Experiencing our true nature

Another sunny warm day, the golden light flashing over the hills in Marseilles – rising around us as we ran earlier today… The ocean stretching as far as the eye can see… Lands mingling, memories of San Sebastian as we passed by wall with the waves crashing and splashing the road… A feel of Spain, and of the island of Majorca… The narrow roads like Gozo. All the lands mingling and blending as we made our way along another road… Adjusting, running step by step… embracing the new.

‘This is good practise for my “Barefoot Across Spain adventure”…’ I commented to Anadi… Another new road, new land, new feelings under my feet… When I run from the north coast to the south coast of Spain next spring, no day, no road will be the same. It will be a new land unfolding each moment as I journey… I will need to simply trust the step that I am in, will take care of the next, relaxing into the journey of the soul, through the soles of my feet…

We are sitting in a cafe on the Corniche now, the blue sea, the traffic ceaselessly going past, music filling our ears and a double breakfast filling our tums… We had one petit dejeuner of coffee, deliciously buttery flaky croissant and orange juice – and then after awhile another of coffee with a generously filled pain au chocolate and de l’eau…

Soon we will journey onwards to Opedde… Having no home suits my energy. I have never wanted to be in a house. As a child I was in the fields roaming about, riding horses and my bike, racing about in the woods.
I never felt happy in a house… I have never really made a home.

The nearest was my flat in Eastbourne which I rented anyway; but I did fill it with colour and piles of books… I loved working from there, and my friend Debs described it as a ‘philosopher’s den’.

And when I wasn’t working with a client, I was usually to be found out on the downs, or by the sea – or in my favourite place… A coffee shop.

We are all different – and we all have different energetic vibrations; different ways or being, unique preferences and places to be that feel resonant for us…

Who knows where this nomadic energy, the desire to be journeying – to be without possessions arose from? Except that it has always been within me, it has always been this way for me…

I never wanted toys or cuddly animals as a child – and my friend Wends says that I was always shedding, that I never wanted things… I wanted to be free, to run like the wind and to sit and be alone, but often within the activity of life going on all around…

I have felt to be more of a Greek philosopher  enjoying contemplation and inquiry, rather than a Roman building incredible architectures and roads through the land… My creativity has arisen through dialogue and the written word, and through sitting still – or through the seeming pointlessness of running in circles; and being within each step…

My sense is that over lifetimes and lifetimes, our energetic make up shifts and transmutes, transforms – and then the energy manifest plays itself out in each life as we gradually remember from whence we came… And then we experience our true nature…

We shed the illusion through lifetimes of journeying… Of living it out, often again and again… Of believing the stories and the dramas and the play we are enacting…

Until we don’t anymore and the shackles are shed…

Later…

We journeyed to Opedde where my brother Stuart and my sister in law Sue have owned a beautiful home; they have seen it rise up from a cherry orchard where they stood on the ground with no house there, and knew this was the site for them…

But now the time has come to leave, a new chapter begining… But it is an ending and so like all endings it must be honoured – the years of life lived here… The gathering place of so many friends and family.

It is always important to really acknowledge endings; to fully celebrate the place or persons we are saying goodbye to. To have the opportunity to tell them how much we cared about them, to celebrate and share our appreciation. This is the same with a place, a home, a leaving… So that as the door closes we can truly turn and notice the new windows and doors opening rather than staring with sadness at the one that is shutting….

I wanted to show Anadi the old town, with its beautiful cobbled streets and castle… But I took a turning too early and we ended up in another beautiful old village called Maubec…

It smelt like provence and embraced us in its stillness, the smell of olive trees and the dusty road…

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…