July: Fresh Eyes

We just returned from a week away in Kos; home of Hippocrates; he of ‘Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food’ fame.

We somehow always manage to retreat to the quietest spaces, with hardly any people and a lot of nature. Where you can lap up the sounds of nature and bask in a sensory soak, offloading the mind and allowing the heart to expand and soften.

We were in the most secluded spot and on day one we happened upon a secluded beach; the only other souls were the wild ones; turtles, birds, insects galore (more on the turtles later this month). Pure, utter bliss.

When you release from the confines of the boundaries of an ordinary, everyday life, something sweet arises; a change of perspective.

You can be surrounded by nature at every turn; and still be blind and deaf to it’s glories.

Can you hear the birdsong now? Were you noticing it a moment ago? Or had it faded into the background? Can you observe the spiders’ webs on the blades of grass on a dewy morning? But do you notice them during the day? Do you see the fine details that surround you?

As we become more observant, the universe reveals more secrets and signs to us.

Nature becomes an everlasting novel. A source of joy.

Then there are the moments for reflection; even though we are constantly reminding ourselves to live in this monment; here and now, a reflective pause of what has occurred, and a brief look to the future are always necessary. Otherwise we never learn from our past and can’t carve our future with intention. Of course, these skills are necessary. But what’s important in these practices, is that we work from the true moment; don’t let’s get pulled or swayed by the emotion of what’s fallen or is due to fly; let’s be the bottom of the ocean, rather than at the wave-level surface; remember the still point and soften into the core of it all.

So, we reflected.

We examined what had unravelled. Oftentimes as we become drawn into the chaos of work and supporting ourselves, we lose sight of the importance of being, of play and of the art of curiosity. It’s interesting to take a moment to pause and reflect; even the everyday patterns of preparing and nourishing with a delicious, regular breakfast can become weighed down by the pull of our ‘duties’ of everyday life. The roles we play can drown out the truth of who we are.

We recognised that we had become a little robotic in our everyday expectations and had forgotten to have fun. And we suspect there may be times when you will too.

In being a mother, sister, son, in labelling ourselves as defined by a job, dress size, colour, gender and so on and on, we lose the very nature of what and who we are. We become fixated on these ideas of who or what is expected of us, and we settle for a life less lived.

In our Lila Lit ‘Light Is The New Black’ session (an amazing book by the goddess that is Rebecca Campbell) this topic arose; one of time slipping away or being given up because we have other chores to attend to.

One seriously potent practice to regaining the majesty of being back, is to simply notice the regular; the things we consider mundane. See it all with new eyes; a fresh perspective.

How about taking time to notice the everyday drive; which views pass us on the way? Can you taste each mouthful of food? Can you notice the colour of the rooftops? The flowers? Can you take some time to fix the broken step along the path? Even something simple as noticing how the body feels today; any aches, pains, opening? How is the breath? Are you feeling tired? Need some fresh air? When was the last time you laughed until you cried? If it was beyond yesterday, you need more fun in your life; go and find someone or something to make you cry with laughter.

It’s a subject we could talk about all day long. Literally.

But you don’t need our guidance on this. Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge; a soft reminder that you need to notice more. Be here now.

Stop taking it all for granted.

The minute that we got home from holiday, we really saw everything differently. It doesn’t take a trip to paradise to change the quality of your attention; sure, it helps. But it’s not necessary.

All it takes is a willingness to lean into how you are feeling.

In noticing the mundane, we may be able to infuse the boring and the taken-for-granted moments with glimmers of glitter dust and music to stir the soul.

Albert Einstein said:

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.