The Art Of Slowing Down

The Search For Mellowness

With each new day comes more richness in my life through the art of 'slowing down'. As I walked through the corridor of lime trees, I offered my heart out to them, told them that I loved them and expressed my gratitude for their presence, for all the ways they contribute to me. I fell in love with every little and big doggie who passed by. I think they find me interesting cause I'm not rushing somewhere but walking with nowhere to get to. My intention? To feel and experience and to acknowledge the soft animal being that is my body as it breathes life in and out. This was a spontaneous dialogue with the trees, not something I decided to do, I felt pulled to do it. I feel drawn into presence with them. Could it be that through the compassionate softening of my early life protective layers that I have fallen into my natural heritage? What is rightfully ours as humans? Living through vulnerability. That untrammeled interconnectedness? "Being open to encounter and in touch with the miraculous." a phrase by Joni Mitchell.

I was listening to a radio programme about Carole King's song, You've Got A Friend. An idol of mine for years. That photo of her sitting on a window seat, barefoot, represents everything I would like to feel when I wake into the day. In that programme it mentioned things like 'being yourself', blue jeans, walking down a country road and I was immediately drawn back to my teens and the longings in my heart then and that have prodded me till now. Finally I can name it as the search for mellowness. But how could someone like me, having experienced so much trauma, and having the tracks of that impact me all my life, ever find a place to rest where she might feel mellow or experience mellowness. How would my nervous system ever be somewhere where I could find rest and enter life flow?

I want to celebrate today that this is what I am cultivating, daily, through slowing down, saying "C'mon Clare, it's ok to notice the bread as you put the peanut butter on it, it's ok to notice the size of the little handle on the kitchen cupboard, it's ok to notice the sheen on the wooden counter top, now that you oiled it with boiled linseed oil. It's ok. I am here with you." Moving from a life where 'being' wasn't safe to a life where it's ok to be me, now, and inhabit my body and the life that is presented to me; it is gradually becoming safe to be in the present, because I am accompanying myself, with loving awareness.

Being present to my feelings, thoughts, bodily sensations, means being with a nervous system that is often off the charts with hypervigilence because that is how I survived. I understand now that it's thanks to this intelligent body protecting me the way it did, that I am here, writing these words. (I am conscious of all the other choices I could have made in my life that would mean this would not be the case). And through living these recent years from a place of non duality and non judgment and allowing and listening to all that rises in me with loving understanding, that mellowness arrives to my table. A welcome and long awaited visitor and now honoured friend.

You may be new to my blog so, to finish, I'd like to share again a video by Anna Breytenbach. She is a way shower for me in how to inhabit mellowness and embrace our natural heritage and cultivate this sense of inter-connectedness. Thank you Anna. It was on seeing this video that I took myself off to Findhorn in Scotland to study Interspecies Communication. I continue to respond to my hunger to arrive into my body and into connection with all life.

Clare O'Sullivan

Teaching the skills of

self-compassion and compassionate communication.


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