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  • Sharon Castle

Wild spaces in Africa

As I write this I’m sitting overlooking a river in a wild space in Africa. Each year my husband and go on an adventure to a new place and explore an area we haven’t experienced before. Deciding to take a full 23 days off mid-year has become a regular thing for us for the past few years and it’s enriched my life in too many ways to explain.

The daily responsibilities of a business owner often come with a heavy price tag if there is no understanding of what it means to slow down in order to speed up. Stressing and straining about business just doesn’t appeal to me at all and as each year has us exploring new territory we’ve found that the less we stress about every little thing, the more the big things seem to happen effortlessly. Of course, things need to be put into place before we begin our journey and we do that trusting that as we play, we will be shown the way both in our fun and in our work.

Being responsible about life doesn’t have to mean being intense about life. From experience I’ve noticed that the lighter I am about things the less tense and serious I feel and this affects not just my business but my health, my wealth and my relationships. It’s not something I can easily explain but the more fun I have and the more I play the more fulfilled I feel and the more success I seem to have. It’s like my work has become my play and so what started as something I need to do changed into something I want to do and now it feels like something I love to do and so my work has become my joy and my mission.

Traversing difficult roads, crossing flowing rivers and navigating challenging paths day after day requires patience, calmness and a sense of adventure of what might lie on the other side, and we did this daily. Add to that, camping in a wild space with wild animals and no game fences and you have a recipe to create increased awareness and raised consciousness and I think that’s the thing that’s changed me the most. Call it ‘flow’ or being in the zone but something deeply primal stirs inside me once I surrender to the rawness of nature and just trust that what will be will be. A sense of peace washes over me and I feel the interconnectedness of all life.

I used to call these breaks my ‘mini-retirements’ but I no longer refer to these trips in the same way because I know that I will never retire – why would I when I can seamlessly move between my work and my play and feel the same sense of joy regardless of what I’m doing. Of course, it helps that I have a remarkable team to keep things flowing with the coaching academy and the non-profit I co-share with some amazing people, and when they take a break or go on an adventure, I will do the same for them. Like nature, it’s a beautiful symbiotic relationship and that’s what keeps me falling more deeply in love with life and the amazing people and community I find myself in.

Lao Tzu said it best:

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished”

Overlanding into wild spaces in Africa has confirmed for me that life has a natural flow and since I am “natural” and part of nature, I get to flow with life as much as every other aspect of nature does. I like it when good things happen and turn out well as much as anybody but not being attached to the outcome of my plans and desires often creates a playful curiosity about what wonderful thing might happen when I surrender to what’s in front of me and allow the natural flow of life to take place. Sometimes I forget this and react and resist the reality that’s in front of me but I’m enjoying noticing this more and when I do, I effortlessly slip back into the divine flow of life and somehow, it just all seems to work out.

I love this quote I heard from a friend recently, which originates in part from the Dalai Lama:

“If a problem is impossible to solve you worried for nothing. If it is solved you worried for nothing. Either way, you worried for nothing”

Does that sound too simplistic? I used to think so until I started adventuring into wild spaces and found myself missing out on the full experience because I was caught up with worrying about silly things I had no control over. These days, as worrying ceases, wonder increases and I come back from these glorious adventures inspired to share, create and yield to the divine flow of life.

I hope you find yourself on an adventure some time and wherever that takes you, even if it’s a walk in your neighbourhood, I hope you find yourself curious about what’s around the corner and feel inspired to find out.

“There is a river of joy flowing inside you. You need to find it, get in it, and drown” ~ Yogananda

All my love Sharon

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