My name is Andy Pocock. My life is dedicated to helping men and women pursue and live their authentic lives. These blogs are written as a fellow traveller having recently returned from a 40 day and 40 night immersion in solitude. I camped alone in a remote forest with no company except my 8 month old Labrador puppy named Hunter.
This “Forest Sabbatical” was taken to further develop my inner connection, my connection to nature, and my connection to God. The lessons that follow are my lessons learned or in some cases re-learned, that are helping me live my own authentic life. I trust that in them will be some principles or truths that will help you on your own journey.
Lesson 1: Inconvenient Risk
“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” — Joseph Campbell
I had been planning my 40-day Forest Retreat for some time, most of my gear was packed. The dates were set and then… STOP!!! A fairly routine doctors visit resulted in quite major surgery a week later. I certainly did not see that coming.
Recovery was predictably slow, the final check-in with the surgeon 6 weeks after surgery. What should I do? Abort the trip or go! The risks were now higher.
In addition to the normal risks, the health risk was now a complicating factor and the financial costs were escalating. I had not worked for 6 weeks, and now wanted to take a further 6 weeks off – to live in the forest… alone!
The time off in the forest was most definitely inconvenient. There was also building anxiety as the risks added up and the costs multiplied. But I could not escape this “deep gut knowing”, this intuition, that this was a necessary journey. I had an appointment with the forest, would I keep it?
I believe that every man and every woman have their own appointment with destiny! Essential journey’s that they must take! I also now know that taking that inevitable journey will be inconvenient, that there will be a cost. And then there is anxiety!! Fear and anxiety have one job – to keep us safe. Unfortunately, they usually “keep us small”.
Look around you, I guarantee you will see most people living convenient, small, safe lives. What a tragedy!!! So many people are going through the motions, but are not living their authentic lives. They are breathing, but they’re not ALIVE.
Well, I am pleased to report back that I went to the forest. The blogs that follow will illustrate how essential this journey has been for me, and I will share some of the lessons I’ve learned.
Today, I want to end by asking you a very simple question.
- Have you been avoiding a necessary journey?
- Is there something you know you should have done, or be doing, but keep putting it off? If the answer is yes, I want to remind you:
- Convenience is not a priority. Growth and personal development is the priority.
- Fear and anxiety are normal, and taking your authentic journey will require you to face these gremlins. There is no avoiding them!
As a fellow traveller, I wish you the very best as you take your authentic journey and look forward to sharing some “Forest Stories” with you.