What to do when your soul wilts

When I led a six-week canoe trip through Northwest Ontario, every day was a joyous adventure of discovery, pure freedom, and appreciation of wilderness beauty.

Day after day we paddled endless watery miles, savoured the unique and isolated surrounds, soaked up the physical challenges of straining muscles against bitter headwinds, hauling gear across portages, swatting mosquitoes, shivering in the rain, baking in the sun.

Day followed day, and pretty soon delight turned to drudgery.

How does spectacular turn bland? How does your soul start to wilt doing something it loves?

Even the most incredible journeys need a pause to recalibrate. During my canoe trip days we scheduled a layover day for this purpose. Layover days usually involved sleeping in, relaxing, swimming, and the most important part: Pack Explosion.

Pack Explosion involved emptying all packs and scattering contents across the campsite for cleaning and assessment. Next steps: discarding rubbish, sorting what’s useful, and re-packing, ready for the next leg of the trip. Pack Explosion was cathartic.

These days I use the same process for my personal leadership reboot process. Once I start to feel passion turn un-fun, it’s time for my Personal Pack Explosion.

In a location away from home, best in a beautiful setting like Byron Bay where I am currently, I have big workout, a long sleep, and sit down with my journal, and undertake the Pack Explosion.

Questions for Personal Pack Explosion:

  • What habits, thought patterns, relationships, memberships, and projects no longer serve me?
  • What will I do to let them go?
  • What choices, attitudes, habits do I need to adopt to better serve my purpose?
  • How will I create accountability and systems to anchor these?
  • What do I want next? I write a summary of life one year from now, in the present tense, celebrating the achievements and experiences undertaken.

After a few days of deep self care, plenty of rest, and soaking up beauty, I’m ready to launch the canoe and paddle once more.

What will you do re-boot?

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