As you set out…

Today was a very exciting day!

Maricarmen said that as a student I have now officially transitioned to intermediate level…

There are three levels beginner, intermediate and advanced.. She went on to say so we won’t speak any English now, all Spanish…  ?

The funny thing is that I belong to a Spanish speaking online programme called Yabla which I love. It is chocca full of soap operas and interviews and teaching videos; yesterday I was choosing some material and I pressed the intermediate button to see what I could find there… So I knew really and truly…

It is always important when we have a ‘mountain to climb’ that before we start we look up at the peak and see truly what a journey we have ahead; it helps if we take a look at the possible twists and turns, the trees across the path, the hazards along the way, and that we have a healthy awareness of our ability, and how much help we will need… This way the magic can occur; there is space for the surprises, for expansions, the delight of reaching another level… We look up, seeing the peak shining with the sun on the glistening snow ahead of us, knowing that we are making headway and that in time we will reach the top…

As always recognising that the richness is in the journey; the process, the step we are in… As C.P. Cavafy starts his poem Ithaka…

‘As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery….’
He goes on the paint beautiful images with his words, of the unfolding journey – and finishes thus
“Ithaka gave you the marvellous journey.
Without her you wouldn’t have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean…’
This poem speaks to me of the many journeys I have undertaken in my life… And the ‘learning Spanish one’ is already far richer than I could ever have imagined…

Although the more I learn the more I feel a novice, rather than the lofty heights of ‘intermediate’! I see how much I don’t know, how slow I am, what a long road ahead I have to reach my goal of fluency – which I want very much – but I understand that it is just like ‘wanting’ my body to get free of pain or ‘wanting’ to run faster – I understand that it is the energy of ‘wanting’ that has no place in the journey.

I am making the road by walking it and fluency like ‘intermediate level’ will appear when it does…!

Meanwhile I must make the road by walking it each day – paso a paso…

 

 

Eternal beauty

I am just off to meet Maggie, who with Jack, her husband are my support team to run barefoot across Spain…

Maggie and I are going to make a vlog over coffee – always good – I am looking forward to hearing what she has to say about the adventure we have embarked on…

It all began with me sending her a whatsapp, saying that this idea had come upon me… That I hadn’t 100 percent decided, but were I to go for it, would she in principle be up for being my support  team…?

She responded immediately in the affirmative and I immediately knew that the decision had already been made….

Decisions have a way of making themselves.

I am always one for encouraging people not to try and ‘work things out’ too much, but to let the decisions evolve and emerge of themselves. There is no need to think too hard about anything. The path always reveals itself if we allow it to.

The best practise is to allow ourselves to drop between the thoughts, to find the gaps between them and enjoy the huge space that then opens up… All that is needed is to simply trust that this is where the answers we are looking for will arise from…

If there is a big decision to be made, walking or running can be a meditation on the move and a helpful way to access the inner answers… Running is renowned for allowing a different thought mechanism to kick in – answers, ideas, insights can all be found on the running path….

Walking is the same… I remember speaking with a composer of music, who told me that his creative process came about through spending every morning walking by the Thames for hours – whatever the weather – with a notebook in his pocket, and as he walked the music emerged… All he had to do was to write it down.

There was no thinking or trying too hard involved, simply a commitement to be available each day for the ‘download’.

I remember being inspired by William Wordsworth… I absolutely loved ‘The Prelude’, it spoke to me of me and it communicated to me that the only purpose in life is to be, to be with the sun and the moon and the stars and the land and to immerse ourselves in the step.

To journey always without needing to arrive… Wordsworth is said to acknowledge that nine tenths of his verses had poured out of him in the open air…

Yes, I remember, when the changeful earth,
And twice five seasons on my mind had stamp’d
The faces of the moving year, even then,
A Child, I held unconscious intercourse
With the eternal Beauty, drinking in
A pure organic pleasure from the lines
Of curling mist, or from the level plain
Of waters colour’d by the steady clouds. ( from The Prelude)

I was reminded of Jack who has plotted my route across Spain saying that he loved to travel, he loved geography and that the moment he could drive he loved to explore the Yorkshire dales and that he liked to travel even better than to arrive…

The actual journey is not as important as the creativity that emerges from it, the experiences, the growth, the relationships, the letting go, the embracing of our truth – the appreciation of the moment…

The absolute connection to our inner landscape through experiencing and being in the ever changing seasons… Feeling the earth beneath our feet, the rain on our faces, hearing the sounds of the sea, the wind and the soaring birds as they swoop across the expanse…

Where we can find the reflection of  our deepest silence, as we travel the path of life; from birth to death and let go of all that is blocking us from love.

 

Journeying far…

We woke to a grey blowy day and I stepped out into a land of green grey; Dorset stone rising around me; grey slippy pavement beneath my bare feet…

feeling the energy of the earth beneath my soles, I ran down the road to the beach. The squawking seagulls circled around the empty space, sweeping low over the grey blue sea, which blended and matched the sky. The wind blustery, the air full of rain – the jurassic coast stretching craggily above me, a somewhat menacing feel to it in this light… Raw beauty.

I set off along the wet sand; cold warm sea lapping over my toes… As I weaved my way through the stones and the groins, the tide was already starting to turn and make its way up the beach…

The joy of contrast, variety – such a change from sunny Spain – great for the soul – the experience of treading barefoot on this multifaceted planet…

I met two other women also running along the beach… We padded companionably past one another… I ran back again along the sand to gain some extra kilometres and one of the women was standing still, stretching her arms out delightedly into the rainy air… She started to run again and as we passed one another for the second time, she expressed interest in the barefoot running, ‘Perhaps I should try that…?’ We stopped and talked awhile, the rain growing heavier, the wind blowing the seagulls about in smooth sweeping gliders joy…

The delight of feeling the earth beneath my feet, the rain on my skin…

Back to breakfast of scrambled egg, fruit and coffee; full English for Anadi… Our Spanish tostada and olive oil already a distant dim memory of another life…

Later we braved the rain for lunch in a cafe – and because of the need to find a laundrette…! Pouring rain now, splashy puddle barefoot fun.

My feet attract less attention here, in this hippy shamanic witchy land of ley lines and energy; a place – I was told over lunch – that attracts folk to heal and feel the energy of the earth, to connect with the stones and crystals and join together… As well as being a holiday destination, the beach so near, holiday makers wandering as I wandered too with less focus on my naked feet…

In the cafe my foot jewels were admired, and one man told me of a client of his who lives in Cornwall… He is a podiatrist called Stephen Bloor who used to give his patients insoles but now he lives barefoot himself, and so teaches them to strengthen their feet, as well as using insoles as part of the support and help when necessary, but more as a corrective aid for as long as each individual needs – of course this can be indefinitely for some…

But himself, he loves to be barefoot…

Seventeen years ago, I spent a lot of time ( and money 🙂  getting custom made orthotics to help my chronic injury and I remember at the time resolving to find my way to support myself again… I figured that if my feet had once been strong enough to carry me pain free through an active running life, then they could do it again…

But I also saw the value of getting support while I remembered and re learnt how to support myself… This is the key in any help we give or get… To remember that when we give, we are giving someone the energy and tools to do it by themselves; and the same when we get support and help. It is so that we can do it by ourself…

This orientation means that we are more whole, and so when we join together to create projects, make music, businesses, marriages, families we create synergy and build energy together, rather than drain one another and reduce energy…

I have described this before as creating ‘capital H’ relationships rather than ‘capital A…’ If you think of the letters as two people; then when one walks away in a capital H, both are still standing… It is a very different story with the capital A…

If one walks away, both topple…

I enjoyed the conversation about bare feet and Stephen Bloor, a fellow barefoot being in Cornwall, in the lovely cafe with steamy windows, the sound of the rain outside and a counter with an array of delicious home made cakes…

As I journey, it seems evident that the road my feet are taking is supported all the way; the kindred spirits appearing at each bend in the road…

And last week an idea formed within me… My feet spoke to me…

‘Lets run down the length of Spain next year… Let’s run from North to South; it would be fun… To see if we can, journey this far, this barefoot way – on the land where we are learning the language from the soles up…

‘This souls Journey, on our free strong soles will be fun, please let’s do this thing…’

And so I said… ‘Yes’; of course I did, it can’t be any other way… My feet know the plan, and I must follow!