To our own self be true…

A rainy windy run today! In fact it was quite cold… Especially half way round when I was running into the wind, with the rain tumbling down… I gave myself the out to take the left hand road, that was coming soon at the bottom of the hill – if I wanted to – which would take me back for a 10k run rather than a 13k run I had planned…
It was the giving myself the opportunity to do less, which meant I carried on in a relaxed fashion, and as the left hand turn approached, I checked in – yes I was wet, and a little bit chilly – but I was enjoying the run and feeling good, and not that cold…

So I went past the road and carried out the original plan and enjoyed my training immensely – I was wearing my skinners socks too, which made it more comfortable for my feet, and I was able to run along a bit faster on the ouchie, uneven road which kept me warm.

Of course I recognise that sometimes we are on a route where it appears there is no out… But relaxing is still the key, while we make the journey…

I can remember years ago when I was racing and had been consistently winning a series of races… I was having a bit of a battle, this particular day, to maintain my winning streak and so I let go and decided that I didn’t mind if the top place went to another runner… I let my foot off the throttle, and then found myself imagining the headline in the local paper…

‘Gates surrenders winning streak’ and I didn’t mind – but then, as I ran along, I thought, ‘I might as well see if I can maintain it, and create a different headline…!’ I found a new gear and went on to win once again…

This of course was in a race where I had the capacity to win… But we can apply the same inner conversations wherever we are and in whatever situation.

The secret is to not make winning or doing well – or anything we do – a moral issue… There are so many statements about ‘never being a quitter’ or ‘carrying on whatever’; but really and truly our life and whether we carry on or stop anything is completely up to us – it is our own journey.

And it is not for someone else to decide whether it is the right or wrong thing. If we are happy with our decision then if this touches someone else’s belief system, and they show disapproval or disappointment – then the ultimate place of peace is to recognise that this is to do with them, not us.

I had a lot of practise with this as a younger person, as I kept making decisions that disappointed my father; but when I review my life I am happy I made the decisions I did. I am also glad of the inner conviction that I was born with, that allowed me to continue with them even in the face of dissent, and not much life experience.

There are times to leave jobs, change route, change direction, leave relationships – to stop.

And as I mentioned earlier, sometimes when we know that we want to stop something, but there doesn’t seem an immediate way to do this, for all manner of reasons…

In this instance, acknowledging our feelings and relaxing into the space we are in, accepting what is can help us reach either the end of that particular challenge… Or it can give us time to figure our next steps; or it can help us to find a way to be in the step of the experience however hard it is….

Because there are also times to carry on…

I have carried on with all manner of projects and situations when they have been hard, because I know that I am on the course of my soul…

Only we will truly know what is right for us, or when we must honour the course we are on, or change direction.

But first of all we may need to examine our stories and our beliefs, to really examine our paradigm… For this is where we will find out the ideas and ideals that we were given – and we can then look at where we internalised these ideas from… Was it from our family, our religion, our school, our culture, our society, our friends?

And then we can investigate whether they hold true for us now.

It is worth going deeply into the stories we tell, and those that are told about us… Do they resonate? Where did we get them from?

Where did I get the idea for instance that ‘No one remembers who came 2nd…’ That one caused me a lot of stress and distress – until I shed it for good… And even if the statements are true, does it really matter..?

To our own self be true… This is all that matters.

There is no rush…

Today I went for another treatment with Gerhard and noticed how willing my being and body was to surrender another layer of the tension – of the holding – which shows up in the left side of my body …

I have been clearing the restriction here for thirty years now…
And I have come to see that my body has only let go when it’s been ready to let go…We can only resolve when we are ready to resolve – and before that, however strange it might seem – we might be here to live out the drama or tension and experience this our life this way. It might be the only way we can let go – to first experience the opposite…

 

To experience  joy we might need to know sorrow deeply and well. To experience  ease we might need to feel dis ease…
And as Gerhard said the body needs to open and to melt – and it is the whole being that must give…
There was a time when I had a lot of stories to go with the process in my left side – and these were an important part of the inner clearing work for me…

 

I needed to understand and get insight through my mind …
But of course this is limited, and in truth has the potential to keep the pain stuck in the body and the being as we can ‘become’ the story of our pain, both physical and emotional…

 

We can become more and more interested in the process, and the patterns and the insights – but in the end there comes a time to just ‘let it all go.’

 

Nowadays I don’t have much of a story, although when Gerhard does the initial clearing process he does ask questions. These are not to be in dialogue with him about – but for our own self inquiry and shattering of the old patterns – but the images and ideas that arise are fleeting and purely help with the immediate accessing; and now I can’t really remember them…

 

But I could feel a further releasing occurring and part of me feels I would like to go every single day!

 

Gerhard and I made a vlog together and I asked him about living on Gozo. He told me that it is a space for him to come back to himself; that there are no distractions and so he must be with himself and listen to his inner voice to his heart – with nothing to take him outside of himself…
He emphasised it is necessary for us all… To eventually return to ourselves and to be with ourselves…

 

This is the journey we are all on – but there is no rush… Things of the spirit happen in their own time.

 

We cannot rush it anymore than we can rush the turning of the tide…

 
 
 

We know not the path another treads…

Anadi and I were ‘running across Gozo’ to Xlendi, all of 6 miles away… But we had arrived somewhere in the middle of the island, and definitely did not know which way to turn.

A friendly lady gave us very clear directions and then said… ‘You’re barefoot’! By way of explanation I said ‘Yes, I like it…’ and then carried on ‘I was born barefoot..’

This made us all laugh; but of course we were all born barefoot and our feet were designed to work well and carry us around without shoes. Some protection for uneven and ouchie ground and the cold is all that is really needed; and being in touch with the energy of the earth is said to have very beneficial effects on our body… The negative charge gives us loads of positive electrons serving as a good supply of antioxidants…

But this still doesn’t mean being barefoot is for everyone…

The path we all tread is completely unique, and it isn’t for us to project that we know which way another ‘should’ or ‘could’ go… We do not know the path another treads…

Of course there are ways that seem to be quite universal, we need to eat and sleep and drink water to survive in a human body – and breathe. We need to breathe…

But once again, we cannot truly comment on the choices another makes, as we don’t know the experiences their soul is here to experience… This whole illusion is a play on the stage of life, and we’re here to play… Sometimes quite violently and dramatically it appears – but the cycles of drama go round and round, so something is going on – even if it makes no sense to us at all…

I learnt a lot in my early 20’s when I ran my fitness centre; I learnt that people were going to ‘do it their way’, and so in setting fitness programmes the best thing was to create it to truly suit them, the amount they were genuinely likely to consistently do – whether that be once a week, three times a week or every day… And to truly find out the kind of exercises they were more likely to keep doing… I would also always enquire as to whether they really wanted to give up smoking, eating lots of cake and chocolate – rather than ever suggest they did. And if they didn’t, then work with the truth of their lifestyle.

I learnt to flow with my clients, and to work ‘with them’ from a very young age. I remember one lady very well, I can visualise her, although I can’t remember her name – she was in her late 50’s and had survived pretty well on drinking pretty much only brandy; she didn’t really drink anything else…

‘What else is there to drink?’ she had enquired… I tentatively suggested water, or maybe juice? She wasn’t very interested… But gently gently added a little bit of water to her diet… And quite liked it too!

In the end, people are going to do what they do. Sometimes, a person gets a health scare and completely changes their life; others carry on as before. Sometimes we are inspired by something another person does or says – and that point is a moment of change for us – like me seeing the barefooted surfers running on the beach… At other times, we just watch and carry on as we are…

I learnt very young that I wasn’t an authority on anything; but that I did have an ability to encourage others to be their own authority and to connect more to their own path, however less travelled or wayward it might appear to be… I was – I am –  good at helping others love themselves more and see themselves more clearly…

From a space of loving ourselves more, whatever we do or don’t do feels much better… !

Anadi and I ran ‘Barefoot across Gozo’ to Xlendi and back… Thirteen miles in all and then drove to Dwejra for lunch… This was the site of the famous Azure window… An enormous rock formation where the sea had created a huge window; but a few months ago it just fell into the sea one evening and now there is just the rock face left.

Gone in a moment, everything changed forever….

The turquoise sea…

The turquoise sea was our background music… The sound ever present, but ever soothing, gentle but wild…

We sat the three of us on a terrace, the day warm, with only a slight chill from the grey clouds. But we were wrapped up warm and sat for three hours, eating talking sharing – enjoying the space of exploration and stimulating honest conversation about ourselves, our lives our thoughts and feelings…

When I have a treatment with Gerhard, there is no talking – which I love – it is all about the energetic space and receiving; total bliss… Which is why lunch seemed such a good idea… To enjoy the connection we have, but with words – conversation – and over food!

Gerhard asked me today to remind him how we met… It was two years ago; I was looking for a sports massage and a waiter in a restaurant gave me two names. I chose Gerhard and have been going back ever since, every time we visit the island…

We lunched at Otters in Marsalforn; Anadi said as we left that he’d really enjoyed himself, how quickly the time had gone – and how he’d had lots of flash backs to his childhood times there.

But that they felt more like a past life.

It is always interesting to me how important it is to always be availale and aware of how much we don’t know; where we may still be holding on to ways of thinking or being that do not serve us, that may have come from way back in past lives – and revealed themselves early on in this life…

There was something in the dialogue today when Gerhard and I were sharing the restrictive aspects of our younger years, that shone the light on where there was still lurking a faint veil of puritanism… The whisper of a voice that says seeking happiness or enjoying things on this planet is somehow to be shunned, and that the life of ‘sack cloth and ashes’ and abstinence is ‘the way’…!

Now, in truth this does not obviously show itself in my love of life, but in our dialogue today I caught sight of it, and I was able to catch it by the tail and pull it out from wriggling back into my unconscious.

A part that says ‘I shouldn’t be happy’, and ‘I shouldn’t really engage in things that make me happy’… Now of course as you may witness, I don’t live that way. I live a life doing and being and having things that do make me happy…

I have challenged the constraints of the religion I was brought into, of the messages that life is ‘hard earnest difficult’… I have trodden my own path, and found how to live with joy, to have fun, to experience freedom…

But the point is that if within me there is still a slight voice of dissent, of disapproval… Then that voice will be dampening the possibility of absolute joy – of having the most fun… It will be taking energy – slightly holding back the freedom of expression.

We are on an earthly journey and there is much to enjoy… Like lovely food, and running and cappuccinos ?

This morning Anadi joined me again, and we ran 5 miles, which made my weekly mileage 50 again. We did some stretches of fartlek as we ran, which was fun and fluid and flowing… I am enjoying building my running form in stages… Holding steady at 50 miles feels a good way to deepen the progress I have made since July.

This week, my training felt almost too easy… That feels to be a good sign.

When we build and build, and listen to the body, when we listen to every part of our being; then we start to accomplish super human things and they feel easy… When things feel too hard, there is no way we will keep them going. Our endeavours take on the energy of a campaign…

And the nature of campaigns is that they always come to an end.

So campaigns have their place, of course – but it is important that we are keenly aware that if we are in a stretch that feels like a big effort, to recognise that there will be a time span, that it won’t go on forever…

The more aware we are, and available to notice this, and work with this…

The more we can make sure we are always building and not breaking down!

 

As you set out…

Today was a very exciting day!

Maricarmen said that as a student I have now officially transitioned to intermediate level…

There are three levels beginner, intermediate and advanced.. She went on to say so we won’t speak any English now, all Spanish…  ?

The funny thing is that I belong to a Spanish speaking online programme called Yabla which I love. It is chocca full of soap operas and interviews and teaching videos; yesterday I was choosing some material and I pressed the intermediate button to see what I could find there… So I knew really and truly…

It is always important when we have a ‘mountain to climb’ that before we start we look up at the peak and see truly what a journey we have ahead; it helps if we take a look at the possible twists and turns, the trees across the path, the hazards along the way, and that we have a healthy awareness of our ability, and how much help we will need… This way the magic can occur; there is space for the surprises, for expansions, the delight of reaching another level… We look up, seeing the peak shining with the sun on the glistening snow ahead of us, knowing that we are making headway and that in time we will reach the top…

As always recognising that the richness is in the journey; the process, the step we are in… As C.P. Cavafy starts his poem Ithaka…

‘As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery….’
He goes on the paint beautiful images with his words, of the unfolding journey – and finishes thus
“Ithaka gave you the marvellous journey.
Without her you wouldn’t have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean…’
This poem speaks to me of the many journeys I have undertaken in my life… And the ‘learning Spanish one’ is already far richer than I could ever have imagined…

Although the more I learn the more I feel a novice, rather than the lofty heights of ‘intermediate’! I see how much I don’t know, how slow I am, what a long road ahead I have to reach my goal of fluency – which I want very much – but I understand that it is just like ‘wanting’ my body to get free of pain or ‘wanting’ to run faster – I understand that it is the energy of ‘wanting’ that has no place in the journey.

I am making the road by walking it and fluency like ‘intermediate level’ will appear when it does…!

Meanwhile I must make the road by walking it each day – paso a paso…

 

 

Addressing, releasing, clearing…

The alarm woke me at 6.18am, which never used to feel very early in my ‘past life’, but in my current life –  my life with Anadi – it certainly does, as bedtime is never really before midnight…

I had actually set it for 6am, but at 4.18am had woken for a wee, and changed it to 6.18 as I liked the idea of two more hours in bed!

But the sight of the sun rising above Gozo harbour made me very glad that I was up and very soon I was out of the door.

It was a cloudy warm day and  I wore my Skinners socks because I can run faster in them on the road… I don’t need to watch out quite so vigilantly, and I don’t need to slow down over the uneven ouchie bits, or on the scattered stony sections at the side of the road, when I jump there to avoid the cars!

I had a treatment booked with Gerhard and I wanted to run and breakfast first… The run was a delight; I am loving the feeling of flow that my increased fitness is bringing. …

A lifetime of running…

It is a joy to keep practising and perfecting my art; a quest that never ends and I delight now in the ongoing investigation – the exploration to find the perfect true point, the balance, the silence, the body’s centre point.

I can feel where there is slight imbalance, an uneven holding in my shoulders, a very slight twist in my left hip – and now I just notice these things… I also notice the slight improvements that are occurring over months rather than days. I was last here in Gozo a year ago, and returning is allowing me to see the improvements, to recall how I was then – and to recognise where I find myself freer now…

You see I was always in a rush to ‘get there’, to be ‘free’, ‘free in my movement’ and ‘free of pain’… What I didn’t see back then, was that the ‘whole thing’, the orientation of ‘wanting’ to be free, ironically kept me locked into the very energy that I needed to let go of!

I met Gerhard two years ago when I was looking for a ‘sports massage’… He offers so much more. He is a gifted healer, and his orientation is towards clearing… Perfect.

I had booked a three hour session. The first hour was spent in a clearing exercise where he asked me questions related to organs in the body, places I might be holding emotionally, any conflict within, any emotional injuries, any issues I might want to work with.

I loved the hour; my processes are paler these days, but this is where it is so important to notice. It can be easy when feeling clearer and lighter to stop noticing the subtle energies which still need addressing, releasing, clearing.

It can be even more important to go within and clear as the subtle ‘holding on’, can still keep us from freedom, expansion, silence.

After the clearing, he gave me a two hour treatment, starting with a sound healing bath from two Tibetan singing bowls which he placed on my back… The sensation was incredible, and then the massage with some gentle subtle manipulation; my body loved it and I was not there…. I floated out of my body, I left it behind so that it could let go of any tension.

I am going again next week, and Gerhard has agreed to make a vlog with me – so you will meet him then!

And then rest of the day has unfolded easily meeting Anadi for lunch and spending the afternoon writing…

A perfect day….

 

Time Travel…

I’ve landed in Gozo!

It feels as if I have been beamed here… We rose early to a bright crisp November morning, and once I was on the plane I slept most of the way – including once we had got into the car at Malt!

I ‘came too’ on the ferry; skudding clouds and the sway of the boat, bright sunshine and the view of Gozo appearing on the horizon… Apart from the supermarket having closed down, it is as we left it; as we created it!

Anadi and I were discussing the quantum physics ideas, or ‘findings’, that this entire universe is created by our mind…  We both understand this as being an energetic movement or collaboration – not the thinking brain – although of course the thinking brain is part of the energetic expression…

I love exploring with Anadi – I find the more I dive deeper into investigating the universal energy, the more it helps me to let go of any holding on, or any idea that I can control anything, and at the centre of it all, a letting go of a sense of myself…

Yesterday we sat all day in a bar in London, and we we were both going through our different ‘lives’ in this life. We looked at how although there are aspects of ‘us’ that are recognisable to others, and of course ourselves – we don’t identify any more with different lives where we ‘worked out’ and let go of different aspects…

I can remember the child me, the teenage me, the trapped by an eating and running addiction me, the insecure or suffocated in relationship me… But none of them resonate with who I am now… They are now simply stories about experiences, which have helped me understand this life and the journey unfolding, the challenges, the processes – both my own and others better…

Anadi and I met five years ago, and we agreed that neither of us identify any more with the people we were then… There has a been a shedding and a burning of the old in the ashes… Each new phase, each transition, or rite of passage has seen a rising up again, rather like a Phoenix transforming into something entirely new and fresh…

I am now about to go and run, and find out how ouchie the roads are! We were last here a year ago when I was still in my vivobarefoot shoes…

Before I left, I said to Anadi ‘I wonder what time it gets dark here? Oh well, we will find out tonight…’

I found out… It’s 5.30pm ! I was on the road, and realised that the loop I was on might be tricky in the dark! So I re traced my steps instead. I loved the run. Gozo has a lovely soft feel to it… Although the roads are very uneven in places, very much ‘in need of repair’… They could definitely be described ‘ouchie’ and yet they didn’t ouch my feet…

Maybe my feet are a lot tougher, but it just felt like I was out to play…

I had felt a familiar slight resistance to going out the door, especially as we had just travelled here and only slept for 4 hours or so last night – although I caught that up somewhat while travelling!

But once I headed out I felt free, it was fun. I loved every step.