but that’s not why I’m writing just now. I’m writing to share the lesson I re-learned through how the trip came about. I’ll give you a foreshadowing hint – it wasn’t how I anticipated…

I would classify myself as a fairly methodical thinker and planner. I have a tendency towards playing with details rather than Big Ideas. My comfort level is in knowing the whole route before I take the first steps. (Can you relate?) And you know what ? I’m working on changing those old patterns; I recognize that I’ve missed out on many adventures because I didn’t just jump in and start moving. I’ve been known to get so involved in the HOW that I lose sight of the WHY. And it’s not the HOW that moves mountains, creates incredible synchronicities and opportunities, and shows the Universe you’re ready for great things; it’s the WHY – the feeling of passion, excitement, motivation, fulfilment… behind the action, that’s meant to lead the way.

So, the Africa story goes like this: My husband and his family emigrated from South Africa when he was 5 years old, and he hadn’t been back since – so it was on our joint ‘bucket list’ to go. Ideally, we wanted go with his parents because we wanted to see people and places relevant to their history there. So, when they announced in early 2015 that they would be going this year for their last time, we started to flesh out the possibility of joining them. For months, we calculated dates, researched, and started to get excited. And then reality set in: the kids weren’t anxious to go, the financial aspect was a bit daunting, it was challenging to free up the time, we had many responsibilities here, etc., etc., to the point that eventually we abandoned the idea. And I truly mourned the loss. It wasn’t until that point that I got out of planner/scheduler mode into what the trip had really meant to me. It was about adventure, and reconnecting, and proving that I could do it (I’m not the best traveler), and freedom (traveling is one of my ‘happy place’ activities) and so much more. And at that point, when I connected to the WHY of the trip, coincidentally (I think not) the most amazing thing happened. The pieces fell e-x-a-c-t-l-y into place to make the trip not only possible but practically unavoidable. Every concern we’d had somehow worked itself out (notice I said ‘worked itself out’ – I had stopped masterminding any of it). My husband was notified of a business trip that brought us to within a 1-hour plane ride of S. Africa exactly 2 weeks before his parents’ scheduled trip. And they graciously agreed to come over early. The kids could be well looked after by relatives here while we were away. Prime hotels, which rarely had availability before were available. Scheduling conflicts fell away and the people we’d hoped to connect with  could all schedule into the time we had available. Even – get this!! – the game reserve where we’d booked a safari called two weeks prior to our visit to ask if we’d be ‘willing’ to be upgraded to their deluxe, uber-luxurious best suites and premier guide. The trip turned into nothing less than a once-in-a-lifetime, memory packed, virtually seamless experience. I couldn’t have masterminded anything nearly as amazing as I manifested. All because I led with my heart and followed up with my head – a much more powerful creative process than the other way around!

How many times do you fall into the trap of overthinking? Of losing sight of the forest for the trees? It’s a dangerous trap of our over-analytical, data-centric world. Especially in these summer months, when it feels like we can finally enjoy the open spaces of our environment I encourage you to create open space in your thinking and dreaming too. Go out for a walk, or sit in a quiet, open expanse and just reconnect to your ability to dream. Let the FEELING inspire an action plan. Who knows where it might take you.

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