How to have a good morning

Monday, May 30, 2011

The alarm goes off. I stumble from bed, ear already alert to the cats scratching at the door below, demanding their breakfast.

The kettle goes on. Two foil packs emptied into bowls on the floor. I head to the bathroom, by which time both cats are hustling at the backdoor. I fumble with the key and open it wide.

And here’s where it gets interesting.

For while I urge them out into the garden, mind already focused on taking my mug of tea back upstairs to bed, eye on the clock, wondering how long I can allow myself to linger over the cuppa before the day starts in earnest….the cats have stalled.

Instead of racing out into the day they pause on the step, raise their noses to the sky and sniff, long and hard, eyes half closed in a sort of fuzzy pleasure. They will not be hurried.

When they have filled their lungs with the smells of a new day - the scent of all that bursting greenery, of the damp soil, of the honeysuckle just coming into bud on a trellis over the door - they move their bodies into a long, lazy stretch, backs arched, legs tense then everything softens again.

And they are ready…slowly heading off without a look back.

While I am left wondering whether there is a lesson for me here. Whether, before the kettle and the to do list, before I allow the day to crowd in on me, I should join the cats at the backdoor and gift myself with a few minutes simply breathing in the new day, reintroducing jaded senses to all its gifts, and then stretching gently and long, moving from my chattering mind and back into my body.

Sometimes the answers we seek are right under our noses. Good morning!

Posted by Jane Matthews on 05/30 at 06:58 AM
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Changing habits

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Personal and spiritual development has a thousand or more forms. If you doubt me head along to the London Mind Body Spirit fair over the Bank Holiday Weekend - I promise you, all of life is there!
But, usually, most of us are trying to get to the same place.
In that spirit I just wanted to share with you a new change-your-habits-change-your-life tool that dropped into my mailbox this week: an A-Z Challenge focused on helping you (and me) to change one unhelpful habit a week, for the next 26.
You’ll find a few more details and the sign-up here:

Posted by Jane Matthews on 05/22 at 06:11 AM
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View from the hills

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Clutter clearing has been a recurrent theme in this blog so I had to share with you Susan Jeffers’ interesting take on why we find it so hard to let things go.

In her latest newsletter (you can subscribe at Susan suggests we hang on to the clutter through a kind of poverty consciousness. After all, the world we live in (in the west at least) is largely based on the idea of ‘progress’: having more and being more. We are what we own.

I love nice things as much as anyone but the truth is that my best days of the year so far were spent walking in the Lakeland Fells with my sister. If we hadn’t been travelling light - jacket, bottles of water, an egg roll and slice of gingerbread - we wouldn’t have had the energy to climb as high as we did, nor been rewarded by views from the top of the world, stretching beyond layer upon layer of velvet felltops to a shining silver sea in the distance.

Amazing how freeing all that space and air is. How much easier it is to simply stop and just be.

Reading this from Susan Jeffers this morning I glimpsed the same feeling of space and lightness that I’d felt while we were up there with the soaring birds:

“As you get rid of all your excess baggage, you begin to realise: You don’t need (or want!) as much as you thought you did, which means…you don’t need to buy as many things, which means…you don’t need as much space, which means…you don’t need to have a bigger home, which means…you don’t need to earn as much, which means…you don’t need to work so hard, which means…you have more time and energy, which means… you are better able to end the struggle and dance with life!”

Wishing you space and light today and every day of your best year.


Posted by Jane Matthews on 05/05 at 07:45 AM
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