Stories to support the life our heart yearns to lead…

The beach was shiny new flat clean sand, miles and miles of Saturday morning joy.

Inspiration in its limitless possibility, stretching as far as the eye could see, and aspiration too from those treading on its sandy shored expanse.

I love watching the Moroccan boys and young men stretching their limbs, running jumping doing all sorts of athletic leaps and bounds… One ran past us, smoothly fluently and then turned around and ran backwards along the sand…

I remembered doing the same – years ago – and so although we were on a walk, with my body still recovering from its short illness, running backwards started to happen… I was inspired!

I have no concept of age anymore…. Of course I know that I have been treading this plane for over 58 years; but I mean I have concept of what that might mean… What tales I might make up up about its limitations or expectations…

I look at the movements of the children, those who have not trodden these earthly shores for as long as I have and I seek to learn from them, to mimic their agility, their reed like stature, their posture and strength, their supple flexible bodies…

The only time that I remember having to ‘work through’ an ageing issue process, was when I was 41 and I had an overwhelming sense of ‘time running out’ for my running life…

Clearly I am free of that ‘story’ now… 🙂

And in my bare feet, on the contrary, I feel like I have just begun, all over again… That I am right at the very beginning of my running journey; not at the end as I feared back then!

Any tension or thoughts that we get stuck on, and start to ‘story’ can become our truth and then, inevitably, we start to pick up the same stories in the mirror…

We find ourselves speaking with others with the same fear – and deepening it, so that it feels to be the truth – or in my case someone asked me about my ankle which at the time had been sore for quite awhile, I said it wasn’t quite better yet… The response…  ‘You’re crocked girl…’ Was a turning point, I knew I wasn’t crocked and I also knew the fear within me that felt maybe I was, that I was done, my running over, the end…

In seeing this fear reflected back at me so starkly, I resolved to go deeper into the place where I was holding onto the ‘ageing story…’

And now; 17 years on, I have no concept of ageing, or slowing, or being crocked or any such thing… Instead I feel that each new day brings new possibilities, new inspiration, new bright spot lights on the stage, where the show of my own life is being played out… 🙂

It is a good practise to listen to the stories all around us, the ones we tell and the ones others tell, and to remind ourselves that they are just that… Stories – Some may hold huge value and inspire and uplift, but some may stick us in mud and make life seem dull and hard.

We are co creating all the time, in the spaces between us where the dialogue is woven and created into the ‘truths’ we receive… Being conscious of what we are co creating means that we can make something up that truly supports the life our heart yearns to lead….

I have a story now…

My story is that Fatima, our dueña here in Essaouira has taken it on herself to feed me up since the ‘short illness’…

She added cheese to my omelette this morning – and not to Anadi’s – and this very moment she has just brought us a plate piled high with moroccan sweet delights…

There was no hesitation from either Anadi and I…

The plate is now empty!

The Zen of running, barefoot…

I stepped out into the glorious summer morn, ever so slightly reluctantly! My feet are now ready to run, as far as I want to and they are loving it… But my legs are now unfurling from relative hibernation for nearly a year and are doing their best to keep up with the enthusiasm of my feet!

It was on July 27th last year that my back was injured, and September 9th that I took my first barefoot steps again. I was watching the surfers, whilst walking with Anadi on Famara beach in Lanzarote…

They were warming up in their bare feet… My sciatica was still biting and I remember vividly the feeling coming over me… ‘I wonder…?’

I was profoundly aware that the injury was about a deeper letting go, a deeper trust, a deeper relaxation in allowing my steps to go wherever they wanted to go… To truly let the running take me where it will… To become the running…

To know the Zen of running…

And go even further into the experience of Zen and running being synonymous… To understand that happiness and peace can only be found within us and that if we are searching for it outside in the form of anything external, be that a great running result or a relationship with another or a beautiful body, success, fame, fortune…

All of these things are chimeras… They are fun to experience if they are part of our journey; but the real secret is to stay centred in self whatever is going on on the outer realms, be that success or failure, happiness or sadness, fame and fortune or lack…

And to know that all the answers are within, in this moment.

Last July, I had just finished a week in the Alpujarra mountains teaching  Zen running, with my wonderful group of Zen runners… My injury came the day after they left, and so I knew that it was a deeper process and that something would emerge as I let go and embraced the space within the injury time…

I didn’t know this time last year, that I would be letting go of my shoes!

And that in the process so much more would leave… The threads that deep in my unconscious still attached me to the chimeras I hoped running would bring me when I was young, were finally fully snipped…

And so today as I ran in the park I met with many souls.. My body and my feet were what attracted them to me; but of course my body and my feet are a reflection of my inner energy…

‘Are you a triathlete’?… A beautiful blond lithe woman called out to me? ‘No I’m a runner…’ I stopped and we talked, she admired my body and told me of her journey back from illness, the ravages to her body, her body was like mine before – she was a triathlete and a sports model –  and now she is taking steps again to that place she knew before…

I ran on and a man smiled ‘looking good ‘ he said… Round the top of the park I ran and three people walking their dogs stopped me to talk bare feet, my story, how have I done it…?

Round again and I met them once again, all chatting together now… ‘You’re inspiring us to do something, take that amazing body away…’ One lady laughed…

Round again, I passed another woman… She called after me, ‘you’re so fit’, I turned and she smiled, ‘thank you…’ I said, ‘for saying it to me…’

Onwards again around I looped and a little dog suddenly went wild barking, barking, barking at my feet…

‘Oh oh…’ his mistress said ‘I am so sorry… He has an obsession with feet…’!