Leave no trail…

I wound my way down the mountainside this morning in my little red car… Seven weeks here in Spain, have disappeared in the way Antonio Machado describes in his poem… Like the water trails in the wake of a boat…

‘Caminante no hay camino, sino estelas en la mar…’

I rounded a big hairpin bend, and saw three guys who had the look of ‘free beings’, sitting by the roadside hitching a lift… I pulled over and they delightedly clambered in.

‘Que idioma’? I enquired… English was opted for; but we drove on down the switch back in silence… After a while the one sitting beside me started to speak…

I soon discovered that he was Egyptian, and ‘hops’ between Spain and Eygpt… He was amazed to discover that my father was born in Alexandria, the very City my travelling companion comes from too!
‘I have never met someone while I am not in my country who was born in Alexandria…’ He said enthusiastically… As they piled out in Orgiva, I gave my new friend one of my Barefoot Across Spain posters…

Today had been allocated – by me – as a ‘giving out poster’ day, I had made a good start.

I stopped off in Almuñécar… It felt a little like being in my village 50 years ago; I was welcomed, and my posters were immediately taken – ‘Lo pongo’ –  in the Farmacia, the Lavandaria (launderette) two restaurants, the local shop, the newsagents and then I walked back into Casablanca, where I was greeted with great warmth and invited to eat lunch ‘invitar de la casa’ on the house…

My next port of call was Rincön de la Victoria where I stayed for two weeks before my trip to the mountains… Once again I gave my posters to restaurants I had frequented… Finishing in one which also serves amazing Chocolate brownie…

We chatted about my project and they told me ‘Hablas Espanol muy bien’… I can assure you I don’t! But paso a paso, I am improving…

And now I am 36000 feet high in the sky. We are flying backwards over the route I will run, when I set off from Suances in four weeks time, to run barefoot down the middle of Spain…

I ordered some food, and said to the air steward that it was funny to speak Ingles… ‘Ah, isn’t it lovely to be going home’ she said, and carried on with her job, without waiting for a response…

But I’m not going anyway… I’m here – making the path by walking it…

Flying it en este momento!

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.

The barefoot beauty in boots…

I am writing this from the Hilton hotel at Gatwick… Our home since yesterday afternoon – tomorrow I fly to Spain and on Friday Anadi is off to South Africa.

We arrived from Lanzarote and walked immediately onto another stage, another show, another scene in the play of our own lives… Anadi went straight to ‘the office’ and I came here to find Janey (Fligelstone) for a wonderful meeting, where our mixture of friendship and a professional exchange, was navigated with ease and fun, as well as G and T and cappuccino…!

Anadi and I had arranged to reconvene in bed, which we did – in our new abode, with a lovely big bed, and the added joy of a bath.

Today has been glorious fun, stepping through the West End, feeling like we had been dropped into a scene already in action and that we just had to improvise and get into step with it… And so this is how I came to find myself walking along the rainy streets in my bare feet, on paving slabs and cobbles, glistening damp but still warm enough to enjoy the feel on my soles…

I was taking Anadi to see the musical ‘Kinky Boots’ for his birthday treat… What sheer delight; every second was filled with pure joyous soaring energy; the message to be ourselves, fully wholly completely…

And this barefoot beauty left the theatres knowing that again some day she must don a pair of kinky boots herself, even if only to walk into a room, to enjoy the feeling of the leather on her thighs, the ever so high heels – and to joyously celebrate all the multi faceted aspects within her barefoot being…

 

 

 

Let them eat cake…

Anadi and I arrived in Teguise for breakfast, a beautiful white light picturesque town…

I particularly love the shops there, full of bright vibrant clothes; they call to me and I feel I could buy them all.. The fun of colour – the explosion in a paint factory energy within me, means that even passing them resonates with something inside and I feel joyous; similar to hearing a song that I love, or seeing a beautiful view – or eating delicious food… Like the hugest moistest piece of carrot cake ever…

We made our way to a restaurant we have enjoyed eating in before… The notice outside said open every day 10am – 11pm… It was 11.15am, so we wandered in optimistically, but we were told that the kitchen was closed and that we could only have deserts or bread and oil…

‘Let them eat cake…’

We chose the desert option, which is how my post 18 kilometre run re fuelling came to be cafe con leche and carrot cake… Estupendo ?

Our waitress wasn’t very willing to smile or be friendly at first… But we didn’t mind and I game fully continued with my Spanish conversation… Suddenly the energy changed completely and she was acting as if we were old friends – even to the extent that when I booked us in for dinner on Saturday night and she ran after us as we left, to ask my name… When I suggested giving her my phone number too, but she wasn’t worried to take that…

She smiled and touched my arm, the original slightly terse grumpy energy transformed…

Staying still when energy is changing all around us takes practise… Neither being overly affected by either spectrum, but remaining as still, clear, and as open as possible within all interactions and within all experiences is a day by day journey and practice.

Remembering that nothing is personal, not even the ‘being nice’ energy. All that is occurring outside us is a reflection of us in some way, but it is only to be addressed or cleared if we react and ‘take it personally’.

There will have been something resonate energetically with Anadi, me and our waitress today, or else we would not have connected and danced a jig on the stage of life… But who knows what that might be?

It could be a brief re encounter with someone in a past life, and the karmic debt being addressed and re dressed. it could be that we were all emotionally fending for ourselves aged sixteen… We know not…

But we do know that it is our responsibility to reflect on our part, our position and to keep our energy clear…

clean mirror for us to reflect and be reflected in.

 

A healthy self concept; love and acceptance….

The view from my window changes almost daily at the moment… From a seascape in Dorset, to the fields of Provence – to a Sunday run on the South downs as if I had never left – and now I am looking out over the north terminal at Gatwick airport…

Changing vistas, blue skies to grey; sun to rain, green grass to concrete buildings, cars, trains and planes…

The complexity and variety of life on this planet, flashing around me as I journey within; deeper and deeper to a place where I now find that as I bounce around the planet I need no adjustment.

In the beginning, I could feel wrenched away from a place and needed time to get used to the new… Now I find I hit the ground – both literally and metaphorically – running, and the only thing that is really noticeable is the stretchy feeling of time…

A week ago Anadi and I were in Provence… It could be 6 months ago – But by the same token when I meet up with an old friend after a few months, it feels like we had a coffee together only last week….

I love the nomadic life, the planet my home… My belongings on my back and off I go. Anadi is on a techy software course in Cheltenham, so for a few nights we are a two home family!

I woke up in my new home today… Yesterday I stepped out onto Eastbourne seafront to run ten miles on the glorious south downs, today I made my way through the Hilton Hotel at Gatwick to the gym there, available 24 hours…

And this is where I notice my energy has changed significantly… Because nowadays, I always feel good running… This has changed as I have changed. Feeling leaden when running was a normal occurrence, in the past… Something to be endured until I felt light again… I would particularly notice this feeling when travelling or when training after lost sleep – or a change in weather or environment… But now I always feel fluid and fluent.

I ran 10k today on the treadmill…  I warmed up for a mile, ran a mile faster, ran 1/2 a mile at 10 minute pace and repeated 3 times and then cooled down… It was fun, easy and flowing. As I ran I recognised that the part within me that used to try to do more than I could has left… It simply doesn’t exist anymore.

Before I started to run barefoot, I had had a knowing deep down that I needed to start my running all over again… Go back to basics and start at the very beginning; but a thread hung on to what I knew and to the out dated patterns – and I didn’t do it… Until I shed my shoes…

And so the session was comfortable because I didn’t try to run at 7 min miles; I ran where I can feel my natural pace is at the moment…

Of course running this way brings a feeling of possibility, joy and expansion… It felt easy, so I feel I can do more… I am hungry to train again… I feel good about the experience… Win win…

When the over push dynamic is still alive, then the part that is used to struggling, and making things hard, is often trying to be somewhere its not ready to be yet… This attitude means that the whole experience can have a lower vibration energy, too hard, at our limit, can’t do any more, a feeling of dread at doing it again…

Feeling bad about the experience – lose lose …

The key is to have a healthy self concept now; one that is not dependent on our performance in any arena. This way we can stay in the moment, witnessing ourselves clearly without an inflated or negative self concept; but simply one of awareness and self knowledge…  From this place we are open to guidance support because we do not receive it from a place of ‘not good enough’, but from a position of  ‘I wonder what I can do?’

Thinking that anything outside us can make us feel good about ourselves is a chimera… Accepting ourselves and doing things from this place of self love makes for happiness and health and ongoing full involvement in our lives.

Happiness is always to be found inside us, it is an fruitless and endless search if we persist in looking outside, and this orientation can trap us in a feeling of urgency and desperation as we keep seeking…

When all the time we need only look within….

Synchronicity…

Last night we were honoured to be guests at the ‘gin off’, because we don’t make gin…! This is an annual ‘event’ where my old friends  – who I have run many many miles with on the South downs – make sloe gin from the sloe berries that grow wild on the South downs…

In September they gather for an evening of eating drinking and socialising, and sloe gin tasting and ‘judging’…  Anadi and I joined in with that bit and enjoyed the delicious food and the fun of catching up with our friends…

We then left them to the serious business of the gin tasting competition…

Today the two of us rose early and ran to the sea front, where we were greeted in spectacular fashion by the dawn – we bathed in the early sun streaking and splashing its red energy across the sky… As we ran along we witnessed the light circling and spiralling inward and around until there was just an ball of yellow orange light hanging in the sky above the sea… The chilly breeze soon softened as the warmth rose over the land we ran on – the rough stone sea front, the springy grass…

On the top of the downs we heard a shout ‘have you forgotten your shoes…?’

And there speeding along on their bikes were Jim and Gordy who we had seen last night at the ‘gin off’… Of all the ‘bike riders’ who there last night, these two were the only two to make it out this morning – to clear their heads and to celebrate a triumphant win, and podium places from the ‘gin off’ last night!
Gordy had won the outright pure gin; and Jim had two third places, one for the blend category…

How wonderful, the timing… The exact spot where we all met… We couldn’t have planned it and as always I wondered in the energetic resonance, the magnetic power of energy…The synchronicity… How we will meet who we meet; if we were to see ourselves in energy or in colour we would see more clearly where the resonance is; how the patterns and frequency is moving, bouncing and merging –  and how it is all unfolding….

It can give us an opportunity to reflect more deeply and to notice our souls path unfolding… For, however confusing it my seem, in this life, this journey – there is a rhythm and a resonance, patterns are playing out and it is all part of the dance of the universe…

The more we let go, the more we can enjoy the ride…

Some people thoroughly enjoy being on a big dipper, a roller coaster… Others are terrified…

The only certain thing about being here is that nothing is certain – at a ‘mental’ level – and yet when we surrender and let go, when we embrace the roller coaster it is possible to reach the place within where everything is still, and then we are at ease and there is a certainty in trusting…

Night follows day, and day follows night. For all the despair in the world, there is an equal amount of joy.

If we stretch our arms out to the side and we deem one finger to be negativity and one to be positivity; when we look to one finger then we can’t see the other… And so it is…

If we think the world is a dark place and we are looking there then that is what we see; if we think all is love and light and we are looking that way then that is what we see.

But when we know that both are true; in the same way that night exists and so does day… But that there is a place beyond this. A place beyond opinion agenda light and dark; a place of pure silence; then we stop the see saw of looking this way and that, swinging between dark and light, joy and despair – and a radiant light space reveals itself; pure bliss…

We hugged the boys good bye and ran on; the sparkly day lending itself to a very clement run and then again, the energy swirled and whirled in magical patterns across the sky as we ran down the hill, because coming up the hill towards us was Carol – Jim’s wife – who we have never seen out running before..

synchronicity, serendipity… Energy communicating, connecting, drawing together, resonating reverberating all across the land…

Trusting the way…

We have had such a wonderful day… My team – Anadi, Tim and Poppy the dog – completed walk 15 of the Sussex Hospices Trail…

The whole of the 200 mile trail, which circumperambulates the 12 hospices in Sussex, was walked today – or run as well in our case –  by 26 teams… Each team was made up of  2 – 8 people…

Leaving Richmond at 6.30 am to get to the start, proved to be our first challenge… I took two wrong turnings en route to find our car… Fortunately Anadi remembered where it was!

We enjoyed empty roads and vistas of Kent and Sussex beauty, appearing to part and spread out either side just for us, as we sped along.

At 8.30 on the dot we were at Burwash bus stop where we’d arranged to meet Tim… Only to find we were two miles apart… Anadi and I were in the wrong bus stop…!

We zoomed into Etchingham railway station at 2 minutes to 9 for our 9 am off to be greeted warmly and enthusiastically by our Friends of Sussex Hospices team members; Felicity, Chantal, Trish and Clive… We all chatted and laughed so much that in the end we didn’t leave until nearly 9.30….

And then we were off…

The famous three and a Poppy dog, larking about on the Sussex trail… The day was sunny and bright, warm sun, blue skies… Sussex glowing, holding us in her verdant lush arms, fields full of sheep, horses, wet green grass , a delight for our feet… But I was also very glad of my Skinners socks for the ouchie stones, the thistles and and the thorns….

The whole morning was playtime – but also realtime…We leapt on a big wooden log to imitate gymnasts on a beam; jumped over gates and streams… ( the boys!) The space also leant itself to talking, sharing, playing together, being real together…

Poppy ran around so totally in the here and now; trusting that where she was that very moment was exactly where she was meant to be, no question… She embraced it, she lived each moment, that was all there was to do…

That is all there ever is to do…

What is going to happen hasn’t happened, even though it has. So both positions can remind us to keep where we are.
We can deal with it; whatever is ahead when we stay where we are, we will discover that we are living our lives out and that we have all the resources within us for whatever is required…

Sometimes we might have to uncover and discover new skills and inner strengths, but everything is within us and we have all that we need in any moment… The key is to trust this when as human beings in the vulnerability of living this life, we forget, we tense up and try to manage a future that doesn’t exist…

Three friends and a little Poppy dog, out in the countryside together…

Being together, running together, laughing together…

Trusting the way…

Time travel…

Journeying back in time, I drove down the road I used to drive up – much too fast as an 18 year old! – every day for work… And the road I used to pad down in my green flash gym shoes, having got off the bus to run the last bit of the journey home from school…

I met Athena Jane who had driven from Laughton, and we sat chatting for a short while in the Fox and pelican – the local pub – which is still the same but different… They now sell delicious coffee with white chocolate and cranberry flapjacks and choices such as a vegetarian platter with tapenade and hummus, feta and lots of deliciousness… All more resonant of being here now; food like that wasn’t served in the 70’s… ? And then we drove the extra mile, further down the road, past the playing field where as a 6 year old I raced up and down with my friend Charlotte, trying to keep warm on the edge of the rugby field, while my brother Stuart plated a game…

And then into a room full of warmth vibrancy, colour, laughter energy… Very much now… I had travelled down the road back in time and amazingly it had brought me absolutely right to the very present moment…

Everything is now; the 12 year old me is still running down that road; free as a bird, training my body and my spirit for a life of running… The creative energy is still alive and pulsing through the body that has been on the planet earth for nearly half a century more…

Jane and I walked into the energy of Tipple Art, which is the creative expression of my oldest friend Wends with her business partner Linda. the evening is one filled with joy, support, creative expression, fun and friendship – relaxation… We were given a theme of flowers to give us inspiration if we wanted, and delicious food – platters of cheese and biscuits, figs and grapes, quiche lorraine olives and salads and a glass of wine if we wanted…

Right in the centre of the room stood Nick! I was so delighted to see him… We used to run around together 40 years ago… As Nick said ‘in the literal sense’ not the figurative,… He was an awesome runner, still is at 60 years old… But back in the day he ran 48 minutes for 10 miles and the runners of you will know what that means… I have always loved Nick, he is a very real person, true in his heart and soul… A special man, and every so often our paths cross again…

This time I manoeuvred our meeting, when I realised I could make it to Wends and Linda’s event and I ‘encouraged’ Nick to come…

We sat next to one another and talked a lot and enjoyed being in one another’s company in a completely different context… I realise now, that all our previous conversations have been on the run

last night we sat side by side painting…

And neither of us painted flowers as you would expect flowers to look… But they were our expression of ‘flowers’… The space, the energy, Wends and Linda’s encouragement helped us all join together in our creative energy; it was such fun…

I haven’t painted since I was 20 and then i made murals all over the walls of the gym at Huntington House, the place I had visited and met the daughter of my old friend… The gym is gone now… Much changed at the end of my time there, including my creative expression through pain…

Last night I revisited it and enjoyed the process hugely… The interesting thing for me was that my artistic style resembled the style that was mine when I did my o level art… It simply flowed from me in the same  vein… Once again lending emphasis to the observation of our unique expression; we are all different unique beings… We all have a different energetic make up, different colours and sounds and frequency within us and this will of course emerge differently in whatever endeavour we do…

And it must be celebrated, honoured….

I was also delighted to meet friends of Wendy who I have heard so much about and to see my fabulous godson Alfie and Tony, Wendy’s husband, who had come straight from an award ceremony for his 15 years of coaching hockey,,,

He was being honoured fro his creative expression in the form of developing the young people which as he says in my vlog he loves to do…

The secret is to not question our energy, to watch and notice it –  and as always clear the tension and stay right in the centre point; the stillness from whence it can flow purely and simply and clearly out into the world for us all to celebrate… Connect with and join together and make the most expansive piece of art that is life across the universe

Together….

 

The unique rhythm and beat of our lives…

I have always lived a total lifestyle, one that feels like I am always on holiday… One that therefore I don’t need a break or a ‘holiday’ from…

I have always worked and played at the same time, so play can be called work,  and work can be play… There is no separation…

I have always loved to run, to write and to work in the lives of others and so this is what I have done… Is it work or play? It is just is my life…

This doesn’t mean I haven’t had to work through emotional challenges, struggles, difficulties, sadness and losses…

But it still remains, I have never wanted a holiday or a break from my life, or felt the need to ‘take time away from it’… The rests and pauses are integral to the whole and all part of the rhythm and the beat of my journey here…

It has also been absolutely impossible for me to stay working or living in any way that doesn’t feel right for me…!  This doesn’t mean not staying the course when things are hard… If it feels right I know that within me I have huge resources for withstanding and ‘keeping on keeping on…’

But it has been impossible for me to stay somewhere where my spirit is crying out to move away from… This hasn’t always been seen as a positive quality, or easy to ‘action’…! ?

But as the years have gone by I have come to understand that it has served me very well in lots of ways – and two in particular…

One, I am living true to myself and the more I have followed this course, the more this has been borne out to ‘work’ both for me and others, even if it may not always look like it at the time!

And… Two it means I can teach from a position of experience, this doesn’t mean I teach people to do as I do; but I can teach people to listen to what they must do, which might be entirely different and not resemble anything I am doing in the slightest….

But, if we truly listen to ourselves, one of the biggest gifts this brings is the ability to truly be able to listen to another and this is the most wonderful experience… To be able to visit the land of another being, and travel in it with them; celebrating their world, their ideas, their values and experiences, rather than criticising, or being afraid of the differences…

And so we are on the road to Marrakech again to visit our good friend Jamal in Riad Saba, already the temperature is hot; the fresh winds of Essaouira but a memory; the blowing wind this morning with the vast expanse of a beach at low tide to run on; the colour and energy of the Medina all fading into a past that doesn’t exist…

There is only now…

And ‘now’ we are both working in our ‘office of the moment’, which is a little mini bus bouncing its way along the wide road with the dusty land stretching out beside us for miles and miles…

Anadi was reading today that big companies have been experimenting with their employees working ‘virtually’, for some time now – the article went on the say that in the not too distant future 65% of the workforce will be working from home… Wherever home may be…

In our case this is wherever we are… ?