I had the great fortune of recently spending the long weekend
tramping for three days, an epic adventure around the southern
circuit of the Mt Ruapehu round the mountain. Three days, three
fabulous friends. There was a lot of time for talking and laughing
and a lot of time for introspection and thinking.
As Tony Robbins says transformation comes when you change your
physical state. Tell you what, I sure changed my state. I'd never
carried more than a day pack before, never carried all my food and
cooking equipment - I thought I'd done pretty well getting it down
to 14kg (including the bladder of wine).
With a dash of inspiration from an incredible weekend, which
pushed me past any physical and mental limits I thought I had, I've
decided to something quite different with this blog today. I've
felt my vulnerability so intensely on the tramp I really didn't
know if I could complete my goal. I not only got there but also
felt complete euphoria for the following 32 hours! It's time I
opened my vulnerability up to you too.
Heart Ethical isn't the same as the big fabric houses - and most
likely I don't think it ever will be. It's taken me a long time to
realise, that this is actually one of its strengths. I create
new collections not from trends, but with what resonates with me
and I have the feeling, that if they're resonating with me, they'll
likely resonate with you too.
I don't bring out new collections several times a year, because
what I design is about longevity, not only of design, but also of
the quality of linen and quality of workmanship. I won't say it's
my baby, but I do tend to live and breathe it.
In the last few months I've had the clichéd unnerving experience
of joining the 40s club. The lead up to this was surprisingly full
of angst. I couldn't put my finger on it for many months. With time
it finally surfaced. I was facing a startling perspective change
and one that was coming whether I liked it or not. I tried to hide
behind, it's just a number, but it didn't work.
What I realised was that very gradually over the preceding few
years I'd become increasingly risk adverse, which isn't a
particularly helpful state when you are growing your own business.
I realised with clarity that I had to either grab life by the horns
again, or give up my ethical textile dream.
Come hell or high water, this dream is not ready to go quietly
into the night. There is a burning desire so strong that it's ready
to take fear on. So I sat down and decided that the next 12 months,
or what has become known as the year of the 40th, was
time to figuratively push the boat out. I made a list of
challenges, some small and some larger.
The common theme amongst all of my challenges is that I'm no
longer facing fear with battle in mind, but that I have accepted
that fear is actually a constant companion. This isn't a bad thing,
because a good amount of fear can stop you from doing some stupid
stuff. As Elizabeth Gilbert says in one of Marie Forleo's podcasts,
fear can sit in the back seat of the car on your journey, but it
can't choose the music, it can't look at the map and it can't
fiddle with any of the dials. It can only come along for the
This tramping weekend has been was one of my change-my-state
transformative weekends. There seemed to be a mountain of what-ifs
in front of me - what if I couldn't carry the pack, what if I
wasn't fit enough, what if I couldn't get up the hills, what if I
got off the track and got lost… fear was doing a bloody good
attempt at trying to grab that steering wheel.
With the support of a couple of fabulous girlfriends we tackled
the advanced and lesser-known southern circuit of the Round the
Mountain Track. The track follows the southern side of Mt Ruapehu,
covering extreme lahar warnings where you're not allowed to stop
walking through a massive ravine, a landscape that looks better
suited to the Lord of the Rings than to my own reality.
We sure had adventures. Sometimes my heart was in my mouth as I
repeated 'look straight ahead, look straight ahead', while I clung
to the side of shingley hill face with gusts of wind buffeting
about my ears. In a group of three we'd all peak and lull at
different times, encouraging each other on from the front, while
the tail end Charlie got their trudge on.
That old, just keep going, one foot in front the other, never
fails to bring success. You soar with the peaks and just push
through those lulls. Funny how a little walk around a mountain can
make life seem so simple in an instant.