I was hoping to leave Unravel with a simple idea of what changes would make me feel happier and more fulfilled. At my age, I'm looking at a potential retirement in some years time, and that'd mean I'd suddenly have lots of time on my hands. That's a big scary thought. And if I fell into that without knowing what I wanted to fill my days with, I was not going to be sustainably happy in those years.
I was hoping to get some ideas about how I should use that time and how to better use the little time I have now to feel better in myself and to be less destructive in the ways that I live my life.
I have done training courses at work where we were looking at Myers-Briggs profiles. So all the exploration I've done have been technical and team-working focused.
When I signed up for Unravel, I was really scared we were going to be doing a lot of meditation. I was also worried about where I would be pushed to look, because there are probably dark areas of my psyche where I don't want to go. I was concerned that we'd be destructing ourselves in potentially a negative way. So it was good to hear from the beginning the advice given about "You know you best, tread carefully, and if there are places you don't want to go, leave them alone until you feel stronger to go there." Little did I know that there'd be dancing as well.
I left the Unravel journey with a toolkit of things that I use almost everyday when I'm thinking, "Why did I do this" or "Why do I feel this way?" I also left with a much better understanding of who I am and why I am the way I am. I left with a very clear understanding of what the big issues are in my life now. And I therefore left the Unravel journey with some big decisions to make.
During the program, I reclaimed a sense of fun in creativity. I like to write songs, I like to write lyrics, I like to make music, and I had a particular way of doing that. I go away, I write things down, and then go back into lyrics and find music for them. Through the unravel program, there were lots of things like finding your inner child, the wonderful session we did with the vocalist who showed me there are many paths to making songs. I was really pleased to find that I could write with my left hand, that I could sing nonsense words, that I could just listen to a rhythm and be brimming with melodies first, rather than brimming with words. It was great to uncover that piece.
On the darker side, I found elements of myself where I thought, "Well hold on a minute. That's a shadowy way. Why is it that you're behaving in that way?" So I discovered sides of myself that I never questioned before.
Unravel helped us find those behaviors and hold them up in the light of day and say, "How can I use this in a more positive way than the way it is currently coming out?"
The community was the most open, trusting, and responsive community that I've ever come across. It felt like a very safe, well-walled community. The things which people shared, the emotions which they put down in their posts could do nothing else but engage you and draw from you real replies and reflections on yourself. It was a way of saying, "I know where you are. I have been there too. This is my story. You're not alone. Even if I can't tell you a way of dealing with this, I can tell you definitely you're not alone. This is what it was like for me. I got through it. You can get through it."
We had a community from quite young to really old people like myself. It was beautiful to see the different ambitions, the different aspirations of people and understand the reasons why they're doing this course. I was very jealous of the young people who were getting all this terrific advice and insights about themselves now before they're even in the true adulting world.
I was surprised by how engaging the online elements of the course was. I tried my best to get over my standard ghostliness on social media and to make sure that I was present for others, but also present for me. That was one of the most rewarding elements of going through the Unravel journey.
Unravel means that I had the chance to reflect on the years of my life to this point, to become more familiar with the person that I am now. To realize that there are talents underneath which maybe got lost, that I didn't know I had, and that there are tools that are available to help draw those out and show myself better. And therefore I can look into the future with a more hopeful heart in that I will be happy, constructive, and creative.
The Unravel journey isn't over for me. I am still peeling the skins of the onion away and continuing to use the tools, understand myself, and make the decisions to be more fulfilled, creative, and happy.
It is so fulfilling to come through that journey and to feel like you're seeing something in yourself and you're seeing others around you change even more each week, from people who will say nothing to people who will share lots of things about themselves by the end of the journey. It's that wonderful feeling that you have accomplished something with a group of people who have grown together and become such a lovely community.
Just dive in. If not now, then when? You are the most important person in the world. This is a course which will help you be a better you. Why would you put that off? Why would you not create the time to work on project you and make you the best that you can be. Don't be worried about it. Don't overthink about whether you have the time. Don't be concerned about the people who will be there. You'll all start as strangers. You will all finish as friends. Go for it.