…It’s much more serious than that…

A barefoot runner ran by as I arrived on the beach this morning!

It was as if I were seeing another of my ‘species’, and even more exciting – I was ‘vlogging’ at the time – and so I caught him on camera…

I had run to the beach with the intention of some fast intervals at pace… Intervals are a strange thing to do, and to witness I imagine; running back and forth on the same stretch of beach or grass…

Like so many things we do in this life, like running round and round in circles, or chasing a ball about with a stick, or with our feet… Batting another type of ball as far as possible with various ‘implements’  –  or hitting another back and forth over a net, or around a square enclosed room…

All are rather funny things to do, and if witnessed from afar ‘curiouser and curiouser…’

I don’t believe it is the practices themselves that are important… In isolation so many creative endeavours could seem meaningless.

It is however about what they give us, what they access within us… It is about what we are communicating to one another, to ourselves… What energy doing the practises accesses and transmits… It’s about observing the buds that appear through striving and stretching for a dream; seeing how these buds open and blossom within ourselves and in our relationships… Growth, expansion, the powerful energy of the esprit de corp, the synergy that is created…. Witnessing what demons and delights emerge from within…

All in the name of sport…

Bill Shankley the Scottish football player and manager is known for saying… ‘Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that’.

As a lifetime sportsperson, his words have always resonated with me… Partaking in sport has been a journey from the beginning of my life which is continuing without end.

While we are here experiencing life in a body on planet earth, everything is more important than life and death… Because how we live is how we die…

It is therefore valuable to truly investigate every moment of our practices and passions, for within them are reflections, and echoes of how we are living and therefore how we will die.

Are we growing though the experiences? The training? the hours of planning? Are we stripping away our attachment to our desires, or are we deepening the ties that bind us to our perceived self – and so to the fear of leaving it all behind.

If we can truly investigate everything within the commitment to a plan, to a goal – a dream – examine every nook every cranny, all the dark corner and dust them out…

Then we can more cleanly and clearly commit ourselves to our projects… And – once they are done let them go and keep hold only of the truth we have uncovered and discovered within…

As I was carrying out effort number six today, a dog decided I was playing… He started to race round and round me, rounding me up! I stopped, he stopped… I started to run and he started to race around me again, penning me in…

His master was standing in the surf intent on his phone, unaware of this scene playing out behind him, so I jogged over and said to him… ‘El piensa que estoy juganda…’ 🙂

He smiled said he was sorry – in English – and took his dog away…

I completed my interval and recognised I am different to the younger me, because I ‘counted’ my stop/ start interval as a valid member of the set of ten; with not one part of me feeling I needed to add another in…

It is at these time that we witness the changes within us… Something that has happened before, happens again – in this case one interrupted interval :)… And we respond in a different way…

It is noticing how we are in every moment, in the seemingly small insignificant occurrences that we see ourselves and all that is within us reflected back in the journey of life…

Investigating our alter ego can set us free…

The night was alive with music and people and shops still selling… Restaurants full of groups laughing and talking; tapas selling in the street and cocktail bars … The delightful energy of human beings being human, doing what we spend a lot of time doing… eating drinking talking, sharing, time food, fun, laughter…

For awhile in this environment I get a wild urge to simply drink cocktails for ever; to sip their blue green rose coloured beauty and feel the lightness in the head lift me above everything; live in this state forever…

Cafe con leche for breakfast, moving onto cocktails thereafter…

It seems my alter ego is still alive and well; she who lives a life in the midnight hours, who drinks and writes and smokes all night long… Who has many lovers, female and male, and enjoys the exploration and adventure of discovering herself this way…

I enjoy investigating the desires of my alter ego, as they must be listened to… For if they lie in the shadows they can fester – shrivel and destroy us…

All that we keep hidden away, can hurt us and torment us. It is in investigating what lies in the darkness that we find healing, health and wholeness; by avoiding it and seeking only to stay where we feel safe; in the light of day where we hide from the dark, we are more likely to feel more suffocated and fearful and restless; trapped, confused and bored, than if we explore everything… Turn to what we can’t see, from that which we flee – and in facing it, find we are free…

For in the shadows is our princess and our king, our golden gifts and dreams, as well as the dim and murky waters of our pain… And all of it is for our growth… The tension and anger, the hate and the jealousy; the spirit of freedom, the race to the top, the success, the joy, the sadness, the athlete, the whore… Bring them all out, meet them on the floor in front of you, and feel the liberation as you find that the truth of you isn’t going to destroy you; in fact it will set you free…

For in every single aspect within us, there is the light and the dark. In every quality there are two sides to the sword… And when we dare look, we will discover how to embrace our shadow, include the aspects we most fear… Integrate them within us so that we find our wholeness, and delight in who we truly are…

The lively night turned into another glorious morning running on the beach; empty save for the early morning crowd… Of which I am often one… My alter ego doesn’t pull me to the place of lost form, lost running steps; she accesses the feelings of freedom, joy, electric possibility that the night time ‘alter’ represents… Free to explore, the morning barefoot running girl, enjoys freedom and electricity in the feel of the firm sand, under her feet… Washed by the recent swirl and swell of water…

She is able to experience the freedom, the exhilaration… Her own ‘Bohemian rhapsody’ on an endless sandy beach with not many other souls about

On the stage of life…

We journeyed along the South coast of Spain, and ‘turned right’ for a little way up the West Coast, 450 kilometres we travelled… Shimmering heat, the cicadas calling out, playing their familiar music in the shimmer of hot hot weather…

Lunch in Marbella, bright expansive ‘somethings about to happen’ energy, in the setting of holiday relaxation, sparkly sea and Sangria, beautifully painted nails, shiny offices and huge billboards…. A red Ferrari sitting on the forecourt of an exclusive car hire …

I had breakfast for lunch, and then we were on our way again, speeding along empty wide motorways, dusty brown beautiful Spain, clusters of white villages, pausing at the tolls… ‘Hola’; proffering 5 euros or so, and onwards…

And now we are in Conil de la Frontera on an endless beach, the Atlantic sea lapping at our feet instead of the vistas of mountains reaching towards the sun…. Wind, waves, space, scenes of nothing else as far as the eye can see… Nothing to do, no where to get to; just running one step after the other to find out where these bare feet are leading…

We drove straight to the beach as we couldn’t find our hostel!

And we stood on the sand, miles and miles of it stretching around us… I have always enjoyed the feeling of being a little dot on the planet, no home, no possessions to hold me… Visiting here for a short while… As Wends my friend said to me the other day, ‘You’ve never wanted to own things Ju…’

But owning things can be wonderful too, delightful joyous fun… The feel of silken clothes, fabrics of soft carpets underfoot, sofas to sink into, delightful underwear against our skin…

It’s not the joy of this planet and the experiences I am rejecting, in truth I am not rejecting anything…

Here the streets are full of fabulous sparkly full shops, floating colour, bright jewels and scarfs… And I am looking forward to an actual shopping spree, to experience the fun and see what my rucksack will carry with me when I fly to the next destination and what I will leave behind…

The clothes we wear and the homes we create are all reflections of our energy…

if we stay curious and interested, intrigued in the theatre playing out around us, the story of our life… The set we are acting out our life play in, the current scene, the props, the space we are inhabiting… The other actors on the stage of life; then we will always be free…

Because we will be aware that the time will come for curtain call; that eventually the big velvet curtain will come down on our performance and the show will be over for us…

If we remain in touch with this, the illusion, the samsara that is life… Then we can enjoy everything it has the offer; hiring the red ferrari on the forecourt and driving through Marbella with the wind in our hair, the sun on our face, joyous  roaring fun… Filling our bags with the clothes and the sparkly jewels, enjoying all this life has to offer without holding onto anything at all…

A cobbled street runs outside our hostel leading to a square… Where there are eateries, bars, and an arch, through which… ‘Esta cinqo minutos de la playa’, we were assured by our deuño, when eventually we found our way from the beach to our front door…