Over recent years I’ve indulged in several trainings, either yoga-related or more business-style trainings. These times away from home are a unique blend of learning, retreat, self development and vacation! Simply wonderful! As varied as teachers paths are, I’ve noticed a recurring theme and a natural happening on these “retreats”. Mornings are unique and they carry a certain energy with them. If we can be mindful of our choices at the beginning of each day, we can launch ourselves into a day with more clarity and well being. It’s true. I’ve experienced it.
Having been exposed to so many great trainings, I have gathered many different practices that I want to do every morning but naturally, there is only so much time…the morning comes and it goes. It feels all too fleeting sometimes! Which practice(s) do I choose to do? If I want to do them all then I’m looking at a very, very early start…and I’m not there yet! In fact, I’m not sure I ever will be. After all, sleep is important too!
So, how do we choose our focus for morning practice? For me it seems each day is different, my schedule is not the same every day, some days I teach and some days I need to put my business hat on. Some days I have a free morning and more time. Some would say that any practice needs to happen every day. However, different days (for me), call for different practices. I can’t say I have it all figured out. I cannot offer you a definitive answer. It’s easy when we are ON retreat, there are no other distractions, no household chores to take care of, no lunches to make, the list can be endless! However, carving some time each morning to do something mindful whether it be movement, breathing, writing or meditating, can set us up for a calmer more focused day ahead. That much I have learned and know to be true. At the same time, I’ve learned it is also important to not beat myself up on the days this does not happen, because of course, there are days like that. Today is one of those days. On days like today, I notice the absence. I notice what if anything, I could have done differently to make space. I breathe, to feel present in the moment. Maybe I can find another moment later in my day, any moment will do. That I believe is the point of mindfulness. It is a ongoing practice that I strive to bring into my daily life.
Over and over again I am learning the same lesson. Or rather, I keep realising the same thing over and over. Surely it is not really learning if you don’t actually change and adjust your behaviour accordingly?
The things we put off, don’t do, believe we cannot do because they are too hard or that we are not clever enough to do, are ALL really the things in life that once we do, we feel totally great about. We feel a sense of achievement and in some cases, great joy! Getting familiar with my website and discovering how to update my blog on this site is one of those things that I have been procrastinating about for far too long now! Yes, I have been busy, yes I have been traveling but also….Yes….I admit….I have been afraid of my own website!
Now that I have discovered it is not impossible to use, I have no excuse to stay away. A belated Welcome to Just Be Blogging!
This is an excellent TED Talk about nourishing our bodies from the inside out. Nourish your mitochondria and your body can cure itself of incurable disease.
I haven’t felt like sharing my life with my blog audience lately. It’s been too personal. Too raw. A time to go within and retreat or at least journal rather than blog. I can be fairly open on these pages, I have shared more on a blog than I ever thought I would, and yet there are times when it just won’t do. It’s not the time or the place.
Talking of places, The Cottage has been The Place this month. I knew it would fun and a great place to Be but really….within just 3 weeks it has proved to be a complete gift! It has exceeded my high expectations already. Perhaps it’s just the honeymoon period. Maybe I’ll get bored. Maybe, but I doubt it. What I find when I arrive at this beautiful, simple, yet comfortable retreat is oh-so-valuable. It’s like my stress-o-meter re-sets to zero. It’s almost instant upon arrival. I couldn’t have predicted that. It feels great!
We arrived late on Friday, after a busy week, in our respective ways. The drive is straight forward in this weather, so we begin to relax on the journey and the promise of what’s at the end of the road assists with that relaxation.
We don’t notice how clear the night sky is when we are driving and when we arrive, the temperature feels perfect for sitting out on the deck with a welcome beverage. The air is cool, there does not appear to be a feeling of bugs in the air, just beautiful lake air, so we sit. As soon as our eyes adjust to the darkness, the night sky hits us. The sky is FULL of stars! Oh my….we don’t exactly live in The City but I haven’t seen a sky like this since I was in South Africa! Or at least that is what springs to mind. I saw my first shooting star! Can you believe that? At my age, never seen one until now? It’s true…but now I have and it was incredible. Such pure and simple joy! Inspired by nature.
Nature continued to inspire me all weekend. I’ve always said it feels great to be out in nature and that it nourishes my soul….but at the same time, I’d forgotten that lately. I have not been in nature enough. I have not been feeling inspired…could the two be related? Surely just a “co-incidence”.
The next morning I was encouraged to try the new kayak on the lake. I am quite sure there are not many people out there, especially living in Canada, who need to be encouraged or asked twice to go kayaking on the lake. Well, in my defense I’m neither Canadian nor a water-lover, so it was a fairly significant Moment for me. Getting in was a bit tricky but with some patient assistance I managed to remain calm and Step in…and….relax! Well, almost….once out on the water, it was so still and peaceful, it was a lot easier than I imagined, to let my guard down, let go of my well conditioned fear! I even found I could pretty much operate the paddle and head in the direction I intended to! It wasn’t perfect of course, it was my first time (yes, another first!) but I was rather impressed and rather pleased with myself I have to tell you. So there I was out kayaking on the lake….taking in the nature surrounding me. I saw my first Bullfrog! We have been hearing these little chaps for weeks now. At first wondering what on earth the noise was…it is quite distinctive and Very Loud! Anyway….there he was just sitting on the edge of the shore and he let me take a good look at him without leaping at me and causing me to topple the kayak. Oh so grateful for that!
I returned to shore to feel smug and pleased with myself and to read a little to take some photographs of other people kayaking. I was busy aiming my camera when I heard something else, very distinctive….it was a Hummingbird! He swooped in front of me….hovered….so I could get a good look and say Hi…but unfortunately he didn’t stick around long enough for me to get a good shot, he was gone as quick as he appeared, but what beauty! Truly….I feel like I am gushing about nature here….OK, Yes, I admit it, I AM gushing about nature! So many of us take it for granted. We live on a stunning planet, full of beauty and wonder and yet so much of our time is spent completely blinkered to this beauty…the beauty that can trigger Joy, if you stay still just long enough.