I am enjoying England so much. After traveling in Norway and Spain I expected the United Kingdom to be mostly like the United States. It’s the same language for the most part. They do have different names for individual nouns. Which I find fascinating. A flashlight is a torch, the backyard is called the garden, trash is rubbish or bin, biscuits are scones. I could go on and on. Some of nouns I find a bit confusing. Cookies are called biscuits, however there is a cookie jar labeled “cookies” evidently an American influence. I also have trouble understanding people when they mumble. It’s especially difficult to comprehend those that have a strong accent. There are many different accents even within the same town or village. A town is considered pretty big, lots of stores and a main center square, much bigger than a village which will only have a handful of shops. A city must contain a University and a Cathedral in order to be differentiated from a Town. Often these are populated with many more people, but not necessarily. Regardless, there are many different accents or dialects. Sometimes I have to say the words over and over in my head. I hear a man or a woman sometimes and I consciously think, “Oh, here’s that accent where I need to really sound out the individual words.” These situations quickly snap me back to the realization that I am in a very different part of the world. The people here are very kind and courteous. Except perhaps while driving. I would now consider myself a mediocre driver in the UK, which is a huge accomplishment for me! I have a much better understanding of my spacial limitations and don’t hit curbs near as often as before. Though I can’t possibly do anything else while driving as it requires my constant diligent attention. Which is probably a good thing. I still get a little nervous when I pass a big Lorry or Chevron is what they call the big trucks. The roads are so very narrow, sometimes only large enough for a single car to pass. I’m often hesitant trying to decipher if I am supposed to wait for an oncoming car to pass before I continue straight or are we going to squeeze side by side in a near impossibly small corridor. If I get it wrong the person behind me will usually inform me of my mistake. Leaving me to think if this were Norway we would all be driving only 20 mph max versus the 40 or 50 the roads are labeled with. Needless to say I am continually learning to be a better driver in England.
I am currently staying in a lovely house near a town called Shaftesbury. Like many of the places here, the home is located on several acres of land. Which is ample space for adventures with the 3 Flat-Coated Retrievers I am watching throughout the day. I’ve even started running a bit. The terrain is very flat and the earth is soft so it doesn’t produce such a shock to my joints as it did when running back in Boulder. There are also 5 chickens/hens, a duck and 7 hilarious characters known as Guinea Fowl. These are large grey birds originally from Africa. They make the strangest squawking noises, not annoying, just odd. They burst through the yard/garden at full speed always in a hurry to get wherever they are going. Without a doubt they are the dumbest animal I have ever come across. They fly into the pen where the hens reside during the day and can’t figure out how to get out. Even with the gate wide open and me driving them from behind it takes quite a long time for them to negotiate an escape. Sometimes they just give up and create a nest on the ground in the chicken run. Fortunately, they don’t require much of my attention as they are somehow completely independent. They make their nests in nearby Ash trees, but spend the entire day on the ground running around clicking and squawking. The owners of the home have informed me that they often lay eggs, but while they sit on them they quickly forget or become uninterested and leave them for meals to nearby predators. This is a daily occurrence for these birds. In fact, the only way to hatch eggs is with human intervention.
I am enjoying this quiet, beautiful part of the world and find it so comforting that even meditating doesn’t seem to be a chore. Perhaps I’m just getting more into the habit of it. This seems to be the perfect landscape to allow myself to be open and accepting for anything new to come into my life. I’m ridding myself of the old beliefs and patterns that were clinging to me and preventing me from change. After all, a belief is just a thought we keep on thinking. Even little beliefs like, “I am a morning person,” or “I am not good at numbers,” aren’t actually who I am at all. These are just thoughts that I choose to make part of my reality. Which is confusing to me since doesn’t society tell us to find out who we really are? The more I try to find this out, the less I am discovering. The more blank the canvass appears. I’m learning I can change just about any idea or assumption I previously had about myself. Even our personalities are again just practiced thoughts that we often hold on to because they give us comfort or make us easier to understand one another and the world around us. You may be wondering why I am doing this. I don’t think thoughts or beliefs are necessarily bad. It’s how we show up in the world, how we do our jobs or inspire others. It’s the beliefs and old patterns that I am not benefiting from that I am letting go of. I used to think I was terrible at managing money. I would struggle in a job I hated, barely getting by, all the while thinking this was how it had to be. I would spend money on objects with the expectation that they were going to make my life more meaningful somehow. I have so many of these beliefs that don’t serve me in the way I want to live. The pattern that is more dire and critical is my willingness to accommodate others. The decades of my life that I have used trying to please others or fit in or prove my value or gain acceptance is far, FAR more harmful that I’m only just beginning to understand. I used to blame my ex-husband for manipulating me to do or be the wife he wanted. However I am the one that allowed myself to become manipulated. I was a very willing participant and this was present in many facets of my life. I guess, another way to put it, I am trying to identify my previous convictions about myself and change the ones that aren’t helping me live the life of my dreams. We are powerful beings, energy, however you want to define it. We have the ability to become active creators in the world around us. Well, we already are whether we realize it or not. It’s time to finally acknowledge that in myself. Perhaps by going in the direction that feels good and brings me joy will help me get closer to understanding my purpose. Maybe I will never figure this out…well, there’s another belief 😉 Regardless, the elation and bliss I am feeling as I sort through all of this is proving to be infinitely more fulfilling than anything I have experienced thus far. Whatever this is, it’s certainly not time wasted.