How far in advance do you plan?
Why we take a holiday can be for many reasons. Taking a break can be active, restful, convalescing, celebratory, enforced, under duress, dutiful even at times. When you would much prefer to be doing something else or you really feel you don't have the time.
I love the saying, which I have just Googled and whether it was a Zen proverb, attributed to Gandhi, a retreat Lama or even a newly qualified Mindfulness Tutor, it still stands the test of time. Whether for 5 minutes or 1 hour, if you don't have the time for your usual timed practice, the saying goes, double it.
And why do we call it a practice?
Dictionary result for practice
the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method, as opposed to theories relating to it.
the customary, habitual, or expected procedure or way of doing of something.
Through the practice of having a practice we get to practice, not for perfection, not to get better at it, more to make space for an experience, to open up to possibilities. You know like planning a day out then it rains and you don't feel like going for that big walk so you curl up with a book and then read something that creates a rabbit hole of thought that wakens something deep inside that helps you find a solution to an issue you had to take the break away because you were getting stressed about it. A thought that came when you weren't trying to have it.
I often find clients ask me 'what just happened' when they emerge from the treatment room, hair sticking up, couch creases on their face, and I smile and say, 'you allowed yourself time to just be for a while'.
So whatever it is for you, riding a bike down a mountain, concentrating on each root and rock with a sniper gaze, resting in a Yin pose fingers place in a mudra or going for a spa experience, I encourage you to plan it so you can relish and look forward to a time when you won't be doing any other than just being for a while.
After a stunningly special 18 months, holding space for creative collaborations, I went and had some well deserved me time in Manchester.
Christmas markets in full swing, drinking spiced warm gin at lunchtime and taking in the sights and sounds of the city, we had a fine couple of days away. The last Christmas markets I went to was in Bristol 2005, even 2004 to be honest. Proper markets with handmade stuff and gingerbread houses, so it was with some disappointment that I spied the stalls with bought in items stacked high, people bustling to bag a bargain. We took our time to find the gems, the artists, the designer makers, the producers of fine fare instead. And lots of them from Cumbria, taking their wares to the big city, recreating a time old tradition and being part of the seasonal occasion.
And on my return home, walking Tess in the woods overlooking Lake Windermere I thought of all those miles in between, all the hustling of town life and the bustle of nature. Birds sailing on the winds over majestic trees sitting in an ever changing landscape. Man made forests sitting next to natural wonders, creating a sanctuary, giving me space to feel a different pace of life. And time to appreciate it all.
Our history, our heritage, our ways of being, personal and collective, I wonder how the world will change in the next 13 years, and whether it won't be so long till I do it all again for future Christmas celebrations.