Samhain has just passed.
Many Irish people will be aware of the ancient, pagan festival that is likely to have played a significant role in the development of the annual event that we now celebrate in Halloween. However, not everyone will be aware of the sheer significance that the event held for our Celtic ancestors.
A lot has been disputed about Samhain, but one thing that is unanimously agreed upon is that it was most definitely used to signify the end of the summer harvest period and the beginning of winter for the Celts. It may even have been a celebration of the end of the celtic year and the beginning of the new one. One thing that we can most certainly take from that is that it was the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.
How appropriate that as we approach the end of the calendar year, I’m sitting, waiting for my new chapter in Australia to begin, as well as a new chapter of growth and change for Petey Performance.
It was my therapist who brought this coincidence to mind for me, when I met her last Wednesday, at the beginning of the new celtic year, for what would seem to be, our final session.
As she rambled on in our chit chat pre-session, about the significance of the festival and the traditions that are closely attached to it, I couldn’t help but let a smirk stretch across my face at the seemed “coincidence” with what I was feeling and the topic of conversation she had picked to break the ice in that session.
She spoke about how her daughter had outlined to her the previous evening that the Celts had observed and honoured the importance of letting go of, but remembering the past, in order to leave space for the beginning of something new. I instantly burst out laughing at this statement for obvious reasons, before informing her of the many steps that I had just taken in advance of an impending move to the other side of the world.
I’d said no to a couple of huge opportunities in my professional life. I had closed the book on a huge chapter of my life and my professional development with Thomas Davis GAA club. I had said goodbye to many, many relationships that had been watered and grown out in the clubhouse in Tallaght. Those athlete-coach relationships had seemed to seamlessly transition into more significant friendships in the few weeks post-season. And I had made the decision to say no to any club, county or team affiliations for the immediate future as I transitioned the entire business of Petey Performance online and into the private space.
In direct parallel with this transition, I have seen outstanding growth in our social media, engagement, number of clients and revenue, which will hopefully be a sign of more to come in the future. It would seem as though the decision that I have made may well be the right one. It may help me to reach and help more people, whilst simultaneously giving more attention to the parts of my life that I have neglected over the last few years.
However, what I was not prepared for, was the newfound free-time that I have been presented with as a result of this space. No longer am I coaching in person 5-6 days a week, which has left me with an uncomfortable amount of space in my calendar at the moment. But maybe that uncomfortable feeling that I’ve been feeling as a result of not having a vehicle to push forward and seek personal growth is necessary. Maybe I have to get better at just sitting, being present and not continually worrying about the future in a positive but negative feedback loop of self-development.
The space that I am currently so uncomfortable with, will inevitably be filled with something in time. I don’t know what it will be right now, but I don’t think that’s important. I think what’s most important is that I have finally opened myself up to experiencing that space as a result of saying no to some things that may have kept me running on the hamster wheel of life. I think at this metaphorical crossroads that I’m at, I could’ve went either way, but I think that the route that I’ve chosen will likely be the one that may lead to more necessary self-development, than the one that would’ve been perceived as the next rung on the ladder of career success.
It’s the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one.
But only through letting go of one way of life and the expectations of what we would like to happen in the future, can we fully be present and able to experience the glory of uncertainty and a new chapter.
That’s what I’m going to try to do.