When You Are Ready, Follow the Waterlilies

Wow, what a wonderful spontaneous day I have had today, that helped me to relax and recharge.

I had planned to go for a walk along the Yarra River in Melbourne this morning (weather permitting), when my wonderful friend (who until her recent retirement, was my supervisor) asked on Friday evening how my Bravery Trek challenge was going, and that she would join me for one of my walks over the weekend. I have signed up to walk 114kms by10 Nov 22 to help raise funds to support Australian military personnel who have been injured during military service.

After meeting under ‘the clocks’ at Flinders Street station (apparently it is THE meeting place for people in Melbourne), we headed off for our riverbank walk, commenting on how high the river was, and how quickly it was flowing after all of the recent heavy rain we have been having.

Being out in the sun walking and chatting was a truly uplifting experience. Having a walking buddy, really helped me to stay motivated and take the challenge to a whole other level of satisfaction. I truly appreciate my friend’s support

We both have been wanting to see ‘The Lume’s Monet & Friends’ exhibition, and whilst we walked past two new boats being christened, we commented that neither of us were sure if the exhibition had actually opened yet.

Well, our question was answered for us. As we prepared to head towards my favourite brunch spot in Melbourne, a massive sign at the exhibition centre caught our attention – that’s right, the Monet exhibition was open today.

With no need to persuade each other, we headed off to visit Monet and his friends, and what an amazing decision it was from the moment we stood on “Monet’s” bridge to being told by one of the attendants “When you are ready, follow the waterlilies”, I was drawn into another world.

Monet is one of my favourite artists, and I love the impressionist movement (when I was still a primary school teacher, a couple of times I turned one corner of the class wet area into Monet’s waterlily garden!)

How can I describe how divine my afternoon was spent, relaxing in an immersive experience for all of the senses, sitting at a ‘Parisian Cafe’ sipping on cocktails, coffee and nibbling an exquisite cheese platter? Not to mention having the opportunity of a free ‘have a go’ drawing Monet’s waterlily garden activity (note to self: It is best trying to draw bridges and waterlily gardens before drinking cocktails!! 😉)

Being fully immersed in this experience, drawing on all the senses had me thinking of the power of whole brain decision making for career exploration. As I was explaining this to my friend, using my future plans of being in Europe as an example, she could see how animated I became, and how full of hope and optimism I am for my future. She has been a great sounding board and one of my pillars of support who I trust throughout this year. As my former supervisor, she ensured I had the time I needed and organised flexible work arrangements, so that I could travel to Sydney for my mother’s funeral and working remotely if I needed to afterwards.

Over lunch we talked about how you never know what is going on in another person’s life and the importance of giving people a chance by keeping doors open, and giving the space they sometimes need. We talked about how my motto for 2022: ‘2022 – my year of getting comfortable being uncomfortable’ has evolved since my mother’s passing, and in particular over the last month or so, into:

“Be Brave & Be Bold”

Being brave and bold in terms of my future, is picking up my plans I shelved whilst I healed physically and emotionally this year. I am now at the point where I am actively making plans for

“2023 – The Year of Making Things Happen”

As for my Bravery Trek Challenge?

All in all, today I walked 8.8 kms for my Bravery Trek Challenge

In total, since Monday afternoon, I have walked 63 kms of my 114 km goal. Or another way of looking at it is, that I have walked from North to South Sydney heads during my virtual walk, and am now on the return leg of the walk. All in only 7 days!

Whilst visiting the Monet exhibition, I was reminded of a 10-minute mindfulness activity I shared previously on LinkedIn and another post during our 2020 lockdowns, tapping into the impressionist style. I have copied this activity below from my previous post, in case you might like to try it

10-minute Impressionist style mindfulness activity.


* 5 minutes to get the ‘foliage’ drawn on all 3 different card stock (oil pastels were used).

* 5 additional minutes to get paint onto the background (start with the darker colour then blend white over the top).

The aim of this activity is to be present in the moment, feeling for example how the pastels etc glide differently across different textures, creating movement on the page

This activity isn’t about being an accomplished artist (at best I just put splodges on a page 😊), but more about letting go of insecurities and truly engaging in the moment.

I hope you find this activity interesting and helpful. Feel free to leave a comment, if you would like more tips for career exploration and looking after your wellbeing

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