I went for a walk the other day and got really-and-truly lost.

First of all, incase you need the reminder, getting out for a walk is probably one of the simplest and most-effective ways to improve your situation. By ‘situation’ I really mean your mental health, your creativity, your ability to solve problems, the way you react, and, obviously, your physical health, too. Go for a walk, preferably in nature, and see your day turn around for the better. Can someone say “win-flipping-win”!?

So this is something I try to do as often as I can (although I absolutely know what it’s like to opt for another episode of Love Is Blind on Netflix instead). And this day was a winning day for me; I’d laced up my boots and headed out, actually a short drive away to a beautiful common close by. It was used in the second world war as some sort of airbase, now protected and slightly swampy, with wild ponies and plenty of gorse (my favourite spring-time flower, mainly because it smells incredibly like coconuts).

Now, sometimes on my day-bettering walks, I like to go off piste a little. And this walk was one of those times. Despite my trusty OS Maps app telling me there was no circular trail, a few signs along the route kept telling me I was walking the anti-clockwise direction. So there must be a circular trail, right?

I get to the end of the obvious path, and decide to trust in the afore-mentioned signs. There must be a route back in this general direction (I spoke aloud to myself whilst gesticulating to the trees). So I head down one of those vague this-could-be-a-path-but-also-maybe-it’s-not sort of paths. And I keep walking. And walking. And after about half an hour of basically making my own path I end up in the middle of a swamp with no discernible way to get out. And there were snakes (probably, if only in my own mind).

Whilst I was never in actual danger of being lost forever, or perishing in a swamp, or even being eaten by a snake, I did get a little frantic. Why couldn’t there just be a path? How am I supposed to find my way out? Why do my feet have to be so bloody wet?! I’M STARVING!

But—and not to ruin the ending, friend—I managed to find my way out. I knew my car was north of me, so I slowly picked my way through mud, stagnant water, and spiky gorse bushes and headed north. Slowly I headed north and I eventually got back to the original path and found my way back to my car.

Yes, it took longer than I thought. Yes, I got muddier than I wanted. And no, it wasn’t something I’ll repeat again. But you know what it reminded me?

That the pathway isn’t always clear. We don’t always know how we’re going to get out of this situation we’re going through right now. We don’t have the answers or solutions. And this can make us panic. We feel out of control.

But if we just keep heading north, if we just keep putting one foot in front of the other, if we know the general direction we want to head in (towards happiness, contentment, love, joy) the pathway just makes itself known to us, the solutions come from places you didn’t even know existed, we realise we didn’t even need to panic or get flustered. It was all just a part of the process.

And you might even stumble upon a duck sitting quietly on a nest of eggs along the way—a highlight I wouldn’t have had if I’d taken the safe route.

The lesson here is a good one: keep putting one foot in front of the other, keep making tiny movements forward, keep trusting, and you’ll get where you need to be.

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Chloe - TYR Founder & Joyful Living Coach

POSTED: 18/03/2024

Chloe is a yoga teacher, mindfulness guide, and joyful living coach, and she thinks the meaning of life is probably to be as happy as possible.

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