Written by Muddled
This was a topic that was brought up a good few weeks ago at group. At the time I wasn’t sure what my summer consisted of in terms of recovery. Yes I’d done a lot of different things all summer, but I wondered how recovery/freedom focused these things were. There were some momentous events in my summer but I thought I’d focus on just two occasions now.
- Day at the beach.
Last year I went to an Irish beach for the first time since I was a child to swim (or at least be submerged in the water for a while!). That one visit was something that kept me going all year. A free moment. Something I hadn’t felt in a long, long time. There weren’t many people there that day; many three or four people walked by. This year when I went to the same beach it was packed with families, couples, swimmers, sunbathers… I knew there would be challenges I hadn’t encountered the previous year. Regardless of what those challenges were, what struck me was my newfound attitude to them. My curiosity, my awareness of self, the knowledge that this information provided (fodder for future recovery work), values that needed to be strengthened, values that still needed to be deleted, the progress made since the previous year and the affirmations that automatically popped into my mind.
The sea was calm. I attempted to float. Over and over again. A lot of people around me were floating; all I could see were heads and feet above the water. I didn’t berate myself. One thought just kept popping into my head: TRUST. My body would not let me down if I just listened to it and allowed it to just be. It took a while, and repeated attempts, but soon I too was bobbing about allowing the waves to rock against my body, whilst I gazed up at the bright blue sky and listened to the bustle on the busy beach. This highlighted many of the lessons I’ve learned through recovery: trusting my body, relaxing, letting the busy world do its thing whilst I live in the moment, allowing myself to enjoy my strong affinity and connection to nature, the importance of focusing and trying new things repeatedly (not giving up after one or two attempts), the pleasure in overcoming challenges and new unfamiliar situations, how collecting free moments can motivate and inspire, and finally the importance of credit.
- Going abroad on holiday.
I haven’t been on a sun / sunny holiday in three years. That holiday was only a few days long but boy did condition enjoy it! In fact condition made it shorter than it could have been, so really it stopped me enjoying the full five days that it could have been. So going away this summer for a week with family members that I haven’t been away with before was a big one for me. This summer I packed my Recovery Toolbox instead of condition. I filled it with affirmations, journalling, bags stocked with nutritious snacks, skin protection in the form of Factor 50, mosquito spray, aloe vera gel and hats, plenty of naps, a phone full of motivating quotes, photocopies of the relevant Recovery Now pages… the list goes on. Before I left it was recommended that I write down all my doubts and fears and put them into a bottle. I dumped the bottle before getting onto the flight. Condition was staying at the airport this time!
It was at times a challenge being with other people but I also learned so much from observing them and drawing on their freedom values. Bodily respect and a pride in what their bodies had achieved, trust in the future, independence, the ability to laugh at themselves, self-esteem and contentment. In addition to this I felt such strong emotions which might not have been felt during the humdrum of life: love, respect, joy. A world of a difference from my previous holiday and another point of reference in my journey to freedom.
Autumn has already brought me new realisations and I hope by reflecting on my summer I can focus more on what I am learning right now. What have the changes of autumn already brought me? How can I add more freedom to my life? Exciting times lie ahead 🙂