Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Finding Energy and Peace, then Writing

Over the last few days, or the month even, I have done a lot of thinking, ruminating if you will, over my own sense of peace. Recently, it had been advised that I take up the practice of mindfulness in order to better my health. In the past, I have attempted to incorporate this way of life and thinking into my hot blooded Turkish way of being but hadn't succeeded. It depends where you are in your life of course. But I'm trying again and I did so by buying Peace is Every Step  by Thich Nhat Hanh, it's not some hippy self-help book that will end up in a charity shop, but a way of living and being which you can take or leave, or better, try to incorporate into your own lifestyle without feeling as though I'm losing the fiery personality which makes me me.  Reading this book has made me look at my own reaction to certain people and incidents, mainly with the person that lives upstairs who continuously interrupts the peace. My reactions to this person have led to anger, loss of sleep, loss of concentration, illness and in turn, loss of ability to work, to write. This can no longer go on, I decided. Mr Cranmer is a far cooler and calmer person than me, it takes a lot to faze him, with me, it's really not all that much.

So what is to be done about this negativity which has encroached my life. Well, with mindfulness and breathing, I have slowly, very slowly albeit, begun to ignore it. I pay more attention to my garden, to the tomatoes which are growing wonderfully in the conservatory, to the carrots which are trying to make it after a neighbourhood cat dug them up and used my trough as a litter tray, to the beetroot which has grown beautifully and I'm not sure when to dig out, to the courgettes which I planted late along with the spring onions. I tend to the garden carefully, making sure I have watered it and tended to the weeds. These are the things that make me happy, I get fresh air while tugging and sifting soil, all this is done whilst a black bird picks leaves and material for a nest and sits on the fence next to me with its bedding hanging out of its mouth.

Along with gardening and watching the cats, birds and butterflies take over the garden, I am doing yoga again, it is meditative and strengthening for the body at the same time, you don;'t realise how crouched and slumped you are in real life until you really stretch! My part time job as a dog walker takes me to the woods three times a week where I can become submergeded beautifully in the shadow of trees and listen to the woodpecker in the distance, "where in the world is it?" I ask, trying to trace where the bird is pecking, but you can never spot it as the echo travels widely. Nurturing the body is incredibly important, a simple task which can be easily forgotten and tossed aside, one has to begin reading the signs that their body is sending out. One day last week, I craved the warmth of a tomato sauce, I obviously had tomatoes on the brain as I've been watching mine grow, and so I made a huge batch of sauce where I slowly cooked tomatoes with herbs that i grow in the garden, I did all this slowly with mindfulness, it was calming for the mind, and later, calming for the body.

As I hadn't written in some time due to illness, I found myself nervous and twitching at my desk. I turned to a friend on twitter, one @johannaharness who offers a wonderful space for writers to join each other and help one another out (#amwriting). I asked her, what she would do in my situation, she told me at first that writing was healing, that I knew of course but I was wary and worried about failure, she suggested I revise what I last wrote and before I know it, I'll be writing again. She was right. I also remembered reading a post she wrote on her website http://johannaharness.com/blog/ a year ago on finding the energy to write. She suggested writing a list of things that suck energy and a list that give energy. This I carried out with abandon, and was glad to finally face them on paper!

And so, today is a brand new day, one that I will fill with writing, reading, and a spot of gardening, it's really not all that difficult after all. A strong mind and yearning heart is what I have, and I shall use them.

1 comment :

  1. What a beautiful post. I'm so glad I could be part of this journey with you. Your focus on peace radiated throughout and made me feel calm too. Thank you.



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