In the busy lives we lead it is often difficult to give ourselves the space for reflection and contemplation. I have found that by making the huge change that I have in my life it has made this easier. Whilst I was working full time and full on, it was difficult for me to give this important area of my life any time. The way I found more tranquility was through my dance and movement practice. I found courses on mindfulness and meditation helpful too. Whilst in London I attended courses at St Ethulburga’s in the Bishopgate and found their active approach to peace and reconciliation to be extremely beneficial and have carried much of that learning with me. However, what was lacking was the ongoing commitment and making my practice part of my daily routine.
Now with my base in the south of France where there is more solitude and less busyness I find the time I take for my yoga each day to be really important and intrinsic to my life. I now find I feel out of sorts if I leave it out of my day. I seek to do a certain amount each day, but when I’m stretched I do a short practice instead. No more leaving out something when I actually need it the most!
I love the place where I live as on most days I’m able to stroll through beautiful surroundings and realise the beauty of what’s around me. For me being able to find peace in my surroundings enables me to be more peaceful in my daily life. Going inside and quieting the mind brings me more focus and clarity. I also find that when I spend quiet time I can find my purpose and it becomes easier to ween myself from the distractions posed by the internet and social media interrupted lives. I also realise that it doesn’t help me to criticise myself when I fail and now I can be more curious and gentle when resistance comes knocking at my door. I am able to stop trying to banish the critical voices from my head and look positively on the different aspects of my life, feel my heart, feel more heard and then I can move on.
My chatting mind hops Quiet and calm brings freedom, gentleness and peace.
Here in my new home you can go for walks in nature and I find this replenishing and allows my spirit to be whole. I love the quietness and the sounds of children playing in the woods. I enjoy being able to take my camera and capture; seed heads, beautiful views or flowers. These pictures then become the inspiration for a painting and feeds my soul.
The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives maybe, I go and lie down where the woodrake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the place of the wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.