Oxford University, Oxford
Gillian Cornwall, c. September, 2015
I have been back home from my trip to the UK for a week. Some friends have asked me, "So are you back to the old routine yet?"
I have happily replied, "No. I've decided not to return to my routine. It wasn't really working for me and I've been able to adjust my thoughts enough to try something different."
It's true. Things are different for me since my trip. I'm different since my trip. I walked through so many archways and doorways over the course of the last month, perhaps walking into new ways of being has become my new normal.
I am not feeling the need to people-please as much as I did and I believe I am more confident in myself. I was suffering somewhat from my own thoughts before I left. I was torn, tired, and frustrated. I didn't like it. I wanted it to be different. I don't think I realized it then, but I wanted to be different with myself. I was afraid to take the long flight because of the physical pain it would cause (back injuries). I was afraid of the unknown - what might happen.
Yep. It hurt, but I did what I need to do to ease the pain as best I could on the flight and I was open with my fellow passengers and the flight crew that I needed to stand as often as I felt necessary and they were all very understanding. Before I left and when I arrived, I was clear with my cousin about my physical limitations and what it meant with respect to what I could or couldn't do. She was very kind to me and I haven't felt so pampered in ages. I am eternally grateful for her care and it helped me find my way.
My experiences on this trip - the people with whom I spent time, walking every day, being on the land amidst the history and among the people who make up my culture - this fed my mind, body, heart and soul. I went to a salon (discussion group in a person's home) where we discussed the power of our own thoughts, our control / lack of control over them and the impact our thinking has on our behaviour. It offered me some insights into my own "routines" and how I might like to take a different approach to my thinking.
I have no new doctrine, no elevator pitch, no cloud-parting heavenly statement nor blanket solutions and I have no need to lay out a master plan; rather, I have a renewed commitment to being, without apology or need to fit. This is interesting in itself when one considers the propensity to apology in both the British and Canadian cultures.
Perhaps it is true that when things are no longer working for us, a shift of position or a departure from routine can be revitalizing and offer a new path or perspective on an existing path we choose to travel.
Keep walking. Keep exploring - with your head up and your eyes open. Enjoy the journey without apology. There is a change of season around the next bend.
With love to each of you on your adventures.
-Gillian Cornwall, c. October 18, 2015
Walking my path through Wigginton on a
Gillian Cornwall, c. October, 2015