01 Sep 2017


Why do we try to do so many things at once? Not just the little things that we try to cram into a day but big things too like moving house, changing jobs, writing a thesis?

Even when we try to plan to ensure that these big things don't come at once, they often do. Hence, hubby and I are currently 3 weeks from completion on selling a property whilst managing the renovation of another, converting our loft -oh - and my son gets married this Saturday, which is necessitating a military style operation to get my wheelchair bound Mum up and ready and to Clitheroe and back. Plus, my lovely son asked just last week if 20 guests could come here for drinks and a buffet afterwards! (This Saturday is supposed to be a very low key event, just the legal bit with a quick glass of something afterwards, as the real celebrations are 2 weeks away in central Wales which is a whole other story and project!)

I know you will relate to this, we're all working through the big things in the background at the same time as juggling the day to day drops offs, taxiing kids about, remembering birthdays, last minute meetings, shopping, tea, homework, study, cleaning, dentist etc with work, but how can we keep going, keep calm and keep smiling?

No matter how impossible it seems, you have to create regular space to get back to centre. To switch off from the rush of thoughts, images, words and sounds that are bombarding you non stop. To lose that 'beat the clock' feeling which is damaging your spiritual, mental and physical health.

To 'centre' yourself and clear some head space takes more than a few minutes of deep breathing, (although taking a few deep breaths and slowing your heart rate whenever you remember is great for your health).

When I need to get back to centre, I go and sit on a big oblong boulder at the foot of Boulsworth Hill. (That's the view on the photo). It's about 1.5 miles away, all on a gradual incline, so it's good for a leg stretch too. Once there I pour myself a cup of flask coffee and just sit, sip and breathe. Even if it's a bit grey, looking up at that landscape, unchanged for hundreds of years calms me, and after literally ten minutes listening to the curlews and a sheep bleating occasionally, with nothing else other than me and the elements, things are back in perspective. As I walk back, answers present themselves to questions, solutions arrive re problems, gratitude replaces resentment. Amazing what a big stone slab in the middle of nowhere can do!

I can be there and back with that all important cup of coffee in one hour and ten and boy is my family glad when I've taken that hour out!

Decide what 'centres' you - gardening, the gym, a dance glass, a cycle ride, yoga - it's good if it involves exercise. Give yourself an hour as many days as you can and longer at weekends. Use those great organisational skills which you demonstrate daily keeping your life crammed - to free up sacred space. Without it, you won't be able to cope with the little things, never mind the big ones.