Round and round we go….

We arrived to the familiar energy of Marrakech at about 3pm yesterday afternoon; and as we pulled up to Douar Graoua square we felt a sense of ‘homecoming’… Our friend Jamal was there to greet us at the door of Riad Saba and we sat together enjoying mint tea and catching up…

Anadi had work to do, so I wandered out to get some cash from the ‘machine that gives cash’ – which meant I needed to cross the big square in the Medina… It was relatively empty, with the air temperature at 43 degrees, not many people were venturing out – and I had to keep finding bits of shade by the stalls because the ground burnt my feet!

I then found a place for lunch, and sat on a roof terrace out of the sun… Fine jets of water sprayed into the air at intervals which were deliciously cooling while I ate my avocado and goat cheese salad and drank fresh lemon juice with mint… Then I just sat awhile; I hadn’t got my phone with me; and there was not another soul there…

So I just sat – suddenly I had landed again in a new land, with a new feel, new energy; although familiar. I sat in it, enjoying the sense of anonymity, aloneness, silence. the lethargy of a hot afternoon.

The last three weeks feel to have stripped more away from within me; my body feels more flexible, more supple and strong; much fitter… A bit thin too, after over two weeks of an active tum! But I feel another level of surrender to any control, a deeper acceptance of being where I am – and the feeling I have experienced at times, during the whole of this nomadic journey – feelings of ‘homesickness’ but not knowing what ‘home’ I was yearning for – have vanished, at last cleared away…

There is too an ease to a commitment to the daily practises that seem to have emerged in my new life,

Daily vlogging blogging and jogging…! Without any real idea of where this ‘Soles Journey’ is taking me…

Except across the length of Spain!

I am aware of the enormity of the challenge… I recognise how strong my body and my feet need to be to do this thing…

But then the running step feels to be different… It is like I have cleared the way again to allow the energy of the run to come through me, as it did when I was a child and a teenager. then it was like the enrgy of the run simply used my body as a conduit… But then the tension of pressure took hold, but it feels that at last ( another at last 🙂  I have cleared the energy of the chase, of the trying to find something out there, and I sense this  soles journey across Spain is a journey of my soul taking me where I already know; but need to experience in the barefoot step…

My friend Wends sent me a  photo she found yesterday… She said she remembered it was something to do with eating fruit and deciding to be vegetarians…

The photo was indeed about eating fruit and being vegetarians… We were 19 years old at the time, and I had just got into my ‘changing hairstyle and colour often’ phase!

I had been a vegetarian for a couple of years; and this photo was taken when Wends and I went on holiday to Bude for a week…

We lived on fruit only for 5 days and it seem wandered about bare foot!

Round and round we circle, working it out as we go, finding out what we have always known….

This morning Anadi and I were up early to run nine miles before the heat crept into the air… We padded through the streets and found a golf course to lap around, a quiet oasis away from the roar of the traffic which was already beginning to build for another day of activity in the magnificent city of Marrakech…

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… ?

Enjoying Marrakech, enjoying Riad Saba, enjoying the difference…

The dust was whipping all around the streets, whirling around, stinging our eyes, getting into our mouth if we didn’t keep is closed tight…

The bright blue sky, and searing heat, that had greeted us when we arrived, was replaced by heavy humid grey… We had lunched in a little restaurant with brightly coloured table cloths, on delicious moroccan salads, and the round flat sweet bread we are familiar with here…

Bartering over the price of six bottles of water – on our way back – we made our way through the throng of vendors eager for us to buy… Kittens and cats got under the feet of the locals, while mopeds – not pausing or slowing – dodging and winding their way through, skimmed right by us…

We are back in Marrakech, the noises, smells and energy so familiar to us…

Now we are sitting alone in the Riad Saba… A little bird is flying about, swooping and occasionally landing for a drink on the water feature in the middle. The uncustomary wind is settling, the cover over the open sky of the roof garden has stopped billowing and flapping…

While we were eating our lunch, I had a text from Fi… It was she who bought me the surprise gift of the tinkly silver delights to adorn my naked feet… I love them so much, and enjoyed dancing my way through Gatwick today, and then stepping out onto the hot runway of Marrakech with the sound of my bells, letting everyone know of my whereabouts….

Thank you Fi, for the fun and the sparkle and the joy 🙂

The sound of the call to prayer is starting up again… I love it, the primal energy, no words, just sound filling the air…  I can feel it in my body, the heat is static, I am in a completely different land again… No running as yet today; but in a little while we intend to venture out when some of the heat has left the day.

As we walked through the streets, alive with movement, colour, different smells and sounds to London, to Devon, to Spain… It felt more like being part of a film set, dropping in and falling into step… Walking along, joining in with ‘The march of the penguins’, to keep circling around the eternal cycle on this planet…

The journey we are all on, from birth to death…

Sometimes we attempt to forget this inevitability by creating chimeras of certainty here in life; where there is none… The only certainty is death, and life everlasting… Through the birth of the new, and the march of us all to pave the way for those who are following in our footsteps…

Therefore if each step is a conscious one, and a joyous one – and our tread on the planet is light – then we lead the way to freedom rather than creating resistance and shackles of fear…

 

 

Validating differences connects us all…

I am sitting in the middle of Riad Saba, with the gentle sound of flowing water from the fountain in front of me, the stone floor cool under my bare feet.

Riad means garden and these beautiful buildings are built with trees and plants in a central courtyard and feature a fountain or swimming pool… The windows only look inward, allowing for a really peaceful energy within, away from the activity and vibrancy outside…

Looking up I can see the blue sky and shining hot day above me – an open roof is also one of the criteria of a Riad.

Yesterday a dove flew over and pooed as it flew, which landed on the table beside me… Jamal, the manager of Riad Saba said this was a first.

I am taking it as a good omen…

This attitude feels to be keeping with the energy of the land….’God’s will’

Crossing a road here feels quite hazardous… There is no system, some cars go, some might wave you on, but there is not a consistent pattern and there are very wide roads and a lot of cars!

And so it feels best to join in and go with the flow, become part of the whirl of movement and energy, the constant pace and activity of humanity.

I find that going with the flow allows for  connection with myself, others and all that is… Flowing with the ways of the land, the people, the customs, the weather, the food… Embracing and validating our differences.

It is in validating difference that we connect. This is evident between friends, couples, colleagues… When we listen to the other, truly listen, hear what they say and validate it…

Then we cross the bridge into the world of another, then we meet them and connect.

This is true at an individual level, within our own culture and land; and it is very prevalent when in a new land, with new tastes sounds smells and customs…

If we can practice this in every moment, truly step into the shoes of another, stretch to imagine what it might be like to live in their world…Then we are uniting at an individual level, which naturally opens to a group level. which extends to a global level.

It is by validating our differences that we connect.

When we do this in every conversation we have, then we have the possibility of healing the world interaction by interaction…

 

 

A Birthday blogette…

I have just returned from the most glorious birthday treat Hammam!

I loved the experience so much; lots of scrubbing with black soap and sloshing of buckets of water over us! Anadi and I had a ‘couples treatment’…

After we were clean and shiny as new pins, we were lead upstairs to our massage… Total heaven! And finally we soaked in a jacuzzi bath in a candle lit room, before relaxing with Moroccan mint tea.

Amazingly we found our way through the narrow cobbled streets, without getting lost this time! – To our home for now, beautiful Riad Saba in Marrakech….

One of the unexpected highlights of my Hammam, was that the manager thought I was Spanish!
I answered “Si’ instead of ‘Yes’, as I am so used to being in Spain….

He spoke to me in Spanish thereafter! And I understood everything and spoke back…!

We also spoke some English too… I said to Anadi that he must think my English very good for a Spanish person… 🙂

I have had such a brilliant birthday…

Anadi and I have been made so welcome by Jamal… We first came to Riad Saba sixteen months ago and it is wonderful to be back…

This morning we ran barefoot through the square in the Medina and found a park, with a football pitch where I did ten laps, striding the lengths and jogging the shorter bits…

As, I write the evening chanting is ringing out all around.

It heralded the start of my birthday at 5am…

A joyous beginning and end to the day.

And now to my birthday dinner….