The airport tarmac felt warm beneath my feet, and wet too of course… But fun, a bit like the joy of jumping in puddles, play time – stepping out into wild wet windy ness… And I noticed people looking, and looking again…
Can that be true… That she is wearing no shoes?
Only a few hours ago these feet were feeling the warmth of the red brick pathway beside the beach in Malaga, and now here; murky wet mistiness.
My feet are accepting; placing themselves firmly where they are, feeling what they feel beneath their soles and adjusting to the here and the now… The ‘ouchie’ heat of the pavement, so hot in Spain by 3pm, that I would cross the road to walk in the shade – is no more; the pavement now is slippy wet, glistening grey…
But my feet are where they are; I feel no resistance. They have a wisdom of their own.
Anadi went to the office in Gatwick, and I caught a train to Brighton… I stood on the forecourt, and for a split second, the world span on its axis… ‘Where am I now?’ I felt a slight sense of disorientation… ‘Is this the right place; am I where I should be…?’
But then my feet spoke…’We are always here and now; there is no where else to be…’
A few minutes later Athena Jane appeared at the barrier, and laughing with joy to see one another, we went and found somewhere for coffee and cake – and catching up too…!
Later as we stood together on the platform, Jane exclaimed… ‘Ju, you’re shivering…’ I laughed, ‘I’ve just come from 32 degrees…’
But my feet don’t mind, and they help with the transition to now. I can feel the earth beneath my feet through their soles – I can feel where they are and I follow their lead… To enjoy being here, now…
It is one of the most written about things, to be present… To give others the gift of our presence and yet it is often the hardest thing to remain without thought right here in the nucleus of each moment;
Nucleus definition : ( I looked it up!)
‘The central and most important part of an object, movement, or group, forming the basis for its activity and growth….’
The value of the centre point, the stillness, the point right in the centre of each moment reflected within the centre of the still point in the breath and within us… And the key is that from this still point, this nucleus is where the growth and activity emerge from…
And as I place each foot down on the earth beneath my feet I am aware of each step, I cannot not feel the soles of my feet, and so it is impossible for me not to be present to their message…
Meditation in each step… An ongoing practise of a meditation on the move.
I have been running all of my life – it feels I was born to run. In the running step I experienced freedom and my true expression. I came to see that I needed to ‘get out of the way of myself’ and let my energy flow through the running step; allow it to express itself in the dance and the motion of running. I ran for England and GB for some years. My first international was in 1979, a three mile cross country race; and I continued to run at international level until 1993. Two of my best results were first place in the Dublin City Marathon in 1985 and 7th place woman, 3rd British woman in the 1986 London Marathon in a time of 2.36.31, which gained me selection for the Commonwealth Games.
As a little girl I ran barefoot for many years, and then I put on shoes to race around the world. Fifty years later I am travelling the world as a nomad with my husband Anadi and I have taken off my shoes and I am running barefoot again….
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