Mindfulness of Nature

Tell me, really, what else should we be doing?

Dear friends,

Today was Monday. I have a long to-do list and I probably should have been writing, working on my website, preparing for meetings, setting up future workshops and retreats – to name a few.

However, when I looked out of the window, the blue sky, songbirds and spring sunshine suggested otherwise.

So I took what felt like a radically rebellious decision on a Monday morning. I went to the seaside.

Seriously, who goes to the beach on a Monday?

I didn’t go for exercise, relaxation, wildlife spotting, learning or spiritual growth. I went with no other intention than to walk, notice, sit, be with my experience and take it all in.

As I lay on the beach and studied the shells in the sand, I felt like a child again; nothing else to be done but to explore and to be.

Once again, Mary Oliver’s words came to mind:

“Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”

What else should I have done today indeed?

Are there not times when the ‘least traditionally urgent’ things become the most urgent?

Of course, our modern days are busy, full of demands and complicated; it’s understandably hard to find time for “just being”. Stopping feels bad, radical, naughty even.

But oh, please, let’s not allow this to be an excuse to miss out on life.

Whoever you are, and however busy your life, may this post be an invitation to you to carry Mary Oliver’s permissive words with you.

Whenever it may feel possible, listen out for that deeply natural, sane voice within you that may sense that something else is more urgently needed than the “shoulds” and “musts” narratives of the mind.

It is there, in all of us, I promise. What if we listened to its call – even if only for the briefest moment?

What if we occasionally tuned out of the “shoulds and musts” radio station of the mind and made the choice to stop, to breathe, to walk, to do with no other intention than to be?

It doesn’t need to be a full day out; just a quiet cup of tea, a short sit spot in the garden, a brief minute sensing breath in the body perhaps?

Could we not take even just a moment to live in the name of just being with the wonderful natural mystery of it all?

Tell me, really, what else should we be doing?

10 thoughts on “Tell me, really, what else should we be doing?

  1. Jaq

    Stunningly simplistically beautiful momentum to go with the instinctive Claire we should all learn to trust that intuitive gut feeling & just go with it! Love the thought provoking narrative & stunning accompanying visuals – thank you for sharing – your words are always so inspirational!
    Jaq
    PS thank you for Saturday the session was a soothing salve for the soreness.

  2. Jaq

    Stunningly simplistically beautiful momentum to go with the instinctive Claire we should all learn to trust that intuitive gut feeling & just go with it! Love the thought provoking narrative & stunning accompanying visuals – thank you for sharing – your words are always so inspirational!
    PS thank you for Saturday the session was a soothing salve for the soreness.

    1. clairethompson Post author

      Thank you Jaq for your kind words. It was really lovely to see you on Saturday and I am sending you love and healing thoughts at this time xx

  3. Suzie King

    Monday are the best days, not many people about! So glad you gave in to the call of the waves and binned the shouldmusthavetos : )

  4. Rita

    Hi Claire, so delighted you did what you needed to do. I hear the call of the sea sometimes, and like you, just have to go. I think it is a magical healing place. Loving the photos x

    1. clairethompson Post author

      Thanks Rita, oh, the sea is just perfect for any time!
      I hope many many more people listen to the call!
      See you soon,
      Claire x

  5. Newton Wildsmith

    This post is such a wonderful reminder to disengage from societal pressures and return to a truer sense of self. With a to-do list that never seems to end, I needed to read this today. Thank you!

    1. clairethompson Post author

      Thank you Newton, I am so glad to hear it resonated with you!
      Your work also looks great by the way, I had a quick look at your website 🙂
      Take care and thanks again for your interest in what I do.

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