Thursday, 31 May 2012

I read an interesting article by Martha Beck, Making Time for Nothing which was, preceded by a lovely quote … Finding yourself doesn’t require that you fly to Tibet, join a convent, or build a meditation room. Just consistently keep a minimal commitment to empty time.”
We all know how busy our lives are and it’s almost the standard response when asking someone how they are; “Ja, well, busy.”  I think many of us are struggling with this crazy busyness, but have literally accepted it as the norm; out of our hands; just got to live with it.  Yet do we really want, as Martha Beck so aptly puts it, our lives to become an exhausting sprint with no finish line, no real purpose, and no way to win?  I find that deeply scary. 

So I took another look at a reading I have by Angela Deutschmann’s  Insights From The Edge (Angela Deutschmann ), called “Fundamental Rest,” and it brought to mind again some powerful ideas.  These are the ones that stood out for me …

The only way you rest at a deep essential level is by allowing yourself - strange as it sounds - to put down your entire life and identity for a while. You do not have to do this for very long at a time to get very deep benefits, not at all. It’s much more about the permission to do so, and a regularity, than it is about the length of time.

So it’s not about sleep and it is not about having to take an hour each day to meditate.  It’s about regularly giving yourself the permission to have some empty time, even five minutes if that is all you have.
‘You cannot hope of yourself to have all the energy you need with which to embrace your joy if you are not resting properly. It’s just the same as a high performance athlete presuming that she can push and push and push herself and that her muscles will continue to perform magnificently. It does not ever work that way for any athlete, not any. And it is just the same with all human beings.’
We have seen with ourselves and others, if we keep up the pace of our stressful, busyness, at some level, the body gives, in one way or another – it has to.
Perhaps more important than any other, the benefit of Fundamental Rest is increased self-esteem: ‘Most of the other pursuits you do as a human being are to try and get from the world what you think you don’t have yet, or have enough of yet. However, the activity, or the non-activity, of simply being still, of fundamental rest, is a clear declaration to the universe that you think you are okay as you are, even for just a few moments.’
‘There is not a more powerful declaration of self love than sitting in nothingness.’  … ‘[Allowing yourself a few moments to be without] or learning or improving or worshipping or listening or working or anything - is the strongest route to developing fundamental self love’.

Now how profound is that?!

So in light of all of this, I have decided that I would do just that - start a little ritual going, that every day when I have a cup of tea, I will just sit and drink it, doing nothing else but drink my tea and just be, no matter how rushed or harried I am feeling.
It took a great deal of courage to do that this morning as I have a to-do-list that is miles long, but I managed it! Crazy how taking ten minutes out to have a cup of tea is so hard?!  (The mind finds all kinds of excuses and reasons not to.) Yet it was so rewarding. I got to relax with my two old dogs that I rush past daily as I run in and out of the house and my naughty little cat that came and sat under my legs for some love.  I felt great.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I had a bit of stoep time this morning out at the front of my house, sitting in the sun, with some delicious Earl Grey tea and some bread with Nutella. I have loved Nutella since I was a little girl; it was always such a treat. 
So I resonate at some deep level with this quote in Winnie the Pooh, about anticipation, and this is how I feel about opening a new jar of nutella ...
"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best -- " and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.”  

 And then, this resonates strongly too ...  "When Rabbit said, `Honey or condensed milk with your bread?' he was so excited that he said, `Both,' and then, so as not to seem greedy, he added, `But don't bother about the bread, please.'”  
Hmmmmmm pass me that teaspoon please!

Friday, 25 May 2012

In this one, I was just playing with the new scarf I had just bought and was loving.  Again, the lighting is mid morning, but I had such fun!

The light is not right for this photo; it was taken mid morning, but it is an archway over the start of a walk and the thoughts that came to mind were about the different walks in life that we all take and what the roads that lie ahead of us hold  ... so I really wanted to capture it

I grabbed an opportunity to take some precious me-time at the Buddhist Retreat in Ixopo two weekends ago, and had a bit of fun, playing with my camera.  These are some of the shots I took.  I particularly love this one of the giant protea.  I just stumbled upon them and was really stoked to enjoy them.

I’ve been working through The Artist’s Way (by Julia Cameron) with a few girlfriends these last few months and it has been a really wonderful and insightful journey.  I have loved delving deep into long forgotten dreams, ideas, and memories; some pleasant, some not so.  I find myself really excited to take my children to their extra murals these days, hurriedly dropping them off and heading to the nearest coffee shop; book, journal and pencil in hand and having a whole hour to myself to read, delve and write. Bliss!  I’m so pleased I’m not filling that gap with grocery shopping anymore.

Living authentically and living deeply is really important to me, yet I find it challenging.  Being the good girl (substitute mommy/friend/wife) and people pleaser myself (I would like to say an “ex-people pleaser”, but that would not be totally authentic) there are all kinds of situations that hold me back from being completely true to myself.  Working through the book and discussing it with my girlfriends, has definitely put in motion my ability to start living more from my joy.  So I am just loving it at the moment.  This blog is one the hopefully many creative harvests of the book.