Pigeon Pal

After all that fizzy excitement of intensive work focus yesterday and the day before I had a beautiful grounding walk in the sun and landed with the help of my body in nature. I linger a long time, on a bench, staring at views and a long lunch of soup and a flapjack. I enjoy chatting with strangers and playing with a pigeon to see how close it might come to me on the table and feeding the many jackdaws, crows magpies and blue-tits that visited the table. Simple outdoor pleasures.

Then back here around 2pm, still early in the day and not sure how to be with myself in the long afternoon. So much activity the last few days, now just space and being. A sense of waiting too, not fully in the present.

An opportunity to watch the mind try and solve the uncertainty that it doesn’t like. I stop it going very far with that subject. I play a little and I imagine how I’d be feeling weight now if she had just said yes. Would I be on a happy high as a kite, because outer circumstances are going as I desire? or would I just be okay. There would be relief, and also equanimity present. I’m okay right now, I don’t need outside to be as I want it to be okay inside.

It’s interesting to watch where the mind wants to go habitually, off into questioning and second guessing my decisions, trying to predict what comes next, all kinds of pointless avenues it wants me to give my precious attention in this moment to. I get that, the mind is a prediction machine and a problem solver. If it perceives uncertainty it goes into action trying to gain certainty. It’s trying to help. I sit with all that including a little anxiety here and there. As I’m watching the thoughts and they don’t go into a big drama, the anxiety stays pretty low key.

My job is to do what I can to make things happen in the direction I want to go, then let go and be in the present moment. There was a bit of a flatness in mood, and I tried to just be with that. I didn’t know what do do with myself action wise – full up with wisdom and information online already. None of that online material worked for me, nor any entertainment shows. So I just lay and was still and shut my eyes being with whatever was going on in the feelings. Not a lot going on really.

Went out for another little walk, beautiful fresh air, happy dog. Feeling the weight of the body in the feet as they transfer from one foot to the next. I find myself naming what is all around, to help stay in this present moment. Flower, cut bush, shine, blossom, brick…notice the texture under foot, paving then softness of grass…then gravel, the late afternoon sun hitting the buildings….

I have a wonderful meeting in the evening with my two fellow Eckhart Tolle book club members, we read from the book in turns and share our experience of the subject. It’s very helpful and supportive to be studying together and we all express our appreciation.

Today I’m doing my hair and I smile and say ‘hi’ to the face in the mirror. I tell her out loud that I love her and I like her too. I also say I know I’m not that face, and that I also like the face. The weather is cloudy and flat today, like I felt yesterday. Today I feel mostly calm and accepting and at the same time a part inside feels anxious.

I sit here at the kitchen table in the warmth of the heating, the dishwasher whirring away, the dog asleep in her bed nearby. The traffic wooshing past, as people start going to work and take their kids to school. I straighten my back. I breathe consciously and feel the floor under the feet.

I find other people online this morning doing the dropping into feelings practice like this one. Think she has also been listening to Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and I prefer the simpler instruction from him. I think this has to be kept as simple as possible for it to be effective and accessible for myself and with clients.

There’s a therapy client this morning and one in the late afternoon. In between I’m going to go to the nursery and choose a large Cornus kousa for the current client, and get a few climbing plants for my Allotment. I received such a lovely thank you letter from this client about how much she enjoyed working with me and how she loves her new outdoor space. Nice. Getting the measurements and the updated drawings today from the cad technician, and will update the costing.

A walk. Light rain. Sounds of a bin lorry and traffic. Taste of a mini cucumber. Here. Moody vibe.

‘Oh! what a wondrous journey is this
That takes us high and low
That strips us away to what we truly are
That calls us to meet ourselves
Deeper and deeper
That invites us to embrace
Every unloved part of ourselves
Until we arrive
At the place we never really left.’

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