Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Returning from a slip (of mind and body)

I was reminded once again how easy it is to let go of a habit.

Not because you're trying to change it, but because your routine changes.

My routines are the foundations of those habits I seek to promote.  Time is precious.  And mine, like most other people's, is limited.  Which is why, if I want to do something, I have to find the time to do it in.

Which is where my diary comes in.  If it's in the diary, the chances it will actually happen are far higher.  And that's due to the simple fact that, for something to appear in the diary, it means that time has been allocated.

When our routines stop, no matter how briefly, significant change can result.  Which may be good.  Or, in the case of my yoga practice, less good...  I find myself feeling stiffer:  physically, and psychologically.

It is time to re-start, and re-acquaint with my mat.  And the first step is to let go of any frustration associated with the fact that I broke a habit that has been helpful, choosing instead to focus on the benefits I will once again reap.  Progress, not perfection.  And, breathe!

Yoga is not about touching your toes; 
it's about what you learn on the way down.
Judith Lasate

Tuesday, 9 June 2015


Saying goodbye is, I have learnt, not an event but a process.  It cannot be rushed, and happens in a timescale that cannot be controlled.  We let go of anything, only when we are entirely ready.  Saying goodbye is no different.  

I have, I realise, been saying goodbye in waves.  I have gone through several important phases:  each of them non negotiable.  Indescribable, intangible, every one has been inescapable.  I have endured the sense of loss imprinted on me, in a way I see now I carry far more easily.

Until we are able to wear our loss, we are incapable of shedding it.  We shed loss only when we are ready to be without it.  By which time it has carried us, and transformed us.  We are ready to move forward.  We may, once again, live on.  

You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she’s gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
or you can do what she’d want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

David Harkins

Friday, 5 June 2015

Going away to come back

I have, I know, written previously about my relationship with travel.  It need not be all that far but there is, for me, something very important about going away.

Most of us operate within routines.  We may do so more or less knowingly.  We are, I'm afraid, creatures of habit.  

Our habits and routines keep us safe.  They help us to manage.  But, every so often, we must break out from the structures we impose upon ourselves.  If only to re assess and re evaluate their value and utility.

Taking stock is something I prioritise.  For me, this entails coming out of my usual environment and pausing my routine.  This enables me to see more readily what it is that I am stepping aside from.

'They' say a change is as good as a rest.  The best changes I have implemented are those I have conceived of from a rested place. 

Rest is not a state that can necessarily be achieved amidst the hustle and bustle, the comings and goings that my ordinary everyday entails.  

And so, before I can come back to myself, I must firstly create space by stepping out of the structure, routine and environment that together comprise the system I am wishing to appraise.