Connection Kuel Category Expert: Kay Newton
Decluttering, a word most people dislike, yet sometimes beneath the trash, you find gold. Looking through my written work, sending hundreds of pages to the computer bin, I came across part of my personal story. Wrote in 2015 and since that day, wherever I go is Frank, old blue eyes. It’s NOT what you think….let me explain.
“Laughter sure is the best medicine.”
In April 2015, I used my home in Mallorca, to facilitate and run a ladies’ retreat. I knew what I wanted from the weekend and entitled it Ditch The Baggage – letting go of everything in your life that no longer serves a purpose. To go back to basics; healthy Mediterranean food, exercise, Me-Time and to move stuck energies to find new ways forward.
As well as journals and gifts of my books, I also included simple homemade toiletries. No-one was allowed to bring more than hand luggage!
I planned a walk in the beautiful Tramuntana mountains of Mallorca, a visit to the Sanctuary at Lluc and a walk around the Sunday market of Pollença town. Local ladies visited with makeup, beauty advice and to give massages. We even had time to sit by the pool and journal and one-on-one personal development coaching sessions.
Mostly we laughed and laughed. Those belly type laughs where tears run down your face, and your ribs ache for hours after. Laughter sure is the best medicine.
At the time, I did not know I would be ditching my whole life! Letting go of most things in the following months; my home, valued possessions, friends, family, in fact, the lifestyle I had known and loved for 30 years. Yet by doing so, I was about to gain so much.
Finding Your Spirit Animal:
“Shamans believe that everything alive carries power and wisdom”
On the first evening of the retreat, we sat and chatted about our expectations for the weekend. One of the ladies talked about her spirit animal and how it had guided her through the past years. She offered to facilitate a Shamanic meditation session so that we could meet our guides.
Shamans believe that everything alive carries power and wisdom, that we all have power animals or animal spirits which help protect us (a bit like a guardian angel). Each animal increases your power so that illness or negative energy cannot affect you. It also lends you its specific powers, to help you with this stage of your life.
Over a lifetime, we may have many different power animals helping us. By acknowledging your spirit animal, finding a talisman to represent its presence or just thanking it daily, you can make a deeper connection. The spirit will honour you back by spending time with you to assist in your life, with all its wisdom and protection.
When I first closed my eyes and listened to the rhythmical music. I was unsure, yet felt there was some beast with me on my internal walk. I caught glimpses of piercing blue eyes and nothing more. He was teasing me and laughing directly at me! It took the whole evening to work out that my spirit animal was a Coyote. I quickly named him “Frank”.
“The Coyote is known to encourage you not to take things too seriously, to have fun with all of life”
The Coyote’s character is difficult to define, he is known as the trickster, the teacher of inner wisdom and strength, whereas at the same time not taking things seriously. When there is a balance in life between wisdom and playfulness, the magic of life and creation happen. The Coyote is known to encourage you not to take things too seriously, to have fun with all of life.
Coyote is the jokester, has adaptability, reveals the truth behind illusion, chaos and playfulness. He teaches through ways that are not straightforward and often uses trickery to deliver messages and hidden wisdom.
The Coyote has a dark side, resourceful and with a strong instinct to survive. He comes into your life when you need to solve your unsettling experiences and disruptive feelings. To help let go of certainties, show you how to invigorate life through diversity and richness. To laugh at yourself and live in the present, and open up to possibilities and dramatic change.
The Coyote comes to you when you have a close-knit family and know yourself with no airs and graces – that’s me!
Simplicity in Zanzibar:
As I look back, I fully understand why the Coyote came into my life when he did. A month later, I was sitting on the terrace of my new two-room, tin-roofed home in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
With Coyote’s help, I let go. Let go of my children to become fine handsome adult men. Let go of our beautiful home of the past 20 years. And, let go of the country I had lived in for 30 years, my friends, and family. I moved 6,000 miles with just 20 kilos of luggage to a place I had vaguely heard of before.
At first, people I knew thought I was mad, a real-life midlife crisis. Comments were either amazed or critical, with a handful of excited friends happy for me. What was I going to do with all my furniture? What job would I do? Was I not worried about it being a Muslim country or the thought of getting Malaria?
Everyone kept asking me if I was excited about the coming move. I answered truthfully; I can only think of today and all the jobs I must fulfill before its end. I will get excited when I get on the plane!
Twenty years of stuff takes a lot of focus, a lot of trips to charity shops, car boot sales, and the inevitable burning pile. Those personal bits that had to be kept (the kid’s stuff and the obligatory 10-year paperwork pile for the business, were put into a small storage unit). The house was put on the market for sale. It all took time and focus.
Worst of all was the constant trips to medical centres, banks, government officials and lawyers so that we could let go of all our official ties in Spain. Frank came with me, I had to laugh, to escape from the feelings of insanity.
Ditching The Baggage
“there was time to be Sensibly Selfish, to smile”
As I sat on the stoop in Zanzibar, Africa, and listened to the sound of a cacophony of birds that I had no idea what they were, I felt Frank (old blue eyes laughing at me). Happy and relaxed, after 25 years of cooking, cleaning and shopping, I now had household staff.
I had time to exercise, meditate, and write without interruption. I pushed myself to learn some words in Swahili and the customs that go with it. More than that, there was time to be Sensibly Selfish, to smile, and most of all laugh.
The house had just two rooms and the porch, a simple life without any baggage. I adapted easily. I did not know what tomorrow would bring, and I liked it that way.
Ditching the Baggage and connecting to Frank the Coyote, old blue eyes himself, was the best thing I have done at midlife so far. Now looking back from our new smaller home in Mallorca, it was certainly an adventure.
If I can do it, so can you – if you want to. If you need courage, find your spirit animal to guide you. And, if you cannot do it alone, get in touch and lets journey together.
About the Author:
Kay is the founder of Midlife Strategies, an award-winning International Speaker, and enthusiastic author. She is an acknowledged expert guiding women to find their mojo, through the Midlife Squeeze.
Kay’s books include:
- ‘The Art of Midlife Stress Busting – Seven Steps to Declutter Your Mind Without Pills or Potions’
- ‘How to Clean Your Home Organically – De-Stress Your Surroundings’
- ‘Tips and Tricks For Stress-Free Downsizing – A Step by Step Guide to Moving On’
- Co-author of the six Kindle books in the ‘Quick Fix For’ series, and a contributing author to ‘Hot Women Rock’ and ‘A Journey of Riches’.
Today, Kay lives a simple life next to a beach in Mallorca, Spain. You can find Kay here: www.KayNewton.com.