From the ground, up!
The Path today begins quite briskly. I am feeling light and energetic. I do notice, however, that the faster I go the less able I am to take in my surroundings. Truth be known I'm feeling a little vague but for now I'm too energised to slow down.
Gradually, my pace does begin to slow a little and I become acutely aware of the deep reddish-brown richness of the newly ploughed field. The word fertile comes to mind, and there is a feeling of life being full of new possibilities. Limited only by my imagination and what I am able to conceive. And yet, equally, I sense the importance of being grounded.
My initial reaction to the word grounded is one of dullness. The thought of it can feel dense, heavy, not much fun. Boooo! I think. I don't want to be grounded, I want to lift off! Have fun. However, I've come to realise that from groundedness springs clarity. Clarity, for me, being such a joyful experience. A relief. Even when that which is being clarified isn't that pleasant.
The simplest way for me to become grounded is to slow down, stop, and take long deep breaths. Just for a moment letting everything drop - physically, mentally and emotionally. It feels like I am slowing the world down just enough to be able to take in where and how I am in the world, and from this place of noticing both my outer and my inner experience I seem to make better, life-enhancing decisions. In fact, in this moment of grounded re-connection I realise I really am free to fly.
Who determines authenticity?
My first thought as this bright red material flower catches my eye on The Path today is I can't really use it because it's fake. As I walk on, this gets me thinking further. What determines whether something is fake or not fake? Who determines authenticity? It may be manufactured but the building-blocks of all materials come from nature in the first place. Even we 'the manufacturers' are nature too. So, I wonder can anything be truly fake?
As I go back and take the shot I notice the vibrancy of the flower feels lovely, and that's real enough for me!
As I walk on I wonder what the relevance of all this is to me and my journey. I sense that although I am enjoying this new way of being in the world (putting myself and my words out there) perhaps there is still some fear around 'feeling like a fraud' to be gently released :-)
Simply showing up is enough
What a walk this turned out to be!
With my hands casually resting in my pockets, the walk begins quietly and calmly enough. I notice the Wheep! Wheep! bird from yesterday in the same place. As I wander along The Path, I am aware of a sense of nothingness within, and without. No stress, no worries, nothing I particularly have to do today (beyond my motherly responsibilities). So, this is it! I think to myself. Inner peace. I look around to see what pops out today but nothing really catches my eye. I continue to wander and watch and feel. I have to admit, despite an appreciation of being out in nature, my stomach is churning a little with an uncomfortable feeling of blandness. Gradually I become aware that despite appearances there is actually a quiet sense of discomfort deeper within. Though I'm not sure what.
As I continue to walk, the one thing that does finally stand out is the deep pink condom wrapper. I smile to myself and carry on walking. Still nothing is "speaking to me" today. I start to become curious that even though the wrapper popped out at me - I pretty much ignored it. I decide to go back and take the picture. Hmmm...so there's something going on for me around feminine (pink wrapper) sexual energy! And my tendency to ignore it. At this point I must put out an Innuendo Alert. I've noticed they come thick and fast once I am aware of sexual energy. See!
So, as I wander along, my thoughts go something like this. Ok, so the path is about sexual energy today...but you can't expect me to put that out there! I'm new to this blogging-lark. It's a little premature of me, don't you think? Shouldn't I build up to these things gradually? Wouldn't I be peaking too early? (See what I mean?) In psychological terms, I am now becoming activated. That is, I feel a little edgy and dazed as my mind becomes quite foggy around trying to figure out the details of what I could and should do. Mindlessly, I am lost in making notes, paying no attention to my surroundings at all.
Eventually, getting a sense of what is going on for me, silently I put out a plea for help. Thoughts immediately come to mind that calm me down. As I continue to make notes on my phone they suddenly disappear from my screen. With an initial sense of panic I try to retrieve them but, remembering I have just asked for help, I assume this is the answer! Though I do wonder if I can write the blog without them. As I continue the walk the words Simply showing up is enough come to mind. I choose to trust that it is so. What also comes to mind is a small part of a letter I once wrote which goes like this:
Thankfully through the process of becoming EMBODIED I can finally begin to relax around FEELING IT ALL.
The full joy of life.
The full pain of life.
And everything in between.
In essence, Being Human.
On reflection, I now realise how important it is to TRUST myself.
I don't have to be right.
I don't have to be good.
I just have to BE me.
To know my own VALUE and WORTH regardless of outside opinion.
To know that I can AFFORD to relax and just Be.
A loving spirit on an emotional human journey.
To have FAITH.
Faith in my own inner guidance that comes from my own connection to Spirit.
To ALLOW myself to FEEL JOY.
Aware there is only one Life Force Energy whether it be experienced as joy, passion, sexuality, creativity, Love or God.
Knowing they are inseparable.
That to cut off one is to cut off them all.
Denial of our life force energy as a form of self-castration, perhaps?
On a final (lighter) note, with the traditional chakra system in mind, I see the colour orange as representing this Life Force Energy that we are. Surely I'll come across something orange and pertinent on the path today I muse. Finally, at the very end, there it is. A bright orange energy drink...protruding from the bush!
I did warn you! ;-))
Without the need to capture
There is a lot of love on The Path today. Heart-shaped flora everywhere. I have the urge to go really slowly. Take my time. Savour it. I hear the sharp, high-pitched whistle of a tiny bird. Wheep, wheep, wheep! As if to say Oi, I'm over here! There is a sense of connection.
I also notice the urge to focus outward a little more. All this inward focus, as insightful and magical as it is, can feel a little intense. So balance, it seems, is the order of the day. I am also aware of the urge to refrain from obsessing about capturing everything on the path, as well as within, whether that be through writing, photography, or thoughts. It can be exhausting. Sometimes its lovely to just watch and feel it all pass by without the need to capture. I remind myself to just wander, and notice what pops out at me, rather than go looking for it. What a relief!
As I walk I am still with the energy of that little bird. The words Look at me, I may be small but I AM IMPORTANT come to mind. Suddenly I am aware of a rising flushness making its way up to my face. I am embarrassed as it hits me Maybe this is what I am saying about myself! I realise What the bird is saying is simply a reflection of what I am feeling deep inside but am struggling to bring to the surface for fear of feeling and being judged as arrogant. And yet it is true. I do matter. No more nor less than anyone else but the truth is I am important.
Sh*t! Do I really have to share this? I wonder. NO, is the reply. But it feels really important. YES!
(Having learned to trust the voice from within that says very little but speaks in capital letters) I choose to 'get over myself". It feels important to share it because its about you too. YOU ARE IMPORTANT. YOU MATTER. I AM A REFLECTION OF YOU. WE ARE MIRRORS OF EACH OTHER.
As I continue to walk the path there is a sense of an ENDLESS SOURCE of material available out here in nature, which I also equate as an endless source of support. Even though I do not know with my head what this endless source is, my heart does seem to know. And if there's one thing I've learned without question it's to trust my heart.
Further up the hill the yellow heart-shaped leaf (above) pops out at me. As I move in to take a shot I smile to myself as the lower leaf quivers rapidly as if to say ooh, pick me, pick me! I include them both. As I wander on, I sense that in contrast to that little excitable leaf other elements of nature, such as the oak or the pine tree, seem to stand secure in self-confidence. At times I can feel the sheer inner peace of that experience, and yet quite often I am also that quivering, excited little leaf. Both, it seems to me, are what life is all about.
Swayed by the presence of others
The weather on The Path is misty today, and there is an air of quiet stillness. Except for the sound of dogs and the voices of their owners approaching up ahead and from behind. I notice these days I no longer speed up or slow down to avoid contact as I once did. Swayed by the presence of others. Afraid that it might be an uncomfortable experience. That I might mess up in some way. That I did this came as a shock self-revelation at the time. Today, however, it feels great to go at my own pace whatever it might be. To let the contact come and go and, perhaps, even stay a while.
I notice lots of fluffy white feathers on the the path today which gives me a soft, angelic vibe. Stopping to sit on a bended tree trunk for a while two more fluffy white feathers gently float down beside me. At the same time, a thorny vine is digging into my butt and my back. Hmmm, life can be like that. :-))
Life is a gift...accept it :-))
I've never quite walked The Path as I have today, that is, with such child-like enthusiasm. Earlier, the delivery people had said I was 86 on their list of 89 deliveries and that my package might not arrive until early evening. Accepting it was unlikely I would get to do the walk today I noticed I felt quite sad about it, in a way that wouldn't have bothered me before The Blog. Hmmm...surely I could get away with doing the walk before it arrives. However, since the package was my daughter's highly anticipated birthday scooter I really couldn't bring myself to take the risk. So, when the package arrived shortly before the children were due home from school I shot out of the door like a greyhound from a trap!
The first thing that catches my eye is this bouquet-like flower and, feeling a little guilty that life seems to be going so well, the words Life is a gift...accept it! spring to mind. I have to agree. There is a sense that as human beings we are constantly feeling squeezed (limited time frame, 2% battery life on my picture phone, and a potential financial disaster to name but a few) and yet beyond our humanness there is a sense that we are totally free.
The weather today is surprisingly warm and sunny and it strikes me this is exactly how I am feeling since deciding to start this blog. Suddenly I notice my thoughts going something like this; you can't go blogging about joy, joy, joy all the time. It's unrealistic. People will think you're in cloud cuckoo land. You'll bore them... (and so it goes on). Phew! Taking a few deep breaths I stop and notice the feeling of utter strangulation around these thoughts and remind myself that, for perhaps the first time in my life, this isn't about trying to impress or gain approval from anyone else. Its about doing something fun for me. Yes, I am now well-versed in my own suffering but the real challenge is, can I embrace this sense of new-found joy?
P.s. it tickled me that as I typed the words that were in my head, the predictive text feature on my phone re-wrote it as Life is shift...accept it! Equally true! :-))
Today on The Path I can see what looks like two white, fuzzy characters on the ground. As I move in to take a closer look I realise they are, in fact, two pieces of mould-covered poop. I think to myself boy, am I seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses today! Then I wonder Or, am I simply experiencing an alternative Reality? I smile to myself as I acknowledge which one I prefer :-))
Further along the path I notice I'm happily preoccupied with taking photos today. Put the camera away, will you! says the voice in my head. This is supposed to be a silent meditative walk, remember! With yesterday's blog in mind, I consider that perhaps my self-imposed path of meditation can be one of simple joy? At least for today. And so, I choose to acknowledge the gentle voice within that whispers Please don't stop taking photo's.
Feeling the gentle BUZZ of freedom
Walking The Path on a weekend is a bonus to start with today (not always easy with the demands of family life). Its surprisingly warm and sunny and I'm looking forward to a little space to breathe.
The first thing I notice, however, is some pressure to come up with a gem of wisdom, or at least a killer pic for the blog. It is only the third day, after all. Surely the inspiration hasn't run dry already. I've been walking this same path for over two years and not a day has passed without me learning something about myself! The second thing I notice is this self-imposed pressure, these self-imposed rules, are distracting me from enjoying the walk itself. That being the whole point, I realise I have to let go of having anything interesting to offer so that I can continue to simply enjoy the walk.
There's a real sense of stillness now. Except for the flies buzzing around me from time to time. Flies are generally experienced as a source of irritation which tends to reflect some inner, often unexpressed, irritation. On this occasion, however, I actually feel quite excited by the buzz! I realise this is how life feels right now as I start to play by my own rules. At this point the buzz reminds of this picture I took on The Path a year or two ago. But if you didn't take it today it isn't authentic the voice in my head protests. That wasn't the original intention of the blog. I gently smile at the voice in my head and, realising I am free to change my self-imposed rules at any time, here it is.
I took this picture on The Path today. The contrast of the bright light shining through the dark surround reminds me of our true nature. The ever-present potential for our luminous core to shine through whatever challenges or difficulties we may be encountering in the moment.
Today the weather was sunny and bright, if a little chilly. Exactly how I was feeling following the challenges and joys of yesterday. I felt quite light in my body. Bubbly, in fact. Like champagne. The cells of my body celebrating the birth of my new blog, perhaps? A new way of being - in contact. Not only with my inner world but with the outside world too. I notice I tend to feel a chill when there is an element of shock in my experience. And for me, putting myself out there was quite a shock to my system!
Today, however, I noticed a lot of excited chatter in my mind as I thought about the blog and the book I'm writing. It was quite dizzying. Since the intention of my daily walk is a kind of silent walking meditation, a way to start my day with a clear and quiet mind I chose to let it all go. But what if I come up with some really good ideas and you forget them by the time you get home? my mind protested. (It's always a clue when I have two voices in my head that I'm not so together in that moment!) Again, I chose to let go.
As I made my way up the hill I noticed the field had been harvested. It reminded me I could be thankful for what I have sewn, grown, and gathered this year, and indeed, in my life. I felt the urge, and the ok-ness, of sitting back a little today and appreciating just how far I have come.
So, here we go...
So, here we go...this is what I have to offer. I walked The Path today, as I do most days. The Path being the longer way home from the school run (about 25 mins through a small wood and around a large field). As is often the case, I began the walk in a swirl of confused emotion. It went like this...
...notice I feel WORTHLESS on the path today. Lost. Feel misplaced. Nothing makes any sense. Annoyed that the internet-based car insurance company I have just joined are almost impossible to communicate with. This, they claim, allows them to drive down monetary costs for the consumer but it seems there are other higher costs i.e. NOT BEING ABLE TO CONNECT. Feels like they've taken my money and run, offering nothing in return but threats of cancellation (i.e. further DISCONNECTION). It all feels very IMPERSONAL and of VERY LITTLE VALUE.
So then, as I do, I sink a little deeper and wonder what's really going on inside. What is this outer situation reflecting about how I'm really feeling on the inside? Then, Dong! Of course! It hits me between the eyes, or rather right smack bang in the third eye :-). Between officially quitting practicing as a psychotherapist and being in the early stages of following my heart and writing about my experience instead I realised it is me that is feeling kinda useless, of no real value. Out on a limb. Lost, and a little bemused. As I recognise this, I remember I am never lost as long as I am in contact with myself like this. Tears well in my eyes as I write this. I take a deep breath.
Having attended a wonderful Writer's Workshop provided by the publisher's Hay house this weekend, I noticed the most resistance from within came when they repeatedly emphasised the most relevant aspect of book publishing these days (besides a great book) is - social media. Putting yourself out there, so to speak. I realise this is the next step in my journey. Daring to share. The Path today reminded me of the pain of BEING OUT OF CONTACT. So here I am. Hello.
Trained in a depth, buddhist-based psychotherapy, using everyday outer world experiences to develop inner wisdom, one day at a time.