My Full Stop stop

How often do you stop. Proper stop. I mean being kind to yourself to just rest, to just be. Sleep when you feel like it, go to bed when it feels right or nap on the sofa. Listening to the wind in the chimney, sitting in a window seat cloud watching, delighting in the birds flying on the flow of the air, black feathered ravens with green sprigs in their beaks.

Dark brown furrowed earth, the vignette effect with deep green trees and accents of yellow ochre bushes. A flash of red berries here and there and the white of the waves of the incoming surf. And the tick, tick, tick of the tide clock, embracing your rhythm for the day.

Yesterday i rested, having a "Me Day" at a spa, busman's holiday some might say, yet I relished in all that it gave me, mostly a remembering what I love about feeling alive, of wanting to live a full life, a connected heart feeling enriched one at that. While chatting to fellow sauna folk we mused on 'ways of being', 'I always sit in the jacuzzi with my eyes closed, don't like water splashing in', 'Oh I thought you were meditating', 'Well I guess I was doing that too'.

What i was doing was sensing myself, wondering if I could 'feel' my skeleton, connect into my connective tissue, sense my sinews, having an awareness of my hands, the tools of my trade through which I work. And later, when it was time for me to have 'couch time', i rested deeply in the skilled hands of another, another kind of 'returning' to myself.

This time I chose a different kind of treatment I hadn't had before, warm poultice filled with healing herbs, soothing the muscles and calming the senses, followed with a warm oiled massage and then a glorious facial using a jade gua sha to stimulate circulation. Let's put it this way, I was glad of a cuppa after to give me time to be able to drive. It certain hit the spot, the stop spot as i call it.

And while I sat in the hotel lounge I had another kind of returning, this time to my purpose, to my 'why i show up', why I want to continue doing what I do in holding space for others to have couch time; why i try to make my website user friendly so that like me you have weeks of looking forward to your time to just stop and why i have plans ahead to better serve.

Many a time i've heard people utter the expression, 'oh we don't tell anyone about coming here, we want to keep it for ourselves'. Yet if we don't share, how are these places to stay enlivened, gained from the love of visitors, fellow travellers helping to maintain space where we all can rest, restore and recouperate. Within a year the hotel I have visited 3 times is showing the signs of neglect, I sensed a change in management, new policies pinching at those aspects that make a place great to visit, to work in which mean staff are vibrant and cheerful, that furnishings look welcoming and clean. My experience of touch was as high class as before in an establishment that is becoming less than the stars on the awards which may well effect my decision to return.

My 'full stop' stop is Embleton, Northumberland, close to Alnwick and Bamburgh, it's perfectly poised. With a long beach for our 4 paws to play, a window seat fit for creative play or devouring a long awaited novel, it's a place I shall come to again and again. Getting to know a place as a home from home for golden moments of returning to ourselves is truly living a full and rich life.

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