Embracing Life’s Challenges With Gratitude

I have recently returned from a trip to a remote island in the Caribbean called Carriacou. It is part of a group of islands called the Grenadines, has only 2000 residents, and is both mountainous and beautiful. However, within and hour of arrival I found my resilience was tested – as was my gratitude.

My arrival

Arriving from Grenada after 20 minute flight I was greeted by a driver who took me to my accommodation. It was off of the tarmac road, on to a dirt track with foot deep ravines and straying goats. From there on to a steep narrow pathway on the outskirts of the rainforest with two broken stone tracks a car width apart and at a steep incline.

This made me very uncomfortable but the view was amazing and accommodation, superb. The lady turned up with my jeep. I was on my own – my partner was on a later flight – so I was taken to the police station to collect my local licence to drive and left to find my way home.

So far, so good……..

The good news is that I made it to the stone tracks. The bad news, I couldn’t remember which way to go. Having missed the turning for the house I drove further in to the woods. The island is part rainforest, so when the rain comes it is intense. A recent shower had made the track wet. The car slid from the stone to the mud and was now at an uneasy angle to the pathway.

It was then I realised the 4 x 4 functionality wasn’t working. I was at an incline, trying to get out of the car and find things to put under the wheels – lost, alone, scared and a bit tearful. I cursed spending my cash on going to this island only to feel like this.

It took me an hour to get back on the track, turn the car around where it is mostly only one car width and find the agent for directions the house. I was fed up and didn’t want to be there.

I wanted to go home, or did I ?

When I found the house I had a dip in the pool. It was  amazing. Luckily I found my way back to the airport to collect my partner. Waiting for the plane I got chatting to the driver who had collected me upon my arrival and who was also waiting for the next flight to arrive. I realised that all was well.

It was then I saw the words on my cars sun visor. Gratitude.

We often say that we are only given as much as we can handle. That day as I stood at the small airport I remembered that I am resilient.

I no longer worry about what happens if the car leaves the tracks. I know I can get it back on track, so why not take the path less travelled? I remembered to be grateful for all of my life’s experiences. They are what moulded my capabilities and created the life I now lead. I remembered not to be only grateful for the things, experiences and people which are easy to love.

So, I have three questions for you

What is on your gratitude list today?

To what do you owe your greatest and most amazing experiences in life?

Are you ready to off road?


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About The Author

Sharon Critchlow

Sharon Critchlow is a Wellbeing Advocate, speaker and facilitator at Discover Your Bounce for Business. Passionate about people being the best they can be she is a Time To Change Champion for mental health and holds a Masters level qualification in strategic coaching for performance. Sharon is a qualified accountant and has 20 years experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. www.discoveryourbounce.com www.time-to-change.org.uk