Apologies if I've missed some of your posts over the last few days. As the weather improves it's too nice to be indoors, so I've spent most of the last few days either out in the garden or walking through the fields and woods.
I needed to free up some time. I needed to have my hands in the soil, to be planting things, breathing fresh air and running my eyes over natural landscapes that weren't peppered with human sights and invaded by human sounds. I needed some stillness and some peace.
I think it's true that for all of us, from time to time, life demands more than it is healthy to give. As a society, we tend to expect a lot of ourselves and each other and we are not always good at responding positively to a need to slow down and simplify, both in ourselves and in others.
These demands often come in the shape of, or from, other people. Sometimes they are made with good reason and motives, sometimes less so. When I was younger I wasn't good at being aware of this and being careful with what I chose to do- it was easy to say yes to everything and crush it all in and run around with boundless energy not wanting to miss anything. That's fine when you're in your twenties: it is less useful in your forties. One of the joys of getting older for me has been the increasing ability to stand back, appraise and decide what to do without needing to agree to everything.
Heavens, I think it might be called discernment.
Having a family also educates you as nothing else does. It changes your perception and it teaches you balance and so, being both older and having a family, I have got better at slowing down before I fall down.
Being a healer has also taught me a great deal. It has brought me into contact with a wide range of different people I am unlikely to have met otherwise. It has shown me hugely varying aspects of humanity, and the widest possible range of problems and traumas that people carry and endure and seek freedom from. What my seventeen years working with people in need of help has taught me, more than anything else, is that it is the simple things in life that keep you healthy, hale, hearty and happy.
For me, that translates as not being too busy to breath, or to notice the weather, or what time it gets light, or dark; it is having time to notice bees waking up and feeding on the Daphne, or when the Peacock butterfly hibernating in the garage wakes up. It is about knowing how my children are, and having space and attention to listen to them when they want to tell me their thoughts, ask me a question or talk to me about how their day has been. It is about spending time with my friends and listening when they talk; knowing what is going on in their lives and being present for them when they need me. It is making sure I see my wider family and know how they all are too. It is not working in the evening and therefore missing a glass of wine and a meal and a laugh and a chat by the fire with my husband. It also means spending time outside, and having time to stop and think and to look at things properly. It means, having the stillness and peace and solitude to make my choices calmly, wisely and unhurriedly.
When I have those things I have perspective, and then I can respond properly to the demands that are coming in, which, sometimes, is as much about declining as accepting. That way, for me, peace lies.
Here are a selection of photos from the last few days....