New Practice : Ten@Tuesday

I’m planning to share my new practice with you, just on a Tuesday, even though I’m completing this task everyday. This practice came to me first via Alisha Sommer and her beautiful writing and photography. And this practice came to Alisha via Marie Howe being interviewed on On Being.

Within this podcast, Marie Howe talks about the power of poetry and the sacredness of the every day. Sacred space is there always just waiting for us to stop and pay attention. To stop and hold space for the now.

I love the thought of this. I love the idea of gifting ourselves the beauty and grace of our present moments. All we have to do is slow down and listen. Slow down and observe.

Marie recommends to her students to write down 10 observations of the actual world each day. No metaphors, no comparisons, just detail the world as it actually is. Simple. Engage the senses and be up close with the world around us. Be present.

After embarking on this practice for a few weeks now, I have to say it hurts, sometimes, to be so present as the tendency is to look away. To want to distract myself and move on. Get moving, get producing. But at the same time as the pain and is the simple joy of being present. There’s pain but also happiness to be found in being present. And this is amazing. Try is yourself and see.

Marie Howe calls this ‘a gift of holding sacred space.’ And you’re doing this for yourself, no one else, just yourself. I claim this as self-care to the max.

Each Tuesday, I’ll share my 10 observations. Feel free to share yours too, here with me.

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listening to the voice of my soul

When my days are lived at a pace.
When my time is filled with noise.
When my eyes are lit up by a screen.
I feel a creeping dread up my spine.
Red ants invade my hairline
and I feel as if there is no escape.
I’m uncomfortable in my skin,
taking only shallow breaths.
Heavy and awkward, never feeling rest or calm,
I forget who I am.
I’m distracted.
When I withdraw to slow down.
When I turn off external sounds.
When my ears become accustomed
to the voice deep within my being,
I can feel my soul and she speaks
from heart of love.

learning to change 


Over the weekend, our clocks went back. We lost an hour and gained the darkness. Usually at this time of year, I go into a bit of a slump. With the night’s drawing in so does my mind and emotions. I get a bit grumpy as this is the way I’m supposed to act. I’m not supposed to welcome the dark, to enjoy the dark, I should be reaching for the light, or so I’ve been lead to believe. But this year, I sense a change. 

This November I plan to go within, deep within. Cosy up and settle into my new home at the same time as explore my internal darkness. I’m looking forward to the rest, to the reduction in the pressures to perform and show up. I’m looking forward to just being. and don’t get me wrong, I’ll not be idle. I’ve got plenty of things to keep me busy, to be getting on with behind the scenes. But allowing myself to rest and to take care of myself, is a change, is an advancement for me that I will continue to cultivate as I reap the benefits of such. But of course if these plans get disrupted, I have also learned to be flexible.

This time last hear, I was knee deep in curriculum planning, marking and examination preparations. Self-care amounted to getting to bed before 10pm and most nights that wasn’t achieved. Things weren’t really going to plan and I was constantly knackered. What I can take from that time now is my ability to be flexible, to not make a fuss but to just go with the flow because I learned that it was me and only me who was hurting. It was me and my unrealistic expectations that was causing the ruckus, not anyone else.

I carry this nugget of knowledge with me now, when my best laid plans go up in smoke because of unforeseen circumstances. I become disappointed and hurt and yet I also see that these things happen and I’m more adept at being centred, rooted in myself but still allowing my trunk to bend, and my branches to sway in an unexpected wind or storm. These things happen, it’s nature. It’s how I perceive and handly these changable circumstances is the development, is an indication of my growth as a human being.

Peace



Deep within the still centre of my being may I find peace.
Silent,y within the quiet of the Grove may we share peace.
Gently within the greater circle of humankind may we radiate peace.

– Cairistiona Worhington

In Bed With SheShe

in bed with sheshe

I know it’s not all about me …

I took my mother-in-law to her radiotherapy session this morning. Her last one. Yes!!! She got to ring the bell afterward; the sound telling the world that she has completed her treatment.

We do not know as yet if all was successful. But we accept this moment with joy. She has undergone her treatment with courage and grace. And I’ve told her as such.

So when I say I know it’s not all about me … I’ve come home and I’m just so tired. I am exhausted and have just come to bed to rest. To switch off and recharge.

And there is a part of me that wants to beat myself up for being such a wuss, for feeling so tired. I know there is a sense of shame because I feel I have no right to feel this way. I haven’t just undergone cancer treatment. I haven’t been fighting cancer like my mother-in-law for the past year or so.

I’m trying to quieten this critical voice and just let things be; to acknowledging my tiredness which is an accumulation of a number of things. To stop beating myself up if I reach for the next chocolate or chuck of crusty bread instead of that green smoothie or handful of nuts and seeds.

I’m practicing letting it all be and surrendering to how things are, how I feel. How exhausted I am. And it’s hard. It means stripping away a lifetime of beliefs and behaviours that include holding up everything for everyone. That’s the way I should be, the way I’m expected to be by myself and others.

I cried today in the hospital when I saw that frail old woman almost skip into that treatment room. She couldn’t get it over with quick enough. I cried for what she’s been going through. For her family, for us, for our lives, for our fears and for our love.

I cried in surrender as I couldn’t carry on any more with everything packaged up so tight inside, a practice I’m so expert at as a means of just getting on with things.

I realise that the world will keep on spinning if I decide to take a rest now. Life does go on with or without me. With or without you.

This is starting to sound like a Jerry Springer moment, but really take care of yourself so you can take care of others.

I’m learning this and practicing this.

Trying to silence those voices of shame, guilt and selfishness. It’s not. It’s self-care. It’s self-compassion. It’s self-love.

#hygge #alchemy #authenticsheshe #compassion #practice #belovedbodypeace #cancertreatment #family #love #shame #surrender #voice #letitbe #letitgo

Time and Space

Things haven’t been going to plan recently. No correct that. There’s been no plan. There’s been little reflection on my life, on things that are happening. Things are happening to me. It hasn’t felt as if I’ve been in the driving seat of my life. I’ve just had to get on with things. The things that have been demanding my time and attention. All full-time work related. Things I don’t really want to do. But if I want to keep my job, things I have to do.

So because of this scarcity of time and energy, all creative ideas and projects have been put on the back burner. At one point I was getting annoyed about this. And I must say to live with me was hell. But then I remembered HERE. Here I am on hiatus from creative stuff. I gave myself permission to be creative. But when I got into the thick of things, I forgot my commitment to self. Remembering eased the pressure slightly. But it didn’t make me feel any better as I know I am at my best when I am lost in the creating.

I am in the state of waiting until this chapter of my life ends and I can get back to making big shakes in terms of getting to know myself better. Until I can get back to sharing my story, I am waiting. I am practicing waiting as patience is not part of my make up. But during this process, this muscle is being strengthened. So maybe at the end of this phase I can celebrate my developing patience. We’ll see soon enough.

time and space

Autumn – Pause, Reflect, Rebalance


This is my time of year. I’ve always loved Autumn since I was a child and taking as many different routes to school as possible to kick through the leaves.

There’s a crisp freshness to the air. Yes you can see your breath as you breathe out but you can also feel your fingers and toes getting cold. Your nose feeling the chill. There’s nothing like this time of year to bring you into the present moment.

October is my birthday month. The Black Moon in Libra was at the end of September marking the mid-point in the annual horoscope cycle. Libra, my sign, the sign of beauty and balance, is totally me as I seek both within my life with a passion.

This is a time when I will spend weighing up what has happened, what I have done so far along my path of enlightenment and authenticity. I intend to savour these moments of chill and beauty. Not rush off and make new plans for the future ( although I did make a couple yesterday. More to follow here!!). I try to refrain from doing and instead being.

This is a starting point, yes, but to pause, reflect, rebalance.