At the end of my last post I said I’d be posting next from the Austrian mountains. You won’t have failed to notice that that did not happen. However, I’m very pleased to report that the Ski Trip 2017 was an all round success! I ended up not posting because I was so into the actual skiing that I was honestly HALF WAY UP A GLACIER at the time I would normally be writing! Turns out that I can ski! Evidently what I needed was some gentle encouragement.
Read “some gentle encouragement” as “ski school of 4-7 year olds to arrive at the kiddie training slope after I’ve only been down twice, and get so embarrassed that I said to Lee, “I don’t want to get in the way; lets go on the real slope.”
He was a great teacher, despite the man in the hire shop advising against it. Apparently some couples have their biggest barneys when one teaches the other to ski!
He pushed me when I needed pushing, praised me when I deserved it, and only told me the run was blue (level 2) when it was actually red (level 3) at the end of the first day so that I ended my day coming down the slope I’d looked up and said “I’ll never be able to do that” first thing that morning.
I love skiing now.
It’s so consuming – your body and your mind have to work together the whole time, or you might just fall over!
Just me? Oh. Okay. Yeah, I fell over a lot.
The week was full on. We were an apartment of seven people and a baby, and I didn’t get anywhere near as much of the quiet time that I’m used to at home, but my happiest memory of the whole trip was on day two, when we got an early lift up the glacier, and skied down freshly pisted snow, with nothing but the sound of my skis, Lee’s skis and the overwhelming silence of nothing but snow for miles around.
Once we got home, we didn’t really change pace at all – just went head first into Mother’s Day, and then the work week.
I knew I was being touchy with Lee, but I couldn’t figure out why. I felt guilty for being like that, but also knew that I didn’t really have time to think about it.
What I should have done, was stopped. And listened.
When was the last time you listened to yourself? When did you last stop and think about your own body and your own needs?
I pushed myself too far because I wasn’t listening to myself, and I ended up (very embarrassingly) fainting in H&M while shopping for holiday clothes with my Mum. There was nothing really wrong with me – I’d eaten, I was drinking plenty of water, I wasn’t too hot – my body had just been working too hard for too long, with no rest period.
So, I rested.
I had Tuesday and Wednesday at home, just being quiet. And I’ll tell you what, I now fully recognise my own need for silence.
It’s not exactly “meditation”, because I’m not trying to empty my mind or reach some kind of higher emotional state…
For me, it’s “listening”.
It’s allowing my mind to wander, and listening to my thoughts. It’s not expecting anything of myself during that time, other than to hear and process the things in my head.
I ended up writing four full lists of things in my mind, and now they’re written down, I don’t have to remember them, so I can let them go, and I can have that tiny piece of brain space back.
So, other than list-writing, what else did I do during my Quiet Days?
I read – I downloaded a bunch of books for ski trip reading, and ended up not reading any of them, so I settled in with Lilabean: A Storybook about Simplicity for Grown-Up Girls by Kate Carpenter, and then made a start on Jo Malone’s autobiography too.
I cannot recommend them enough. Lilabean is 99p on Kindle, and if anything about anything in my recent blogs has struck a chord with you, you’ll love it. I swear, it won’t even take you half an hour to read it, but you’ll go back to it again and again. My Story is a more serious read, but the way Jo writes is incredible. Essentially, she’s the ultimate #GirlBoss in so many ways.
Another thing I gained from my Quiet Days was the ability to move all of the dull stuff out of the way, and let my brain do it’s creative thing again.
I’ve spent the latter part of the week creating some new things for Let Me Be Bold, which you can see a sneak peek of on the facebook page here. I’m planning to have them up for sale on Etsy by the end of the week…
I’m making a conscious effort to listen to my silence much more now.
It’s the end of March. We’re 1/4 of the way through the year already.
Today, my silence told me that I need to be outdoors more because I love the fresh air, and the weather we’ve had this week has been beautiful. It told me that I’ve loved all the new experiences and adventures I’ve had already this year, and I can’t wait for all the rest of them that are still to come. It told me that a weekend, of friends, family and puppy time will be a serious change of pace, but now that I recognise my need for these little pockets of listening to myself, I’ll be just fine.
Have a lovely weekend everyone. Enjoy the sunshine, enjoy your friends and families.
When you wake up, first thing tomorrow, just take a moment to ask yourself, “how are you?” and listen to your mind.
What’s in your silence?