I think I must have been Jesus Christ in a past life because after an hour or so of walking I had a pain in the part of my left foot where it would have been nailed to the cross. I was astonished I couldn’t find any sign of stigmata. It came to me as I wondered how the marginally undulating landscape of Hertfordshire was really going to tune up my fitness for the peaks and troughs of Peru. A particularly featureless stretch of ploughed field near the M25 was under my feet at the time. I’d heard somewhere that Hertfordshire is relatively flat because the Romans decided to slice off the tops of its hills much like I sliced off the top of my boiled egg this morning (although I may have made that up). The result is that the lyricism of her landscape has been stunted, her song has been suffocated, her seductive voice strangled. I’ll explain how I think the landscape was created from music in another blog because at the moment it’s all about me!
By the time I got in through the front door, a masterly 3 miles later, I had a flea up my nose rather than in my ear. I sneezed at least a million times, my nose ran like Niagara and my eyes became so bloodshot I thought I was going to have to donate to the local hospital. Maybe the farmer had just sprayed his fields with something my body didn’t like as I felt like I was coming down with flu all day. As you may know I’ve recently started a new eating and exercising routine, initially so I don’t miss out on the extraordinary places I’ll be visiting in Peru in May. But I feel like shit. In fact I feel like I’ve been run over by a bus and it’s scary to feel so exhausted and out of it. I don’t ache that much although my knees are clicking like castanets when I put pressure on them. My eyelids feel like I made them weight lift yesterday and are screaming at me to let them stay shut. Oh, if only.
Changing underlying structures, like what I do to support my health and fitness, feels like an extremely dodgy thing to do. The structure I had in place before was okay, wasn’t it? Well, it was as long as I conformed to the rules it created. In other words as long as I remained within my comfort zone. And as long as I pretended it supported enough of what I’d love. I can easily get obsessed by one line of action and if that’s working I believe I’m satisfying myself, so it can come as a shock to realise I’m far more than one dimensional. There is much more I’d love to experience in life and I can only do that with a new underlying structure.
It’s been wonderful over the last year to have the space and time to write the first in my trilogy ‘Waking the Lions’ and it’s been wonderful to feel such a loved part of my honorary family and yet there is more to me than writing a novel. There is a whole world to explore more widely, more people to meet, and as I’m passionate about landscape even some hills and mountains to climb so I can see the widest and most inspiring vista. It’s not just views up high either as many of the ancients built their sacred shrines and monasteries high enough to touch the gods and if I want to see them, touch their stones, open myself to their particular energy and vibration I may just want to be fitter than I have been for at least a couple of decades.
As I put my attention on exploring on high I can feel my body want to move. It’s telling me not to label it ‘old and incapable’ but to remember it’s innate vitality, it’s reason for being. In fact my body is imploring me to embrace this new structure and bring new life along with oxygen to those deep and forgotten recesses within.
All of a sudden I wonder …do I feel exhausted because I’m in the process of getting fitter or because of whatever caused my flu-like symptoms yesterday? Probably a combination of both. So I’ve been cautioned to not overdo it, and listen to my bodies needs to rest and rebuild, but without slipping back in to the old sedentary structure.
Why am I sharing this? To remind myself as much as anyone reading that when we go for our hearts and change the structures which have supported our old-style lives, we’ll come up against challenges which try and shoe-horn us back in to our comfort zone. And it’s oh so persuasive. But if we want to live the life we’d truly love, we have to go for it no matter what.
What challenging demons have you come across recently?
(Many thanks to Jeff Shelton for the photo)