Life has been hard lately. People I love are going through really difficult times. It is sometimes a challenge to keep remembering that things will change and that life won’t always be that way for them, or for me. When life’s inevitable suffering seems stronger than usual, it can seem impossible to relax and enjoy anything; especially when there is a lot to do.
Today I am reminded that life is beautiful and precious. A change of scenery has challenged my slightly jaded outlook. I am staying temporarily (not for long) in a flat on Eastbourne seafront. It’s such a beautiful flat. And it has a bath! I do miss having baths. The view from the window is amazing and I walk out of the door straight onto the seafront.
Don’t get me wrong. I adore my caravan. It is home. It has enabled me to change my life – at least for a little while. And I am missing my daughters, my dog and my cats. It is quite strange to be completely on my own. But it is lovely to just be. It is so pleasant to be able to leave the car and just walk to places (even though finding a place to park it in the first place was a bit fraught!). Sitting here I can hear the sea and the church bells.
I know that I am particularly jittery and unsettled at the moment. I find it difficult just to sit and reflect; meditation is nigh on impossible. But I am hoping that this couple of weeks (with a few days of visiting family in the middle) will help to calm me.
Last night on the way to and from Dharma Study I walked along the seafront listening to music. It was lovely. I must do more of that.
My first posts were about my Pretzel walks. I remember writing about what I had seen and experienced as I walked. So a return to this today.
I have been forgetting to be mindful – present as much as I can in all I do. So for the past few days I have been making an extra special effort. Whether it be eating my dinner, washing up, talking to a friend, watching “Eat, Pray Love” (Julia Roberts – Always a winner), I have tried to be more present in them. Not letting my mind wander off on to other things, not checking Facebook, not looking at my “To Do” List.
So this morning I tried extra hard to be “in” my morning walk with Pretzel. It is amazing how much I noticed. There are a few brightly coloured flowers out in some plots which are just lovely to look at. The trees with the sky as a backdrop were so crisp and present this morning. Some of the plots on my morning route are so beautiful to look at – their owners obviously spend a lot of time tending them. Being present makes even the mundane more interesting. I do the same Pretzel walk every day – and usually I am cold and half asleep, The walk was so much more enjoyable this morning. I had snuck in 20 minutes Meditation before Pretzel woke up (yes she is a dog not a baby) and was very chilled and present as a result. I had actually felt good after that meditation – meditation does not come naturally to me so I take that as a win.
So this morning I stopped to say “Hello” to a couple of people with their dogs – a lovely lab and a small bichon frise in a brightly coloured knitted jumper. I gave my usual greeting to the gold coloured Buddha in a plot not far from here. I took a detour to smile at the skeletons on the battered decking owned by an older, rather eccentric man (a very kind and friendly person),
I didn’t take my phone with me as I walk around the site so no pictures of this walk…. But maybe tomorrow. So instead – a photo of Pretzel my Pug / Chinese Crested Cross (Pugese).