The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
Hi there, greetings from Connemara on the first of the real stormy days of winter. It is beautiful to see the sea heaving with the huge waves it’s throwing up, to watch the grey clouds scuttling across the sky and last night to witness the mighty electrical storm as the thunder roared overhead and the bedroom was regularly lit up with flashes of lightening. After a summer and autumn of quiet, warmth and lots of sunshine the suddenness of the storm woke me to the fact that things change no matter how much I want them to stay the same. And also to a huge sense of gratitude for the beautiful summer we had, where being outside required little or no effort.
And somehow or other I found the word encouragement going round and round in my mind. Encouragement to gracefully allow the change to happen, encouragement to put on the rain gear and venture out in the wind and rain, encouragement to orient my mind from wishing I could hold on to the “summer” for longer and appreciate what the “winter” may hold.
As I mulled over the word I began to think of the importance of encouragement in our lives. I began to break down the word -encourage, in courage, with courage , with heart…..
I remembered many of the people who had offered words of encouragement to me over my lifetime to date, from the first encouragement to cycle my bike without the stablisers , to fall off and get back up again until I sensed my own steadiness and then the freedom of cycling on my own ; the hand on my back supporting me to go forward at times when I felt the effort to be too much; the encouraging silence of really being listened to; the encouragement to take the risk to train and teach the 5 rhythms; the lighthearted humor of some dear friends who helped me see the chronic madness of some of my very dysfunctional ego parts 🙂 🙂
And now having finally had my back operation (very successfully) to find the encouragement value in the notion of “rest” being as important in recovery as activity.
As someone who is continually active the idea of rest has always had a tricky edge. Yes I can collapse after a days of constant activity – then I “deserve” it, but the notion of resting being active rather than passive is taking quite a lot of internal and external encouragement on my part and of those tasked with the “tough” task of getting me to listen to my body before it starts screaming…..an awful admission for someone constantly asking people to listen to the voice of their body 🙁 🙁 ( thank the goddesses I have done a lot of work on my sense of shame at not being able to perfectly adapt to every situation!!!!!)
The voice of rest is vey quiet in my repertoire of internal voices so it needs a lot of courage to speak up in a steady voice without having to resort to screaming at me…..I have a sense that I am developing “new” eyes to view the importance of Rest, so that I can recover well. I have had fun experiences of being driven around (as I cannot drive or sit upright in a car for 6 weeks) watching the tree tops, the clouds in the differing skies, noticing the birds on the telephone wires and arriving at my destination from a completely different perspective…., noticing ceilings and the different comfort of surfaces supporting my back.
Two of the most influential beings who are teaching me the positive qualities of rest are my two kitties Milly and Joey. They seem to have their antennas out for any moves I make towards the sofa. When I am in place they each arrive from somewhere , hop up, look for a rub before settling themselves down either beside me or on top of me. As they settle themselves without any fuss to rest and sleep I sense my body relaxing to the sounds of their purrs. I know from my brain study that all 3 of us are communicating on a deep brain level under all thinking to an old brain shared by all mammals and humans. I actually derive warm encouragement that what they do best and with such grace – rest- is of great importance to me in my life right now.
Again my eyes are opened to a new way of accepting encouragement. I believe we grow and flourish though encouragement whether we are days old or nearing our life’s end and all in between. Encouragement can quieten negative voices inside, it can allow us to feel safe and supported as we take risks, it is the fertiliser of blossoming and becoming the best version of ourselves.
Today may you feel the encouragement of another and may you be the encouraging person in the life of another.