Following my recent blog in which I bemoaned the modern condition of ‘Being Sooo Busy”- the words “busy lives” being used by everyone, repeated again and again in the media like a mantra so that it has, I believe, become a kind of affirmation. We say it and hear it so much that we believe it must be true and if everyone is saying it then we all must unquestionably be it and if we’re not then we must surely be some sort of loser or slacker.
Perhaps it’s just me but I think this is not sitting well with a lot of people. I think some of us might be saying “Um hang on – is this really necessary? – must I travel as fast as possible to my grave?” Some of us might, without even knowing it, be physically uncomfortable with this modern way of living and becoming ill or depressed as we move further away from our instinctive roots and natural habitats.
But it is a hard habit to kick. Even those of us who grew up happily making our own entertainment with Barbie and Action Man will now turn needlessly regularly to our smart phones to check on the latest communication from outside. I will quite normally watch television, read a magazine and keep an eye on my email and twitter accounts of an evening. To not do so feels, well a bit isolating, uncaring and even unprofessional somehow. It seems just one occupation of an evening is not sufficient any more.
But I am tired and I might often have a headache and though I know that constantly doing stuff without rest is not good for me, if I stop briefly it is such an odd sensation of inaction that I am not sure I like it. William and I went on a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads a while ago and I well remember the strange feeling of coming to an absolute halt. All we had to do for the next week was steer a very slow moving boat. We were forced to slow down and we loved it.
I live in a pretty little valley with a bit of woodland and meadow and a brook and our unruly but heartfelt garden. I am lucky. I spend a lot of time outside and every day I have enough time, if I take it, to stop and lean on a tree and just be in my space for five minutes. It is enough to check back in with myself, reconnect with my place, the season and what is happening around me.
My friend Penny and I, thinking along these same lines, have come up with the idea of offering other people this same ‘reconnection’ opportunity. We’ve teamed up with Jackie Thorne and Kayte Thompson-Dixon who specialise in Dru Yoga (a gentle form of yoga that anyone can do) and Mindfulness (also something we can all do but need reminding how) I’m looking forward to learning more about both of these disciplines. We will be running four Reconnection weekends a year – one in each season….A time for folk to simply get back in touch with nature and themselves.
This is of course something anyone can do at any time of their choosing in their locality but it seems fewer and fewer people actually do it and moreover don’t realise how much better they can feel if they did. Using simple mind and body exercises combined with beautiful surroundings and hospitality, we hope we can help people slow down and get back in touch with themselves and their natural environment. Quite simply to experience their own Reconnection.
Our first weekend will be 1st to 3rd February. There will be log fires and candles, gentle music and good food, a cosy kitchen for friendly chat & laughter and plenty of private corners for solitary reflection. I hope it will be a magical weekend of peace and reconnection for the busy, hardworking, preoccupied, utterly exhausted folk of this land! Come along whether you can spare the time or not! You will be very welcome.