In these unprecedented times with the arrival of a previously unknown virus to Man, Covid-19, we are all facing uncertainty in most areas of our lives. Family life, work, school, university, leisure, and just about everything else has become either severely restricted or altered beyond recognition. The ‘pause’ button has been pressed, and this is devastating to our species, especially because modern society runs at such a fast pace.
All of us of course, deal with challenging situations in our own way, and it is certainly no different with this situation. The prospect of a continued uncertain period, possibly for the rest of the year, is one that is hard to contemplate and imagine, and yet, there are many positive things coming out of the ‘lockdown’ too. We are all reflecting more on our lives and the choices we have made over time up until now, and perhaps many of us will make some changes, be they small, or life-altering. Hopefully this will lead to more of us feeling a greater sense of balance. In Ayurveda, balance is key to health, so I certainly will welcome people consciously choosing what sits right with them.
So, positivity still abounds; how wonderful to hear a sense of calm in the atmosphere, with very little air and road traffic noise! Pollution levels have significantly reduced in this short time, birdsong seems louder and equally mesmerising, and apparently we are all enjoying what previously seemed dull, such as cleaning! We are also finding we have time to read, listen to music and relax, without the usual feelings of guilt. We are all home-cooking more, exercising more, and communicating with our families and friends more regularly. And of course, we have all been relishing and anticipating our ‘one form of exercise’ a day!
I am lucky to live close to beautiful countryside that offers the opportunity to take a long walk without seeing another soul. Last week my family and I took a familiar walk that presents varied terrain and plenty of flora and fauna. This walk begins in the pretty, historical market town of Bungay in Norfolk, and takes you on a journey that follows the gentle meander of the River Waveney.
I chose to do the walk again last week on a gloriously bright, warm spring day, and it somehow took on a new meaning. I revelled in the fact that the UK countryside is amongst the most beautiful in the world, and that I am lucky to be able to access places of outstanding simple beauty with relative ease. I appreciated every moment, such as the sight and aroma of wild garlic, which we picked to make a gorgeous pesto, but above all, the stillness. I imagined the same scenes 100 years ago, when there would have been a palpable quiet unlike anything modern life could have imagined….until now!
I always talk to my clients about the importance of walking amongst Nature. We are Nature, and Nature is us; this interconnectedness is why we immediately feel re-energized, calm and content after a walk like this. It takes us back to our roots as a species, the roots we have sadly moved further away from in modern life. It puts us in our place; not superior to, but equal to all other species. Walking the walk, rather than talking our human talk that is often filled with false bravado, whilst revealing the reality of the fear of our own actions on the planet we rely on, is cleansing. Amongst Nature we are simply forced to be, to blend in with, and to accept and enjoy the surroundings. And that is truly humbling.