So now I've finally started this blogging malarkey, what will I write about? That's almost a rhetorical question as I have been keeping a diary on my computer for years, and am always writing tons in that, so it's not as if I get stuck for words. However, writing for other people to read is another matter - people can read my words and make judgements, not only about the writing but about me. And how do I feel about that? So far I'm not too sure, but what I do know is that I have so many questions about spirituality, mainly sparked by the interesting conversations I have with people I meet through work, that I want to get them out there into the public domain to find out whether other people questions things as I do, or feel the same way, as I am sure they do. So I am going to push past the 'fear' of thinking I might 'write the wrong things' or get stuck for what to say and how to say it, and stop being such a perfectionist and just write whatever comes to me!
So, one of my most recent exploits was to visit The Hill That Breathes in Italy, where a lovely couple, John and Gaia, not only live but own and run a retreat centre. I got back a couple of weeks ago, and I felt truly fantastic. The reason why? well, I had attended one of their now infamous F**k It! weeks. When john first published his book, entitled F**k It! The Ultimate Spiritual Way (I think that is the full title) I will admit I felt slightly outraged that someone could have the audacity to publish a supposedly 'spiritual' book with the F word on the cover (despite the asterixes). And so I didn't read it. I shunned it.
However, sometimes you are not ready for things, and only when you are, can you accept them and learn from them. It's like that saying that when the student is ready, the teacher will come along. Well, I think this is what happened with me and the F**k It! philosophy. As the editor of a spiritual magazine, I get tons of books and read lots of things about different spiritual perspectives, and even for years before this job I was mildly (OK my friends would say severely) obsessed with self-help/self-development books, and I think it had just all gotten a bit too much for me. Too many view points, and not enough action on my part to encompass any of the wisdom into my life. So why was the F**k It! week so great? Well, because for the first time in ages, not only did I get to step away from my usual routine, my usual worries, but it was like being given permission to put all the baggage down for a while and have a rest, and listen to John and Gaia talk about how it's OK to just be; it's OK to have good and bad moments; it's OK not to have all the answers and not to know what to do sometimes; it's OK to eat junk food sometimes and not always exercise; it's OK to be kind to myself and accept myself as I am, good AND bad points (because it's all good really - and I don't just mean that about me, but everybody), and that I don't need to keep placing more and more 'things to do' on my life list - that it's OK to just stop and smell the proverbial roses from time to time and enjoy the place I am at (which is actually pretty good).
John and Gaia had been in the rat race of London and said 'no more' and moved to Italy to chill out and live in a gorgeous place in the hills. That's not to say they don't get stressed or have difficult moments, as everyone does, but what I really got from that week was that I can leave my stress behind, and the constant low-level anxiety that makes me feel like I should be doing more, achieving more, earning more, travelling more, and knowing exactly in what direction to go. During the week, which was really very simple yet effective, we all (27 of us) did easy chi gung exercises, circular breathing, 'shaking' (which is literally just jiggling around on the spot for about ten minutes, like you have ants in your pants), and beating ourselves - OK not beating as in physical violence, but as in tapping hard along meridian lines to get the stagnant energy flowing. And boy did I have a lot of stagnant energy.
I could go on and write endlessly about how much I loved the F**k It! week but, as usual, I have probably already written way too much and this blog post will be starting to resemble a mini essay. So I'll save talking about my one-to-one session with Gaia until another time. Right now, I'm off to brew a pot of her amazing green tea, which we all tried in her famous tea ceremony and it made me feel like I was high! (again, more on that in another blog post; watch this space...)
But finally, if you happen to be one of those high-achieving types who always thinks you have to do more more more, then I would highly recommend you check out John Parkin's book - F**k It! The Ultimate Spiritual Way, as you'll get to see life a little differently and maybe ease up on yourself (at least for a little while).
What Katy Louise Did...
- Katy Louise
- Katy Louise writes about health, wealth, happiness and relationships, and the spiritual insights she gains along her path. She is currently editor of Top Sante magazine (www.topsante.co.uk). Prior to that she was editor of Bodyfit magazine (now Your Fitness www.yourfitnesstoday.com) and the launch editor of Soul&Spirit magazine (www.soulandspiritmagazine.com). Katy is also a certified Fitsteps and STOTT Pilates instructor. She is the go-to girl for all matters relating to health, wellbeing and spirituality.