Friday, 31 October 2014

Samhain


As soon as I attend to my body it settles back and makes space for the rest to come through. At this time of year, everything feels so close anyway. So powerful. As if someone turned the amperage up to eleven. My skin is permanently tingling and I'm definitely hearing the call.

Yesterday I toyed with the idea - after it popped up in a 'you have automatically renewed your domain' email - of just switching back to The Art of Wildness because that's where this pull is coming from. But it's the concept, not the blog. It's never the blog. 

November 1st marks the start of 'my year' at work and I suddenly get a whole new hunk of annual leave to play with. Most is tied up already but I've booked out next week for myself. It may become an annual tradition. I've got lots to do - exciting stuff that I've promised myself will be ready to share at the end of the week - but I'm going to set aside one day for just sitting and listening. Preferably in the woods. Preferably near water. Luckily, we're not short of any of those things. I sometimes feel as if I live at a retreat venue. Heh. A very muddy retreat venue. #Earthwisdom.

Let me know if there's anything you'd like me to take to the trees for you.

x


Monday, 27 October 2014

Monday Motivation



No list of links again this week but rather a personal observation on Why Being Healthy Is Better Than Not Being Healthy. Because clearly science isn't enough.

So, a little experiment that started off as a hormonally-induced fall from grace but well... it's all a bit chicken/egg.

Mid-month we had Evie's birthday party and there was gorgeous pizza and cake and I ate some. It made me feel a bit rough but hey, I'm not putting huge pressure on by being all about denying myself stuff so onwards and upwards. Then later that week, BAM. Hormones from hell. Haven't had that happen in a while. Coincidence or..? And I had two weeks of it to look forward to, and worse, so did Charlie and Evie. I tried, I really did, but by mid-week last week I had caved to the medicinal qualities of a bar of Galaxy (which worked a treat for an hour or so) in the hopes of not having my family change the locks while I was at work. I wouldn't have blamed them. I was watching this Possession by She-Hulk happen, powerless to stop her raging, and horrified.

One bar of chocolate led to several because that's how the sugar roller-coaster works, no? Then a pile of Marmite sandwiches made with sliced white bread because that was what I lived on from 1977 to 1980, pretty much exclusively, and hormonal me believes they make me feel better. See also: filling Twitter with links to Elvis Costello songs. One day I was so befuddled I left my packed lunch at home and even though Charlie heroically drove it over to me, by then I had fallen prey to the office coffee machine's infamous 'cappuccino mix' which is a tasty blend of (it says on the box) milk powder, potato starch (one of my 5 a day?), sugar and mysterious flavourings. It made me feel so sleepy that I had to have another coffee. And another. You see the evil plot?!

Sigh.

At some point during the week, driven half by curiosity and half by gargantuan levels of self-justification, high on sugar, dairy and assorted crap, I decided to roll with it and see what happened and how quickly.

I know.

The results are in and it's not pretty.

  1. After weeks without needing them I had to take two migraine pills over the weekend.
  2. Let's not talk about my digestive system.
  3. I am kinda...itchy, all over.
  4. I have not run in eight days yet every joint in my body - the same joints that do not hurt when I run - is giving me gyp today. My hips, my back, my arms. Oh and I have toothache.
  5. My mental processes are shot to near ADHD-like levels.
  6. I think I am absolutely the worst person on earth.
  7. What's the point in anything?
  8. I just want to go to bed and stay there.
  9. Sinuses. 'Nuff said.
  10. I am four pounds heavier than I was 10 days ago. FOUR POUNDS.

I have read that for many people, clearing out the rubbish from your diet - especially foods for which you have an intolerance <cough>dairy</cough> - reintroducing them in anything more than minute amounts can be a bit of a knockout blow. Friends, I am here to say that I agree. I am, metaphorically for now anyway, on the floor. Throwing in the towel.

I want my shiny good health and energy back. Because I know it's there now. I know it's only a matter of eating 100% plant-based and letting my body move for a week before I feel all shiny again.

So that's the motivation for this coming week. And the next. And the next. I think I may be well on the way to understanding, finally, that the whole chocolate/dairy/sugar thing is not 'A Treat'. It's way more of 'A Threat'. 

Here's a good link: if you're interested in trying out the healthy stuff you could do a whole lot worse than get yourself over to FMTV.com where they're offering a 10 day free trial of their subscription programme. FMTV has a whole range of health and wellness films and documentaries (not to mention books, interviews, classes etc). I highly recommend this one as a starter, it's much much better than the trailer would perhaps have you think.

Have a great week. x




Saturday, 25 October 2014

Returning



New moon, new weather, new time...and yet it's not is it? It's all simply another turn around. A return.

As the trees drop their leaves so we drop many of the ways in which we receive mental, spiritual and even physical nourishment from outside ourselves. Our 'sap' drops and we turn inwards to build with the strength we've gathered. That's how it feels to me. I find peace in that rhythm. I look forward to the winter dreaming - winter and North are, I feel, my home and now that I've realised that and learned how to 'do' winter naturally for me, it's a special time.

Last night I felt the urge to journey. That's something I haven't done in months, since last spring in fact. Not properly. I somehow lost the ability to do it. To find that space and my guides. So last night I didn't know what to expect but felt very much as though I'd been left strict instructions to call home.

I have to say it was a powerful experience and completely unpredictable, except for the fact that it was the wolves who were waiting for me. I wonder why it is that my experience takes this form. I suppose there could be some other world that we can access in times of deep peace. Or maybe my personal filters shape 'Whatever It Is' as wolves because I like them. Or, my theory: in the Oneness, the thread of life that is me-shaped, is close to wolf-shaped threads so communication between us is relatively easy. Who knows? Not us. I just go with it and listen.

What with this and a few other things this week I feel a bit as if I'm back at Spirit University and have just gone through a week of intense learning with many years yet to go. The summer has been so good to me - I bring new resources and new vitality to the table (desk?).

The (r)evolution of me is not about turning things upside down and rebuilding; it's about the turning through the wheel and growth towards the best version of me I can muster. Growth that will continue my whole human life and beyond. I welcome The Autumn Practice.




Thursday, 23 October 2014

Active-ist



Today is the first day of Evie's half-term break so mornings will be a little calmer for a week or so. It's much needed by all of us. I found my favourite field to be empty this morning (that's it above, mid-afternoon) so, while Dooley and Zo ran around, I stood and paid my respects to the directions and the All-Spirit in the way I did here, daily, at this time last year. Maybe it will become a habit again, I hope so, but I'm realistic about how I've yet to adjust to getting up early enough to do it. Our clocks go back this weekend and I've no idea if that will help or hinder my efforts! Either way, it was and is a wonderful way to start the day.

I'm halfway through reading Active Hope and enjoying it even more than I'd thought I would. It's accessible, clear, inspiring and exactly what I need right now. I wanted lessons in advocacy and here, in their gentle, intelligent words, I get to spend time with two of the best: Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to anyone who feels overwhelmed by 'the state of things' and the pain we see around us.

It's easy - because it's the part of the online world in which I used to spend a lot of time - for me to fall into the trap of thinking that unless I'm creating and offering an online course, holding in-person circles, coaching or marching on Westminster then I am not being of service. And serving is important to me. 

I still believe that - to use the old Robert Ingersoll line - 'we rise by lifting others'. I am full of admiration for those who do it via the methods I've mentioned but they aren't a fit for me. So what is? I think about this stuff all the time. Am I crazy or do you do it too? Or both? Heh.

As an example, the vegan movement is a very interesting place these days - more and more people (12% of the adult population in the UK) are choosing a vegetarian diet and then finding they're inspired to take it to the next level. Even if you put some of it down to passing trends, there seems to be a genuine shift towards being mindful of how and who/what we eat. With so many people trying to be conscious about how they live, I am still surprised that so few of them extend that consciousness to their plates, however there are inspiring people embodying the vegan philosophy in a gentle, compassionate way, just leading by example and I do believe change is building momentum because of this. 

Recurring themes in the New (Un)Campaigning are, to use veganism as a model:

  • Add to your plate, don't take away (don't deny pleasure, add new ones)
  • Your palate will change of its own accord (such is my belief in the beneficial results of this that I trust it will raise your vibration to a point where you no longer crave the old ways)
  • You are helping others while you help yourself (it's okay to just think about yourself) (Not everyone needs this one but many do. I am trying to learn not to judge that.)
  • You will hardly notice the difference in taste (don't panic, the actual change involved for you is minimal)
  • It's really easy  to be healthy these days (you don't have to do much)
  • I'm not perfect (you don't need to be perfect)
  • Days when you eat cheese are okay (you're not going to hell if you go back to the old ways now and then)
  • Make changes slowly, this isn't 'A Diet' (it's a practice)
  • Be kind to yourself too (be kind to yourself too)

That's a pretty good list. Personally, I have to add in that there are days when I am not compassionate and not flexible and I want to Hulk-Smash All The Things That Hurt Animals which is rubbish of me and a bit this minus the irony, but is also my truth at the moment. So I turn to that last bullet point and I take a deep breath, acknowledge the pain and its cause, practice self-compassion and remind myself a battering ram does not work any better than the battering of rams (see what I did there?). While that kind of fire burns, the planet and all its inhabitants suffer. 

To practice Active Hope is - put simply - to visualise/imagine the world as you hope it could be and then actively go about trying to make that happen around you. Step by step, person by person, thought by thought. Yep...be the change. I am working on having that as my model of service.












Monday, 20 October 2014

Monday Motivation

I had all sorts of things lined up for this post today but then something I saw on the way into work pushed them all aside. I was driving along one of those fast roads that run between villages and towns, full of people who drive that route every day and so do it much too fast. It's almost but not quite straight and currently covered in mud. The traffic braked as we approached a 'Police Slow' sign.

We all filed past a car in the ditch - nose down, windows smashed, lots of police tape and policemen - and (thankfully) standing next to it was a young man. I'd say he was about 18 or 19. He was clearly physically unhurt but wild-eyed with shock.

What really grabbed me was that a woman, I'm guessing his mother, was standing behind him. Shorter than him by a good few inches, she had her arms wrapped as tight as she could make them around his shoulders and chest. She was pale with fright and her face was a study in sheer, undiluted gratitude. There was another car pulled in, undamaged, a few feet away, and I imagined this boy crashing his car and instantly calling his mum who called the police and then got there to his side within moments.

My heart knotted and my eyes filled as I continued on past, deep in appreciation for all the love in my life. There's so much stuff around me, tangible and otherwise, that I could lose and it would really not matter. I am blessed to know and understand that I also live in the presence of great love and that here and now, today, I have so very much to hold close and be grateful for. That's all the motivation I need.


1. This land  2. My loves, my team  3. Time in nature  4. My wild child
5. Introspection  6. My boy  7. Home  8. Friends
9. My girl  10. Wearing my magic  11. Home  12. Jackson, who would've been 16 yesterday
13. Home  14. Sacred Natural  15. Nourishment  16. Joy

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Saturday

  • A walk in the dark with heavy rain but a breeze several degrees warmer than it 'should' be.
  • Tea and dog snuggles on the kitchen sofa.
  • Obsessing about this girl , Dooley's sister-from-another-mister. Watching her videos and seeing how exactly like him she is. Wishing we had room for sweet Dixie. Do you know anyone who would love the dream dog that is a Staffie x Lab?
  • Homemade soup means that at least once a week I get to pour fresh vegetables and pulses into Evie, who adores it.
  • Planning a trip to our local town, Corsham for art supplies and the only vegan cheese worth eating. Evie wants to buy a pirate eye patch. Watch out for the peacocks (unrelated to pirate eye patches. I think.)
  • Designing t-shirts. Yeah, that's a thing now. Watch this space.
  • Sneaking looks at my new hair.
  • Later: Doctor Who, The Code and maybe a small glass of red.






Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Overflowing


I just met the man who is updating the authoritative book on Wiltshire's historic buildings. He came to look at the outside wall of our kitchen, specifically to photograph this stone which stands from the ground to about chest height on me. I'd always thought it had been taken from the ruins of the old manor house and just added into some repairs here for decorative value. Wrong. The truth is much more interesting.

I'd already known that where our house stands there was an old mill that was recorded in the Domesday Book almost a thousand years ago. I'd also assumed that our building had replaced it some hundreds of years later. But no! It seems this building - though now heavily repaired (not so heavily in some parts, I have to say) - was the mill. This stone was actually a decorative overflow because the mill was an 'undercut mill'. This means that the water came from the manor's moat, at that time running further than its current position and along in front of our house (which is built on a slope), and ran beneath our front garden and under our kitchen where the mill wheel sat. Exactly where I'm sitting right now! If the water rose too fast or too high, this stone would allow the building to drain. Obviously when the mill closed for business, it was bricked up from the inside forming the wall behind our kitchen sink. Hence the ugly plastic grey pipe in the middle photo. Our visitor told me that our corner of the building - which makes up our home and our neighbours' - with its higgledy piggledy stone wall, is more than a thousand years old. The rest has been patched and repaired and is probably 'only a few hundred years old'. The manor itself was rebuilt in the 15th Century. Virtually a New Build.

The geopathic and feng shui take on living above underground water is pretty much all bad. I don't think that applies to us. We have none of the telltale signs - in fact life flourishes here - and I believe the underwater stream that fed the mill was manmade and blocked when the moat was filled back. 

We recently had a friend of Charlie's visit - he's a scientist and ecological consultant who is, as far as I'm aware, not given to metaphysical musings. He declared that our house has 'a lovely feel to it, spiritually.' Probably the nicest thing anyone has ever said about our home. And one I'm not about to disgree with. Discovering this new part of its story makes me love it even more.


Monday, 13 October 2014

Monday Motivation



It's been a week of birthday, and birthday party planning and doing, with not much room for much else besides the basics and an assault on E's bedroom that went beyond the call of duty. I didn't run and - as I have discovered is my way when I don't let my body move - I ate badly. Over the weekend there may have been party food. There may have been a slice of pizza and some cake. Pesto; there was non-vegan pesto. I know it's hardly deep-fried Mars bars but still, it's made me feel physically horrible, I mean really horrible, even down to a mysterious black eye that I woke up with this morning. What's THAT about?

So this week is back to health because frankly, I bloody love it. I also have other things going on that I'm looking forward to so here, for today's MM, are just a few things I'm seeing along the way.

My collection of ink pins
No, not a typo, a Pinterest board. My next tattoo is in the planning stages and as I'm designing it and it's quite complex, it's also slow-moving. My tattoos are all about wearing my magic and this one will be the biggest example of that so much care is being taken. Inspiration is often found on my trusty Pinterest boards.

And yes another one
On Thursday I'm going dahn the 'airdressers' and having my hairs did. Tired of dyeing my hair to cover up the grey/white (and hating that it just doesn't take properly anymore and I end up looking like, as a friend once said of herself, Severus Snape. Even with a Lightest Ash Brown.) but not inclined to cut it all off and start again, I'm having the lightest possible, ashiest possible, 'grey' highlights put in gradually over the next few months so that I can eventually just stop and let my own (lack of) colour take over. I am very excited. This feels like a major piece in stepping up into this stage of my life and fully owning it. However, I'll admit to a slight pang when I said to the colourist at our consultation,'Oh it may still be quite brown at the back, I can't see..' and she replied, 'Yeeeeaaah...no.' Apparently, my white hair is now 'universal'. Who am I to argue with the universe? I've picked up a whole lot of new followers on this board too so clearly, there's a lot of us wannabe Deny The Dye-ers about.

The Nonhuman Rights Project
I have a great interest in this work. I believe it's a truth that is ready to be embraced by the wider world and once that happens, it opens the door to all sorts of questions and concepts that could really change who we are as a species. In a good way.

Running a faster 5k
Without the structure and impetus of the C25k programme I'm finding it all too easy to excuse myself from running. 'It's too cold/wet/dark', 'I'll do it tomorrow','I get bored'. So there's a new plan in town. 5k again, but faster. With some hill work. This training schedule will help.

The Long Barrow
I have no plans for leaving this life anytime soon but I love love love this project and would dearly like to reserve a space. Bit morbid? I don't think so. I love my part of the world for all the ancient sites and have been fascinated with the burial mounds and, specifically, the West Kennet Long Barrow since I was a kid. I have plans to take Evie to (re)visit as many as we can get to over the next year.

That's it.
x




Thursday, 9 October 2014

Within our reach


2014 has, so far, been an important year for me. From the peaceful dream-magic of winter; the new life of spring that came accompanied by failing health; a summer full of rediscovered strength and uncovered power and now autumn...settling in to questions about healing and how we play our part in enabling it to happen.

My health is good but my father's is failing. I'm finding this hard to deal with because our relationship is so...so...US. And I worry there may not be time to ensure he knows that, despite it all, I love him and even if I tell him, within a couple of days he won't remember the conversation. There is still hope that he can regain some strength and clarity but today has been tough. He has fear in his eyes and, as usual, I want to fix it for him. Fix him. Fix bloody everything. 

I can't of course. 

In a response to Mel's post yesterday I wrote"I think all we can do for now is love what we can reach, and call out to like-minded souls in the hope our hands will meet one day." An hour or so later I opened up Pinterest and saw, at the top of my feed, a quote from Clarissa Pinkola Estes which read,"Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach." Not gonna lie. Felt pretty damn validated. Heh.

I believe I am finally ready to learn how to use reiki as one of the ways I can love. The issues that held me back - quite rightly because I would have made a poor practitioner with a heart that held doubt - are resolved. I have learned, am learning, am shedding the need for certainty. So the last quarter of this year will be given in part to studying to be a reiki master. Then I just need to do it for a few decades in order to achieve mastery. Maybe! A large part of this is letting go of the need to fix. I cannot bear suffering and the urge to just STOP it is strong. I don't believe I should eradicate that trait but I need to make room for other outcomes, other ways, other possibilities.

I will try to simply love what I can reach - including my father - and believe that it makes a difference even if I don't get to witness it.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Monday Motivation



This week I've been remembering my own motivation from times past and how it hasn't always taken the form I might have expected.

Back in '97 I'd moved into a house that my brother had just bought. He was newly single, I was long term single and I wanted out of the house share I was in. I also wanted a dog. Badly. The first day in my new home I got in my car and brought my Nellie Bean home. Ten months old, skin and bone. The house didn't have a garden so we went out five times a day to the fields. Every day I'd see a woman in the distance. She had a young baby in a back pack and two big goofy mutts of indefinable origin bounding around with her. At this point I harboured absolutely no thoughts of motherhood or even a relationship, and I was more than busy with just one dog, but something in me reacted in the sweetest way whenever I saw her. Some part of me knew, on a deep level, that I would be that woman. I did nothing (consciously) to move in that direction. I didn't (consciously) think about her beyond our daily encounter. And yet, ten years later there I was, in a field with a baby in a backpack and two mutts of indefinable origin at my feet. Nowadays the baby is running around and the dogs are different but I'm still doing it. And it's like some kind of fixed point in an otherwise fairly random life. A point I was supposed to reach. I don't know who she was, we never spoke or even acknowledged each other, but I think of that woman at least a couple of times a week, nearly twenty years later. She was a quiet motivation that drove a part of me I wasn't then in touch with. Something in me recognised her and maybe saw my future self.

In a lesser ways there have been other instances. Soon after we moved to Chalfield I started to see women out running with their dogs. Two women, to be precise. And again, whenever I saw them, something would stir deep down even though at that time I had no thoughts of ever running (I believed I hated to run) and neither Nell or Jackson would have taken to or coped with it. But something stuck. When I adopted Dooley I told the woman who owns the sanctuary he lived at that I wanted to run with him, despite the fact I still believed I hated running. Why did I say that? And now, I'm 'That woman who runs with her dog up at Chalfield' and it feels like coming home.

About three months ago I saw another woman, again running in the lanes around my home. She is, I'd guess, in her sixties, lean and fit, runs comfortably with a smile on her face and she has long silver grey hair that she wears in a plait down her back. She is so beautiful and vital. And I get that feeling that being an older woman who runs with a smile on her face and silver hair down her back is in my future. I know it the same way I would if someone sent me a photograph from from 2024 because thanks to the woman with the baby and two mutts, and the women running with their dogs, and possibly other women over the years before I was even vaguely self-aware, I now recognise that kind of motivation. That kind that is part longing, part recognition. The kind that is a lighthouse guiding you home. I see it, hear it, sooner these days and use it to steer my course.

Meanwhile I keep a part of me on the look-out for the next beacon. And I quietly wonder if it is, in a way, all a bit timey-wimey, and if some young woman with an awesome scrappy puppy and no plans saw me with Evie, Nell and Jackson back in '07 and felt something smile in her heart. Wouldn't that be grand?


*beautiful photo of Nellie Bean - an infinite beacon in her own right - by the equally luminous Pen of McKinley-Rodgers Photography.


Friday, 3 October 2014

Making space



Some weeks you sit and take stock, feel gratitude, build your resources and simply enjoy. Others you move forwards on your path.

Remember this post where I said:
But I believe there comes a point when the actions of many individuals [i.e., child trafficking, animal abuse, Female Genital Mutilation, slavery, mass deforestation etc], over time, reach a tipping point and the result takes on its own form. It becomes an entity in itself...It exists on a societal, cultural, historical level within the collective consciousness. It has moved from being an intention within the minds of individuals to an actual entity...It is arguable that it is now a disease within the universal body...Here's what else I'm thinking: if these tangles of stagnant, twisted energy ... are in the collective consciousness then maybe the most effective 'untangler' is a healing collective.
A few days ago I got a newsletter from astrologer Sarah Varcas in which she said:
We begin October with Uranus and Chiron highlighting the need to find new ways to both accommodate and heal woundedness at the personal and collective levels. They have been working together on this issue since June, simultaneously exposing where we are most wounded and offering tools to further the process of healing and the embodiment of wholeness. The first week of October plays out against the backdrop of a square between Mars and Chiron which reminds us that the imperative to heal comes hand in hand with the responsibility to do so not for our own personal gain but to ultimately bring the collective back into a state of balance. The healing which occurs in our minds and hearts, bearing fruit in our own lives, is simply a tiny microcosm of the rebalancing required in the collective consciousness to which we each add our own unique resonance. 
Hell yeah. And when I wrote that post I heard that inner voice tell me,'You know how you contribute to this. You know what works through you. You can already do it.' And so kicked off Round 37 in my love/hate relationship with reiki. Because it's true. I have always thought that how reiki works is to clear/untangle the route of Life energy, and on both a personal and collective scale. So why haven't I been doing it?

Really, really stupid reasons.

  • I don't like the Reiki Biz. (No one's asking you to take part.)
  • There are loads of 'practitioners' out there who don't know their reiki arse from their reiki elbow. (You don't need to be one of them.)
  • Where's the proof it works? (Are you kidding me? You've seen and felt it many times. Whaddya want...a BBC documentary?)
  • How does it work? (Who cares? We don't know yet. So what?)
  • What if it's a load of hokum? I'll look like an idiot. (Already happening.)
  • I think westerners using Japanese healing techniques is like totally cultural misappropriation, Dude. (WTF? So you'd never do yoga either? Yeah, no, thought so. See bullet point above.)
  • 'Reiki People' are the kind of New Agers who make me squirm. (Get over yourself; you read astrology newsletters and wear a crystal you judgemental git.)

Yeah. I'm proud of myself.

As I started to look at reiki again I came across an interview with Pamela Miles and she was speaking my language. I bought her book and it's pure gold. I was already feeling right at home when I came to this bit:
Reiki might be involved in the alignment of quantum events. Enhancing order in the quantum underpinning of material reality might lead to what physicists call a 'phase change', a minuscule adjustment that tips the scales to a discernible change such as happens when water freezes to ice.
'Enhancing order', ya say? Count me in. Pamela also talks about reiki not being an 'energy' in itself - like the chi, ki and prana it is frequently likened to - but instead more of a vibration or pulsation that works on subtle levels of a bio-field to break down (what I refer to as) 'tangles'. This is such a great description of my experience and one that I couldn't have expressed myself.

These days I am less attached to an outcome or measurable proof. I am happy with possibility, the 'what if', and healing too slow for my human awareness to see it. I no longer believe in a right or wrong way to practice reiki because all I need to do is be present, witness with compassion, and be open to it. I don't see reiki as a 'healing technique', but more as a meditation-type practice that smooths out tangles. It makes space for healing, just as yoga and meditation do. My doubts about the ease with which it can be taught and practiced are gone because the whole beauty of reiki is that it is easy to learn and practice.

It looks as if Round 37 may be the final round and one that ends in love. As is only fitting.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

No brainer


That spot, right there, is where I finished my first proper 5k about 30 minutes ago. I'll be honest, I've had a bit of a mental block about it. I finished the Couch to 5k training over a week ago and discovered that although I'd been running the times the app gives you, I wasn't covering the distance because I'm what's known in elite athletic circles as A Very Slow Runner. I wasn't far off but I hadn't done the five. I was excited to do it two days after I finished C25k but then, for some reason I don't remember, I couldn't run that day. And doubt set it. Then Evie wanted to run with me after being picked for her class cross country team and she can't run too far yet so I had another excuse. A week passed with me doing only two very short runs. I felt rubbish. My body wanted to run, my spirit wanted to run but my mind was sabotaging it. In the end my mind had to resort to old tricks to 'sedate' the other parts of me and I drank too much coffee (it saps my energy and makes me drowsy...what can I tell you) and yesterday ate some sweets. Classic.

But nowadays I don't cave so easily. I don't beat myself up for these bumps in the road. I know they can't stop me. They don't matter. I got ready to run this morning and told myself it was fine to do whatever I wanted. Five minutes or forty five. Whatever. Dooley was hyperexcited so he came too and we set out. I thought we'd make maybe 3k after a week of inactivity and some bad fuelling. We did get to 3k. Then we got to 4k just as we completed the circuit back to the garden gate and suddenly I thought,'Do I want to think of today as the day I did 4k which isn't bad and is 4/5ths of 5k? Or do I want to think of it as The Day I Ran 5K?'. No brainer. Literally. I ignored the brain and let the body and spirit choose. We kept going and we did 5k. And it was bloody awesome.