If you’d like to slow down & fall in love with life, you can do so for £1.99 ($2.99) over the next few days as I’ve put the kindle versions of the book on offer (you can also read these versions on your phone or PC). Read more about the book here and here’s a free sample for you, with some cows. Happy weekend all!
Watching cows nibbling their breakfast
This week I attended a workshop on how to be more authentic. The venue was a grand, shabby old house set in delicious rolling hills and fields of fat cows and clumps of shadowy woods. For the first exercise we were asked to walk out into the gardens and be alone for twenty minutes, and to make ourselves ready for something to ‘call to us’. We were asked to come back afterwards so we could share our experiences with the group.
I found a quiet spot on a grassy slope with the hills tumbling down into a valley in front of me. I sat and watched the cows nibbling their breakfast, fiddled with a stick, and waited.
Nothing called to me. I thought instead about what I would say to the rest of the group when I got back, and about what they would think of me. None of us knew each other very well. What kind of impression did I want to make? Which Fiona did I want them to see?
That happens with my writing too sometimes. Instead of it being fun, of being somewhere I can play with words and see what emerges, it becomes ‘who do I want everyone to think I am?’ What a waste.
I called to myself as I sat on my grassy slope. I said to myself (again) – you are enough. It just takes too much energy to think about which Fiona you want people to see, and you’re not fooling anyone anyway. Get on with watching the cows and enjoy it!
Things you might be curious about
Do you ever think so hard about how you’ll be ‘seen’ that you forget to enjoy what you’re doing? When does this happen? Who does it happen with? What are you feeling right now?
Suggestions for this week
This week notice when you’re making an effort to please someone, or to manipulate the image someone gets of you. Say to yourself ‘I am enough’ and do it your way instead. See what happens.
We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people. Arthur Schopenhauer
Dare to be yourself. Andre Gide