Nowhere to go….

I am sitting on the roof top of our apartment, it’s a sunshiny blowy day, the blustery games of the wind make it feel cooler than it is…

Famara beach is just across the road from me and I can hear the music of the waves in a rhythm of still movement – the tide is high so I will wait until later to run, when the sand stretches for miles again….

Nick and I spent lots of time up here meditating, chanting and talking… Nick was over in Lanzarote for five days to work on the opening paragraph to a new chapter in his life… This white rooftop leant itself to creativity and clearing;
and this morning Anadi and I lay here naked in the sun.

It is rooftop full of the energy of healing, wholeness and joyous celebration… And right beside me there is a beach which lends itself to nudity, to freedom of expression, to transparency… A place where my body is loving running like the wind…

Running has always been a mirror for me to look into myself, and racing around in my bare feet even more so.
My feet are in charge.

Yesterday I ran on the smooth black asphalt near La Santa, the sunkissed surface felt joyous to my feet at first, but the tarmac was so hot, that after five miles my feet said “enough for now”.

I am aware of muscles elsewhere in my body needing to strengthen and ‘switch on’ that have seemed to lie dormant whilst I ran in shoes…
After running yesterday I felt like I had been in the gym… My tummy muscles and the tops of my thighs and hips, all felt as if I had been doing some serious kind of strength workout!

But now my body is feeling open and free, because this morning Liisah came to give me a massage. I loved it, the feeling of my body disappearing within the sheer physicality of clearing through massaging.

A delightful paradox.

I can feel my whole being already starting to live my new life, whatever that is to be…
A space where the path will reveal itself.

As always I know I love to run, and I am allowing the running step to take me where it will….

I like not having a goal at the moment… But I also see how important they have been for me in the past… Without them I wouldn’t have found out how attached I was to the outcome, or how much push there was in my energy field, or how much I was looking for some kind of immortality through the running results…
I also wouldn’t have discovered the magic that happens after miles and miles of running, how it is possible to experience a transcendence of the body and mind, how I became the running, how I learnt about Zen.
The feeling of being ‘In the zone’, where everything disappears except the moment, the step…

And for me, I experienced this when running as fast in a race or training session, where I was just on top of the pace, on top of the pain, riding the crest of a wave….

So now I find myself in a space between…

There may well be goals again… They have always been a barometer of how much I am attached to this life and all of its chimeras, the illusion, the samsara…

They can highlight for me any area where I still mind what happens…

My life’s work has been to find out how to fully commit to run towards a destination, with the full awareness of the zen koan that there is is no where to go….

 

Thank you Nick Miles for the photos of me running on Famara beach!

Dancing your run…

A new day dawning on a new landscape… Twelve days in the UK have passed in a mixture of London’s lively vibe, misty rainy beauty of the South Downs, watery sun rising over the English Channel, daffodil yellow spring popping up along the paths in the Park at Buxted and a bright sunny morning with Tigger, Roo and Poo on the Ashdown forest…

Today I woke with the Atlantic sea just across the road, and Famara beach inviting me to run. The tide was quite high and the sand soft, so the beach was about two miles long instead of its low tide three.
One of the benefits for me of running barefoot is that my feet are in charge, they are dictating the path and the process of running.

It is as if I have never run before, all the miles and miles I have run have gone, they do not exist except in a story book of my narration.

Now I have a new running life where my feet cannot yet run as far they did before. The place I am in now lends itself to listening more acutely to my body. I am in a space of not knowing what will unfold on the running road…

There is nothing hiding my perception in ‘shoe form’, and whilst I am not knocking the value of protection to our feet, for me being barefoot has taken me to a place of letting my feet dictate the pace and the path they wish to take…

And so there is no plan.

Zen is truly happening as my experience, rather than a concept of my mind… I am reminded of the author of ‘The Zen of Running ‘ words, Fred Rohe who wrote
“There are no standards and no possible victories except the joy you are living while dancing your run. You are not running for some future reward-the real reward is now!”

This is true of the Zen of living too of course, there is only now… Being fully here and now, without looking to an imaged future where we will find what we are looking for, brings huge rewards.

This doesn’t mean not working towards a goal or learning a new skill; it simply means staying in the moment whilst the process unfolds.
This allows for unexpected changes, or outcomes, or new people appearing who might open another door or show us another route…

In truth the more we live in the moment, goals will cease to have push energy, instead any necessary stretching is just that… A stretch towards a new experience, a new possibility, to the discovery that we are living more fully than we ever ‘thought’….

If we are here and now, aware of the still point within each breath, aware of the silence within… Our life will emerge from this place, rich in joyous joy…

Vlogging jogging blogging and snogging… !

Soon I am to head off on the next leg of my journey…
In May I am going a vlogging jogging snogging ( mainly with Anadi ! ) and blogging… Not necessarily in that order, around the globe…

I am already doing this course, but from May I will have more time to dedicate to my new way of life!

My brother once said of me that my energy gathers people… He even said this at a big meal out with friends after the commonwealth games… I had dropped out of the race at 20 miles with injury.
He stood up during the meal to make a toast and he said ‘it doesn’t matter what happened in the race today, what matters is that Julia has gathered us all…’

I love gathering people, whether in person, or via my blogs jogs and vlogs….
And on Saturday the vlog brought a wonderful gathering of friends, some who I have known for years and years and some who I was about to meet….

When Anadi and I woke at 5am, with a rendezvous planned on the Western lawns in Eastbourne at 5.45, my new, yet to be met friends, Trish, Colin, Tilly and Jess were already up! They had risen at a quarter to 4 to listen to the dawn chorus….

The first bird they heard was an owl… ‘Does the owl herald the dawn chorus?’ I asked, rather displaying a lack of nature knowledge!
‘We arrived in the night’ Trish laughed…

And so at 5.30am, Anadi and I ran barefoot to the seafront, not yet knowing that we had new friends who were on the top of the south downs by now, waiting like us, for the sun to rise….

By the time Heidi and Tracy came running towards us across the lawn the light had come and day had broken….
I learned so much from them about the wildlife and the farm animals. They shared with us how to save sheep and told us of their love of running on the downs…
‘It’s breathing’ said Tracy… ‘Freedom’ echoed Heidi.

Connection with the earth, they both said….

We are all connected, we are all one… Listening to Tracy and Heidi speak, I heard a universal language.
We all desire peace, freedom, to breathe, to be connected, to be at one… To know we are one…
Free….

Peace…

Anadi and I then ran up to the top of the downs to Beachy Head , where there is a plaque of peace.
We ran through the mist, trusting the step, staying in each bare footprint watching where the next would land and take our future this way or that.
We had planned that we would read out the plaque at the top of the downs together, as we did when I lived here – and then turn for home
‘Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth. Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust. Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill my heart, my world my universe. Peace…..

But the path unfolded in a completely different way…
If we trust the step, we will always find that the path does unfold and in the most wonderful of ways…

As the mist cleared we could see a group of people ahead of us…
Our friends that we hadn’t met were there, wrapped up in the mist…
As we approached, we all said ‘hello’, and then Jess told us that she had got up at a quarter to four to hear the dawn chorus.
‘What does the dawn chorus sound like?’ I asked…
‘Chirp chirp chirp’ Tilly said…
And then they showed us their excellent bird impersonations, shared their marshmallows with us that they had been toasting for a sunrise breakfast, before we waved our goodbyes and headed back to the Western lawns where more vlogging and jogging friends were gathering…..

What a joyous morning, Tim Jane Ad Haze Lesley Calum Karen Alison, wonderful souls all, joined us to share in barefooted fun, playtime!

‘Going out to run barefoot feels more like playtime than I can remember…’ I mentioned to Anadi…
‘Life should be playtime.’
He responded….

Yes….
Life should be playtime…..

 

 

 

Thank you to Trish and Colin and karen for their wonderful photos in this blog!

A Mountain Blogette

The sun is setting in glorious fashion, streaky pink purple orange, on another beautiful Spanish sunny mountain day.
Anadi and I sat outside in the village of Bubion drinking café con leche earlier today, enjoying as always, the still silent sound of mountain life.
It is evident that most of the young people run helter skelter for the cities, as the population here is older. The energy a slower pace.

Unless of course you happen upon a group of shiny cyclists, up in the mountains, tearing helter skelter too, but down the slopes and then climbing up up up, vibrant in colour and energy.

In truth I am more of a sea person than a mountain dweller… But over many years, in fact over the past thirty, I have always been drawn to spend some time high up where the air is thin and clear, to where the magic unyielding mountain strength is tangible.

I witness this same uncompromising nature in the ocean, where I love feeling a part of the cosmos, a mere speck that could be whipped up and away on a whim.

We are part of this universal energy, and in general we all find that our own unique energetic make up is more resonant with some terrains, weather conditions and vibrations on the planet than others.

In the same way that one of us might love to ski down the mountains with snow on them, and another run up them in the sun, while another is walking or driving in them…. And one might like to swim in the ocean, while another dives deep down to witness its beauty below the surface, and another is siting on the beach or on a boat…

So we will be drawn to different places that resonate and vibrate with a frequency that is in tune with our own…

And so we must listen to our body, it will guide us, it will speak to us of our own wisdom through its messages.

This is why clearing away the emotional reactivity reaps such huge reward… Because without the flight and flight reflex clouding our judgement, so that we are seeing through a filter. Instead if we clear this away and find our centre, our place of stillness, then we can hear the wisdom of our body…. It will lead us guide us, our intuition becomes tangible within…

And then our path unfolds through the simple process of stopping, listening and daring to trust where the wisdom of our intuition leads us.

My Mountain Vlog