One of the beautiful things about island life that I am extremely grateful for is the ability to hop into the ocean and go for a swim. It isn’t too cold, and there are no scary creatures swimming around in the sea (big or small). Some time ago, I went for a swim and I ran into a colleague, and we got to talking about the things we learned as we became more experienced in our field, and came to discussing how important it is sometimes to just walk away. It actually made me think about the lessons I have learned and how sometimes they seem to contradict one another. I learned how to say yes, but also to say no. Also how to persevere, but also how to walk away. Today is about walking away.
And to be clear – when I speak about walking away I really am referring to walking away when something isn’t serving you, when your intuition warns you that something isn’t right, when your peace of mind is in jeopardy. And it could be walking away from a job; a friendship or relationship; a client or potential client; an investment opportunity. For each person, this is a personal decision as only you will be able to decide when walking away is the right thing to do. But somehow when I was younger, I was a strong believer in perseverance and its relationship to strength and strength of character. I never believed in walking away from a challenge, or a task unfinished. Over time, I have become more discerning about protecting my sanity and peace of mind, and accepting that there are some things that are not worth pursuing. (and that included my ability to walk away from unfinished books and movies!)
Now I should point out here that some of the most fantastic things that I have achieved in life have been done through sheer perseverance. However, it was a far bigger lesson for me to learn that it was ok to walk away sometimes. And you could be walking away to something bigger and better, something that would allow you to grow if the current situation isn’t allowing that. Or you could simply walk away to peace of mind, if negativity and lack of respect isn’t serving you. And that while it may be in your best interest to walk away without burning bridges, you cannot control how someone reacts to your walking away, you can only strive to do it with your own grace and dignity intact. In addition – I once heard JJ Virgin say – “if you want to take the island, you have to burn all the boats”. Sometimes you need to cut the cord tying you to the ground in order to be able to fly.
It takes courage to walk away – it is not a sign of weakness. It takes discernment and willpower to move away from something that may be comfortable even when it is no longer serving you. Sometimes it is OK to quit. And one of my favourite quotes popped into my Facebook memories today by Joseph Campbell - "We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.".
I send you big love from a small island
PS contrary to popular belief (and despite what I said earlier) some of the beaches in Barbados are not safe for swimmers, especially on the East Coast where there are rocks, cliffs and choppy waves. Above is a picture of a beach on the Eastern side of the island. So if you are visiting and you see this rock - don't go swimming!