Friday, 13 June 2014

A trip to our local open air swimming pool

The weather today was beautiful and as both my husband and I had a day off work, we decided to make the most of it and go to our local open air swimming pool.

With a packed lunch and a good book to read we set off to hopefully spend an enjoyable afternoon swimming, sunbathing reading and relaxing.

On the terraces, rising up around the pool, we found a quiet spot and staked out our territory with our towels.

We had a lovely afternoon, alternating between swimming in the pool, sunbathing and reading our books.

One area of the pool looked really appealing, a small kiosk selling refreshment, surrounded by tables and chairs with umbrellas. Hanging baskets of flowers adorned the walls and shade was provided by palm plants in tall pots.  

We had a lovely afternoon and it felt like we were on holiday.

Interestingly enough, a couple of young women in thier 20's were sat a few feet away. As I was sunbathing their conversation drifted my way. They were both obviously unhappy in their jobs and discussing what they could do for an alternative. One said "I need to find a way to get rich".

I don't think becoming rich is the answer. You can spend a very large part of your life chaing money and your life quickly passes by. I prefer to make the most of everyday. To me that is true riches. Whilst not rich, far from it, I have adjusted my lifestyle with the aim of living a more gentler lifestyle.

For me, my afternoon at the pool felt like being on holiday and at a cost of only £5 for entry, I didn't need to be a multi millionaire to gain entry.

It was a lovely afternoon and by the end, I felt relaxed and at peace.

In the evening, we ate out on our balcony overlooking the estuary, and enjoyed a coffee as we watched a beautiful sunset.

Several birds live on the estuary and as we sat quietly, we spotted the local heron and kestral fly past.

It was the perfect end to a lovely and gentle day.

Did you have any gentle times in your day?

Thursday, 12 June 2014

A strange thing happened the other day...........

On Saturday night, I was at a friends 30th birthday party - a beer festival in their back garden. Towards the end of the evening, I got chatting to a man in his 50's. Out of nowhere he said, I know this sounds a strange thing to say, but are you a writer? I get a feeling that you are.

I laughed to myself as the first image that came into my mind was a huge pile of to do lists. Then suddenly I realised and said yes I do, I write blogs and online articles. So yes, you could say I am a writer as I like to write for a hobby.

I am certainly more passionate about writing my blogs and articles that I am for my paid work. I think it is the sense of freedom that I can write what I like when I like. I also find it calming and therapeutic.

Very odd, not sure where his hunch came from.

The not so gentle life

Well, I started this blog a few days ago and haven't had an opportunity to visit it since.

For someone who is aiming to live life a little more gently, I am not doing too well.  An opportunity to set up a self employed business has come my way and in my usual enthusiastic manner thought, oh that sounds like fun, and have been none stop ever since putting a proposal together for what could potentially be my first client and looking into the ins and outs of being self employed.

As a result, I have spent several nights burning the midnight oil and the proverbial candle at both ends, one night staying up until 3am to finish a proposal. 

Over the last few days, my home has become a tip, laundry is not getting done and my regular daily routine has gone out of the window. I have been living the not so gentle life. I haven't eaten as well as I usually do and by mid-morning today I had exhausted myself and my eyesight with all the online research.

I sat back and thought - what the hell am I doing? It's a lovely day, I'm not really desperate for the work, I earn enough money in my part time job to get by. I could be outside going for a walk.

My husband came home from work mid afternoon and said, shall we go out? Oh, yes please.  I answered in desperation. Boy did I need to get out. We walked along the shoreline, through the woods and to the cafe on the headland. We sat for ages enjoying a drink and the view of the river, with sunlight shimmering on the tops of the waves. We then walked through the park where there is a small flower garden. Under the shade of the tree, we lay down on the lawn and with my head on my husband's chest I fell asleep for a while.

On returning home, I got stuck into more research again.

Now, well past my bedtime, I decided to take a look at my blogs, this one in particular and see if I have any visitors. I have, thank you for being interested enough to visit. I hope you will return.

The purpose of starting this blog was to help me live a more gentle life.  By opening it up, it has reminded me of my aim. I need to get back on track. Whilst I have been full of enthusiam the last few days, my home life has suffered and I have exhausted myself. I need to slow down.

I think I will go and read my post on gentle breezes and then take myself to bed.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Enjoy and celebrate gentle breezes

Whilst sitting out on my balcony, making the most of a warm sunny day, I gradually became aware of a continuous, cool and gentle breeze on my skin.  Delicate and refreshing it's continuous rhythm started to work it's magic on me and I drifted into a state of deep relaxation.

Contemplating the breeze, I became aware that I have never really appreciated how much a cool and gentle breeze can make a hot day bearable and how much I take it for granted. Following this train of thought, I eventually recalled a trip to Thailand several years ago. One  particular evening, whilst sitting outside at a beach restaurant, the hot and humid air was overwhelming and enveloped you like a damp and heavy blanket. With no cool breeze in sight, the only escape was to an air conditioned room, but it wasn't the same.  

At home, I love to open all the windows to let fresh air in and enjoy feeling it flow through my home. The gentle breeze normally starts coming gently in through the balcony doors, gathers pace down the long straight hallway as it meets other air flows coming in, then finds its way out again through one of the bedroom windows. 

Practioners of Feng Shui recommend hanging mobiles or wind chimes in a place that attracts a gentle breeze as a way to increase your awareness of the gentle way that air flows through your home.

I love gentle breezes, thay are subtle and make life more pleasant. When I close my eyes and think of a scene with a gentle breeze, several come to mind.

The first is of a long rustic table, covered with a red and white checked table cloth, set outside under the shade of some fruit trees. The sun is shining in a clear blue sky and insects are quietly buzzing around. It feels very mediterranean, somewhere in France or Italy.  The table is set for an informal lunch, waiting for family and friends to arrive. The air is thick with the smell of warm earth and overlayed with a gentle, playful, breeze........... 

The second is a desert scene at night, again with cool breeze quickly picking up after the sun has set, bearing the gentle scent of desert flowers......... 

Lastly a hammock, strung between two gently swaying palm trees, overlooking a white sandy bay, empty and inviting...........

How about you?
When you close your eyes and picture a scene with a gentle breeze what do you see?
What are your thoughts on gentle breezes and how are you going to enjoy and celebrate them today?

The art of gentle living homepage

Welcome to the Homepage of  "The art of gentle living".

In June 2014, I consciously decided to live a more gentler lifestyle and as one of the first steps towards this, decided to start this blog.

I could have started a diary to record my journey and consolidate my ideas but chose to create a blog as I wanted to share my experience and ideas with others and connect with other like minded people. I know that for a variety of reasons, there is a growing interest amongst many people around the world, in living a more gentle lifestyle and the internet and blogs such as this one offer people a way to learn and share ideas.

Whilst I do have several ideas already for what future posts may be, I am also aware that a blog can take on a life of it's own as a result of the contribution from it's readership, particularly in the comments section, and I welcome all contributions.

 I hope you enjoy "The art of gentle living" and look forward to hearing your comments, ideas, suggestions for new topics to write about, and your own journey and experiences concerning living a gentle lifestyle.

Simply Me