I arrived back from the South of France yesterday. Some welcome warmth and sunshine, medieval architecture, good food, flowers.
I’m going through a stint of trips to different countries, not sure why exactly. Because I can perhaps. Each month a few days in a different place. Next month it’s Hungary. I like being in unfamiliar surroundings for a few days, enjoy being jostled by it inside, and seeing how other countries do things, being a bit uncomfortable, unknown languages, weird food. Then I love coming home. I really like it here.
Today I just spent the last couple of hours resting deeply into awareness, meditating. Non meditation I’d call it too. Not doing or trying to achieve anything, just resting. I was fully welcoming any feeling or sensation that might arrive. I kept my attention sensation centred, and awareness in the body the entire time, particularly resting around the heart area though widely scanning the whole body. I had a hand on my heart area part of the time. I lay back half sitting supported by big pillows at my back and under knees, very natural and supported position.
It was a beautiful experience. Probably due to the non resistance to any feeling that comes now that I am allowing and willing to experience whatever occurs. For this moment anyway, resistance comes regularly too.
This has been my practice these last few weeks, ever since I spoke to the mindfulness therapist Peter Strong who helped me reorientate so successfully. I had been feeling anxiety, mostly low level but persistent and present most of the time. I didn’t realise at the time, but I had been trying to ignore it, squash it, replace it…anything but be with it. I was scared of that.
The therapist guy got me to turn towards it, as a kind parent turns towards a child with compassion. The result of doing this was instantly transformative. I was no longer afraid to feel the emotions. He did this by asking me to locate the sensation of the emotion in the body. And this is what I have been doing the last couple of hours. Deeply entering and relaxing.
Staying in an awareness of the body sensations, relaxing deeply into acceptance of whatever is happening. Allowing it all. This is having the effect of reducing the amount of time I’m caught up in the stories and dramas that my mind likes to generate. Remaining with an awareness of the physical body is making me live in the present moment much more. Where everything is working perfectly fine.
However, I get tempted away regularly by these little dramas that arise periodically with clients or the staff, maybe some problem or complaint. There is an urgency to solve, a little sharp fear spike, and a temporary engagement of thought as it tries to scramble a correct and perfect response. This is quite stressful. Sometimes I am duped into this, at other times I remember in time to pause, and let life show me how and where to step next.
I often think of MH, and a longing arises, I miss his company. The closeness felt. It is gone and yet it is still here. Like everyone I miss, they are still present as well as gone too. Kalinka is still with me, my love and memories of her, we are bonded in unity as we were when she was here. I just can’t touch her. So what? My old friends who are no longer in my current present. The love and compassion still flows towards them, and us all. My sister no longer in contact, she is still present too. Still on the same ocean, just in a different ship now. My lovely son over in Spain. I miss him too and yet it is undeniably perfect that he is there and I am here. We are connected and we are all connected and there is no separation. So what’s the problem? No problem.
So when I have stressful thoughts, like a complaint, worry or a longing for something not available… as soon as I remember, I just return to the body, I breathe a few times which gives me entry back in. Only a couple though, no fancy practices, just natural and uncontrived. Once I have returned to the body, in this exact present moment, everything is well. The solution appears to all these little dramas, the right response at the right time just happens without my trying or effort. I make space for the solutions to arise, the sweet spot just comes when allowed to. When it’s not drowned out by the noise of fearful reactivity.
Life is so oddly solitary nowadays, and I’m easing into a greater acceptance of it. I got a little shock arriving back yesterday, after 4 days of continuous company and chat. A huge gulf of silence and aloneness opened up. The realisation that I am back in this again. Then it was fine. Then a sharp twinge of anxiety arose as I thought about the catching up on lots of emails, messages and texts I need to do now workwise.
But actually, right now it’s Sunday, and I dont have to do anything at all. I can do whatever I wish actually. And with work related tasks, I don’t have to think about anything. I will find myself doing the tasks when that happens. Nothing to think about or fret about. Be here and now instead. Hear the cars sounds as they travel past, the quitetude between car sounds, the sound of the pigeons cooing the seagulls in the distance, see the sun on the branches of the trees out the window and the leaves coming out. Nothing to do, nowhere to go.