Reflections on The Journey

Ten days after completing The Journey I still feel as if I’m walking on air. I feel so much lighter and more outward-focused after months of introspection and an all-encompassing feeling of heaviness that kept me trapped in a seemingly safe bubble of protective behaviour patterns.

Now I’m excited about the future and have full trust in my own abilities to find a way forward that will enable me to create a future in the things I’m passionate about. The Journey was tough; it took me to the bottom of my self-pity pool, it shone a stark spotlight on my limiting coping mechanisms and I got to see myself fully through other people’s eyes. I got to see how people thought highly of my survival instinct and fighting spirit that had got me through an abusive childhood and then numerous health and relationship dramas in adult life, but also how I was prone to want to destroy their positive perceptions of me by throwing grenades into situations to bring myself down to the position I thought I was worth.

The Journey took me through a minefield that I ran through carefully yet fearlessly and then it gave me the opportunity to reframe and rebuild – just like a phoenix from the ashes. I can’t thank the creators of the programme enough for their thorough understanding of the strength of the human spirit meaning the programme was designed as an invitation for each of us to take what we wanted from it, to examine our lives from the point we needed to and to do what we felt was vital to us to see there was a positive way forward. I came out knowing I was a confident and loving person who had true agency in my opportunity to be the change in my own life and on my imprint on the fate of this beautiful planet.

We were held by the facilitators and the back row so lovingly and supportively that we had the safety to explore ourselves and our scars and foibles without judgement or shame. I truly believe this to be the greatest gift and thank Embercombe for the wonderful opportunity to find myself and recognise myself as the worthy and capable person I was born to be.

Embercombe Volunteer and Phoenix