Freedom in the practise of wholesome disciplines…

Our flight from Gatwick to Marseilles passed in a flash, but I still managed to fit in a Spanish lesson… One of the air stewards was Spanish and more than happy hablar en Espanol con migo…

We stepped out of the plane into grey skies and a chilly wind… Our pilot had brightly told us that it was a nice day in Marseilles with a temperature of 15 degrees… I was a little confused as I had promised Anadi sun!

One of his favourite phrases to me is ‘What happened to following the sun woman…’ Whenever we arrive at a cold, wet, windy Devon beach or I venture out of the front door into a rainy land and leave him cozy indoors… Marseille will be sunny I had assured… It was the car hire man who explained … ‘This isn’t usual, you can expect 26 degrees tomorrow…”

And he was right; today has been glorious…

Bright blue skies and warm sun greeted Anadi and I when we opened the door of our room to go for a run along the seafront. We are staying near the old port and the ‘prom’ goes on for miles along the edge of the mediterranean… The narrow pathway was alive with runners, cyclists, walkers… Vibrant energy; volley ball on the beach, and what appeared to be a kite competition on a huge grassy expanse… Kites all colours and shapes swooped and dived in delight and inspiring precision…

Freedom within discipline demonstrated in each magical arc across the sky, followed by a formation that took our breath away…

Finding freedom within discipline can help us to soar… Freedom with no structure can sometimes feel disparate and create disarray and despair… And then it is not freedom at all; but a spiral into loss of self, rather than a ‘letting go’ of self which allows us to know who we truly are…

When we engage in wholesome discipline in our relationships, our work, our sports, our hobbies – our creative expression – it can allow us to discover ourselves more fully.

It can take self discipline to learn and use the new ‘disciplines’ to help us go deeper into relating… For instance the practise intentional dialogue, the art of listening to one another… Taking the time to create harmony in the space between us…

We can go further in our work when we manage and develop our behaviours and actions to enhance our practises; our sports our hobbies and our creative expressions can all go higher, further and become stronger when we employ self motivated disciplines…

The definition of discipline is this… ‘A process of directing one’s behaviour and actions, either through self-motivation or through teaching…’

It also said – ‘or punishment’ – but I have left that off as we are exploring wholesome discipline, that enhances us and expands rather than controls or punishes…!

Freedom arises when we practice without push or stress; when we practise without self punishment or tension… There is a place where night turns into day, right in the middle of the yin and the yang where there is harmony… The place where when we place the spirit measure there, it balances and we find the sweet spot…
When we practice from this place and engage in wholesome discipline, then the expansion is wonderful…

It is in this place we can truly experience the freedom within discipline…

My feet liked the warmer weather; they skipped and danced along the prom and we even found a short beach, so they felt the sand and bathed in the sea and enjoyed their mini break in Marseilles…
We returned ‘home’ after 8k, raced up the steps that took us to the lane where our hotel is situated, and eventually made our way into Marseilles to see the Cathedral  – and to have the breakfast that had become a late lunch…

My navigation has something to be desired and so a 3k journey to the cathedral turned into an 11k site seeing tour of Marseille…! But suffice to say we arrived in time at the foot of the cathedral that stood firmly and magnificently on the ground, holding its ‘arms’ up, which were rising up to the blue clear skies… Still, silent with Saturday sunny activity, music, a wedding party, tourists and children playing all around…

We sat in the sun eating a delicious lunch… I enjoyed a goat cheese salad and then the delight of a speciality of Marseille tart and coffee to finish…

After dining, we went inside the cathedral, which was peace, still quiet energy; the sound of monks chanting filled the space, and echoed off the walls as we wandered, appreciating the slow tread of many, the passing of the years…

All here embraced in the now…

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