Letting Go in Three Steps – Step 2: Calm Down and Unwind

by Anna

The only disadvantage of a B&B is the set breakfast times. There is nothing more unsettling for me than to have the feeling that I have to get up for something on my day off. Other than that I am usually awake by 7 or 8 AM anyway but simply enjoy the beauty of not having to be anywhere just yet.

After a night of repeatedly waking up every other hour I decided at 6.30am that I was officially awake. An hour later I finally emerge from beneath the cave of my duvet feeling slightly disappointed that I got up half an hour before the time I had instructed my alarm to gently raise me from the land of nod.

I wolfed down the small portion of porridge, which I am content to say had been prepared especially for me with soya milk as I had requested (I ignored the audible opening and closing of the microwave – oh the radiation…). Last night I experienced a hunger attack, unfortunately after the pub had stopped serving food and my question earlier in the day if there were any shops nearby had been left unanswered. “You’re walking? You don’t have a car??” Followed by disbelieving head shaking of the locals wondering what on earth this young woman was doing alone in a pub away from shops right next to the roaring A3. Well, I still had a banana left which served as an instant life saver.

The only two options for the rest of the day were either to go for a walk or read my book. It wasn’t raining so I took the opportunity to go look for more woods. But I only found horses, a medieval bridge and a falcon that clearly had been in a traumatic roadside accident.

The woodland I had been circling since yesterday was clearly privately owned and regardless how hard I tried I couldn’t find a way in. Nor could I get into the wood on the other side of the B&B due to the golf course which was also cordoned off with high fences like a crime scene. One footpath clearly wanted to send me across the A3 which I thought was plain suicidal. By that time the rain had begun to seep through my robust walking boots and I made a turn back to my room where I huddled under the duvet exploring a different world altogether in my book until I felt a sudden urge for a power nap which I simply couldn’t resist and happily gave in to.

The art of unwinding is simple. Find somewhere where there is absolutely nothing to do. Resist multimedia by any means because it will only overstimulate your brain, which is something rather to be avoided when unwinding. Even if you think it will help you relax, it doesn’t. If then all outside activities fall to the wayside due to torrential rain (and by all means that really shouldn’t stop you either), the world will gently grind to a halt which is the moment you experience calmness. Or sleepiness. Either way it indicates a state of relaxation.

I had planned to follow my yoga practice but even this wasn’t very practical in a room where there was merely space for a single bed and a table in between which I could only walk past sideways. Meditation has crossed my mind too, but I don’t feel like having to do it right now only because it would be good for me. Anyhow, this is not a spiritual retreat. Sometimes it is beneficial even to abandon all spiritual practice for a few days.

The staff in the pub are still trying to figure out why I am here, or at least my mind is under the impression and hence is busy conjuring up excuses and explanations, most of which aren’t even true. Why do I still try to justify my existence? A new teacher once introduced himself announcing that he had trouble spelling but added that he was fine with it. I liked the ease of it, but still don’t find it as easy to implement it for myself.

My final attempt to find the delusional woodland failed as well but I did, however, find a little wooded area with bluebells above which hovered the unmistaken scent of wild garlic. There is something magical about bluebells. They have such a fine and yet energetic energy to them. I spend a little while attempting to take photos of water drops hanging on blue flower heads that swayed far too much in the wind as that my camera could capture them quick enough.

The minute I came to the conclusion that all woods in this area must be privately owned I promptly am confirmed in my assumption by a large white sign proudly abounding in big black letters “PRIVATE” behind a tall fence leaving me staring obliviously at the secluded rural forest that lies behind it.

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