I try and practice yoga and permaculture. Both I feel overlap completely. Permaculture has 3 main areas of focus and a list of ethics. Yoga has ancient philosophy and a list of ethics – called the yamas and niyamas (more on them another time ;).
Earthcare, fairshare and peoplecare are the 3 main principles of permaculture – practising people care is one of the reasons I became a yoga teacher. The way of learning in permaculture is to observe nature – she will teach / show us everything.
As a yoga teacher I have squillions of techniques in my toolbox to help alleviate stress and worry – sadly I don’t have a magic wand that changes my personality from a total stress head who seems to be addicted to that habit – and so it becomes my life journey – to learn how to stay on this path to the zen mountain, to learn to be gentle with myself when I wander off – as I do – I am very easily distracted.
Which is what this beach is about. It brings up so much for me…
It brings up judgement and leads to feelings of total despair and why do I bother?
Although I haven’t been to a Craignish beach clean, I have participated and organised many litter picks in my life – as a voluntary field officer with Scottish Conservation Projects and then as Canal Development Officer in Maryhill, Glasgow in the 1990s - I have helped clean up canals, rivers, beaches and woodlands. It feels like all for nothing though when I see the state of this beach here, just round the corner from where I live at the moment.
I generally pick up litter when I’m out and I do spend a lot of time at the beach during the year and have a wee pact with myself to always pick up at least one piece of litter everytime as a thank you to the beach.
This year - with social distancing in place - our community beach clean is a bit different – no organised day, just a general, if you are out on your daily walk, please take a bin bag and collect what you can.
With a bit more time on our hands at the moment we took ourselves for a walk the other day round part of the gorgeous place we live – here’s the view where I practiced some yoga. I was shocked at the litter though and vowed to return the next day with bags.
So we did – 2 hours later and I was finding it hard to focus on what we had achieved rather than what was still left to do.
It feels endless – easier just to give up before I even start. A bit like life sometimes, eh?
My granny had TB at 15 – she lived but that illness stayed with her for the rest of her life and I’ve been told that some ancient forms of medicine believe that TB leaves traces down the generations. My whole family has been plagued with a persistent cough – on both my mother and fathers side. What grief is it that we are carrying through the generations? How can I release this – my mind wants the story – to know the why – and yet my heart knows, the story is irrelevant – do the work – release the fear, the stress the grief – how?? I ask. Take every opportunity – be thankful for what I have, accept emotions, really pause and feel, witness them, cry if I want – remind myself that it is ok to cry, to release old grief through these current opportunities of death and destruction. Allow the exhaustion and helplessness to pass, focus on selfcare, earthcare, people care and fairshare.
And that is the journey…lessons from the beach - more yoga, more being, less doing; learning new patterns, releasing the old – ready for the new world that is coming.
What little things make a difference in your life?
How do you learn from nature?
How do you release grief and make space for the new world?
Musings from wandering about woodlands, paddling in the sea and meditating by rivers ...