As I'm flying out to Amsterdam today I have not gone in to my temping job. This suits me for several reasons, mostly because it means I can feel relaxed about catching a flight, instead of rushing around to get everything in order and dragging luggage with me to the office.
I have plenty of time and I'm so well organised (All my bags are packed and I'm ready to go...) I decided to take advantage of the lovely sunny morning. I've not been to the Wimbledon Temple in ages and I wanted to spend some time centring myself and meditating. This can be achieved anywhere, but I'd not been in so long and I also wanted to see what the Temple gardens look like. I've been going since my arrival in January, when the grounds were still quite green but it was bitterly cold. It seems that the green just doesn't go away in England, but when the sun comes out it certainly enhances it.
I don't think there are words to describe the Temple as I found it today.
After walking around the grounds I found a place to sit and meditate. Sitting on cool stones, surrounded by the scent of honeysuckle, budding roses, tulips, daffodils and bluebells, I focused on my breath. Usually my meditation is a practice of Metta, in which I send blessings out to the world, to all beings everywhere. Today I tried the Zen approach in earnest. Just focusing on the out breath, on the moment. I touched my thoughts and gently let them go.
It was new for me, and it was quite lovely because I have often found it too difficult to focus my mind in such a way. I've been gentle with myself when I am unable to do this sort of meditation. I accept my jitters or the way my leg cramps or that I eventually just need to stretch and let my muscles loosen because I'm unable to maintain the position I'm sat in.
Tomorrow I'll be 25. Quarter of a century.
I don't know about the significance of birthdays when it comes to the number alone. I know this one is a big one in the eyes of most. It is for me too, but not because of the age. It's because a few years ago I was near annihilation. I was so close to losing myself completely until this fact occurred to me and woke me up.
My mum once said that she doesn't believe an anniversary is worth celebrating unless it was earned. It's nothing to be with someone for another year unless it was a year in which there was great struggle and growth.
This birthday means a lot to me because I've really earned it. I've learned to love myself again and being with myself is no longer difficult. I'm still growing, always growing...forbid I ever stop. I've learned to listen to my heart and my gut. I've learned how to let go. I've learned how to take charge of my life.
And here I am, a painter, a writer and an explorer. May I never stop growing, never stop changing and never stop learning. Happy Birthday to me.