Waiting, Hiding, Patience & Resting [Poem]

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Reflections on four modes and moods of progress…

Waiting

Hoping it will happen, some day.
Wondering whether you’re ready.
Wondering whether you’re enough.
Wanting it to be more comfortable.
Wanting to it be perfect.
Waiting for someone (else) to reach out.
Waiting for permission,
for self-belief…
for self-compassion;
for self-for-give-ness.

Hiding

There are stages to hiding:
The deepest being recovery,
the most powerful being protection,
and the most comfortable being avoidance.
At the edges of avoidance, lie the soft sands,
caressed, sometimes viciously,
by the call of vulnerability.

Patience

Trusting it will happen in time,
even if that happening takes another form.
And, planting seeds today;
preparing ground…
(Maybe the way turns out better).
Opening to curiosity,
Learning and applying.
Re-learning.
Noticing resistance.
Noticing.
Building relationship.
Courageous determination;
Relaxing,
moving,
intending,
attending.

Resting

Renewing,
processing,
letting go,
sleeping.
Recollecting, reflecting
nourishing,
rejuvenating,
exploring.
Asking,
allowing.
Playing. Pausing.
A heart of nurturing,
within a cycle of persisting;
fuel for Patience.

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Is the Rope Still There? [Story]

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Story:

There once was a majestic elephant capable of roaming many miles.

Only she wasn’t free to move more than a metre or two, for she was kept in captivity, in a circus for the entertainment of people.

So as to keep her from wandering off, a rope was tied to her young legs. From an early age, she learned that she could go only so far as the rope would reach.

Each time she ventured just an inch more, it would strain and pull her back.

This was frustrating at first, but gradually she began to accept her limitations, unable to break free.

Many years later, the rope was cut. The majestic elephant was at last free to roam.

Can you imagine how she would run towards liberty… the miles trailing off beneath her enormous footsteps?

But the majestic and free elephant did not move any further. She didn’t even try.

She had “learned” that she was tied up and and this had become not only a default, but an identity and a truth. And so, tragically, she did not realise that the rope was in fact no longer there.

Its old, imaginary fibres, still rained her in, still comprised the remit of her world.

Reflections:

This story can serve as a powerful metaphor for limiting thoughts.

One of the most powerful limiting thoughts is often that we are powerless to affect any change.

Of course it is wise to understand our limitations, what we have influence over and what we do not. The flurry of thoughts in our busy minds can certainly be very difficult to control at times. However, we can learn to influence our response to these thoughts, as well as to question the truth of what we may be thinking.

Some of our thoughts may have originally been designed to protect us, or we may have inherited them from someone who wanted to preserve themselves or us, out of fear.

When we bring our awareness to these thoughts, pin them down, as if looking down at the rope holding our legs, we can begin to trace them to their source, and perhaps find there is not much value or strength attached to them “at the other end”.

Old constructs that we thought were keeping us blocked may have fallen away, or we may be ready to move away from them.

This enables us to move toward freedom, but not if we believe freedom itself is inaccessible.

Limiting beliefs and thoughts can show up in a variety of ways. Some examples could be:

I’m not good enough to do this.
I can’t figure it out.
I don’t have the courage.
I’m too sensitive.
I have to avoid mistakes.
What I really want is too hard.
I don’t deserve it.
I don’t have what it takes.

Take a moment to consider a thought that is limiting for you and that often comes up.

Can you feel it reigning you in?

Can you question it?

What if it wasn’t true?

What is this thought trying to keep you attached to?

Can you move towards freedom?

Even if it is just one inch?

Wishing you enlarging freedom…

With love,

The Tree-house Network.

The Elephant Tree of You [Poem]

 

"Elephantorrhiza cf. elephantina, loof, Steenbokpan" by JMK - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Elephantorrhiza_cf._elephantina,_loof,_Steenbokpan.jpg#/media/File:Elephantorrhiza_cf._elephantina,_loof,_Steenbokpan.jpg
“Elephantorrhiza cf. elephantina, loof, Steenbokpan” by JMK – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons 

In Africa, there is a special kind of tree,
called an “Elephant root tree”

What makes it unusual,
and remarkable,
is that it lives almost entirely underground.

This is how it has adapted to cold, dry winters.

If you went walking amongst these trees, you may simply see plants, which look like shrubs.
Yet, in reality, you would really be among the canopy of very old, large trees,
Not knowing the heights which lay underneath your feet.

Beneath the surface of a fast-moving world,
(saturated with a relentless drive for gratification),
We can expect to see results instantly,
most especially from ourselves.

We may neglect the essential growing, nurturing processes that edge us toward our canopies.
It can be all too easy to forget about, or rule out entirely, the immense value of our
experiences, knowledge, connections,
or potential.

This is especially true when we feel afraid, doubtful, or frustrated.

All of our previous progress or positive experience gets cut short in our perception. We can’t seem to see how it fits into our current striving.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Our intense focus on the current leaves of our canopies does not negate the immense body of growth buried just beneath.
It does not cross out the myriad of dots which, somewhere along the line,
we learned to discount.

The process of zooming out,
and dusting away,
could reveal to us a context far bigger than our fondest hopes.

And it could be lying just beneath surface in others we know and come across too: within their potential, their roots and their dreams…

References:

Elephantorrhiza elephantina.

 

28 to 30! of 30 Days Wild – Surrey Adventures in Shere & Along the River Mole

This is a series of blogs exploring my experience of 30 Days Wild, a challenge developed by The Wildlife Trusts. The aim: “to feel happier, healthier and more connected to nature by doing something wild every day for thirty days this June”. 

It is amazing how close the Surrey Hills are from (South West) London. This facilitated two wonderful day trips, which were the highlight of the final few days of the challenge!

The Picturesque Town of Shere

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This incredible town features stunning cottages and gardens cared for with flair. Many of the cottages are timber-framed, with the central part of the town buildings being of 16th – 17th century style.

There is also a river running through the town:

“The River Tillingbourne supports a healthy fish population of both wild brown trout and coarse fish. The Environment Agency has been working with local fishermen to improve the habitat for these fish by recreating a pool and riffle habitat and by cutting back overhanging vegetation.” – www.sheredelight.com/history

Importantly, there is also an amazing deli and café called The Dabbling Duck. It serves incredible cakes, and the chocolate cake was among the best I have ever had (and I rarely pass up the opportunity to sample chocolate cake!). Definitely worth a visit.

A Walk Along the River Mole

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The walk along the river mole was very calming and renewing. I also finally managed to snap a great photo of a bumble bee! Other wild sightings included swans sailing gently along and long-tailed tits excitedly collected in a tree.

I also noticed plenty of nettles around – perfect for making some wild pesto! Next time I shall I have to bring some gloves and a basket.

Robert Bloomfield (1766–1823) writes the following lines about the Mole Valley in his 1806 poem Wild Flowers:

Sweet Health, I seek thee! Hither bring
Thy balm that softens human ills;
Come on the long drawn clouds that fling
Their shadows o’er the Surry-Hills.
Yon green-topt hills, and far away
Where late as now I freedom stole,
And spent one dear delicious day
On thy wild banks romantic Mole.
Ay there’s the scene! Beyond the sweep
Of London’s congregated cloud,
The dark-brow’d wood, the headlong steep,
And valley paths without a crowd!
Here Thames I watch thy flowing tides,
Thy thousand sails am proud to see;
But where the Mole all silent glides
Dwells Peace – and Peace is wealth to me.

R Bloomfield (1806) Wild Flowers; or Pastoral and Local Poetry

Thank you 30 Days Wild 🙂

It has been an incredible journey with the challenge this month, with it gently reminding and inspiring me to notice and engage with nature each day. I am looking forward to continuing on in this spirit…whether through exploring new places or familiar ones, alone or together, keeping in mind I am part of the wildness too.

Thanks to The Wildlife Trusts for their enthusiasm, creativity and support during the challenge.

25 – 27 of 30 Days Wild – Repotting the Basil and Organic Joys

This is a series of blogs exploring my experience of 30 Days Wild, a challenge developed by The Wildlife Trusts. The aim: “to feel happier, healthier and more connected to nature by doing something wild every day for thirty days this June”. 

Bountiful Basil

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All through the challenge the tiny basil seeds I planted a few weeks ago in seed compost have been growing steadily. It has been so delightful to watch them emerge and develop. In the beginning they have tiny leaves which do not look like the normal basil leaves, which grow later.

It has been a source of enjoyment, learning and discipline for me. Each day I make sure to water my little seedlings!

It is also a reminder of patient progress, they only grow a tiny bit every day, but it is amazing how that adds up over time.

I am looking forward to making a delicious tomato and basil Napolitana sauce once they are fully flourishing! I have also been thinking that the little pots could make a wonderful gift.

Growing Plans

I very much enjoy my organic veggie box and made a delicious rent lentil curry this week, after spending time with family in the garden (and, graciously they helped in the garden too!). I am also considering starting to grow my own vegetables. I feel it could be an excellent way to build upon my growing reconnection with nature. Growing your own seems nurturing to the body and soul in so many ways: the time spent in greenery, the exercise, fresh air, enjoyment and, of course nourishment.

Rainbow Colours

One of the 30 Days Wild challenge ideas was to go out and find rainbow colours – so after our garden work I went out and picked a few of the amazing flowers bursting forth and placed them in a vase on the dining table. I thought it was incredible how the flowers, from different corners of the garden, looked so stunning together.

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22 – 24 of 30 Days Wild – Views, Rainstorms (and a little garden party)

This is a series of blogs exploring my experience of 30 Days Wild, a challenge developed by The Wildlife Trusts. The aim: “to feel happier, healthier and more connected to nature by doing something wild every day for thirty days this June”. 

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A Beautiful View

It might come as a surprise that the view with the green hill in the background is actually within London: Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park to be exact. I was fortunate to visit for a family celebration over tea. Richmond Park is the largest of London’s eight Royal Parks and is the biggest enclosed space in London. It is also home to herds of Red and Fallow deer.

Rainstorms

The run up to the end of June saw an unprecedented amount of raining falling within the London area. Some streets and houses were flooded and trains were severely affected with delays and cancellations. My local high street was closed underneath the railway bridge due to the amount of water held there. The picture that looks like a river seen through trees is actually meant to be a dry piece of land near the railway!

A Garden Party

Some sunshine and peace after the storm did emerge, however. Happily this lead to some more garden work and a little rejuvenation with some snacks and cold water with fresh lemon balm and apple mint. As usual, the time spent in the greenery of the garden brought a much valued feeling of peace and grounding.

19 to 21 of 30 Days Wild: The Simple Things

This is a series of blogs exploring my experience of 30 Days Wild, a challenge developed by The Wildlife Trusts. The aim: “to feel happier, healthier and more connected to nature by doing something wild every day for thirty days this June”.

On wondering what I mean by the simple things, I came up with this definition for myself.

the simple things: those which nurture our body, heart, mind and soul; but that we tend to overlook when rushing through life

Here are three ways I slowed down enough to notice or incorporate this sense of nurturing over the last few days.

 

Eating My Veggies

IMG_3626This Sunday saw a relaxing and nurturing meal prepared with wonderful organic vegetables and a herb from the garden. Nothing too fancy: beetroot, carrot, potato and rosemary gently roasted together in the oven. Yet their nourishment brought a sense of well-being and contentment, both while peeling and preparing, and in the eating. The vegetables came from an Abel and Cole vegetable box. To me this seems like an environmentally nurturing option: all the vegetables are organic and have little or no packaging, and the boxes are reused.  I am also keen to start growing my own!

 

PURPLE Simplicity

IMG_3656The following day, I noticed how hardy the geraniums and flowering chives are. I had placed them in a vase the previous week and they were still going strong. It is amazing how some plants can survive on less water and nutrients. I’ve noticed that the chive plant tends to survive through the cold winter months too. In any case, this little fractal of the floral brings a sense of joy each time I glance by them. These are two purple pleasures I might have overlooked, had I not been challenging myself to connect with and notice the natural world around me.

 

A Little Movement (Letting it Go!)

During the third day in this trio, I was inspired to get back on the yoga mat, garden plants around and sky above… This time it was the fabulous Adriene’s “Letting go” class. You can find her channel on Youtube: Yoga With Adriene. Noticing simple things can be easy to overlook, take for granted or omit while striving for future plans. Yet it is often those moments I look back on through life and appreciate most.