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Reflection on the Lakes


I find his time of year to be such a contradiction. The season of Autumn shows us, quite literally, that it’s alright to let go. Nature’s energy starts to slow down and turn inward. So why is it then, that we look outwards with this idea of needing and wanting more? Halloween, Black Friday (week!) Christmas; all these events are designed to draw us towards feelings of lack and not being enough, so that we in turn spend more, buy more and do more. It’s those qualities that actually lead us to feel less than when we started and it culminates in us being on a never-ending quest in search of fulfilment. Nature is simple and steers her attention inward, so why don’t we look to the simple things?

Having just returned, in a haze of relaxation and bliss from our week of yoga and wild swimming in the Lake District, I couldn’t help but reflect on what it was that had turned me from an exhausted, frazzled being into this serenely, calm person. What were the aspects that were seamlessly sewn together to make this week so special?

We stayed in a house surrounded by majestic trees (so many trees!). It overlooked the tranquil lake, a stunning sunrise most mornings with mist gently rolling in on the water. There was an abundance of wildlife – pheasant, deer, mink, swans, rabbits. Everywhere you looked was either water, sky or greenery.

Taking that time out twice a day to land and to move in a way that made the body feel joyous.

Cold water swims without wetsuits, literally immersing oneself in nature. I ask, is there any greater way to feel mentally balanced and calm? 

Laughter and friendly chatter with like-minded people from all walks of life.

Lovingly prepared vegan food each and every day.

It’s these simple qualities that we often overlook in our search for happiness. It wasn’t eating in fancy restaurants, wearing designer clothes or driving that fancy car that lead to this feeling of wholeness. I don’t know about you, but what I find hard to comprehend is that all of the above is there for us to enjoy on a daily basis, so why is it so hard to tap into it?

I know it is not easy to create these changes and I too look out there for validation. I catch myself saying “When I get this, then I will be happy. When I achieve that, then I will feel successful. When my children grow up and I have more time, then I will do more cooking!” But I fear those times will never come, as there is always something else that I am reaching for in the never-ending pursuit for peace of heart and quiet of mind.

This rainy Autumn evening, I had to take my son to Beavers and with an hour to fill I was very close to reaching for a Starbucks fix but thought I need to practise what I teach. So I drove to the beach with the girls, settled them at the water’s edge, stripped off and threw myself in the sea for a float about in about 5 inches of water. The girls played while I splashed about like a beached whale, but still, I was in and all was well in those moments. Lying in the sea, looking at the girls laughing I knew I had made the right decision. Even though most of the time you might not be bothered, you never regret taking time out for yourself, time that is going to nourish your mind, body and heart.

So I ask you…What’s your connection to nature like? What’s your daily yoga practice, on or off the mat? How much connection do you have with like-minded, joyful people?

Do you ring fence time each day to walk or move your body so that it feels light and free? How much time do you put towards creating healthy meals that will nourish and provide you with the right energy? Take time to reflect on your answers.

Then try this month’s medicine – a warm cup of tea, sitting quietly on a bench, basking in the low Autumn sunlight. You will be surprised at how blissful you start to feel. Creating big changes to our life physically, mentally and emotionally can sometimes feel overwhelming, so maybe start with one or two areas where you consciously dial down the busy and turn up the simple.

One response to “Reflection on the Lakes”

  1. Natasha says:

    What a timely reminder…