Have you ever felt like you want to break free?
Do you ever feel like you’re behind bars looking out at the world passing you by and you’re stuck inside a little room that is squeezing the life out of you?
A few years ago, Michele and I took the kids to the Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn, here in South Africa. If you haven’t yet done some caving and you like the adventurous feeling of climbing through tight, restricted tunnels and passages at weird and wonderful angles, give this one a try!
If, however, you’re a tad claustrophobic like I am, maybe you’d better wait outside and sip on some tea while the rest of your family venture underground because it’s what I should have done, but didn’t do, and it wasn’t pretty!
So off Michele, Nathan and Tegan go to explore the more advanced tour where places like ‘The Postbox’ and the ‘The Chimney’ are encountered. Just the names alone were enough to put me off but when I saw the photo of someone sliding through The Chimney with a grimace on his face ( it must have been a grimace, I mean, who smiles while doing something like this ), I knew it wasn’t for me!
Anyway, I decided to sit in the coffee shop but after 5 minutes I was bored stiff and decided I’d join the shorter tour through the other chambers that are not as narrow.
It all started out just fine but I have to tell you, it was a very humid day and I was in a group of what felt like a 100 people as we moved into chamber one. It was massive and although I could feel my chest tightening a tad, I wasn’t concerned at all….at this stage.
Fast forward a few chambers and narrower walkways, and we were heading in single file toward the Bridal Chamber when all of a sudden, for the first time in my life, I felt like I was having a panic attack!
My pulse was racing, my legs were like jelly and I started sweating profusely. I remember thinking to myself, “What the flip is happening to you Sean? You don’t panic so pull yourself toward yourself!”
Easier said than done they often say…..
I took my cellphone out to get some light (before the days of the torch app, just the light from the screen helped a little) but by the time I had reached the bridal chamber I wasn’t excited to celebrate any wedding, all I knew was that I just had to get outside and get some fresh air, fast!
Houston, we have a problem….
The head guide advised me that the two of them had to stay with the group but that I was more than welcome to head back on my own.
Yay, I was free…… or was I???
I waited for the group to head into the next passage on route to the Drum room that I had been into a few years before, and then I started walking, rather swiftly, back toward the entrance.
Here’s the thing, have you ever been a passenger in a car on the way to a venue and you’re having a good time, chatting away, and although the driver knew exactly where you were heading, you had no cooking clue where you were and how you got there!
Meet Sean Willard, down under, lost and lonely! 🙂
O my word, when you remove the Guides, the crowds and the torches, you suddenly realise just how dark it is down there and my chest was getting tighter and tighter as I weaved my way through passages hoping I was heading in the right direction.
Suddenly, to my great relief, I heard some voices in the distance and caught some flashes of light. I was about to enter the first chamber where the following group where starting their tour. Yay, or not…..:)
As I came around the corner and could see the group in the distance, they turned off the lights to allow the group to experience what it was like for that first cave adventurer to have ventured into the chamber without any light!!
I couldn’t believe how desperate I had become to find fresh air and find it fast!
I saw beyond the group, the faintest of lights shining in from the entrance and all of a sudden I became Usain Bolt doing the 100m sprint!! 🙂
I must have looked pretty funny to the group in that Chamber but do you think I cared one iota? Never! I burst out into the fresh air and spent the next 10 minutes giving thanks that I lived above ground and not below!
My wife and kiddo’s casually walked up after having circumvented much tighter spaces than me with huge smiles on their faces.
I was smiling too, I was FREE!
All I knew is that from that day on, I wanted to be free and that meant fresh air!
What about you…..
Right now, you may be feeling like I did in those caves except your cave could be your relationship, your job, your health or your finances?
Everyone else is looking cool and some are even risking more adventurous paths than you right now but all you want to do is ‘scream, shout and let it all out’!!
Being stuck, feeling squeezed inside a tunnel of life, is NOT pretty and can leave you breathless.
The good news is, there are tour guides ( we call them coaches), who will help you not only find your way out, but also help you process the journey forward to find what Really breathes life into your lungs as well as stamina and strength into your steps.
These coaches, Life Coaches, are invaluable on your Life journey. They may have a group of people on a Life adventure, but they are trained to help each person find their voice, their story, their purpose and walk that path with gusto.
We have a group, our Inner Circle group, and I share leadership and life with this group. Check it out!
If you prefer one on one coaching, please contact me. My schedule is pretty full currently but connect to see when we can arrange an intro call.
What if your life coach can help you look in and discover your Authentic voice and also help you look out to use that voice to live an Inspired life?
I look forward to our tour together!
Your Tour Guide and Coach,
Speaker , Coach and Author