“I wonder what’s going to happen…”.
Continuing my quest of staying forever young (just an excuse not to act my age really!), I’ve decided to adopt this as my mantra of late.
It’s such a beautiful word.
Wonder: a feeling of amazement and admiration, caused by something beautiful, remarkable, or unfamiliar.
Approaching everything with a mindset of curiosity, being open to trying out new things, and pushing myself outside my comfort zone has led to so many joyous experiences here in Dubrovnik this summer.
It started with some fairly low cliff jumps that got steadily higher, as I explored some of the best spots in Dubrovnik, where we knew it was safe. I put my trust in and was inspired by my fellow adventurer, Alex from France, who seemed to have no fear threshold whatsoever and approached everything with a sense of excitement.
I could almost hear the words in his head as he considered somewhere higher each time..
“I wonder if I can do this…”.
No fear, just wonder.
This state of childlike wonder, I decided, was a pretty healthy way to look at things, and a way of leaping into the unknown without the usual anxieties that hold us back, so I decided to try it on for size myself, and see if I could just push myself gently out of my comfort zone in a few more scenarios.
So last weekend I tried out ATV for the first time, in spite of being absolutely terrified beforehand, and it was one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve had since I’ve been here.
It helped that I had an awesome driver, Nicole, who was on holiday here from the US. She was my favourite kind of woman - a true wild warrior, strong but kind - and it was easy to fully put my trust in her. I felt safe immediately and we had a blast.
I wondered what else I might be able to do, as I realised so much of it depended on trusting myself, and also those I was with.
My week of taking leaps of faith continued, taking a boat and scrambling the rocks of Supetar, managing to paddleboard round to my favourite beach bar, and eating frogs and eels in the Neretva valley.
Then there was the big one.
Testing out whether my phone was waterproof. I’ve had it for over 18 months, everyone has tried to convince me that it’s waterproof, but I’d never fully trusted that, and the idea of taking it underwater just seemed too big a risk. Surely it couldn’t do that?
Then I thought about it, and I realised this mentality probably added 20 years to my age, and as my friend giggled at my silliness, I decided to adopt my “wonder” attitude, and off I went, down into the water at Coco beach and “Woohoo!!”.
Not only did the camera work, but when I watched back the videos, my breathing was like the sound of dolphins! I was so excited, just playing in the sea with my new toy, like an excitable child.
That’s it, I thought.
Life is full of wonder, and it really doesn’t take much to find it. You just have to be open to it, and trust those situations where it feels safe to do so.
I realise when we look at things from a place of wonder, it takes the worry away.
I start to consider that I could perhaps adopt this approach to re-frame my ongoing frustration with the ever-changing travel restrictions, which are creating havoc with my work, and making it impossible to plan.
It’s been like banging my head against a brick wall recently, as I’m trying to figure out what’s going to be possible this season, and what I just have to let go of. I’ve been going through every possible scenario in my head, trying to predict what’s going to happen.
Which is ridiculous, as none of us know what’s going to happen.
So now I’m letting go and I’m saying:
“I wonder what’s going to happen”.
And that feels so much better!
Gillie Sutherland grew up in the north of England, before settling in Devon, but has now swapped her UK address for one on the Adriatic in the very south of Croatia, in Konavle. A professional Wellness Consultant she now runs retreats and online courses from her Konavle base. She also writes a weekly column for the Devon newspaper, The Express and Echo.
To find out more about Gillie go to www.behappyfit.co.uk
Read more Gillie here