One Apple A Day #745 – time off

A few months ago, I took two weeks off from coffee. Mostly to be sure that a lovely morning ritual wasn’t becoming a mechanical routine.
It’s a good practice I learned a few years ago.
Because everything can become a hamster wheel if we don’t pay attention. We begin things because we need or love them. Then we keep doing them because they gratify us and they become habits.
And it’s a great thing as long as we remember why we are doing them.
Who are we in that practice or ritual?
Even the most beautiful and joyful practice in life can become mechanical if we don’t pay attention.
So, sometimes it helps to take some time off and take ourselves out of the spinning wheel, to observe and sense.
A pause, to remind ourselves what is important.
Why that thing is important in our life.
Taking a pause is particularly important with the things we love to do, our passions. Because those are the things that can become our invisible prisons if we don’t pay attention.

One Apple A Day #744 – you in the practice

It’s not the practice; it’s the “I” within that practice that matters.

It’s a profound insight I received from a coach yesterday evening, during a webinar. 

Do you ever get caught in the process, so focused on doing it right, that you forget to listen to yourself?

I do. 

Because I love the practice, because I invested so much in creating the process, or because I fully trust the person who taught me the exercise. Whatever the reason, sometimes I am so focused on finding the right practice and executing it in the right way, that I forget what really matters.

Me.

As I wrote yesterday, I am the one who gives meaning to everything I do and experience. What’s the point in doing perfectly something meaningless? 

The practices you do are essential, and you should choose them wisely. But the most important thing is to keep listening for yourself within whatever practice you do. 

Does it make you grow? Does it help you achieve what you want or become who you want? 

Does it make sense?

Right now, here.

One Apple A Day #706 – a small leak will sink a great ship

“An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you.”

I don’t know where this quote comes from or who wrote it, but it came up this morning in my meditation. 

Like always, there is an ocean of news, unclear data and conflicting opinions out there. But lately, waves have become stronger, and they keep throwing water at me.

Maybe it’s because we all are stuck in our homes, or because we are more connected than ever or perhaps, it’s due to fear and uncertainty. 

Whatever the reason, it’s pushing and shaking my boat.

The sea is sly. It just needs a small crack to get in and then, slowly it feels you up. When you realise the water is inside, it may be already too late.

Benjamin Franklin said that “a small leak will sink a great ship.” 

He was talking about money, but it also works in this case. 

What was supposed to be a quick check on Facebook to see how my dearest friends are doing, becomes half an hour of browsing among all sort of news. And in doing so, I feel the negativity getting in, eating up my energy and focus, drop by drop.

That’s why I spend some time every morning reinforcing my ship before sailing into the day.

One Apple A Day #705 – broken mirror

There is no one to fix.

I attended a powerful online gathering with Nick Askew yesterday evening (check out his fantastic work). He shared those words while opening the space, and I had to write them down. They sounded and still sound so pure, powerful, and liberating to me. 

The gathering went on. There were many faces on my screen. Each one with a story. Some were shared, others just imagined.

And while I was observing this big portrait of humanity, a few other words came out of my pen.

There is no one to fix, yet we are all broken.

A paradox, yet it felt, and it feels so true. 

How is it possible?

Then I remembered a poem by Rumi.

“The truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell, and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece of it, and they looked at it and thought they had the truth.”

We are all pieces of the same shattered mirror. Each fragment is a mirror in itself, but not the whole. Complete and incomplete, broken and perfect at the same time. 

We don’t need to be fixed. Yet, we all are aware, at some level, that we are fragments of the same broken mirror, and we long to feel whole again. 

One Apple A Day #686 – my sanctuary

Sanctuary.

This word keeps coming back in my thoughts.

According to the dictionary, it is a “protection or a safe place, especially for someone or something being chased or hunted.”

This word also brings back memories of holy buildings, monasteries or churches where we used to go in symbolic pilgrimage when I was a kid.

My sanctuary is the place where I can detach from the mundane life and connect with my higher self. When I can listen to the universe – god, the field, the soul or however you call it – whispering. When I can ask the questions that have no answers.

In many fables, the sages live on top of a mountain. The medicine men use to go to the sacred mountain seeking answers. And religious people go to their temples.

What about now? Now that we are all locked within the wall of our houses. We can’t climb any mountains, we can’t sit in our temples. We can’t even walk out in nature. 

Yet, to me, having a sanctuary is vital. 

The environment is undoubtedly essential. Nothing opens up my mind as being in nature, being it the shore with the waves before me or the top of a mountain closer to the sky. But my sanctuary is most of all an inner state. So, I try to create my personal sanctuary every day.

I do it early in the morning, where everything is silent. I have a ritual, a sequence of steps I do every morning to get me to that place of full presence. 

My sanctuary.

Going there every morning, even if only for a few minutes, keeps me grounded.