Saturday 8 February 2014

fortune telling

 ‘The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.’  

~Thich Nhat Hanh

Recently, I've begun doing what I've warned myself against: instead of living in the moment, I've slipped back into dreading the future with CFS/Fibro. When tiredness or aches hit, I instantly imagine myself unable to work or to walk, bed-bound once again...wearing nothing but pyjamas.

Some days it gets so bad, I sink into a sort of a mental paralysis, my mind caught up in a whirlpool of negative thinking and anxiety. As I wallow in the mental mud, I spend more and more time in that future. And that future terrifies me.

One week in mid November, it snowed all week. By the weekend, the clouds had parted and the sun shone bright and clear. We got our rucksacks ready and N took me up and out into the mountains. We strapped on our skis and headed up to the gentle slopes around Béderet. As we were inched up the hill, weaving between the ski-lift pylons, I effortlessly slipped into a state of relaxation. Concentrating on my breath and my footfall, I found myself sinking into a rhythmic trance as I put one foot in front of the other.

And then it came to me, my life in focus. All the good things. I am connected to this Earth, to this person I am following. I am breathing. I am moving forward. I am alive.

I may not have full health, but I have a little. I may not be able to work full time, but I can work a little. Some days it might feel like I'm getting nowhere, but when I look behind me I can hardly believe how far I have actually come.

I determined right there and then out on the hill, to spend my time more wisely.

When we go back country skiing, I cannot ski properly if I am worrying about what is to come. I have to let myself go, live fully in the moment. Embrace the unknown, and the downhill. Trust the person I'm skiing with. Trust my body. Trust that it will be ok.

When I am back down in the valley going about my daily life, I cannot tell my fortune. I can't predict the future. Those mental images that so terrify me are just that, only images. But I can count my blessings, be grateful the lot I do have, rather than weeping over the little that I don't have.

I can endeavour to "dwell deeply in the present moment...and feel truly alive." 


  1. Oh man, I'm so sorry to hear about your condition! Really, sorry isn't a strong enough word. I'm impressed by how you're able to snap out of that negative thinking and into your blessed presence. It's the struggle of our lives, regardless of illness to do so, but it's all the more impressive when one is faced with a "real" enemy, something truly fearsome. Sending you good thoughts. As we say in Finnish: Keep your tail up!

    1. If only I were able to snap out of that thought path on a daily basis! That instance on the mountain was like a brief pause on a cloudy day when the clouds part momentarily - a fleeting moment of clarity that quickly disappeared! Still, I wrote this for myself as a reminder for future cloudy days and it is one of many things that are helping me find my way at present.

      Thank you for your kind words and good thoughts. They really do mean a lot to me and in a funny sort of way, they really help!