Coffee, wine + mobile phones
Our baseline understanding of comfort usually comes from the environment we grew up in and then later created for ourselves in our own environment. I remember going to stay with my Nana as a very little girl and she would tuck me into a queen-size bed with the fluffiest comforter and softest pillows I had ever slept on. Nana would pull the blanket up under my chin, tuck it all around me and chat with me until my eyes couldn't stay open for another word. I would fall asleep with her telling me a story. It was a feeling like no other. I felt cherished and what I could never have put into words at the time, I felt the deepest sense of comfort. The kind that could sustain me for weeks. The kind that I could now tell you filled my cup. Yes, it was love, yet it was more than that. It was an experience that she created for me from before the moment I arrived with a pre-arrival phone call always to tell me how excited she was I was staying with her, all the fun we would have, and how much she loved me and just couldn't wait until I walked through her door, until the moment I would arrive home and telephone her to tell her I was back safely. She lived a short 5 minute walk away up the hill on the same farm we lived on, so I saw her most days. What Nana taught me was a life lesson in deep comfort. What it was, how it felt, and what it meant for another person to give them that experience. Often if I asked my mum a question or we were talking when I was a little girl, she would crouch down to my height and share her answer or her thoughts with me. Or she would lift me up onto the bench in the kitchen so I could talk with her while she cooked. Putting that into words now I can say, she nurtured and nourished me in a way that was deeply comforting. I was acknowledged, I was heard and I was included in as many ways as possible. Lots of weekends or afternoons I would spend my time roaming around our farm with the animals. Sometimes horse riding, sometimes with the ducks in the fruit orchard, usually with a dog nearby, I adventured my time away happily creating the kinds of wild experiences that I could recount with enthusiasm later that evening at the dinner table. The sunshine, that kind of freedom, our pets, and the farm animals were soothing. There was nowhere to be and nowhere to go. Life changes when you become an adult. We learn the lessons of the world and to differing degrees, our edges sharpen. We set a pace, a rhythm to which we live in our daily lives. Both within our thoughts and the boundaries we create these patterns are often based on the lessons the world has divulged to us through love, loss, and friendship. Comfort losses its magic and becomes incredibly practical. As adults, we reference it in terms of sofas and dining chairs, possibly still clothing, and perhaps where we are in our careers and god forbid our marriages. It really loses its sparkle. Have you noticed? The more we turn away from comfort, from deep comfort the more we search for it. The more we chase the wind trying to replace it with too many glasses of wine, scrolling through the internet, eating frequently, drinking coffee ( how many are you having a day? ) saying yes when we want to say no to turning up in places we don't want to be and then flogging ourselves in exercise classes that are reinforcing every single time we go that we have lost all ability to be able to really create deep comfort for ourselves in a nurturing nourishing way that has the power to stop this hideous pattern of continually diminishing our own spark. I have noticed and I hear it each and every week in words such as "I'm so tired", "I'm feeling really flat", " I have no energy" " I need a holiday" "thank god it's Friday" "I haven't got anything left to give", "you don't understand" "I can't do that" "how many classes do I need to do to lose weight?" and there are so many more I could share. Why? Everything is a yes. We fill our lives up with careers, friends, partners, and sometimes families. Their needs become our needs and that feels good to serve the people and passions we love. Until one day we reach a point when you are struggling to get to Friday and the weekend you hope will recharge you enough to do it all over again next week is so full with sport, kids parties, that tiny bit of work you need to do before Monday, BBQ's and family catchups that you have just added to the feeling you had mid-morning Friday when you didn't think you were going to make it through the day and now you have another week to crawl through. We swiftly reach for the only comfort we can clutch our hands around, be it wine, ice cream, our mobile phones, more coffee, late-night snacks, or whatever it is we use to fill that calling we have for comfort. Then the next morning or the following evening exhausted, we flog ourselves for it and for being lazy and for putting on weight and for not doing enough, at the exercise class of our choice. It is time to break the pattern. No one is getting the best of you, especially not you. There is no freedom in this way of being, while you might be nurturing everyone else you are robbing yourself of the nourishment you need to sustain the rhythm you set, let alone experience any kind of joy. You don't need to go and live on a mountain like I was told. You need to stop trying to run harder and faster up the mountain of commitment you have created, on empty.
Deep comfort, solace is closer than you think, it's just been forgotten or perhaps it was not something that you were ever really aware of. You don't need more energy, you need more solace, more deep comfort to replenish all that nurturing you give to everyone else.
Take my virtual hand and let's chat on the phone. It took me too long to learn the lessons not to share them with you. Click here: https://bit.ly/3qSUQcE and hit the button, it's time for you to feel that spark again, like you used to only brighter.
Become part of the Arlais Pilates and Yoga in person if you are local to Sandgate, Brighton, or Deagon, or join for your own personal Reformer Pilates Classes. If you can't make it in person become part of the online virtual wellness studio for personal classes or to the Daily Stretching program.