The Way of the Warrior pt 8.
When I left home this morning to walk the dogs I noticed a trail of green waste, leading from the bags I put out last night, along the road. ‘Odd’, I thought. I asked the dogs to sit and collected it up.
We carried on along the street for our walk and I thought no more about it. As we began walking up church hill, a cyclist was coming down. He swore quite loudly, and I wondered what the need could have been to justify that language. I should add at this point that it was approximately 6am and dark. He cycled passed and we carried on up the hill. As we neared the spot where the cyclist had sworn there was a sizeable dark object in the road.
On closer inspection it was a bag of green waste, much of the contents was spread across the road. Approaching that, on a push bike in the dark, the lighting up church hill is not brilliant, would have caused me to swear. The chances of coming off would’ve been quite high. The cyclist was a lucky fella.
I again asked the dogs to sit and collected the waste together, put it back in the green bag and put the bag just off the road, at the side of a driveway. Whilst doing so, I noted the green waste looked considerably like that in my green waste bags. I made a mental note to check on mine when we got home later.
From there, the walk was as usual, I said my gratitude’s and enjoyed the calls of owls. The daylight was just beginning to become evident as we neared the village once again. It was funny, one of the new build houses visible from the fields is clad in white and it stood out quite clearly in the dawn. I’d have designed bigger windows or doors onto the back of it myself, but there you go.
When we got to the end of the drive next to our house, I saw that the five bags I had put out the evening before were now only four and one of those was on its side and half empty. The green bag was mine. I went and collected it.
Now that got me thinking. Funny that.
The only reason that I was up that early and could discover and address the issue of the green bag was because I get up early and invest in some serious me time. You’ll be familiar with my habits now, meditation, gratitude, and exercise. Thus, I was out early, found the bag, identified it and addressed the issue before any damage was done and thanked who or whatever’s listening, that no harm had come to the cyclist.
If I hadn’t developed those habits, I would have been at home and asleep and something far more serious could have happened. That I realised, highlighted one of the major benefits of having the habits I have.
Life regularly presents us with difficult situations, often unexpected. A health scare, loss of job, loss of home, loss of family member to name a few, are easiest (I know its never easy!) to manage when you have some strategies in place to manage the way you behave in these situations.
If you put yourself in situations that allow you to slow your mind at all times, if you choose to, will help a great deal. A first thought might be, ‘do I need to do anything now?’ Then there are ways to train yourself to think things through sensibly and decide how to best respond to situations.
These will vary from person to person and often involve spending time in your ‘happy’ place, participating in routines that give you time to think, talking to a trusted family member or friend, either for advice or just to sound out your thoughts aloud, which often allows you to think better. Often an environment that you choose that challenges you will be helpful, my son used to go to the gym and found lifting or pushing weights helped him to focus his thinking about something else and therefore allowed him to make better decisions or think through a situation. I will often go and walk or sit in the countryside, for as long as it takes.
Its funny though how twenty-four hours can often change the way the world looks and the stresses and strains that we attach to situations changes as well. It may well be that concentrating on something else allows us to take stock of a situation when previously we would have let our thoughts dwell on a problem or difficulty and make it much worse than it actually is.
Taking time allows us to put all problems and difficulties into perspective. We just need a mechanism to allow us to do that, then we naturally become more resilient. Resilience becomes an automatic part of our mental strength and character.
Resilience becomes habit and we deal with situations as a matter of fact, naturally, or automatically and life becomes simpler and easier to manage.
And if we have to respond very quickly, then we manage that much better too.
If we Slow the Mind we can best help ourselves, and others too.
You don’t have to get up at stupid o’clock, however, I find it helps.
Future proofing our lives.
Simon Pollard Garden Designer and Countryman. September 2023.