Emergency surgery and three months of convalescence, I see now it has been so much more.
As I start to reemerge, many insights have visited. Many in the cold of the night, sleepless and shifting under the covers; others at dawn, revelations and realisations gently easing me into the new day. I feel there is much to do now that the emergency of ill health has ceased, and many thoughts to come as to what my practice will be in my returning.
During the last few years, many practitioners now walk different paths, some choosing to retire, others being forced to find other modes of income, many like me who see our ‘work’ as a vocation, there was never a doubt of not returning to clinic. So I know that I can rise again, like a Phoenix out of the ashes, renewed, refreshed with a sharp focus. And the question for me now is How?
One thing I know is that it will be a gentle return, to take the learnings and to go deeper into the unknown aspects of Why ill health manifests for us. There are many factors to be considered and sadly as our health system has other considerations, the psychological aspects of the physical manifestations aren’t readily addressed. I find myself in a period of rehabilitation, with support from associated charities instead.
Until ‘the way’ becomes clear, curating wellbeing events at Deershed in July and then End of the Road in early September will take my attention.
Can we learn from others misfortunes? Can we avert disaster by being mindful of our actions. Walking downstairs and being conscious of the last step, always, as that was how your mother ripped her achilles tendon the night before a walking holiday in the Lake District.
Each time you put dishes away you’re acutely aware of which upper cupboards you have left open so you don’t bash your head, and then have to sit in your stoic self reliance questioning if you’ll be alright and don’t need medical attention only to have years of discomfort.
Careful to choice different ways of eating with a sense of not overloading your finely balance digestion system with the thought of steering clear of having to wait to hear ‘all clear’ after years of treatment that irreversibly changes your body space after necessary surgery.
And after all that consciousness of action to learn to be passive in light of devastation when it does happen, and to sit with the thoughts that all of those things were never meant for you anyway.
We all have our own tragedies to travel with, we all have our own disasters to detain our progress and to remember the magic moments, of the restarts and the ignitions of inspiration that will surely come again.
And each time you gingerly reach to see if you are on the last step, or manoeuvre yourself away from a potential crisis, smile big and may your heart laugh with recognition of being human.
Thoughts come freely when my mind is like a millpond. The profundity all encompassing.
I imagined a stone and the ripples it created as it sank into the still water of my mind.
One suggestion, many outcomes, shorelines of resistance.
Whether we are aware or not, cause and effect is all around us and to become aware is within the process of a medical model millennia old
Do I need double blind studies? They help in establishing empirical evidence to classify the results to form categories from which medical model systems can be set, agreed and referred to.
Do I need to create a new model to bring to my wider community in returning to practice? We could call it something like the Hunt Effective Learning Programme, see what I did there with the acronym.
Or do I, as this morning on a walk with Tess, into the woods, allow the sounds and scents of nature ease me back to my mental millpond. Will I take the learning from my reactions to maintain good relationships, neither reactive stone causing chaos or the passive ripple merely getting out of the way.
And to bring these learnings into each day, to remember the lessons from the last few years. I didn’t learn a language, perfect fire breathing or now an expert on identifying mushrooms. What I have done is polished off my inner bullshit detector and laughed at when it’s pointing at me.
“So, in conclusion, we could say we develop a practice in order to continue the ‘curiosity’ of what we gain from having a practice?” Another fine morning coffee debrief with Alex, through friendship firm collaborative foundations emerge.
Whether that ‘place to be’, somewhere to return to, is nourishing a settled mind or noticing your body that knows how to breathe, these are all aspects of becoming more aware of our natural states of being. Maybe you have your things that you do, going for a run, walking the dog, sitting in nature, taking a class, that keep your body and soul in harmony. Those things that if you don’t get to do them you notice a shift, a change in yourself that can bring discomfort and disharmony.
For those who know what they gain from individual appointments or group sessions with me will know what they gain, and what their own rhythms of when are. Some people come regular on a monthly basis, fortnightly or every 3 months. And I am curious to know, if I where to reestablish a clinic in Grange, alongside or in place of the clinic in Arnside, would you want to restart visiting me? How often and for what aspect? What have you become aware of missing in not being able to have those regular sessions?
I have signed up for monthly session with Clare Hill in Kendalon a monthly basis for Shiatsu, something I have missed over the last 3 months of not being able to see her because life ‘got busy’. I realise that not seeing her meant I wasn’t taking the time to ‘return to myself’ in the unique way that always happens, reemerging back into the world with a different clarity.
As I sense the fullness of the year in Summer, this is something I yow to continue as part of my practice, alongside Supervision sessions, Continuing Professional Development Training, meditation time and walking my dog in order to keep my clarity around everything I’m offering, and wherever I get to offer it from.
For a very long time, since i was in my teens so a very long time indeed, i have been keeping something safe. Something very precious. It is a thing, a real thing, not a secret or a theory, a real grab with both hands thing. In fact, that is how I acquired the thing in question.
The magic was following a thread of interest today, via an internet search and a few hop skips to others, to find an article written by a curator of a museum close to where I went to art college. More internetting ensued and became a conversation across a continent.
To say that it was needed, in the fog of grief, around the disruption of losing my clinic space, in the despair of sleepless nights, at midsummer on a hot sticky afternoon, looking out at the world and wondering where my place in it is, is not just an understatement; it’s validation that the magic of life which I have recently lost is still there just waiting to be discovered.
Yesterday I made the decision to step away from the posting, the reels, the sharing online via social media. It’s been a while coming. Many friends have applauded my actions, others have questioned it and others no doubt wonder if I’m OK. I’ve been feeling the need for deeper connecting than the likes without any comments that leave you wondering why we put so much out there, day in, day out, and then spend time scrolling through other people’s posts. Maybe it is to do with having more time to question when you re not in the flow of life, when your perspective is taken wider through tragedy and loss. When i’m busy being creative, something I have been giving more time for since New Year, it helps to clear my head, sends me into a state from which i can sleep easier. I’ve been sensing a craving for a different flow, a slower pace, a life in which i feel more valued and connected.
So the conversation I had today which connects the lives of families across a 100 years, thousands of miles and no doubt will extend into illuminating conversations of discovery after loss, my heart is full once more of a love for life I had lost. Dad would have been intrigued by the story, as a writer no doubt he would have written a story about it and been proud his daughter has played her part so honourably.
I am still practicing, albeit with less availability, offering mobile appointments and borrowing a room. Festival planning in play, teams coming together and a year of seasonal events planned ahead so far. I am resolute to continue to offer the quality of what I do to those who seek me out, the deeper connection to themselves they crave, those magic moments away from the flow of life, to ponder, to reconnect, to see their place in the world and to know that even if it takes more years that we like to imagine, magic happens when we least expect it.
As i write this i’m looking across Morecambe Bay, the estuary waiting for the impending tide which will once again cover the golden sand and the glistening channel of the Kent River flow. Moody grey clouds threaten a garden party birthday celebration, indoor picnic option may need to be deployed.
Taking time gently this year, for many reasons, and finding a flow back to a more active life for a summer of events and activities. I’ve been noticing the length of the days and the abundance of light, particularly last night.
We had spent the morning at Arnide Knott with Delyth from The Healing Forest taking in the majesty of the trees, breathing in the breeze from the other side of the bay, basking in the wonder of taking time out to be in nature. If you haven’t ‘forest bathed’ you may find it a key to a deeper connection to yourself too. It’s a very different experience. To truly be able to ‘just be’, with someone else ‘holding space’ and ‘keeping time’.
Those are aspects we offer at our seasonal events – to allow the space to just be for a day, to suspend your concerns, to reawaken your imagination and explore what this season means to you.
Summer may be a happy time for you, with memories of abundant times. It may be a month of distress as pollen increases and our bodies react and cause issue with ill health. We may be plagued with not having a beach body yet, or other misconceptions of how we are in the world.
For me summer is a time when i’m usually very busy looking after other people’s happy times and this year i’m so very aware of how my life has been scaled down of late.
Embracing it all and allowing the process of life. I’ve just read ‘If Woman Rose Rooted’ by Sharon Blackie and feeling the inspiration such seminal pieces can offer. She reminds us in the last section of Marion Woodman’s description of the fierce crone, something i am aware of becoming myself…
“She is not withdrawn. She is alarmingly present. Like a tuning fork her truth shatters hypocrisy. Others in her presence are released into what is true in themselves. Or flee”
Sharon welcomes us to remeber this when necessary and to become fierce. Be wrathful. And that it’s not about gender – we are all feminine and masculine – our polarities require that sense of awareness in order to balance into ourselves as individuals. And if we sense this in our coming together, how much more beautiful life is when shared with people to whom we feel we can trust to be ourselves with.
Saturday 4th June is the date set for our second seasonal session and you would be most welcome to join us.
details here to book your place – Autum and Winter details – and dates for 2023 are as follows: 25th Feb, 27th May,30th Sept and 9th Dec – all following the cycles of the seasonal moons of new, waxing, full and waning, engaging with the natural flow of life
I’m having a shower. I’ve been up since 08.00; walked our dog, had a coffee. My one coffee of the day? It’s definately going to be a ‘more than one’ coffee day.
I’ve been told to ‘go heal yourself’ and like a child sent to bed in summer, my soul aches to be outside playing. I’m not sure if it’s me that needs to heal or a world that doesn’t seem to want to stop.
A world in which we knowingly continue to allow children to be traumatised by new technology and a veiled apology of ‘we’ll do better’ from the makers. From brands we love that say ‘sorry about the plastic, we’re looking into it’ because their profit growth model won’t allow it, so we trust they’ll ‘do better’ soon and carry on taking the pills, trusting the potions and applying the lotions.
So what will my stepping back achieve? Peace in my mind to continue to be the vanguard, praying for change and softly reentering the arena, different; changed; healed? And what is it to be healed? So many now are even touting that as a business model.
The process of healing, if you’ve ever had a wound, is such. When it’s itchy you’re on the road to recovery, that the tissue is changing, the rawness of the attack is easing and each day you see signs of the healing process. When the recovery is from a mental assault of your senses, its more tricky. ‘Too soon’ looms large frequently, ‘I’m not sure’ becomes a mantra, brain and bone tired more sleep doesn’t restore.
So in wanting to find an answer I will step back for now, spent less time online reaching out and turning my attention to the ‘real world’, looking for deeper connections and a more natural flow. Holding space for seasonal offerings, mobile massage for many less than before, Summer Festivals will take my focus.
Hoping to see you in the real world more – I’ll be posting blogs and writing more about art and the science of living a spiritual life – encouraging connection to the deeper awareness of what it is to live a human life
A lot is spoken about ‘spirit’ these days. Many people have a ‘faith’, following a religious doctrine, have practices that bring them into a state of wider awareness of a philosophy for life. And many more may well be wanting to explore these realms and not know where to start. Resisting involvement, standing on the sidelines, wanting to join in but just not sure who to trust.
My advice is to start by sitting. Just that. Become aware of all of you first before you venture forward. Once you can ‘read’ your own sense of vitality, then your body will inform, will give you indications on a visceral level as to whether it sits well for you, whatever ‘it’ is.
Rudolf Steiner spoke of having an awareness to ourselves through his practice of ‘Spiritual Science’ called Anthroposophy. From the Greek “anthropos, ”meaning man , and sophia, ”meaning wisdom. Rudolf Steiner said anthroposophy should mean awareness of one’s humanity.
” during occult training, the feeling of hate must disappear in us, otherwise it reappears as a feeling of fear; for fear is suppressed hate. We must transform the hate into a feeling of love, the love of wisdom.”
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 –
From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Kassel, 26th February 1909
And may that wisdom start with knowing yourself more, from making time to just sit quietly, no words, no mantras, not even a specific posture, you could even lie down. It’s your practice, make it your own and explore how it feels before venturing forth. Be your own authority on you for now.
For years I couldn’t get on with affirmations, even mantras, sayings that people were instructing me to use at some point of my life to better myself, bring wealth or some other kind of desire.
Then the moment of clarity. Someone showed me the way. ‘…then write your own’.
And when you do they have more resonance, can be more effective and you can even have sweary words in – you don’t find that in the stream of endless best selling ‘self help’ rewrites now do you….or do you?
I must admit I love a good swearing session, really helps me vent my spleen, and that’s the point after all. Affirming a way forward, a desire, putting it out there you stand for something, and why not have a the odd F and B here and there. One of my favourite sayings is ‘It either means something or it’s a load of bollocks’ when it comes to ‘new age wisdom’. Well most likely, revisited and misquoted, taken out of context and held up as the authority on a subject.
Be your own author I say, make them as a f**king unfluffy as you like and please, send them to me, i’d love to hear them and how much more powerful they are in helping you.