On doing nothing in East Yorkshire, and during the pandemic!
Easington, a tiny coastal village. A few houses and caravans. It wasn’t a seaside village like we know of today. It was, however, where I spent my summers when I was very young.
I sat, protected on three sides by chocolate coloured, East Yorkshire coastal clay enjoying it’s cool windbreak quality. I now know this coast is eroding faster than anywhere in Europe and the North sea I was looking at, covers many lost villages. I didn’t know or care about any of that. All I knew was my bum was cool, the skylarks were serenading me in the fields behind, and I was hidden from my family and friends at the campsite, and I felt safe. I felt more than safe, I just was. No school, no timetable, no agenda, no pull, no expectations. I had little experience of school at that point anyhow and those other words meant nothing to me. It was blissful.
I loved sitting there for hours. I imagine hunger eventually drew me to the caravan my Irish grandfather built from scratch. Or maybe I began to feel the lure of touching base with my family or a game with my playmates? I needed and wanted for nothing but being alone, watching the sea ebb and flow and seagulls pick their way down the beach. Whilst I had an eye on the horizon where sea meets sky, my ears were filled with country and seaside birdsong, and the roar of the waves. It just felt, and was, perfect, doing nothing. I do remember it felt like my own secret place. My own pod.
I have blissful moments like this most days. Moments where I am washing the pots and then stop at the sheer beauty of the spring sun shadows across the garden. Or standing in the garden and hearing the cacophony of birdsong that the quiet streets now allow. These moments take my breath away. I feel such connection with everything. There is no separation with the wider world as I know in my bones that I am part of a bigger picture.
The situation we find ourselves in now means, in theory, I have all day to enjoy these moments and be present. Technically there is much less to pull me away from it. I am unable to be lured by family and friends. I am in my own pod, my own home, and yet I find it hard to spend hours in presence. I do get drawn away. Instead of daily commitments, agendas, friends and family, there’s a gnawing anxiety and much uncertainty. I still need to have a burning wish to carve out times where I reconnect with myself, my senses, and all that is around me. Indeed it bridges the gap of feeling isolated to being connected.
Do you notice moments when you are seamlessly aware of yourself and your environment? When everything seems to flow. Time is not an issue. What senses or activities help draw you into that space? What things draw you away? How can you have more of it? One of the pillars of the Alexander Technique is a way to have more of it. Stop what you are doing right now. Decide not to read another word. What did you see, hear, smell, taste, feel? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Perhaps you might like to experience an Alexander Technique lesson online and discover how the Alexander Technique can help you enjoy this period of time the virus has carved out for us? Contact me?