Every day on retreat, we write little inspirational quotes on chalkboards propped up on trees and walls around the site. Today’s chalkboards are on a theme, following a conversation with some of our lovely guests at breakfast yesterday morning. They were asking about my life choices – the origin of which I have written about on this blog – but in a nutshell, I had a corporate life, it was pretty nice, I felt successful and had a nice house, friends, leisure time, etc but there was a bit of me that felt like it was slowly dying and that bit was the spirit of adventure.
In my job, I work for 12 days on, and then have two days off and I’ve started taking myself up to a friend’s house in the hills behind the village to treat myself to a couple of days of complete rest. Fasting; long, slow yoga practices that can take all afternoon if I feel like it, with a little nap-break in the middle, formal meditations, or just sitting watching a bee cleaning itself for 20 minutes. Just giving myself permission to do nothing and seeing what unfolds. Sometimes I read for a bit, then lie and stare at the swallows and wonder when they’re going to migrate north. Continue reading “Staring at swallows”
On the rare occasion that I watch the War & Money Channel (AKA The News – thanks Matt Haig for that concept!) it seems like there is so much fear and greed that it’s becoming insurmountable, that it’s going to be too hard to overcome, so we might as well just join in the consumption and let nature take it’s course when a massive apocalypse wipes out the human race and the animals can all go back to enjoying their beautiful planet.
I’m trying to live a life that feels free. I recognise that we are only really imprisoned by our fear and so to feel free I have to work on being fearless. So I have to work out what I’m afraid of and then systematically put myself in situations that allow me to face the fear.
I am afraid of small spaces with little oxygen underground, I’ve always said I’d never go pot-holing, and yet this week I crawled into the side of a mountain in Morocco and scrambled, squeezed, climbed and slid into the belly of the hill. Continue reading “Face your fears to feel free”
A little something I wrote to remind me what’s important in life to me right now.
If decisions seem too hard then maybe they’re not the right ones…
Someone left this magazine lying around the flat and I couldn’t help myself but do this…
Yesterday I had a little bit of near-death experience. It wasn’t that near, but near enough that I contemplated it for a fraction of a second. I’m in the French Alps and my friend and I went for a drive to the top of the mountain for a little walk and when we came back down the twisty mountain road a guy was racing up the other way, we met him on a bend and his car was side-slipping at great speed right towards us, I was in the firing line if his car had hit us and I was joyous, I wasn’t scared at all, I was ready. My mind said “Is this it? Hit by a mat-black pimped-up rally car on the side of my favourite mountain, OK cool.” I wasn’t even slightly bothered about the prospect of dying, just a bit exhilarated.
Tonight I lay on my yoga mat and cried. Not that unusual in the grand yoga scheme of things, but unusual for me. Some of my friends from yoga cry in most practices. I rarely cry and if I do, it’s usually because of an intense back-bend or Mari D adjustment and is followed by relieved laughter. But tonight I cried for humanity. Like Leeloo in the film ‘The fifth element’ when she reads the encyclopaedia and sees the history of humanity’s war against itself. And she cries and cries for the waste of life and the pain and the suffering, and she feels it like it were being done to her. Continue reading “I am Gaia”
Most health-conscious individuals will have at some point been asked, about one aspect of their lifestyle choices, “Why bother?” usually followed by “We’re all going to die anyway, might as well enjoy ourselves while we’re here. The more I question myself about why I bother, the more it comes down to one basic premise… that surely prevention is better than cure.
The potential negative consequences of ‘enjoying’ oneself in the context of excessive drinking, smoking, eating processed food etc are too concerning for me to ignore. Although I do agree in principle that life’s too short for regrets, I’m pretty sure that if I were diagnosed with lung cancer I would suddenly regret every cigarette I’ve ever smoked (actually I already do regret that). Continue reading “Am I Bothered?”