Sunday, 31 October 2010

Enjoying now

Elisabeth Kubler Ross, author of many books on death and dying wrote, "It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth - and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had."

Why do we wait until we have some bad news, or a life changing experience before we fully engage with life? Why does our own mortality come as a surprise to us? We all know our lives are a tiny, transient chapter - we may come back to this earth in a different body, or we may not. Whatever our beliefs THIS is where we are NOW!

So today I'm at Andrew's house in Perthshire. I'm sitting outside on a bench in his garden, bundled up in warm clothes writing with my favourite pen in "my blog" book.

It's a bright, sunny day and I can hear some dried leaves moving across the tarmac drive in the cool, gentle breeze.

There are blue tits and blackbirds in the trees and bushes. Occasionally venturing down onto the ground for seeds, and in the case of the blackbird, a rummage through the fallen sycamore leaves in the search for grubs and worms.

My son Charlie is with his Dad a few miles away. My girls are in England living their own lives.

The only thing I know, the only thing I can be completely sure of is that I am here - writing, and using all my senses to be here. Observing and absorbing all that is around me now, and with that comes a sense of serenity and peacefulness which is attainable at any time.

All it takes is for us to notice the moment we lose that connectedness with the moment we're in. Think STOP! Breathe consciously then engage all our senses in NOW!

It is exhausting staying in a split, separated state.

Why waste energy wondering and speculating what MIGHT happen tomorrow, or what other people MIGHT be doing right now.

The sun is warm on my face, there is a cool breeze. A rook is cawing perched high up in the sycamore tree - this is all I know to be true.
"Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won't)." - James Baraz.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Believe in yourself

Don't underestimate yourself! Boredom is a huge contributor to physical symptoms. Imagine that loving, all knowing part of you seeing you being unfulfilled - your bodymind is duty bound to communicate when it wants you to change direction, move on and free yourself from that "making do" situation you have complacently fallen into.

Those symptoms put into words might be screaming, "I want more! I want to be the person I know I can be!"

You come into this world alone, and you'll leave it on your own. Is there really any point in conforming, compromising your own beliefs in order to satisfy others expectations?

Practise groundedness, prayer or meditation. It's at those quiet times of alignment that your personal truth can surface. What really makes your heart sing?

I remember working with a lovely, talented lady who went to work in a shop as part of her return to health. For a short while she felt a bit better, but then symptoms came back with a vengeance. There is nothing wrong with working in a shop, however this lady had been a talented city lawyer with a tremendous ability. I explained to her that if Picasso had been ill and on his return to health I gave him a "painting by numbers" set, initially he may have liked holding the brush, and seeing the colours, but very quickly symptoms would have rushed back as his creativity was being quashed. The same was true of this lady. It wasn't the case that she needed to go back to her high pressure job as a city lawyer, but certainly using the gifts she had as a problem solver was one part of her previous life that made her heart sing - she found a job that fulfilled that part of who she was, and as a result returned to health.

Life is too short to believe you can't be who you really are.

Be honest with yourself, about yourself, for yourself!
"Somehow I can't believe that there are any heights that can't be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C's. They are curiosity, confidence, courage and constancy." - Walt Disney.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Homesick here, homesick there!

It's just 24 hours since I landed back in Scotland from a 2 week visit to family and friends in Canada.

I always leave with a heavy heart as the people there mean so much to me, though email and phones are a great way to keep in touch, being with them is much more fulfilling.

This morning as I sit waiting on my train to Aberdeen I am reminded how much I love being here too.

The ruins of Arbroath Abbey look dramatically dark silhouetted against the morning sun. Seagulls and pigeons are doing their thing..hobbling along the station platform, cooing and cawing as they do in train stations up and down the country. It's a cold, crisp morning and I have that familiar realisation that, despite my 42 years of Scottish autumns I'm not wearing enough layers.

As I sit on the train now I'm looking out on the north sea, vast and beautiful feeling glad to be back home.

I feel homesick for my friends in Canada, and grateful for my family, friends and life in Scotland.

I wonder if things were simpler, hearts less heavy, before world wide travel become so easy? We couldn't yearn for family and friends we'd never met, or a land we'd never seen.

Right now my heart feels full of happiness and gratitude for all that I have in my life. I have great memories of my trip which will tide me over until my next visit - gratitude too for my life in Scotland.

"The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned." - Maya Angelou

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Celebrate the challenges of life

Rather than bemoaning our life experiences look at each one as fertiliser contributing to your growth.

Without the challenges, the heartbreaks, the loss, your development may well be stunted.

Shift your perspective and realise that sunshine alone is like feasting on bread; the initial outcome to fill our bellies is certainly achieved - but we will not thrive on bread alone.

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars." - Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The Flow

Someone reminded me recently how easy it is to lose the connection that keeps us in the flow.

Life speeds up, and we quickly move away from doing the things that make our heart sing. As we separate from our body and feed into the headmind loop that life IS stressful, we remove ourselves from the very things, the activities our passions, that would keep us grounded, fulfilled and would maintain health.

Unlike rivers we have some control over the way our lives flow. Of course obstacles will appear and we will have to change our direction. Those rapids (white water) can soon be returned to a calm reflective pace as we quickly adapt to the "obstacle" and navigate our way round in the most effortless way we can returning as quickly as possible to our flow.

"Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath" - Natalie Goldberg.