‘You’ll have to get a wetsuit, Mum,’ he opined as we had a pause after Bruno Mars. ‘Now you’re taking up serious swimming.’
‘But I like feeling the water on my skin.’
‘You’re mad. It’s cold. You’ll freeze.’ He was probably right.
We got to Saunton early, parked and wandered onto the beach.
‘No.’ Twelve-year old shoulders slumped next to me.
‘Look.’ Arm flung dramatically at the sea.
No waves. Well. Just small little flirty ones that slapped in a desultory way onto the sand. Not the big sexy whoppers that the surfers love.I tried my ‘Never mind, in the scheme of things, this is small fry’ speech but he just glared. I tried getting him to compare this Slight Lack of Surfing Waves with Real Humanitarian Crises in the World but it wasn’t washing. So we sat in the café and read the papers and then we went to the shop and bought a tent and chocolate because by now the sun had vanished and the wind was whipping up. Every sigh and scuff of the heels told me this was Not Good.
But then Jackie and her son turned up and the sun came out. No, really, it did. I’ve been wanting to meet Jackie Stewart for ages. We stumbled over one another on Twitter (as far as one ever stumbles over anyone by chance) and I fell in love with the way she blends elfin spirituality with earthy humour.She works with flower and crystal essences which I love as gentle healers. I was introduced to the Bach flower remedies when I was a teenager and many times I’ve been surprised by their healing powers. So when Jackie suggested I try a remedy for deep sadness, I immediately sent off for it. And when she sent me her meditation for healing emotional wounds, I instantly did it – again and again - and found it taking me to very strange places, not seemingly from the here and now or even the familiar past. Powerful and, yes, healing or at least helping.
And now I was hearing that gentle Scottish burr for real, and not via a recording, and seeing the wild corkscrew hair for real and not via a photograph. Which was oh so lovely. Her boy ran off, happy as Larry, for his surfing lesson, not remotely fazed by the poor quality of the waves. His optimism rubbed off delightfully on James who grudgingly admitted that the waves were a bit bigger now and maybe it was worth pulling on his wetsuit and tugging the board out there. Which left Jackie and I able to talk. But not enough. Nowhere near enough. Because when you’re a mother and your child, however big and tough and independent he may seem, is in the big wide open sea, you never truly relax. Your eyes are always scanning the waves, looking for the right seal-like head to bob up.But it was a start, and I know I’ll see her again. And, in the meantime, I’m suggesting you make her acquaintance too. And take a look at her new e-course, BarefootBreathing.
Barefoot Breathing by Jackie Stewart (in her own words)‘I used to find myself advising clients to have a regular meditation practice and spend time outdoors every day because I think both are essential for inner knowledge and healing. Barefoot Breathing is a combination of both - 100 barefoot breaths in nature with your eyes closed every day. I'm really blown away by the shifts in myself in the time I've been doing it - it's opened me up to so much more energy, inspiration, creativity and inner knowing. It's easy and you can do it anywhere - genius!’
The idea to take 100 barefoot breaths outdoors emerged really instinctively and it turns out all these clever sciencey people are writing about the benefits of it. Who knew? I love the synchronicity of it. Here's a site where clever sciencey people talk about the health benefits: http://www.earthinginstitute.netAnd here's the page on our site where I shite on [sorry, slight interjection here but don’t you love the phrase ‘shite on’? See – she’s not off with the fairies, not entirely] about the 30 day e-course we've created where 100 barefoot breaths are the core practice. Each day of the course there are gorgeous processes to get in touch with nature, emotions, creativity, inspiration, inner peace and all sorts of goodness. I think it might be bloody brilliant...' [er, I do too, Jackie]
Sooo [me back again], what are you waiting for? Away with you…leave this confused mess of a blog and go bathe in crystal waters, stick your nose in dew-drenched flowers, tip-toe barefoot over the grass and tantalise the fairies. There is so much beauty and delight in her sites - you can listen to meditations, drink in beautiful images, even print off gorgeous Earth messages to inspire and entrance. Seriously, time shifts there - like when you fall into Tir na nOg.
You know what? I might join you. J