Location and Vocation x 3

5 Jul 2020
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[To view a video of this blog post please click here: https://youtu.be/5QXYHBty2fs or to listen to an audio version of this blog post please click here: https://bit.ly/3izEQ9h]

“Location, location, location,” is a mantra bleated on and on about by Estate Agents and Marketing experts. Whilst I am a fan of neither, there is deep emotional wisdom in “Location, location, location.”

Yesterday, I filmed Emotional Mastery author and coach, Kim Searle. We went on location to West Bay and Bridport in Dorset. My heart, seat of emotion, danced for joy as I drove the long way to Bridport along the Jurassic Coast road from Abbotsbury down to Bridport. The views are breathtakingly spectacular.

Filming on the beach at West Bay with soaring cliffs behind us and roaring waves and winds in front, I felt more alive than I have felt for the last long three months of lockdown. I know we are not all the same, but there has to be ‘Sea’ in the location-equation for me to have a happier future. What are the locations, which, for you, hold a special magic?

Relocation, relocation, relocation…

Environment makes a world of difference to our emotional health and wellbeing. Choosing to shift or relocate our environment always has costs and consequences, but maybe they are well worth it - especially after this extended opportunity we have had to re-examine what is important to us. “There’s a feeling I get when I look to the West, and my spirit is calling for leaving…”

Whilst I have the motive to move West, there is no visible means or opportunity at the moment… but that doesn’t stop you or me visiting these magical locations. A change of scenery is one of the most positive, intentional ways to enjoy or even provoke change.

Vocation, vocation, vocation…

I spend a lot of time with businesspeople and some fascinating insights are emerging from lockdown. Resentment and envy seem to have slipped in between members of some companies where a portion of the team have been furloughed (= enjoying a paid holiday) and where others have had to continue the hard work. Even more interesting is the fact that many furloughed staff are feeling left ‘out of it’. This season of change will have an emotional impact, but once again we can be intentional in what we choose next. Is it time to re-evaluate our values and our vocation? If I’m called to the West, I’m also called to write, to create podcasts and other voice audio, to compose, and to produce video. Any step East or away from these heart-driven-desires brings sorrow and frankly doesn’t work. So what are you feeling ‘called’ to?

Let’s have a frank discussion about what our hearts beat for.

Perhaps if we put first-things-first, life will find a way.

Lex

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Comments

Oli

July 6, 2020, 4:45 a.m.

Hi Lex, your blog thoughts this morning sound similar to mine too. I’m restless, I want change — but the world scares me. I remember being young, standing on the highest diving board. I was quite a good swimmer -- about the only thing I was good at. I’d jumped off it before, exhilarated. This time I had fear. Eventually I climbed back down. That was a strange feeling, I'd never had to back down before. It’s one of the first times I can remember the debate in my head, “go on!!” “I can’t.” “You can, you’ve done it before.” “I can’t now.” I swear that debate has gone on for decades now. I have an idea for a life change. I really want to do it. And it feels like being on the high board again. Actually, it feels like I'm on the ground looking up at the high board; I haven't even climbed the ladder yet. Like I said, the world scares me. PS I know West Bay well. Last went there a couple of years ago when I treated myself to a day out from Bournemouth.

Reply

Lex

July 6, 2020, 5:28 a.m.

Hi Oli... you could be reading my mind. The consequences of me making the changes I say I want are huge, and the likelihood is improbable, pushing towards impossible in my own strength. Fear is the constant companion but so is restlessness. Perhaps we both need someone to climb the ladder and be with us on that highest board... after all, who said we had to do this alone? May the Universe send us a friend to help us take the next steps.

Huw

July 6, 2020, 5:13 a.m.

This is an interesting idea, a different location can change your perspective. ... the sea was red and the sky was grey ... And then the comment about the high diving board, I have this as an image in my head as well. it's a very clear expression of needing to push thru fear to live free. you're heart is free, have the courage to follow it (Braveheart). i used to live out west, a long way west across the ocean, have always dreamed about returning but always there is an excuse for me to duck out of it. wish i had a braveheart. Huw

Reply

Lex

July 6, 2020, 5:29 a.m.

Wow, Huw... I'm 'listening' to you and Oli today. May we all find courage.

Lex

July 6, 2020, 5:30 a.m.

...then we may well look back on this date!

Jul

July 6, 2020, 7:12 a.m.

Good morning Lex. I was unhappy with our location for many years; we moved so many times within the UK. Each move I was excited to live in a new area but eventually yearned to be where I felt most comfortable which fortunately is where we live now. It didn't happen by luck either. I had to engineer it so it can be done believe me! I've still got wanderlust and am amazed how many years we've lived here in the same place although as many of you know, we can escape during normal times to France. I always had a plan about where I wanted to live which was thwarted many times for economic reasons. It hasn't been an easy ride but I honestly believe if you want a future somewhere different to where you live now, it is achievable but it doesn't mean necessarily it will lead to financial gain. For us it's been the opposite. Many might say it's all very well for Jul, she can afford to live where she wants to. But it's not been like that; it's taken years of upheaval, financial hardship on occasions and I'm older now. When I was younger I might have leveled the same criticisms of someone older who was living where they'd chosen or always wanted to. What I'm try to do is encourage anyone who dreams of locating somewhere else. it is possible even with limited funds. And it maybe will take a while. A very thoughtful inspiring blog Lex! Thank you. Jul xx

Reply

Lex

July 6, 2020, 7:19 a.m.

If ever there was a day rich in catalysts to take action, today is the one. Thank Catalytic Jules (along with Huw and Oli so far.) My head says, "It can't be done, but you can visit..." but you are saying unambiguously, "It can be done... and I've done it!" Bravo Bravehearts, let's have courage! Thank you, Jules xx

Jul

July 6, 2020, 7:26 a.m.

*** Catalytic Jules xx

Lex

July 6, 2020, 7:28 a.m.

Well, if it was "Jules Catalytic" that'd make you JC! xx

Nicco

July 6, 2020, 8:44 a.m.

Thanks for your blog, Lex - an intwresting subject. We couldn't afford to move & stay in the same town so we did the 'dont move, improve' thing ten years ago & i'm glad we did - although the mess for nearly seven months was phenomenal & i couldn't go through it all again now at my age & state of health - as we made our house fit our needs rather than try to find a ready-made one which did the same (we did look - a lot - but failed & decided the grass wasn't greener after all). We moved here out of necessity 35 years ago, not knowing a soul & with our 10 month old daughter - it was a major upheaval back then but far simpler, i gather from our now grown up daughter who is trying to move from her one bedroomed flat (or was, before lockdown curbed it), than the intricacies, obsticles complications & general 'red tape' of today's would-be demobiliseurs. It turned out to be a fairly favourable move as we are lucky enough to live on the edge of a rural town which sits within a triangle of three cities, although having lived here for thirty plus years i still don't think we are considered as natives! It's a short drive to the chooce of cities with myriads of shops (which i tend ro avoid as much as possible) but an even shorter drive to get out ito the surrounding countryside. There is a lot going on here (or was before the neccessary limitations of the current crisis) & one could be out every day & evening of the week if one so chooses - i am far less active these days than i was. I suppose what i'm trying to say is there's a good community here & we are free to join in as much or little as we like which is a plus for mental health & well-being, whereas the town we moved from was very flat, depressing, & i never felt like i belonged there. We were attached & had dreadful neighnours, although we stuck it for five years. We have always had to move to areas where we could actually afford to live - growing up in the cotswolds it was never a certainty that we could afford to stay there after we were married & tbh we wanted to move well away from our respective feuding families. I can't say i have particularly itchy feet &, although it's nice to visit different towns & cities, it's always nice & a relief to get back to the familiarity & comfort of my own home. We had always planned (being asthmatics) to move to the cleaner air of the coast once we retired - but i don't believe my mental health &/or physical state would stand it - even going on holiday fills me with dread & i therefore haven't done so for many years. Thanks again for your blog, Lex, it made me take stock, re-evaluate & realise appreciatively what i have.

Reply

Lex

July 6, 2020, 9:15 a.m.

What a wonderful outcome, Nicco - to realise appreciatelively what you have... and to understand at such a deep level that the grass isn't greener.

Orangeblossom

July 6, 2020, 8:52 a.m.

Hi Lex, thanks for your blog which comes at a crossroads in my life. Now that Lockdown is slowly lifting in Wales, gradually, we can associate more in a physical get-together. Also can go beyond the radius of the 5 mile limit. At the end of July I shall be ‘gliding into retirement’. I was thinking of the best way forward. I was reminding myself that it isn’t the same as being unemployed.

Reply

Lex

July 6, 2020, 9:16 a.m.

I am certain, Orangeblossom, that 'retirement' for you may well be a new chapter but not an idle one (unless that's what you desire!)

Maria

July 6, 2020, 11:41 a.m.

Hi Lex, I couldn't agree with your blog more, especially your statement: Environment makes a world of difference to our emotional health and wellbeing. I'm experiencing major stress now and at the heart of it is location. My husband is emotionally attached to our house in Arizona and wants to retire there, whereas I want nothing of the sort. Yes, on paper it makes more financial sense to go back there but as you know there is much more to consider than money. We were recently there working on the property and I became infected with Covid-19 while traveling home. My husband is staying in Arizona until it's safe for him to return home. It's hard being so sick while in isolation but fortunately I have very close friends here who have been providing emotional support, food, etc. while I'm sick. I never had that in Arizona. Between the relationships and the mountains here which feed my soul, I want to stay. I'm doing some hard and scary thinking (even with the brain fuzziness of this disease) about whether after 36 years of marriage I want to stay in this relationship if we can't reach a compromise.

Reply

The Gardener

July 6, 2020, 11:51 a.m.

Maria, could you really ditch your marriage because you don't like the location? One of my best friends has to move - he is now phobic about bad neighbours, not enough money to buy a place surrounded by high hedges. He will have neighbours, he will not like them. Oof

Lex

July 6, 2020, 3:58 p.m.

Wow, Maria, that's sounds like being stuck between a (Covid-19) rock and a hard place (decisions re your future). Marriage is so often about positive compromise but a compromise must be reached. I wish you good health, clear thinking, and some wise guidance. I feel for you in this complex situation.

The Gardener

July 6, 2020, 11:42 a.m.

Lex, as you are the obvious fount of all wisdom I take umbrage to your referring to 'furlough' as 'paid holiday'. A 'holiday' is change, respite, re-charging batteries. 'Furlough' has resulted in people being confined at home, struggling to keep their children's noses to the computer to try and keep up with their education. I know of one suicide. When furlough lifts it is now obvious that some firms have not survived. A grand-daughters partner, on furlough, has got his job back, at reduced salary, they had just embarked on a mortgage. Cont

Reply

Lex

July 6, 2020, 3:54 p.m.

Umbrage unnecessary, dear Gardener... I was voicing what the 'working' colleagues were thinking about their colleagues who were furloughed!

The Gardener

July 6, 2020, 11:48 a.m.

As to location and vocation, all these whizz-kid business men at your finger-tips - could they advise how on earth I can get away from North European winter? Become a source of depression. And it seems that writing is easy peasy. I've written for 40 years, loved it, all my outlets closed. I've written two historical novels, self-published, people love them. None careful marketing - always same response 'No new authors, no historical novels.' I've moved 7 times, always to virtual wrecks. Twice, forced to move, M25 in 1969, Alzheimers in 2014. Others deliberate, all successful.

Reply

The Gardener

July 6, 2020, 11:57 a.m.

Lex, your description of Bridport. My parents-in-law left the Thames Valley for Uplyme in Dorset in 1950. They were blissfully content, still driving, dear little train, big garden, made friends. Then. Husband ill, she never drove, he into care home. Beeching axed their train. She was a widow for 25 years. Refused to re-locate, and for last few years of life a virtual prisoner, house on hill, lots steps to road, she was scared of falling. She alienated the neighbours by treating them as servants. But she lived in a lovely area which gave her no pleasure. I have a lot of 'looking on the good side' to do today.

Reply

Brum Mum

July 6, 2020, 12:42 p.m.

Lex, just watched the video which I really enjoyed and challenged me. I love my little house I bought six years ago when I left my husband. For 3 months when I first moved I woke up and retched as it was such a huge thing to do (who said change is comfortable?!) but it is my sanctuary and source of comfort. As for a job I have about 15 years of work in me....but can’t face 15 years of doing my current job so you have challenged me to face my fear and find something else. Thank you!!

Reply

Lex

July 6, 2020, 3:30 p.m.

Hey, Brum Mum, if one person plucks up the courage to take action because of this blog, it will be all worthwhile! Courage, my friend, courage!

Carol

July 6, 2020, 1:01 p.m.

"Location, location, location" is what the real estate agent wrote in the blurb for the house I have inhabited for the past 35 years. The house itself was a wreck, as were the grounds, but time, youthful energy and a bit of money has fixed all that. And truly the location more than anything else has saved my life and sanity during this long period of isolation. The ocean is nearby--a 7 minute walk from the front steps--and one is never depressed for long at the ocean with all those negative ions.

Reply

Lex

July 6, 2020, 3:28 p.m.

Excellent, Carol! There has to be Sea!

Molly

July 6, 2020, 4:21 p.m.

I live by the sea, mainly always have done, so I don’t know any different. Some are envious but I take it for granted and never go there. It’s nice to know it’s there though and I like the sound of the gulls xx

Molly

July 6, 2020, 1:44 p.m.

Hi Lex Yes, sometimes you just have to go for it. When husband moved in, we decided to move for a fresh start, so it felt like it was more ‘our’ house. We couldn’t sell the house so gave up and decided to stay put. Then when my job ended, I saw it as an opportunity to do something a bit out of the ordinary, recharge the batteries, so we looked into going abroad for three months. This never happened either, as we came across problem after problem and again gave up on the idea. As husbands health deteriorated, we looked into moving to a disabled friendly property but decided neither of us could deal with the stress! Such a shame as it would have been good for both of us. There’s my three success stories Lex !! I guess they were just not meant to be though and still maintain we have to just take the plunge! And hope for the best! Thank you for your blog. Molly xx

Reply

Lex

July 6, 2020, 3:27 p.m.

I salute your courage, Molly! You gave it a go, and I think that's what counts the most. xx

Molly

July 6, 2020, 4:44 p.m.

Thanks Lex, I like that thought. It really was a case each time of ‘let’s just do it’. Took a bit of persuasion as husband is rather set in his ways. The fact we had many obstacles along the way was just unfortunate or ‘not meant to be’. We live in a pretty good location, we just can’t get out of the house lol xx

The Gardener

July 6, 2020, 6:06 p.m.

Molly, when first married we lived with my Pa, as we were going into the colonial service, did not come off. Mr G found a farm cottage to rent, no electricity or indoor toilet. I said 'I'm not living in that' (I was 20). He said 'where else? We did.

Molly

July 6, 2020, 7:26 p.m.

Gardener, sometimes there is no choice is there. I left home at 18, nowhere to go. Had just had two long stays in hospital as well. Left the area, went back to my roots but with no money, little belongings, managed to find a room in a house with no carpet, just bare floorboards. But a bed in the room and a landlord who was prepared to wait for the rent whilst I made a claim from the DWP. Not sure how I managed with it all. Within four months I was working again and moved to a nicer place xx

The Gardener

July 6, 2020, 6:03 p.m.

I have been feeling low, lonely in lock-down - and people are naturally scared of travel, so no visits likely. I reacted to the 'cheerfulness' of the change of vocation and location, Oh Yeah? My neighbour who has caused us grief has had more falls, and is in hospital, getting better. Met her daughter, in tears, because the decision for Mum to go into a care home must be made - even to give us near to her relaxation from worry. Been a lot of deaths from cancer recently, suicide of my painter, my own age - all hit at once.

Reply

Molly

July 6, 2020, 9:59 p.m.

It will get better gardener xx

Patricia E

July 6, 2020, 7:02 p.m.

I've been dipping in and out of this all day. Thank you for this Lex. I hope it, and others stories, gives people who are not content with their situation the impetus to think about what might be possible to get the life they need. When I was 57 I realised that I simply could not contemplate working until I was 66 (after the changes to UK pension regs), so I sat myself down and thought about how this could be possible. The only way seemed to be to sell up my mortgaged house and relocate to Spain where I could buy a cheap property outright and live frugally, but in a rural environment. I investigated the market, started to learn the language etc. etc. The situation at work deteriorated and it was clear that for my own wellbeing I had to get out or drown. I was blessed with the opportunity for voluntary redundancy, accepted and so, because of my age, was able to draw my pension straight away. I sold my house and relocated from the South to North of England. I've been here now for almost three years. I am myself. No-one here knows me as that woman from that job, or from that committee, or that relationship, or that family, or that 'anything'. I am, for the first time in my entire life, simply me. Of course, all of my past life is part of who I am, but the really special thing about this new life is the absence of assumptions and expectations. I am so glad I took the risk and made this mega relocation. To anyone contemplating change, I'd say trust what's in your hearts. X

Reply

Molly

July 6, 2020, 7:44 p.m.

This is great Patricia. It’s exactly what I would like to do. Having worked for someone locally well known, it caused some paranoia for me and also partly is the cause of my agoraphobia. I want to move on from it all and not bump into anyone I know. If I was on my own, I may have achieved it, some way, somehow, Good response, thank you Xx

Patricia E

July 6, 2020, 9:11 p.m.

Thanks Molly. It's good to know that as I develop new relationships here it's as me, just as I am, without any trappings or labels. It is scarey but wonderful. Px

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope

July 6, 2020, 9:26 p.m.

Patricia, well done you. Great to hear. What a good move. Carolinex

Lex

July 7, 2020, 5:44 a.m.

"Freedom," as I would define it is how you've described it, Patricia. That is a daring, courageous, exciting, and thankfully 'successful' adventure. Thank you for the encouragement. Listening to my heart x

Ach UK

July 6, 2020, 9:10 p.m.

Hi Lex, I've really enjoyed mulling over your blog today, if I had to make a move my perfect spot would be in the Vale of Evesham or go west into rural Worcestershire or Herefordshire. But I am happy enough with my current house and still have a list of plans and ideas for DIY projects :--))) . . . I don't know if you're old enough to remember this corny song, but it sprang to mind when I was reading the blog replies . . : https://youtu.be/1wc-AQJ2MYo Go West Lex and keep well :--)) XX Ach.

Reply

Lex

July 7, 2020, 5:50 a.m.

One of my favourite corny songs, dear Ach! And has been playing my mind. Lyrics are rather good in fact! I quote.. Together we will love the beach, together we will learn and teach. Together change our pace of life, together we will work and strive. I love you, I know you love me; I want you happy and carefree. So that's why I have no protest when you say you want to go west. [and] I know that there are many ways to live there in the sun or shade. Together we will find a place to settle down and live with the space without the busy pace back east, the hustling, rustling of the feet, I know I'm ready to leave too, so this is what we're going to do... And the Pet Shop Boys did a neat remix https://youtu.be/LNBjMRvOB5M

RC

July 6, 2020, 10:27 p.m.

Hi Lex Right now my heart is waiting for 'I know why the caged bird sings' which is on order from my local bookshop. I’m intrigued to read what this amazing lady wrote and of course it’s in vogue just now with BLM and all that. I think All Lives Matter to be honest. But let’s not get into that! Your blog today gave me much to think about; I thank you sincerely for getting the cogs in my brain going on what’s turned out to be a rather marvellous day. Sun and a chat and a cuppa with a good friend has set me on the path to feeling that the worlds not such a bad place after all! Take care RubyR xx

Reply

Lex

July 7, 2020, 5:53 a.m.

Hi Ruby What you've written is lovely to read. I do hope many of us on Moodscope will have an increasing number of marvellous days and discover that the world's not such a bad place... and I hope you continue with a long sting of marvellous days. Take care L'xx

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