Making the Connection

Before I started this project, all my best ‘big thoughts’ and light bulb moments arrived during my long Sunday runs. I think it was something to do with the repetitive, rhythmic and ‘mindless’ nature of the beast. The right hypnotic conditions were present for my unconscious mind to talk to me direct, mano a mano.

Since the long Sunday runs no longer exist, my unconscious mind has been finding new ways to get its foot in the door. My dreams are changing: there are new dreamscapes for me to explore. My twice-weekly recovery swims are full of whispers from ‘the other side’ (although, when the pool is busy, the whisper becomes inaudible as I have to focus so much on avoiding collisions!). Today while I was between hill reps (this is a very short recovery interval of about 45 seconds), my unconscious mind decided it would have to keep with the programme and use the short downtime to have a wee chat 😉 .

‘Do you know what’s really in it for you?’ it asked. I was too busy catching my breath to answer, but I was keen to listen: it had my attention because it was a ‘surprise attack’ .  I’m now used to the ‘flow voice’, encouraging me to keep going or to push. I’m used to the ‘direct command’. What I’m not used to (during a sprint session) is the conversational approach that I usually associate with my long run.

‘Connection is in it for you. And you’re learning something, but you don’t know what it is yet,’ it said. I turned and ran another repetition, so hard that I could only hear my heart beating – everything else went quiet, including the chat-voice of my unconscious mind.

On my recovery jog I expected to hear the voice again, but I didn’t. Instead I began to think about in how many different ways #OldDogNewTricks is helping me to connect at a deep, joyful and honest level with all sorts of people from all walks of life. I’m really enjoying meeting (face to actual face, old skool style!) people who are passionate about what they do, who are inspiring to be around and from whom I can learn all sorts of things. I’m really enjoying honouring my own instinct to reach out and connect in my own way.

As for the learning? I love following the threads of enquiry that my reading is throwing up. Matt Fitzgerald’s How Bad Do You Want It? had such an impact on me that I wrote to him to let him know. He wrote back! It was lovely to experience that moment of connection 🙂 .

I’ve also joined an online community of active women who are exploring sports nutrition and performance – and, as a result, I’m experimenting with a whole new range of ideas and concepts to support my sprinting and powerlifting adventures. I’m learning from the CrossFit coaches and from other athletes at my box (gym). And I’m learning more about my own edges, beliefs and drivers: I feel I’m getting closer to the core of myself. I’m learning all this,and more, but I don’t think that’s THE learning. Even typing this blog, I can sense something really big … it’s close … but I can’t see it yet. The hairs are standing on end on my arms …

Whatever it is that’s driving the energy for my adventures, I’m getting closer to it – and I think it’s letting me get closer. I think that’s an important distinction: it’s letting me. I think it may have been waiting for me for a while now 😉 . I’ll keep you posted as I discover more.

In the meantime, I’m just going outside and may be some time.

JT 🙂

Upping my Game!

In today’s video-blog I share some of things I’m doing to improve my performance and optimise my adventure experiences! In the video I

  • Talk about my recent musical theatre exam and the notion of ‘faking it’.
  • Review 3 books: The Rise of Superman (Kotler), Over the Edge (Bane) and How Bad Do You Want It? (Fitzgerald).
  • Talk about my current experiment with the sports supplement, creatine monohydrate.

Below the video you’ll find details of the books I mention (click on the cover image and it’ll take you straight to Amazon) and The Rise of Superman YouTube video. You can find out more about creatine monohydrate here and here. 






I’m just going outside and may be some time 🙂 (Oh, and if you missed the beginning of my #OldDogNewTricks adventure series, you can read more about what I’m up to here. )


Another Adventure Begins!

So, remember I went to Belfast last Friday to meet the editors at a publishing house? Well, yesterday I got the call, and it was a “Yes”! The aim will be for a collection of my stories to be published in October, so the next few months are going to be very exciting 🙂 .

Today I applied to joined The Society Of Authors . The brilliant thing about this organisation is that it supports authors in a variety of ways (including offering help with reviewing contracts).

I feel at the start of something very auspicious. A whole new road lies ahead, and I’m itching to get my adventure boots on and to start walking.

I’ll keep you posted.

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 365 ~ Offer A Hogmanay Gift To The Faeries

winter faerie thornWell, it’s here : it’s the final day of my 365 Days Of Adventure project, and I can hardly believe it!

There were so many adventure choices today, but I didn’t hesitate in making a decision to go to visit the faeries at the faerie thorn tree on the farm.

My faerie-hunting adventure in the summer opened up a series of adventures that I would never have imagined myself doing on January 1st this year. Thanks to that adventure, I’ve written two faerie stories … and those stories have brought me closer to the possibility of a publishing deal! (I should hear in mid-January whether the publisher intends to acquire the rights 🙂 )

Since writing my second story, I’ve not slept very well at all. My dreams are full of new storylines – and I’m certain that the faeries have more than a little something to do with that 😛 .

For today’s adventure, I went to the tree and left the faeries the gift of a small bottle of Bushmills whisky.

I’m going to let my experiences settle for a while before drawing out the key learnings and insights, but one thing is for sure : it’s been a life-changing experience.

Thanks so much for your company this last 365 days. I’ve really appreciated all of you who have been following my blog or watching my videos on YouTube : I’m sure our paths will cross again.

(Oh – it was REALLY windy today, so that sound quality isn’t that great. I’m sure you’ll get the gist though!)

In the meantime, I am going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 364 ~ Get Stuff Done

For today’s adventure, I got stuff done : not just any stuff, but the stuff I’d normally avoid like the plague!

Today I paid bills. Today I started work on my tax return (shocker, right?). Today I did some housework 🙂 .

My daily adventures seem to have conditioned action and momentum – and reduced resistance. I am so used to doing stuff on a daily basis, that ALL stuff – ANY stuff – gets done now. And I’m not resisting the stuff I usually don’t like doing. I’m just doing it.

Now, this is good. This is brilliant. This is going to take me places in 2015!

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 363 ~ Read The First Edition Of The Folk And Fairy Tales Of The Brothers Grimm

For Christmas this year, I gifted myself a copy of the first edition Grimms’ kinder- und Hausmärchen [1812-1815], and, for today’s adventure, I’ve spent some time reading it.

If you’re a fan of the Brothers Grimm, it’s likely that the version of the stories you know and love come from the seventh edition of this collection of folk and fairy tales – and not the first.

An American scholar by the name of Jack Zipes set about translating and editing the first edition – and it’s a fascinating read! In the first edition, the Brothers Grimm tried to remain as faithful as they could to the original stories. This means that there are often notable difference between the tales we know today and the originals.

Many of the tales in the first edition don’t shy away from reality. Some are gruesome and almost Kafkaesque. The baddy is not the stepmother – rather the mother. What our childhood memory insists are very long tales are often only  paragraph or two long. Oh – and Rapunzel … well she had a “merry time” with the prince and got herself pregnant!

In the introduction, Jack Zipes does not shy away from giving credit to the Brothers Grimm for prettying up the stories. They are undoubtedly great craftsmen. However, it is also clear that the later tellings bow to the cultural and social pressures of the day.

I like the rawness of the first edition and I like the fact that there isn’t always a happy ending. For me – that is life – and that is how I like to write my stories too. Today’s adventure has helped me to add to the simmering pot of storylines I have on the cooker – and added to a sense of kinship with the people who told those original tales … not the sanitised ones.

You can find The Complete First Edition ~ The Original Folk And Fairy Tales Of The Brothers Grimm on Amazon here.

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 362 ~ Create A Survey Using SurveyMonkey

After yesterday’s business planning adventure, I was feeling rather smug and organised until I realised that it was all very well having a delivery plan from a whole new range of products and services, but what if no-one wanted these new products and services?

This realisation (ie. that just because I think that my products and services are brilliant doesn’t mean that my customers do!) nudged me into today’s adventure : to create an on-line survey for my business.

I think this probably counts as the most sensible adventure of the year. It took a while to get the hang of SurveyMonkey, but it’s free and very professional looking. I’ve devised 10 questions (mostly multiple choice) to get some honest feedback about what I’m offering in 2015. I’m going to send this survey out in a newsletter to my mailing list on Friday.

I think this information is going to be vital!

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 361 ~ Work Through A Year Planner For 2015

For today’s adventure, I had a go at working through a planning process for 2015. I used a workbook I had gifted myself for Christmas : it covered my life in general and my business.

It took me several hours to work through the process, and I have to admit that much of it did not resonate with me at all (and it felt very constricting too). However, the business planning process was enlightening (although, again, I felt  “squeezed” whilst I was doing it!)

2014 has felt like a very expansive and opening year ; my only plan was to have an adventure every single day. And that loose plan has brought untold gifts and rewards. I think that it has really put me back in touch with my deepest desires and talents. I am keen to respect the outcomes of this year – and I intend to follow the threads of adventure that have brought me the most (writing is one of those threads and – it surprises me to be writing this, let me tell you! – technology 😛 . Webinars have been fun to do, and in 2015, I’m going to have a go at podcasting and making some digital products!)

For 2015, my business is going to be changing and I think the planning process in the workbook has helped me to concretise what those changes might look like, how much work will be involved, and what the financial rewards might look like. Going through the process also made me think that it might be quite useful to survey my client-base – especially since I am going to be making some big changes!

I talk more about today’s adventure in this video-blog :

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 360 ~ Learn Old English Greetings

Be Well! In Old EnglishWith only 6 days of my 365 Days Of Adventure remaining, I really want to make the most of every opportunity!

For today’s adventure, I took my very first lesson in Old English (Anglo Saxon) and it was a lot of fun 🙂 . I studied both German and Old Norse at university, and there are huge similarities between these languages and Old English.

Today’s taster session was enough to get me interested in taking my studies further. (And, I think it will help my storytelling too!)

In today’s video you can watch me speaking my very first words in Old English!

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 359 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 25]

Well, we made it! 25 verses in 25 days :). Today is the last day of our collaborative poetry project, and the baton is in my hands.

Under normal renga rules, today’s verse should be a 5-7-5 on autumn (to comply with the continuity rules). However, as it’s the last verse of our poem, we’ve decided to bend the rules and bring the renga full circle,back to winter.

Here’s what I came up with :

The Holly King falls,
bound by age-old promises :
axial tilting

The “Holly King” is my kigo phrase for winter : this king rules until 21st December, falling at the winter solstice. I show continuity by echoing the “yielding” of Mabon in the Holly King’s fall ~ the Holly King yields to the Oak King and to the return of longer days.

The first phrase (12 syllables) refers to the bi-annual “fight” between the Holly King (waning year) and the Oak King (waxing year). The two solstices are always kept promises : the Oak King always wins in December, and the Holly King always wins in June.

After the cutting point, there is both a contrast in imagery AND a thread of connection. The image of a king falling is contrasted with (and connected to) the image of the earth tilting. It is through the phenomenon of axial tilting that we get our seasons.

You can watch the final episode of The Big Renga Round-Up here :

So what’s next? (Good question 😛 )

I am just going outside and may be some time.