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When do we have the time to stop and stare these days? How our lives are diminished if we don't.

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

I have previously blogged about walking and coaching. I highly recommend it, it very much fits with my preferred coaching approach based on Ontological Coaching because you are more aware of yourself, the world around you and your general state of being - all of which are important. I have both coached and been coached whilst going for a walk, I've done it many times and I'm happy to say that I've even introduced people to the idea that it is quite reasonable to have a meeting whilst walking along a beautify country path.

In our current Covid-19 times, we talk about the place of work, often coining the phrase 'returning to work'. We need to be careful with that of course because many people have been working right through but 'working from home' - or 'at home trying to work' whilst finding time to feed and home-school the kids, look after our loved one and all of the normal stuff we have to do in these abnormal times. I like to use the term 'meaningful place of work'.

I often hear people say that they don't have the time to relax and do the things that they love because they are too busy. Too busy with work, too busy worrying about stuff, sometimes that is of much lesser importance. It is odd, I get a sense that people feel selfish if they do take time for themselves. My challenge to you is how can you live a meaningful life if you don't take time to take stock and actually have some downtime to recharge your batteries. Now I get it, for some people work is like an energising hobby - a bit like this blog is for me :-) and I'm not criticising either, but sometimes it is really important to remember that you are part of nature and connecting with it is a very rewarding and important thing to do. And whilst you do it, to actually notice it and the effect it has on you and you on it - in other words becoming an 'active observer'. What's the point of going for a beautiful walk in the country or going for a swim if you aren't really there when you do - you might just be thinking about work or some other element of your life which is soaking up your brain time.

Sometimes, it is good to prepare yourself, to snap out of the daily grind and have a liminal experience - a transition of state if you like. Try reading this poem - and see if it makes you think.

I love this poem "Leisure" by the Welsh Poet W. H. Davies.

It reads as follows:

What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.


Check out my blog What would Sooty say? Part 1 - The beauty of silence in coaching to find out more about taking time to just be. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

This image depicts a closeup image bluebells.  It is there to invoke a feeling of wanting to look at nature and what is happening around us, feeling and being more connected.  The blog that sits with it is about walking in nature whilst being coached in an ontological coaching style.
Bluebells in nature

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