The African Star Retreat
I came to Londolozi by accident… Or so it would seem. I didn’t plan it. I didn’t know of it. I had no expectations.
On February 12th, I was made redundant from my job in Corporate Strategy. Working in the Real Estate sector, I was one of many, many others in this situation in Q1 2009. But in my case, on that same Thursday afternoon, a dear friend said, ‘forget that crappy job; come with me to Africa’. And so I was introduced to Londolozi. The fact that there was a self-transformation adventure retreat (African STAR) with best-selling author and world-famous life-coach Martha Beck was a bonus. If there was ever a time for life-coaching, this was it!
And so I arrived and in the course of a week started to learn how to track a new life, a more joyful and meaningful life. Literally. Technically, that misty February morning, we were supposed to be tracking rhino, but our group found zebra (and a leopard & its cub incidentally). The trick, they explained, was to look at the smallest of signs and ask ‘what happened in this place?’ In that way, you can find a path where it seems pathless. It may be a visual marker that’s out of place or a smell and it may be only faint, but you find the faint trail by using all of your senses. Typical, rational problem solving and sharp intense focus was not the answer in this case. The task requires open focus and includes your body, instinct and your senses as critical resources.
This was a light bulb moment for me! Just like the animal tracks, my life was literally pathless at that moment; no specific career path to continue on, no stability on a global scale as the economy was tanking. I needed every resource at my disposal. And for the first time someone told me not to rack my brain to find a solution but simply to be more open – to every possibility.
So that’s how I’m tracking my path now. Look for a faint track and then move a little bit in that direction. Are there more tracks? Does it feel right? Does it feel better? If yes, continue. If no, go back to where you lost the track and look again. Repeat often. Laugh. Succeed. Fail. Learn. Enjoy!
One thing on my path now is more time dedicated to freelance photography working with NGOs and charitable foundations. This video slideshow was made for Martha Beck and the participants of the African STAR.
This is a new kind of Strategy work for me, learned experientially in the abundant Bushveld at Londolozi. When I come back to Londolozi, it will never again be by accident.
With gratitude, to Martha, Boyd, Bronny, Koelle and the Londolozi family, for setting me on my path,
By: Kelly Eide