So, I faced my biggest fear, had the shoulder operation and finally after 5 months, lots of patience, frustration and hard work with the physio was finally able to cautiously get back in the pool. That day I was given the all clear by the physio, I had been struggling to write. I had fallen behind with my blogs while I had been incapacitated. Now I was improving I was trying to catch up with the writing. It wasn’t happening, I wrote, but it wasn’t flowing and I wasn’t happy with what I had written. I simply wasn’t feeling it; I was not inspired.

The following day I headed down to my local pool. As I walked though the door the gentleman behind reception handed me a sauna code. I hadn’t been here for 5 months, but he remembered me and knew I always used the sauna, so needed the code. How lovely, I felt like I had been given a big hug and welcomed back.

It got better, as I walked on to pool side people said hello and smiled and my 82 year old friend who I often spoke to in the sauna shouted hello –“ I thought you had emigrated ! Good to see you back”, again a lovely happy feeling from my incidental friends. I had a gentle swim and then went to the sauna to catch up with people and events during my time away.

Inspiration hit me hard. I came away from my swim with 5 blogs swirling in my mind. During my recovery I had accepted I couldn’t swim. I had managed to walk and keep fit with adapted exercises in the gym. I thought I was doing fine. I hadn’t realised what I had been missing. Swimming has always been my thing, my special time that grounds me when things around me may be in chaos. I was clearly reminded now how my laps in the pool – allowing my mind to wander, followed by reflection time in the shower inspired many of my profound thoughts and inspired my blog posts. Swimming is my inspiration.

As well as good for my physical health swimming is also good for my mental and social health. My incidental friends, many of whom I didn’t know their name, had just proved this. Incidental friends are people you meet along the way, they are people you interact with in a positive friendly way, maybe a conversation about the weather, or simply a hello or smile; you raise each other’s spirits and make the world feel a happier place.

This return to swimming, made me understand better some of the challenges my clients face. They often set themselves goals that they think they should set and take away actions they have seen others use believing it is what is best for them. What they need to do is understand what it is that works for them. This starts with being true to yourself and understanding what inspires you.

Just recently one client shared how they had come to realise they had previously associated exercise with losing weight. They always started well with their goals, but never achieved it. On reflection they have realised they actually enjoy some types of exercise, but not all. The association with weight loss had become the focus rather than enjoying the exercise. Also, the exercise they set themselves wasn’t what motivated them. The exercise they previously set themselves they didn’t enjoy; they set themselves these goals because that is what they thought they should do, because that is what many people around them did. By taking away the association with weight loss and sticking to the exercise they enjoy, they are completing their goals and having fun. It took time for them to realise the importance of following their own motivations and find their own inspiration.

We all need time for us, to reflect, learn and plan. What is right for one person is not always right for the next person. It is essential we understand our own personal needs and listen to our inner voice and values. This way we will learn what motivates us and how to reach the best outcome. For some this might be our favourite physical exercise, for other it might be time to read, time sitting in the garden, a walk along the beach, playing a musical instrument or listening to music. What it is isn’t important. What is important is that it works for you, providing you with the time you need to put life into perspective, to understand where you are, where you what to be and plan the steps to get you there. You need to find your inspiration. What motivates you to keep going and put in the hard work and commitment is what is important. Understanding ourselves is critical in enabling us to live a happy and fulfilling life.

At Baobab Growth we support you to understand you, what motivates you and connect with the values that drive you. We work with you to reach your full potential.  For more information on how we can support you info@baobabgrowth.com or visit www.baobabgrowth.com