I picked up one of the 5 printed books I have left of my book and started to read it again this week, my son asked me why I would read my own book. I told him because I had forgotten what I wrote and actually its quite good… So I was wondering if I should print some more for New Zealand, have a read of an excerpt from the book, pass it on to your mates and leave a comment…..
“This is a book about a journey – a journey out of the familiar, often uncomfortable place called Here…to There, a place where we often only go in our dreams. It’s a journey I have been on for the last ten years and one which I would like to take you on, if you’ll allow yourself to look up from your present circumstances and consider the possibilities that lie before you.
My journey began with a dissatisfaction with ‘where I was’ and a conviction that there had to be more to life than this. Setting out on my journey to follow my dreams, I had little idea of the nature of the territory that lay before me and how sometimes my There would be like a mirage in the desert – always around the next sand dune. But the process strengthened me, taught me what it takes to reach my destination, and gave me a burning passion to encourage others on the same road.
As I journeyed, I learned what paths to take through the wilderness, what maps to consult and what tools to use to keep myself on course. In the process I went from being directionless and clueless to being hopeful and then focused – and if I can do it, so can you. The aim of this book is to encourage you to take the journey because you are worth it, and you have GREATNESS inside you even if you don’t think so.
Establishing where you are and where you would like to go is the start of the journey. This is the easiest part. It’s in the land between Here and There where we normally get stuck (or come unstuck!) or get lost and want to give up. My hope is that this book will give you the insight and the tools you need to navigate successfully through to the other side.
What gives me the right to help you with this journey? Well, I have walked it myself and continue to walk it. My story is not extraordinary; I am a very ordinary person with a very ordinary life. People often call me brave, confident and adventurous, but I am not really. I just found my PATHS and acknowledged my passion, and this unlocked my purpose – to encourage and equip others to do the same. The result is a life that is full of adventure and achievements I didn’t even think were possible.
Join me in the adventure of a lifetime!
In 2005 I had my “annus horribilis”1. It started off as a great year, with a dream- come-true trip to Dublin, Ireland with my husband. It slowly unravelled from there with wave upon wave of personal tragedy and disappointment. These ‘events’ weren’t as devastating as those many others have had to face, but to me they were no less challenging. To complicate things, it wasn’t the circumstances I faced that were the problem, but rather the state I was in – and I wasn’t able to withstand the storms because of it.
Maybe it’s because I was so desperate, maybe it’s because of the way I’m wired, but that crisis made me take a good, hard look at my life and I realised that I was on auto-pilot. I was wandering around and around, creating a well-worn path on the outskirts of a life that was designed for so much more. Every day I’d been growing increasingly miserable as I wore that rut deeper and deeper…and when each wave of unexpected circumstance hit me, it created a moat in which I was literally drowning.
One day while at my corporate job, I suddenly started to cry and I realised that the dam wall, which I’d been patching up for ages, had burst. I headed for the ladies’ and into a little cubicle to try to pull myself together, but I couldn’t. The force of my pent-up emotion was pushing down the façades, and now there was no holding it back.
After months of feeling as if I was drowning, all the emotion and litres of tears flowed for what seemed like hours. Standing there, I held onto each side of the toilet cubicle and let out a silent scream. Then I cried out for help. I had come to the end of myself and I didn’t know what to do next….
Suddenly I was flooded with peace as I felt strong arms pulling me from those deep waters, holding me close, then placing me in a wide open space. I now knew what I needed to do. The answer was a whisper, but it was filled with hope.
This was the start of my journey – one that has taken ten years and which still has a way to go. But now I am at a vantage point in the journey where I can look back and see the layout of the land as it were, and I long to share with others the lessons I have learned along the way.
1 A Latin phrase for “horrible year”. 7
After that game-changing encounter in the toilet cubicle, something literally shifted inside me. No more was I going to be a victim to my circumstances; no more was I going to be moved and swayed by every little wind, wave or storm that came my way. I saw a path that seemed to lead up a mountain and there was a glint of something glorious and wonderful in the future that seemed to beckon me.
I was set for a journey that would be exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. Each small step I took required courage and often was met with some resistance. I sometimes slipped and fell, feeling as if I was climbing two steps and sliding down five, muddy, bloody, but free with every step of the way.
When it all got too much I would go to Psalm 18 and read it out loud, imagining myself as the one crying out to God while “the cords or bands of death surrounded me, and the streams of ungodliness and the torrents of ruin terrified me”. (Does that sound familiar? The fear and anxiety that feel like cords wrapped around your chest, the ‘overwhelm’ that makes you feel as if you’re being pulled under a torrent?)
I could so relate to verse 6: “In my distress [when seemingly closed in] I called upon the Lord and cried to my God; He heard my voice…”
I love the next few verses which describe how my powerful protector, Father God himself, comes hurtling down from heaven – breathing fire from his nostrils and shooting arrows and lightning bolts – to rescue his child.
Then my favourite part: “He reached from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me… He brought me forth also into a large place; He was delivering me because he was pleased with me and delighted in me.”
I can just see the Father holding his dripping, rescued child and bringing him into an open space to recover. Psalm 18 is still my go-to psalm when I am pressed in on all sides, when fear and anxiety threaten to engulf me. I picture this lovely, strong, fierce Father coming to the rescue, scattering the obstacles in His way and rescuing me to place me in a safe, open space to recover and get back on my feet.”