I’m not normally lost for words but I have found myself that way several times this week. Social media has a lot to answer for. I can see how good it is so people can keep in touch but the amount of fake news is not good and the divisive angry words of others are not good either. It is not a time for blame or for hate. It is a time to support each other.
This is a time of great change and hopefully the change will be for the better. It is a time to take stock of our lives and how we live them. Have we been buying the wrong kind of items so that stocks of what are truly needed are not available? Have we been happy with cheap slave type labour so we can have these wonderful electronic gadgets and very cheap clothes? Have we had lots of expensive holidays abroad with no thought to the carbon footprint changed by flying?
Have you noticed the good things that are happening? The air is cleaner so people will stay healthier and have less chance of getting ill. There is less noise so we can hear the bird song. We have time to sit and ponder, to reflect and to soak up the beauty of nature around us. If you can’t get out there are plenty of places you can go in your mind. Lots of places have opened up virtual tours on line so you can look at those. You can meditate and do your yoga or other exercise just the same.
Many are worried about what is happening but it is no good worrying even though that is easier to say than do. But what will be, will be. Think about the future and how it will be changed. We cannot go back to what it was like before. Take time to just be, to just sit and do nothing letting your body and mind rest. Above all take care of yourself.
It has been an interesting few weeks since I decided to take some time out from my busy world and just look after me and just be me, if that makes sense. Much of this time was spent at home, resting, watching the birds and butterflies in the garden and doing as little as possible. Yet I still felt tired and had no mojo, no inclination to do any creative work.
So I listened to music especially that of Einaudi, a minimalist composer who has written a lot of piano music. I found this very soothing and restful and there was a little thought that maybe I could compose music like that. But I just sat there and listened and meditated and did nothing else that did not have to be done.
This last week I spent three days on a retreat at a nearby retreat centre. It is owned and run by the Church of England but all are welcome and there is no pressure. I have been going there now for some years and have always enjoyed it and benefited from my stay there. The food is good and at regular intervals and the gardens and woodland as well as the surrounding landscape are beautiful and peaceful. There is no phone signal although there is now wi-fi and internet access in all areas.
I spent a lot of time sitting by the pond waiting for the dragonflies to appear. I did see them but getting photos was hard to do. However the robin and the squirrel posed beautifully for me. I walked in the woods and explored the labyrinth in the grounds behind a walled garden. The labyrinth was not at its best as the meadow in which it is situated had been mown and the grass and wild flowers were hiding the path around it. But it was good to sit up there looking out over the countryside and enjoying the peace of it all. But my mojo returned and one day I wrote several poems, something I have not done for some time. I also ate far too much but returned home feeling much better and ready to do things of a creative nature after catching up with all the other stuff.
But coming home can be quite hard. In many ways I am lucky to live alone so I can take my time assimilating myself back into our chaotic world. Others do not get the same privilege if they have family. I am also now being able to stand back from the chaos and look at the wider picture. I am able to watch the ‘dark’ elements of our world come to the front so that we awaken more to what can be and are able to give out more light. There is hope but the future might not be what we expect.
The photo is taken from the bottom of the woodland looking out at the Abbey where I stayed.
It is important in the world of today to take time out so that you do not wear yourself out and get too exhausted to do anything. Over this last nine months or so I have been busy trying to help others to see that we need to do something about our planet, like less pollution and thinking about what we wear and what we eat and how we live. On top of this I have had all the usual things to do, housework, washing, gardening and shopping, so now I am beginning to feel that state of exhaustion.
I have arthritis and other muscle problems, something which I think is called polyarthralgia, and this flares every so often whatever medication, including natural remedies, that you take. So it is time for me to step back, to take time out from doing things I don’t have to do and get some rest. Ideally the rest will include sitting outside in nature reflecting on my world.
I see so many people running around doing this and doing that and never taking time to just sit or stand and reflect. Staying busy all the time is not good for us. Our bodies need time to repair as do our mental and emotional bodies. There are challenges ahead for most of us and we need to have the energy to deal with them so resting now as much as possible will be good for me and for everyone else. We will need plenty of energy to deal with what is coming. So this is a short blog post as my time out starts today!
Last week I decided to take some time away from social media amd do things I really wanted to do and enjoy each day as it came. I did have a few appointments but decided to keep most of these. So what did I do? I spent time in the garden, sometimes just sitting and meditating on what I could see. I spent time with friends and did some creative sewing which I love.
I did have a quick read of my social media accounts but did not post or comment on anything preferring to let things go on as planned. I had a lovely afternoon out in some gardens belonging to a large house not too far away. It was wonderful to stroll through woodland and gardens I did not know. The views were tremendous.
So what did I gain from my time out, after all I was busy a lot of the time. I felt better and much closer to the natural world around me. I felt more attuned to the sounds of nature as well. I was less stressed as I had been busy over the last few months writing and talking to people about climate change. It is very easy to get involved in such things and let them take over your life so that you do or think about nothing else.
Climate change is of course very important and I hope that I have sown seeds of change with many people and via my book, sowed these seeds in others far away. But it is easy to overdo things and burn out which is when I decided to take a break. Taking a break also allows you to get things in perspective and see the overall picture not just the details. For me this time out has replenished my soul. So when things get hectic and seem out of control, stand back, take some time out and enjoy the natural world around you.