Hearing and reading about the Auckland marathon had be reflecting on the similarities between the healing journey, the journey back to our true self and a marathon…

1 – Very few people can stroll on up to the starting line of a marathon and make it to the end, with very little preparation, without paying attention to what they need on the day, that is a certain level of fitness as well as the right shoes/kit and certainly the right headspace.  Our healing journey is just the same.  I would love to have that magic formula, just do this and this and then that, and whoop, there you are, your true self!  Sadly until we have that magical formula, we need to take all the steps, actions that help us prepare for the journey and also to do the work to help us heal some of what we are carrying.

2 – Similarly, I imagine, the majority of people running the marathon will have had some sort of support, whether that be in the form of a sports coach, a mindset coach, or similar.  Sure, we can take the healing journey on our own, but it can be tough going.  When we have support, we are no longer reinventing the wheel, grasping at this idea or that idea, downloading one free course (or even paid) and never getting around to doing it.  We have someone walking alongside us, who hasn’t had our journey, but has had their journey and gets it.

3 – A coach may well be encouraging and our cheerleaders, but we need more than one of them.  We need our people, our crew around us, picking us up when we are struggling or wondering why we ever took this path in the first place!  Sometimes we need to pause a moment and take a look around; are the people that I am spending my time with conducive to where I want to be.  We don’t need to make dramatic actions to cut people out of our life, but just a consciousness of who we have around us.

4 – I understand that there might be the dinosaurs, Father Christmases and whatever other fancy dress efforts there are, those that are taking the marathon seriously will have streamlined their kit.  What are you carrying that does not serve you?  What would help you move forward if you didn’t have this burden holding you back or weighing you down.  Is it time to put it down, time to let go of it?

5 – We need replenishments!  During a marathon there will be the water stands, and we need the same in our journey.  Yes, the literal idea of drinking enough water, but also those other ways of refreshing and recharging.  Change takes courage and courage takes energy.  We need to be doing what we can to continue to top up the tanks when we are on our journey, whether that be self-care, fun, nourishment of whatever kind.

6 – Marathon runners will always be looking forward, looking towards their destination.  Constantly looking behind them would take up time, distract their attention and could cause a fall or injury.  I describe life coaching as a forward focused approach, its not saying the past didn’t happen or that we can’t learn from it and understand more about it, but its not where we want to dwell or spend our time.

7 – The goal of marathon runners will be the finishing line, and when we are working towards goals, we need to have that clear vision of where we want to be, but that can also be quite daunting sometimes, and if we are not careful may cause us to procrastinate and not even take those first steps.  Breaking goals down in to chunks, can help it seem less daunting.  Gives us something to focus on that feels manageable and practical.  Sometimes its tiny steps, but its still moving forward.

8 – On a slightly different note, I remember when my late friend Debbie shared that she was going to walk the Auckland Marathon.  After a little while I said that I would join her.  But as the weeks went on, I wasn’t doing the training, but the date was getting closer; I came to realise it wasn’t my goal.  I’d liked the idea of it, but it wasn’t mine.  Are the goals you’re working towards yours, or are they ones that you feel you ought to be working towards, or someone else’s, or old ones that no longer serve you where you are at now?  

9 – When we are living life true to our values, creating authentic goals becomes easier, because we want those goals to be aligned with our values.  If something isn’t quite flowing for you at the moment, it may be worth checking in with whether it aligns with your values, and if it doesn’t, but it is something that you need to do or want to complete, is there a way of framing it so it does align with your values.

10 – It’s worth it!  That finishing line, that destination, that goal, that journey, that connection back to our true self… sure the path we take can be pretty hefty at times, can be quite confronting, can bring up grief and all sorts of other emotions; but as we start to get glimpses of it, it can motivate us to continue because life really is different when we are living true to the person we were put on the planet to be.