Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Should

Today I wanted a piece of walnut bread.

It was already 11.30 am and I hadn't eaten anything for breakfast. I was under the impression that the walnut bread was sweet, and I felt uncomfortable eating sweet walnut bread  with a cup of tea first thing.

So, I thought I should have something 'proper' to eat first. So, I made a sandwich. I opened a small drink. When I finished my sandwich, there was still some drink left. But the drink was not going to suit the walnut bread. So then, I thought I should have a little snack to finish off the drink with. I ate the last of a packet of chips we'd opened the night before.

Finally, with the sandwich eaten, the drink drunk, and the chip packet in the rubbish bin, I decided it was time that I could now consume the walnut bread. I made a cup of tea also.

I took a bite of the walnut bread and realized instantly that it was savory,  not sweet, and had totally rendered my previous 'shoulds' redundant.

I ate at least 500 should calories for absolutely no reason.

What 'should' did you do today that you can see was totally pointless.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wage Peace

Wage peace with your breath.

Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings and flocks of red wing blackbirds.

Breathe in terrorists
and breathe out sleeping children and freshly mown fields.

Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.

Breathe in the fallen and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.

Wage peace with your listening: hearing sirens, pray loud.

Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.

Make soup.

Play music, memorize the words for thank you in three languages.

Learn to knit, and make a hat.

Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
imagine grief
as the outbreath of beauty
or the gesture of fish.

Swim for the other side.

Wage peace.

Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious:

Have a cup of tea and rejoice.

Act as if armistice has already arrived.

Celebrate today.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Listening to the Body - a case study

After walking for 24 days in the Camino de Santiago, I came home feeling clean – internally clean.  There was a flow of life and love through the body and I felt emptied out.

Then, this morning, I was confronted with a rock of pain in my throat chakra. It hit hard, considering my recent ‘empty’ state.

I was sitting down stairs, in the local bar/café, and slowly I went through the motions of the pain.

I was sitting in my Catalan class. I haven’t been there for nearly 5 weeks. I didn’t really want to go there, knowing the class would be far ahead of me. I haven’t bonded with any of the other students and most of them speak Spanish together in the break.  I usually feel like an outsider, in an outsider’s class. (We are all foreigners living in Catalonia, so we are identified ‘other’ from the locals.)

I was the first to arrive. I was happy to choose my own seat, and have time to take a look at the books. The first students started to arrive, and they all greeted me with a smile and a moment of surprise, considering my long absence.

Then one of the students, a young woman, saw me as she came in to the class (there are only five students, so its impossible not to see me) and she flicked her hair, and ignored me completely.  I had my face raised with a tentative smile. 

I could list my complaints about her. There are many. But the main one is ‘rudeness’. As I sat in my chair, and felt her silent slap in the face to my reappearance, my mind instantly went to other petty things I disliked about the girl. Her hair, her too tight clothing, the way she laughed ‘too loud’, her black high heels, her inability to be ‘wrong’ in class, and there were so many little nit picky things I was thinking – and my throat started to hurt. Its even closing up now, as I write this.

What is the throat chakra related to? Will power. My will power over others, and over the Tao, the Great Way, over God’s will, and over this girl’s will.

The great pain I suffered this morning was my own doing. It had nothing to do with the girl. But her audacity, to live in a way that did not subscribe to MY internal laws, hurt my throat.

Rudeness is one of the things that has always ‘got my goat’, so to speak. It makes me hiss and bare my teeth. But again, ‘rudeness’ and what it represents is MY way of seeing the world, and it’s a way that is not obviously universal.

So here I was, confronted with my will, the way I wanted to world to behave, with someone else’s. And that confrontation gave me the first echoes of pain I’ve had in 5 days.  

We use qigong and yoga to clean the body, mind and spirit of the daily refuse.

Your body is your greatest teacher. Follow its feelings, its awareness, its pain, its subtraction, its expansion. Follow its guidance, and it will indicate to you, where you’re sending your energy, your time, and your love.

Thank you to the girl in my class, for helping me to see myself clearer. Truly you are my teacher. 

What's made you froth at the mouth today? 

An Invitation to 100 days

Good afternoon everyone.

Today I am encouraging you to join me in doing your chosen activity for 100 days.

The activity can be anything you have been meaning to do/study, but have found it difficult to become motivated.  Today is the first of June. What better time to start?

Personally, I am going to do my sumi-e and my Catalan for 100 days straight. If you get sidetracked and miss a day, then you haven’t got the point of this invitation.

This is to stick to one activity, every day, for 100 days. Something you’ve wanted to do, but don’t, for one reason or another.

This is not the time to put it back on the shelf. Its time to set some time aside, let it be 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour, every day, and ‘do it’.

Write in a journal, every day, for 100 days. What is it that you want to do?

I want to paint. And I will. I also need to learn Catalan, so I shall.

Come join me!