Life pilgrimage. What does “hitting the wall” mean?

Writing about ” hitting the wall” in my recovery from a stroke made me think about it at other times of my life. In a strange way, it is almost every time I have done something for the first time. It doesn’t happen straight away – it is usually when I don’t expect it. I have been reading Satish Kumar’s book “No Destination” and he talks about when we journey as pilgrims we go with a sense of the sacred without making demands and we expect a certain amount of inconvenience and hardship.

It has made me realise that my life is a series of pilgrimages and eventually morphing into one big pilgrimage of gratitude and respect for the world I live in. So that means that “inconvenience and hardship” are there for me to overcome and become compassionate, understanding, stronger and loving. So I hit walls… Of course I do and will. Sometimes I come to a wall and it takes me a while to realise I can turn left or right and see where that leads me. At other times I notice there is a half hidden door in the wall which opens with a bit of effort. Sometimes I can see that it is actually possible to climb the wall with care as rushing at it is not a smart move I have discovered.

One of the best ways is to find somewhere to sit quietly and meditate upon the situation. Very often I then discover I have made the wall myself through fear, assumptions/expectations and misunderstanding timing – followed by an understanding of lack of preparation and maybe not trying to do things alone! Oh that pride and “I should be able to do this”! I think I have finally learned that my ego has no place here. I hope I have. Although I might want to give up, I never do because in my heart I know I am growing until I pass on to another dimension..

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved watching the sky and this morning was no exception and it is continuously changing which is what makes it fascinating to me. What appear to be inconveniences and hardships can often turn around. The Aboriginal people also taught me that where there is a poison there is an antidote, I have to notice it.

equinox15 010

 

 

 

Having a stroke …

Well where to begin. On 3rd February I had a stroke – never been ill before, no medication, no warning. I was very lucky as I was in London at the time taking the tube to my hotel for the night and all of a sudden I was on the platform wondering what was happening to me. In a period of a few hours I was tucked up in bed in Charing Cross Hospital having discovered I had had a stroke.

Why am I going to blog about this? Perhaps it will help other people and it will certainly help me keep things in perspective. The question I have been asked consistently is “weren’t you frightened?”. The answer is “No”. That thought just didn’t come into my head. Whist I was in hospital they kept me pretty busy and even brushing my teeth was a challenge, funny and took most the morning to start off with. I was very lucky to have two amazing girlfriends look after me whilst there alongside my extraordinary sons;  one literally by my side every day and the other, half way round the world, phoning me every day.

Even when I was transferred to Kings Lynn things were ok. The issues started when I actually came home! I was overwhelmed by the love and support by family, friends and clients BUT I needed a fighter on my side. I didn’t have any fight in me and my experience is it is the moment you leave hospital you have a battle on your hands. That battle probably started just before I came home – a pattern of a life time, I looked weller than I was. Within days of being home I was in agony. A day at a time I haven’t felt a victim and most importantly haven’t lost my sense of humour. You have to hold onto that humour even through the tears and anger …

This is probably a good place to stop and I will post the next blog soon …

GRATITUDE for all connections

Benches I Love from Chloe on Vimeo.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/early-in-morning-special-edition/id497370215

 

The Buddhist doctrine of the oneness of life and its environment (Jpn. esho-funi) focuses on the human being as part of the vast physical universe. Mutually interrelated, the subjective life entity and its environment operate together in a creative way. They are one, or as the original Chinese characters indicate, they are two without being two.” Daisaku Ikeda

This summer and the beginning of autumn have been very busy and all of a sudden I was finding it very difficult to concentrate. I thought about this quote and the spirit of this blog and realised that, despite the fact that I have been a Feng Shui practitioner for over 20 years, my working space and wardrobe were a mess. A friend of mine, Cilla Cerredo, has started a declutter programme and people have found it really useful. She  now has a great website www.clutterconqueror.com and a new 30 day e-course about to start.. You will see she has a great sense of fun which makes it easier and her story of how she started is very moving. Just receiving her free plan has given me the motivation I needed (work in progress). Decluttering is the first step and the most important one in starting to Feng Shui your environment – a great gift is very often finding precious things we thought we had lost and beginning to breathe better as we clear space. Gratitude comes back for what we have and, as well as throwing things away, we can also pass things on to others. A great way to start a Feng Shui programme..

Not only do we need to declutter our physical environment but we also need to declutter our minds and different kinds of meditations can help with this. There are all sorts of meditations on www.tiegsolus.moonfruit.com but I also like using other people’s work  and one of my favourites is Stephanie Harrison’s  www.lifeguidanceandinspiration.com  The other day I got the “Gratitude” card and there was this lovely exercise of sitting for 20 minutes thinking about all the things we are grateful for and doing it for 7 days. I often start with small simple things and from there the list grows. It has made a huge difference to my cluttered brain and I have passed it on to all my clients.

Then this morning I remembered  the photos I had taken during the summer of all the great benches I had seen and sat on. I realised how much I had enjoyed exploring and finding new ones. Finally, I had the extra creative energy to put a video together. I am also so grateful to having been given permission to use  Vincent McMorrow’s Early in the Morning which always makes me smile! I love the fact that birds and nature have enjoyed these benches just as much as I have. Doing projects we have been putting off is another form of decluttering and, yes,  I feel grateful again to the people who put the benches there in the first place. They start to tweak my imagination too and I start to wonder who the people were and why that was their favourite place…

A lot of my energy has gone into launching We Are All Cranes of Peace and it is now a separate page on this blog – please visit it as it is very close to my heart. Again I am incredibly grateful for all the support and social media help I have had as I am still wearing L plates! Once I have gratitude firmly in my heart again, I feel connected, contented, energised and motivated.

Happy decluttering…

 

 

Avrum Frankel made Vegetables come alive

Perfect imperfection and growing where we are planted.

There I was on a mission…. Proud Mother going to support my son Avrum doing a cooking demonstration at the Holkham Food and Drink Festival this week-end as he is Head Chef at The White Horse at Brancaster Staithe.

Even tweeted (a new found tool) that I would be proudly videoing it and announcing with great confidence to their lovely PR lady that I would be on the case.

It all started so well – bristling with pride, full of confidence in my “new found” video abilities, basking in my son’s success, having my lovely grandchildren by my side. It would be perfect this time. I know, this is quite cringeworthy on my part! Hmmmmm.  Of course, we sat in the front with my supportive demeanour shinning out. What could possibly go wrong …

Is it any wonder that at a crucial point the whole thing started to unravel…. my IPad told me with great delight it was going to stop recording. The Universe certainly works in clever ways but without missing a beat I switched to my phone. Phew!…. it was only after that I realised that I had cut Avrum’s head off almost throughout, I had also recorded my youngest grandson being very assertive about his need to pee – he is in full flow of being potty trained and my rather terse tone saying “in a minute!” In my defence and combined with his willpower, no accident happened.

Avrum sailed through all this singing the praises of all the local producers with heartfelt passion, naming them all saying how fantastic they are. Really celebrating the Spirit of Place. He made vegetables come alive and what shone through him was his love of this part of Norfolk and what it has to offer. So the video you can see is just a taster of what is on offer. He certainly embodied the phrase grow where you are planted. As a family we certainly love where we live.

VegetablesPerfeck Pork

What I have learned over the years is to laugh at myself when it all becomes about me and at least the Universe meets me half way and mirrors the error of my ways. I can laugh with delight at perfect imperfection and a shortened video is more than enough, less is more …

Crush

 

Creativity, Nature and Meditation

Creativity, Nature and Meditation have formed an incredible support system for me throughout an extraordinarily eventful time this summer. Birthdays, a big wedding, an exciting birth and a funeral – all part of the rich tapestry of life.

Without this support perhaps the overwhelm of emotion would have been too much as all these events came along like busses!  How creativity is part of our natural support system fascinates me and I decided to take part in an e-course on connecting to nature and ourselves as a way of my exploring this further, particularly as I am planning to write about this in more detail. I have already touched on it in my book “Healing the Ouch of Disappointment” which will be coming out soon.

We are only at the end of week one of the course and I can’t believe how much all my senses have been rewired yet again. I thought I would be roaming the countryside far and wide and yet have found extraordinary wonder and delight on my own doorstep. It has reminded me of a lovely expression “grow where you are planted”.  The wonderful spirit of place is definitely on that doorstep….

The video is about the hidden miniature world in nature that we only take time to notice when we stand still, contemplate and “wonder….”. The exquisite fragility of the young sprig coming out of the bark of the massive eucalyptus tree in our garden sparked my curiosity to explore the microcosm in our garden. Another expression that came into my head was “out of acorns, oak trees grow”.

All this made me reflect on how, despite our apparent fragility, we can be incredibly strong when we see where we have sprung from. This was even more poignant for me as my fourth grandson decided to be born at home in a hurry and literally plopped into my arms. We all felt incredibly vulnerable and strong at the same time as he entered into the world with a carpet of stars above his head and the moon shinning in through the front door.

So where does meditation come in? Well I am a great believer in meditation in its many different forms and techniques.I have been busy making lots of different kinds of meditations for clients – by default walking my talk, listening to them myself over and over again and sending them to my family as well. My son , the proud father, kept saying “I can’t believe how cared for we have been and how calm everything feels”. It could have all been so different and am convinced all the meditations helped us build that calmness up, reminding me that we never know when we might need to dip into that reserve of inner peace, remembering to replenish it afterwards.

I am continuing to add to the meditations and soon will put a specific page on this blog as they definitely connect to Spirit of Place but in the meantime you can find some on http://www.tiegsolus.moonfruit.com/#/meditations/4577484263. Enjoy the journeys.

Have a look at what the lovely Morwhenna and Jaimie are up to with their workshop on nature: http://www.madecurious.co.uk/workshops and http://www.morwhenna.com

 

Celebrating Summer Solstice

 

 

Whenever I am having a challenging day, if I just stop for a moment and look around me there is nearly always something interesting that catches my eye. Despite the changing weather during this summer solstice, the flowers have been wonderful – especially the roses. They become like a soothing balm. Perhaps that is how the expression “stop and smell the roses” came about!

In turn they inspire my creativity and I become absorbed in making my own images. Read about this solstice on www.tiegsolus.moonfruit.com. Last night I was having dinner with friends as an early birthday celebration and I was given this apparently simple little bouquet of flowers and yet ….. these flowers represent so much to me and the friend who gathered them knows this. The yellow flower Immortelle is all over Dali’s house in Port Lligat where I often go to resource my creative energy. Such a beautiful and loving way to “say it with flowers”. People with their kind thoughts can evoke such a strong feeling of belonging and spirit of place with such a simple gesture.

Immortelle

What inspires you in nature? What small gestures have you received or given lately?