Accidental Mindfulness

There is something about sunrises, isn’t there? Here in the south of France, they can be spectacular, especially on a frosty winter’s morning. I had fed the hungry hordes and was standing at my kitchen counter; with a steaming cup of coffee in my hands. Suddenly, while I deeply inhaled the deliciously-additive aroma and looked out over the horses’ paddock, the sun decided to make a somewhat belated appearance between two could banks.

I had to catch my breath, the beauty of it was that breathtaking. Hundreds of shades of red, orange and yellow tinted the clouds and reflected brightly on the frosted fields. I could only stare, my mind completely blank, and then I realised that this is what mindfulness is all about. That moment when your brain stops rushing from one subject to another and comes to a complete standstill while you take minute note of your surroundings. There was tremendous peace in that one moment. Time stood still and offered me the option to think, and think again, and yet again, before I reacted to the upsetting news an errant email brought seconds before. This is the reason why I have incorporated mindfulness, as taught to me by my horses, into my life. A mindfully-trained mind can consider all options carefully before it reacts, avoiding harmful actions that it may later regret.

A mindful mind can “surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be,” as Sonia Ricotti so aptly advised.

The next moment my mind was flooded with gratitude, that I could start my day with this heart-stopping moment and I sent a quick “thank you” to Him-Upstairs, to let him know how much I appreciated this gift.

I feel so very privileged to live here. Our springs, summers and autumns are magnificent, but the winters here in the foothills of the Pyrenées have a quiet beauty of their own that sustain us through the cold… until spring comes once again. In spring, I can start running retreats here again. I miss running retreats, because of this virus and the resultant lockdowns, I have had to cancel I don’t know how many retreats last year. I am so looking forward to sharing all this beauty with my retreats guests again.

In the meantime, I am creating a virtual retreat – more about that in the next few days.

Does this sometimes happen to you? That you accidentally witness something so beautiful that it takes your breath away? If it does, it is definitely worth taking your time to be fully aware in the moment – of the sights, smells and sounds around you while reminding yourself how blessed you are.

“Mindfulness is being fully alive and fully aware at any specific moment in time.” Margaretha Montagu

If you like this vignette of my life here in Gascony, you can escape to the south of France for a virtual visit by subscribing to my mailing list HERE.

Coming soon:

  • Virtual Write Your Story Retreat for writers and can’t-writers
  • Post-pandemic: What is Your Life’s Purpose? Challenge in my Facebook Group

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