There are seven days in the week.
Seven colours make up the rainbow.
Hermeticism, an ancient system explaining the nature of reality, is based on seven key principles.
The Christian Bible's Genesis story tells of how God created the world in seven days.
In his poem Seven Ages of Man, Shakespeare tells of the seven acts a man will play out as he navigates his life.
There are seven continents, seven seas, seven (natural) musical notes and seven sins and virtues.
Seven chakras form the basis of our human body energy system, and Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses on seven emotions.
Are you in awe of the mystery too?!
Seven years ago today, I made a choice to get on a plane in Adelaide, South Australia, and move to the other side of the world where I planned to live for two years. Since then, it's as if every year has presented to me a new Rite of Passage. A new challenge to overcome, as well as a new opportunity to embrace.
Seven years later, it's been pretty humbling to go back and review how my life has been lived over this time.
Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard said “Life can only be understood by looking backward; but it must be lived looking forward”, and I think he was pretty on point.
My last seven years were profoundly impacted by that one choice I made. A choice which some might say took a lot of courage, but I'd prefer to say resulted in a lot of courage.
(I'd suggest it took more ignorance! ...#noregrets)
The number seven represents completion, balance, wisdom and understanding, which I think well-reflects the things I've gathered along my way, in some form or another.
Here are some fun anecdotes from seven years living in Amsterdam...
I arrived in the spring, tulips full bloom. I got connected to a local artist community and started sketching again.
Me feeling like a real artist wandering around the city with my sketchbook.
I got introduced to some new buddies from this part of the world, namely bitterballen and Belgian beer (as well as some friends of the sentient variety). I unceremoniously fell off my bike on the way to work one morning and had to wear trousers for three weeks because I completely busted up my knees (and my new work phone... uuurggh!). I worked on projects in Paris and London and Stockholm and Copenhagen and Brussels and Budapest and Warsaw and Nottingham (that's where Robin Hood comes from, FYI).
The Eiffel Tower looking incredibly romantic as I gazed out of my office window in the middle of a 16-hour work day.
I got rescued by a French metro driver when I got lost in the Paris underground. He's since become a pilot and we're still connected. I saw snow for the first time. I "bagged a Munro" in Scotland (during a trip to attend a Scottish wedding where I joined in the delight of ceilidh dancing). I visited museums and cruised canals and joined a running club where I made more new friends while I trained to run some half marathons (and one full one) around Europe. I secretly became a clinical hypnotherapist.
Receiving my hypnotherapy certification in London from Marisa Peer.
I ended a career and started a business and committed deeply to studying the human condition (still in awe of the mystery).
I learned to love winter dipping at ~2C and took an ice bath with the Ice Man himself, Wim Hof. I saw Ludovico Einaudi play live in concert, and attended a digital music festival. I spent a month living in Spain. ...a lot has happened for me in these last years. And almost all of it was dependent on that one choice. Your life too can shift in a moment. In a single choice. It really can. But the openness to say yes to what you really want, that can take being ready. The issue with waiting until you're ready before you act is that your mind is going to be busy creating all of the reasons for being not ready. Some of us have a YES inside of us that is just waiting for the presence of a compassionate witness to ease the mind, and to help that YES rise up inside of us, so that we can claim it. If you're moved by the idea of courage as a result rather than a prerequisite, then it might be time for us to have a conversation. I'd be glad to hearing what's calling to you currently.
Not yet subscribed? Click the image below to make sure my latest personal development perspectives are arriving in your inbox.