Normally I go west for inspiration.
Whether it be home to Dorset, down to Cornwall or across the pond to the United States. Some of the best moments in my life have happened when I’ve gone away from the hustle and bustle of London and drifted to the western edges of the world. This also makes sense for me in some of the reading I’ve been doing around Shamanic practice. My totem comes out of the west and it is a place of careful thought and considered action, almost introspection. I recognise that in myself.
Interestingly much of my work in the last year has actually been in the East of England and that looks set to continue. As I investigate the eastern direction it is about awakening, new light and starting new projects.
This was very apparent last week as I journeyed to Norfolk for a day with Margaret Burnside and eras. On the train on the way over I rendezvoused with Sarah Wall and we talked about her work on mental toughness and the overlap with my work on resilience and mental health. It was an inspiring chat and the miles to Diss flew by.
In many ways that train journey was an excellent warm up for the day that followed. I had been worried that my two hours of sleep would leave me unable to focus and lead me to get little from the day. That wasn’t how it turned out.
Something about the people and the spirit in the room really lifted me. There was a raw energy of invention and creation as we sparked ideas off each other. I left the day enthused and excited about possibilities.
As I reflect now, a few days later, I pick up a book on the “medicine wheel”. It says that whilst the West represents the present, the East is about being right in the moment. Something I routinely struggle to do. It’s true to say that I was right in the moment with that group of people. I was mindful of them and of myself. I also read about how the animal totem for the east is the Eagle, and how eagles constantly adjust for flight, shedding feathers to remain balanced when on the wing.
I feel that there is a message here for me about engaging with the east, both geographically and mentally. I need mindfulness and balance in my life so I’ll be travelling east more often from now on.