Weekly Challenge

Welcome to another blog post and a weekly challenge.

I am not sure what to write about. A lot has happened in the last week, at least that what it feels like and taking a week off can be a great time to reset. 

I spent a week in the glorious Lake District, it’s an area that really does it for me and I was very grateful to stay in an amazing cottage, with my family and some of the best air and scenery our country has to offer!

The area that I was staying in is well known for hikes (my brother and I did a lot) and Herdwick sheep. A wonderfully rugged breed of sheep that graze the fells all day and seem to have a little bit of attitude. Especially when they look on as 2 brothers arrive at the summit in a panting sweaty mess!

I remember Choden and Rosina talking about equanimity on my recent compassion course with the Mindfulness Association. 

Today, if someone were to ask me what equanimity is, I would say, go and look at some Herdwick Sheep.  Rain or shine, hikers, fell runners, jet plans, whatever passes them during their day, it doesn’t matter. They are the epitome of equanimity – at least until the sheepdogs come along.

I recall an interview with a Lake District farmer. He talked about releasing his sheep in early springtime from the lower land into the fells. Each year, he could really sense a change in his flock, their joy and anticipation that they would soon be up in the hills were clearly obvious. 

This anticipation and the joy of being out in the open hills was something that I could very much relate to. Arriving and walking in the lake district is something that was so natural and I was so grateful to be there. 

The feeling of being there went far deeper than I could put into words and the story of the sheep itching to get back up into the hills popped back into my head.

It also reminded me of another story about a friend rescuing a live lobster from her father-in-law’s fridge (it was replaced with a toy one!). As they approached the sea to release it, the poor lobster went into “excitement overload” (that is the edited description) as the journey from the fridge to the sea was nearly complete.

The brothers, the sheep, the lobster – all beings have a sense of connection with their environment. 

People, for some reason, seem to have buried this sense of connection. There are probably lots of theories, musings, research and opinions about our primal connected senses. Maybe it’s an overload of the aforementioned theories, musings and research that buries our connected senses. 

Whatever it is, it feels important to reconnect with theses senses and maybe our mindful based living choices are a part of our reconnecting.

The dynamic of the holiday, the location, the people I was staying with, changes in work, my mindfulness practice, time in the outdoors. It all seemed to be a fresh perspective and a cumulation of life and its lessons over the last few years seemed suddenly to reveal themselves in a clear transparent view and were perfectly acceptable and ok.

Sometimes, reconnecting and getting a fresh perspective can offer up so much.

This Weeks Challenge

For this week’s challenge, I am incorporating my moments of connection, gratitude and joy into my practice, particularly when those moments of equanimity are needed. 

To journal our moments of gratitude is something that we regularly touch upon in our courses. I invite you to recall your own moments of connection, gratitude and joy and also connect with those beings around you – whether they are a brother, a sister, a lobster or a sheep. 

Maybe your own moments of connection will support, inspire and motivate you.

Until next time

All the best

Duncan