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Make No One Your Authority…

I woke just after 6am, with the light gently filtering translucent blue yellow through our window, I lay enjoying the feel of silence… We had gone to sleep with the sounds of Marrakech still reverberating around, bikes roaring past, the relentless cry of an inconsolable child… The heat static and ever present had dropped a little in the night time hours and I appreciated now the light feel of the cool white sheet…

I encouraged Anadi out of bed, and we stepped out of the solid wooden door of Riad Saba onto an almost deserted street. We walked up to the little square – just as empty – and ran up the narrow cobbled road which lead us out into the huge square in the centre of the Medina… All day long this place is full – a throng of people and stalls, snake charmers, men with monkeys in their arms, little children selling packets of tissues, horses and carriages waiting in a line to ferry folk about…

Early this morning, it was almost empty and the temperature lower, still hot, around 31 degrees – but okay for running…

We ran to the park, where I did a lot of training when we visited Marrakech in May… The keeper of the park became my friend, he celebrated my daily visits and taught me some new stretches and even did them with me…

We arrived far too early for him to be there today, and the gate was closed… In the absence of a padlock we let ourselves in and managed to run a few laps on the soft sandy green, astro turf… We saw two groundsmen arrive on their mopeds, and after dismounting, one of them came over and stood watching us circle the ground… As we got nearer to him, he gestured that we must leave… 🙂

My immediate response was to mentally try to work out what time they had arrived, and therefore what time we would need to arrive to fit our run in before we got caught… ! Rather too early for comfort, I also realised…

He escorted us to the gate, and shut it again, with us firmly on the other side… Anadi and I didn’t mind, in the end we did a lovely seven mile road run around the edge of the park, passing some beautiful camels with three babies on our way… We enjoyed too the connection with the locals, who seemed to love the fact that we were running with our feet naked…

Anadi was reading a book on the plane yesterday, it was about authority and how much it is ingrained into the ‘human psyche’ to adhere to it; the section he was reading,  was recounting horror stories of when authority had been followed blindly, and the consequences had been dire…

It is important that we make no one our authority, not a book, or another person, or a teaching of any kind… We must make ourselves the authority…

From this position all of our learning – the people we ask to teach us, the books we read – will open us and give to us from a very different place…

Growth can happen when we always question…

‘Is this true – for me’ ? ‘Does this resonate with me’? ‘When did I get this belief’? ‘Who did I get this idea from’? ‘When did I first think this’? ‘Does it hold true for me now…’?

The biggest gift we can give a new human being – one who is just starting out on their life journey – is to teach them to think for themselves, to lead them to the threshold of their own mind and understanding – rather than imprinting ideals and ideas onto them…

Of course to do this, we must first investigate and challenge our own paradigm, our own map of the world and how we see things… So that we can start to shake things up, and recognise that we are seeing through a filter of our own beliefs and the imprinted stories of others…

This practise can lead to clearing the way to being our own authority…

And rather than this creating ‘rebels to the cause’, which can simply be the opposite side of the adhering to authority coin… We establish a clear confidence, to trust ourselves, and know when the wisest course is to simply leave the park and change the plan…!

 

 

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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Email : juliachitaylor@gmail.com

 

 

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