Coming to my Mat

My life is a swirling mass of delicious chaos this week….

It’s the start of 7 weeks of longed for Summer Holidays, I’m a single parent, juggling co-parenting with my child’s father — communicating and planning around logistics there with a planned 10days of them travelling away together, I have guests staying, I have my own work – and I have my part time regular paid job. Scheduling play dates, planning with friends for coffee and play and trampolining. Wild swims in the river on my doorstep, pool swims at the hotel down the road. Walking the dog. Washing the dishes (or not as the case goes). Longing for a massage. And realising that the child-free weekend my Love comes to visit – I have an event on and am actually working.

Shew. Just writing all this I feel the overwhelm…

I got up this morning to come to the desk early, whilst the rest of the household sleeps. To work through some of the ever present list, and to “get ahead of myself a bit”. Eyes gritty, cup of tea in hand…. And asked myself, “Right, what’s first?”

The list lies in front of me. My body, heart and soul says “Come to the Mat.”

My head responds “That’s not on the list, I don’t have time for that today”. That quiet voice inside of me whispers softly “Come to the Mat”. I start arguing with myself… “There’s no time, I need to get this done, there’s too much to do….” And that quiet inner voice laughs gently, softly and insists “Come to the Mat. You’ll feel better for it. Come on. Really, you KNOW this wisdom…”

And I do. I know this wisdom. I’ve even been getting better at practising it.

At putting aside all the lists and the urgent “need to get this done” – and just … Softening, listening, slowing down. Doing less so as to do more. Saying No so as to say Yes. I no longer run on adrenalin and coffee the way I did years ago…

So, I surrender. Taking my cup of lemon and ginger and sweet cicely syrup, I come to the mat. Expecting to drop into meditation. Expecting to drop into stretches and yoga and and…

Instead, finding myself on the Mat, I say to body, heart, soul and mind, “Ok, I’m here now. Now what?”

The answer whispers back, “Feel. Taste. Breathe. Be.”

Holding my cup of tea, I drop into that space – mindfulness in the moment. Feeling the warmth of my cup in my hands, the sharp spicy ginger rolling over my tongue, the underlying sweetness softening…. My brain starts to flip around, looking for my lists… and I drop back into just that breath, just that tea, remembering a workshop I fell into years ago on the Holy Isle off Arran Island. Where by accident, as you do, I got stuck on the island for a few days – no tent, but with a sleeping bag, no spare clothes beyond a day’s worth, but beautifully supported by the community there, and fell into a herbal mindfulness meditation retreat. My first ever shared meditation space… 20 years or so ago now. And I find myself smiling at the memory and the power of it… And the wisdom received.

How, just to be in the moment, practising body awareness, with the cup of tea held in my hands, deepens the medicine of the herbs…

And in that moment of remembering, and coming back to this moment, I felt this sense of all the thousands of people out there – working with love. First the images of people I know, and then the sense of people they know and then strangers – this vast network of human beings. Working with prayer. Working with intention. Whatever the religion or focussed practise or modality there is an underlying desire to bring more light and more love – more compassion – into the world. And I could feel it. This underlying sense of compassion, focussed loving intent, a belief that there is hope, there is positive future – even in the midst of such overwhelming challenges, grief, fear, pain happening at the moment. That there is such an importance to feeling. Just feeling. And feeling into love.

And feeling into the world we are dreaming, designing, visioning, creating – in the face of what can look like such crazy odds…

I could feel this determination in the face of grief and anger and shock being experienced by so many, to simply bring in more prayers, more love, more light. And I could feel this reaching out – a sense of holding and being held within it. This network of light. Softly, gently, lovingingly… This sense of “More Love”. And the power of it within the world. Softly, gently, holding space for more light, more love…

This incredible web of energy stretching around the planet… Fragile, resilient, flexible. Such strength.

And I recognised that the lists would all get done. But if I didn’t focus on the energy with which I was doing them, I would forget to focus on the feeling of doing them with Love. And I would just see the tasks as tasks, getting done. That there would be no underlying supportive Loving energy…

And really, that would make it all harder… That the energy with which we do things, calls “more” to ourselves. And that if the focus of the feeling is on tasks, lists, should’s – well. I’d get more of that too. Whereas, if I remembered to focus on the feeling of what it is that I am creating, visioning – Loving future – that I would call more synchronicities and co-incidences to me around that… And I KNOW this. Yet, in the busy, swirling chaos of doing it is so easy to forget and get pulled into lists and shoulds…

So. I stopped. I breathed into the steam of my tea, drawing it into my lungs, drawing the taste out over my tongue, letting myself feel the love I feel for my child, for my friends, for my work, for the world at large and as a whole… I breathed into the gratitude I feel for the people I know, out there in the world, working to focus on joy, on love, on listening, on compassion… Visioning, dreaming, creating. And I sent my love out into the network of loving energy, feeling myself held within it and holding it… And asked, from within this space, what do I need to do first?

There is time for everything, within that energy of love, for what we are co-creating here on Planet Earth. Even in the face of the odds out there.

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