How I surprised my self on my Birthday By Karen Robinson
It wasn’t quite what I expected. I had £70 in my drawer given to me by my family to spend on myself. I knew I was going to surprise myself. In the past that money would have been spent on things for the family or home. But in recent times I have learnt to accept and appreciate the gifts that people give me. So I was in store for a treat!
Temptingly I had recently met a mobile massage lady and was planning to book a massage with her, where she would come to my home and save me the trouble of finding her, but unfortunately my birthday fell on a Friday this year, which is her day off. No matter, I could book it for another time or spend the money on something else.
Waking at 2:30 AM wasn’t how I had planned to start my day. Dancing with my hormones at night has become a regular occurrence and I never quite know when it’s going to happen. After an hour, it was clear I wasn’t going to go back to sleep. So I got up, made myself a cup of chamomile tea and sat in the living room with the lamp on to write. I wrote and wrote and wrote. These weren’t words I was making up. These were words coming through me. Pouring through me. Out, out, out onto the page. Page after page. I love to write and find it difficult to find the time but my best writing happens like this.
After a while, I decided to go back to bed but I didn’t feel sleepy and at 5:30 AM surrendered to my wakeful state and got up, got dressed and put my boots on to go for a walk. “Weren’t you tired?” I hear you cry. “Didn’t you feel dead on your feet?” Yes I was tired but I felt so alive and having crafted a life for myself that means I can take a rest in the day if I need to this doesn’t concern me.
I was feeling completely present, completely in joy.
So what does it mean to be present? What does it mean to be in the now?
As I stepped out of the house I remembered this is what we teach on a Fresh Air Fridays session. There are three key themes and one of the key themes is being present. I had little resistance to this this morning unless you count getting through the first field as ideas and thoughts tumbled out of my mind. Then, remembering again (because like everything it is something to remember over and over until it is just a healthy habit and an integral part of your life) I begin to notice the barley beginning to grow under my feet, the neatly clipped hedges surrounding the field, the rusty old gate in front of me that leads up to Belgate Lane. I’m so happy to be outside breathing in the fresh air nothing to think of but myself.
How I explained being present to my clients is like this. It is human nature to have thoughts constantly running through our heads and although our bodies are here now in this moment, most of the time for most people, our minds are worrying about the past (which can’t be changed) or worrying about or craving things in the future (which we have no control over). Being present then to our current environment and situation frees us from all these concerns to fully experience life. It is the only moment we have. This one, right here. Right now.
Listening to my own footfalls as I became present this morning, I noticed the strong, steady pace that was moving me forward and in that moment I began to cry. Not because I was sad. They were tears of joy. I opened my arms and looked up to the sky, but what I saw were trees. Trees everywhere, life everywhere, birds singing even as the rain spots were tippy tapping on my raincoat mimicking the tears rolling down my cheeks. I felt fully alive. In this moment I know I’m enough I know I’m whole. I know anything is possible and at the same time have no attachment to my needs or wants, although I desire them completely.
I feel complete. In my own magnificence. Does that make you feel uncomfortable? Aren’t we taught not to show off, not to blow our own trumpets? But this is not an arrogant magnificence. This is just a deep connection with life, with nature and with how it supports us. The wonder of and innocence of surrendering to deep satisfaction.
So this morning recorded on my voice recorder, I have enough material for three blogs. I know I must write and I’m ready to complete the book I started writing at the beginning of the year. I am ready for so much more. Life is coming to me.
How do you manage when the unexpected happens and gets in the way of your plans? What does being in the now mean to you? Are you sometimes even more productive when life throws a spanner in the works?