Take the next step
A true story about taking steps
(and fun exercise!)
Keep moving. Life is all about taking the next step, and then the next and the next. Even if you have no clue what your destiny is, what you should do with your life, you can always take a next step.
Italy, anno 2013
In the past I used to go up to Italy many times a year to take care of my mother in law. We had a very special bond and I always felt very connected to her. She passed away a few years ago, but I will always carry her in my heart and treasure the sweet memories with her.
As she faced many health problems, she needed people to take care of her, cook for her, bathe her and clean her apartment. But most of all she needed a companion to lift up her spirits and do fun things. At least that’s what I thought. Because sitting around at home watching television all day is not uplifting for anyone. And if you feel bad, your health will reflect that as well and a vicious circle is just lurking around the corner. But what do you do when your mobility is impaired?
Litte road trips 🙂
So we cruised around in her little, old Cinquecento visiting zoos, parcs and picknick areas. While we made plans together, I noticed she really had a hard time telling me what she wanted to do. She was not used to deciding, she was not used to making decisions or taking initiative. She was a sweet, gentle lady always focusing on others and responding to whatever crossed her path, not thinking about what she wanted.
One afternoon we needed to get out of the apartment because it was very hot, but we actually didn’t have a fixed destiny to go to. So I drove the little car up front, let her in, put the wheelchair in the back and we would go onto the main road. I decided to play a little game with her and let her decide where to go. Not by thinking of a far destiny, but by choosing what to do at every cross roads. Do we go left, right or straight ahead? In the beginning it was not easy for her. “What if I make the wrong decision?” she said. So I assured her by telling there is no wrong decision, because without a fixed destination we can go anywhere. This gave her some confidence.
So we cruised around the country side in the surroundings of Verona. We visited the most beautiful places, found a perfect picknick spot “by chance”, marvelled at the vast vineyards, hill views and had a wonderful time together. We laughed and enjoyed all these new experiences. I saw that she relaxed into her ability to choose the direction she wanted to go and enjoying where it got her.
Five years later
This was a fun, intuitive game we played and now, 5 years later, I still look back on it as one of the happiest moments of my life. I also use this technique in my own life. If I don’t know which action to take or my long term focus gets a little clouded or takes unexpected turns, I just focus on the next step. I pause, take a deep breath, close my eyes and feel the next step. Usually it takes me to the most beautiful places. Just moving along step by step and let life unfold itself in front of my eyes. This is where my intuition gets stronger and stronger, things go easy, I reconnect with flow and synchronicities happen. The key is not to think too much.
Next step excercise
Get into action. Take actions that feel good and make decisions. The trick is to let go of the outcome and have fun along the way.
If you find it hard to apply this exercise to big life themes, just start with the small ones.
- Glance over the menu card in the restaurant and pick the first dish that looks appealing. Try to refrain from looking at the whole card to see what you could be missing out. Feel confident about your decision. And enjoy your meal. 😉
- Walk around the block one evening and do the left, right, straight exercise I did with my mother-in-law. Look at your surroundings, enjoy the view, enjoy the new places you discover. You cannot get lost. And if after 30/60/90 minutes you look around and don’t know were you are, you just consult Google Maps on your phone or better still ask a person in the street for directions. You will always find your way back home. And maybe have an interesting conversation with a stranger as well.
- Cook a new dish. Put all the herbs and spices that you have at your kitchen counter. Pick the ones that draw your attention and use them. Do this exercise on a free Sunday and see where it takes you. Do you like the dish? Do you find interesting new combinations to marinade your meat, spice up your curry or season your rice dish?
- Stand in front of your bookcase and pick the first book you lay your eyes on. Start reading in this book, or open it at a random page. What fresh inspiration do you get?
- And for die-hard experimentalists: Take a world map or globe, blind fold yourself, breath deep into your belly and randomly pick your next travel destination. 🙂
- Light variant of above: Take a map of your country or region, blindfold yourself and pick a destination for a little trip in the weekend. Visit a nearby city or do a hike in the surroundings. For sure it will get you out of routine, soften the control-freak within you and give you a new perspective on life.
What’s your next step?
What is your next step? What adventure is around the corner to surprise you with the outcome? What effect does this little fun exercise have on other big life themes you are dealing with?
Let me know below in the comments!
About the author of this blog post
Hi my name is Mirjam Overbeek, a Dutch Authenticity Coach living on Tenerife.
I love helping women to reconnect with themselves and their dreams, stop living up to expectations of others and have the courage to pave their own unique path. I believe it makes the world a better place when we follow our heart. I offer 1-on-1 coaching via Skype and retreats on Tenerife.
Want to see what I can do for you? Schedule a free Clarity Call with me. It will give you instant clarity in the area of your life where you feel stuck right now.