Circling the Sun

Julia Chi Taylor

Birth days

Come around again and again.

And again

Circles of the sun…

Around and around we go…

I have lost count of how many times I have journeyed around the sun, riding on planet earth!

Circles have no end or beginning…

And so this makes it easy to forget.

To simply live in the now, in this very moment, celebrating life…

Eternal

No end or beginning….

And to keep on running; each step the first one I have ever taken;

Now.

In celebration of life, birthday time again, the never ending running path – anything we can think of the celebrate… I ran around London Town with thousands of others a week or so ago…

We set off from the Mall to run around the City for ten kilometres…

Many have finished the London Marathon on that very stretch…

Including me…!

I have lost count of how many times I’ve done that too!

While standing on the start line, with music and people and joyous energy everywhere – our spirits soaring – I spotted another pair of naked feet!

We chatted for a bit and someone took a photo…

Of our feet! – and my new friend Steve spoke of the times he has run the marathon without shoes on…

One day – perhaps!

And so it is, that the shiny sun, the longer days and running with naked feet again – are heralding my celebrations of the day I was born…

I am about to set off to circle around the sun again…

Travelling who knows where and when 

And for how long 

I will keep on running

Around and around the sun

Now.

In this very step, that when we are fully in it – always takes care of the next one.

And the next.

The step we are in, all there is

This moment

Life.

Expanding into infinity

Now.

Life

Julia Chi Taylor

We journey

Now

No where to get to

Life flowing 

Being

Still

Is all there is

And so it is

Always moving

No where 

Expanding

Bright light

Creating images on a flickering screen

That seem so real

And so it is

Not

Who am I?

Where am I going?

Who is the I that asks these things?

If there is a questioner 

Then who is that?

Who asks

Who am I?

Who is watching? 

This play out of energy

Life

Moving

Dancing 

Flowing…

Go with the flow 

They say

The flow of what? Life…?

You are life

You are the flow

And so it is

Surrendering to the flow…

Julia Chi Taylor

How did  PT Tom and I come to book a boxing lesson with another PT in Pure Gym? 

I believe it went something like this…

‘Wow’; – whilst watching Amar instructing a boxing PT session

‘That looks such fun’!

Tom ‘Have you ever done it before’

 Me ‘Anadi was teaching me during lockdown in the living room’!

‘I loved it’!

Both of us: ‘Shall we have a go…’.

I imagine our pre Christmas singing duet of Shallow in the gym must have gone something like that too; although no one else was singing…!

However people are often doing boxing training with Amar! It’s very inspiring to watch…

My Dad was a boxer – he taught my sister Rosy and me to shadow box when we were little…

And to fall well!

Something I have been grateful for every time I have fallen whilst out running, and over the years the falls have added up…!

The moment I’ve known there is ‘no way back’ – I have relaxed and let go

Surrendered to the flow

The fall

And in the space between upright and the crash to the ground I have always glimpsed eternity…

Once I fell downhill on a rocky path in St Lucia… In trying to save the fall I was running quite fast on impact, but although the rocks grazed me hard, and my body was shaken about, nothing was broken… !

Except maybe a very painful and bent little finger, which was pulled back into alignment by a man who emerged from the bush having seen my tumble. He administered to my cuts with Aloe Vera straight from the tree, and he gave my finger a wrench to straighten it…

I nearly fainted with the pain, and I was lying down…!

So this is how boxing came to be in my being…

We watched Barry McGuigan win a big fight once as a family – and my Dad often recounted stories of when he was ‘fighting fit’… He told of how once, he was hit so hard that he was knocked right out of his body…

He said he watched for awhile from the sidelines, and his body carried on – on its own – before he re joined it…

To fight on.

Tom’s and my lesson with Amar was such fun…

Unleashing the inner warrior in us both!

And the dancer

‘Boxing is dancing’ Amar said, as we bounced around

Jab jab hook – undercut!

‘Left jab right jab… twenty times! One, two, three, four, five, six…

Faster faster…’ Called Amar

It was a wonderful feeling to release the warrior spirit, and to have such a wonderful time doing so

Accessing all the different energies within us, discovering archetypes that are us, that may not have had enough airtime is all part of experiencing this amazing journey

This life in form…

 

Relax and Let go

Julia Chi Taylor

The loos aren’t downstairs in Pret on the King’s road…

But it is the place many people look for them!

I am often sitting downstairs near ‘the looking like it might be a loo’ door!

And so take on the role of ‘loo re director’.

I’ve just been ‘keeping an eye’ on a young woman’s laptop, she was sitting nearby and went on a loo mission…

I re directed her and offered to keep an eye

I’ve taken my job seriously and sat properly watching her table full of her belongings…! But then I like just sitting and watching…

I like the table upstairs by the window too – I like watching the people, the cars, the taxis and red London buses go by – and by.

I remember going to the cinema to see the film ‘Shine’ in the 90’s – it was about a piano player called David Helfgott, who driven hard by his father and teachers had a mental breakdown.

He loved to watch the traffic go by, and by. It calmed him.

I think of him when I am watching traffic – there is a lot of opportunity for me to do that where I live now.

My flat looks out over Sloane Avenue and the traffic goes by and by and by.

The flow of life…

Always represented wherever we look, the expansion, the movement, Consciousness in flow and form.

Consciousness is life, life is Consciousness.

Ad when we sit and watch we are free

In this moment

There is nothing else

It is possible to transcend all the pain and angst and suffering – the torture of the mind.

In this moment

When we watch

And know there is nothing else

And in that space experience who we truly are

The silence is always there

Our natural state – still and clear and joyous.

A leap that can be difficult for the human mind to grasp, is that to experience the freedom that is our birthright – it is possible to let go of the anguish pain suffering anger depression that is so prevalent in our lives – in this process we also let go of the attachment to seeking joy and happiness – the struggle away from sadness to happiness… 

The swing of the pendulum is the pain of duality that so many experience… All the time we are caught in the trap of identifying with these states we miss the experience of being 

But in letting go of this struggle, we can experience the ease joy bliss and the creativity that flows from us, which of course does mean we are happiness joy love – rather than seeking these states…

Our true authentic self.

The process to experience this is simple

But complex

The paradox is that to heal we must feel

Be aware in every moment

To breathe in deeply

To be here now

And to notice and be with every single sensation within and all around…

To be fully aware

To breathe in again and to notice the space before the out breath… The space of all pervading truth.

And to release everything as that breath leaves the body

Everything we are feeling and seeing

Every reaction every judgement

Everything that has arisen

To relax and let go.

And even if just for a moment

Experience our true nature

To feel the ease and peace this brings

And to expand it in

Every moment 

Running to Learn

Julia Chi Taylor

I received a message from my friend Cecilia on Sunday morning…

‘I’ve just been listening to the final episode of ‘Made of Stronger stuff’ with your contribution in the middle..’

I had completely forgotten about the interview…!

It took place last summer, when I was invited to be part of the radio 4 programme. I received the recording equipment with ‘set up’ instructions in the post – and enjoyed a lovely (recorded) conversation with Leonie one of the producers…

I was aware at the time that only a few minutes ( or none! ) of the conversation would be used in the programme…

I asked Cecilia which bit they had used…

‘They focused on adjectives to describe what you feel and what you see whilst barefoot running… ‘

I wonder what I said…? I can’t remember…

On reflection, it would likely be a slightly different answer each time I am asked that question…

In essence – I feel the ground and see the ground! 🙂 

It is one of the reasons I love to run barefoot (or in skinners socks and Vibram five fingers in the winter )

To feel the ground beneath my feet…

Why?

I don’t really know.

Why do we like the things we do?

Sometimes its perfect to just experience it – and not to try to analyse with words.

The moment we start to describe things

Our feelings

A beautiful sunset

A tree

A flower

We are no longer simply experiencing, with presence, connection, silence

An interpretation although a wonderful part of being human – and sharing our stories, our thoughts and feelings with one another, is part of that magic… In some ways language can never truly describe that moment, the truth of it

Truth itself

Can only be experienced…

But it was great fun to chat with Leonie, and hopefully the programme was fun for people to listen to… All us barefoot beings sharing our experiences!

Anadi was the route master for our ten mile run on Sunday…( Hmmm 11.5!) 

It was a lovely route… Through Hyde Park to begin, then into Kensington Gardens – and from there we headed across to the Regents Canal, back through the middle of Regents Park, arriving eventually in Hyde Park again…

As we ran up from the Canal and were about to cross into Regents park, I spotted a sandy running track on our right…

My heart leapt…

‘I’d like to go and reccy it’ I said ( Ahh it was my fault the run was longer…!)

‘It’s just in my soul’ I murmured to Anadi as we jogged to the track. 

It was sandy smooth – possible to run there totally barefoot in the summer.

My heart always leaps when I see a track – or smooth grass – or a beach with hard sand that lends itself to running intervals…!

It started when I was small.

I would ask my father to come to the playing fields with me – to time me on the long stretch of grass

Again and again…

The joy of flying on land…

In truth my running body doesn’t often feel exactly like it is flying on land these days! 🙂

But my heart and soul feel the same

And I don’t mind that the flesh can feel somewhat weaker than before 

The spirit is willing!

And strong and timeless

Endless

And I am still discovering – still ‘running to learn’ – and my soul is flying on land…

At the Centre of it all….

Julia Chi Taylor

You may have read my blog before Christmas when I had the idea that I might start outdoor winter swimming…!

Well – I rather think I have been saved from myself!

There is 100m by 30m expanse of water in one corner of the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park, especially cordoned off for swimmers to swim… The membership for the swimming club runs from January to January and ‘joining’ was on my list of ‘Things to do’!

With this in mind I visited the Club website at the weekend, and discovered that it isn’t possible to become a new member at the moment… The water is deemed too cold for ‘newby’ cold water swimmers!

In truth I was aware that to swim in 4 degrees! – I would need to start in water that is a temperature that I can handle and then continue regularly so that my body adapts… I remember reading the autobiography of the actor Katharine Hepburn who used to swim in her lake every day – during the winter she often needed to break the ice to enter…!

So this does seem to a blessing to have a pause on my new bathing plan… A ‘No not for now ‘ suits me very well…!

Athena Jane was reminding me of some of our shared ‘cold water ‘ swimming escapades in Corfu and Lanzarote! ( UK in January a very different experience  methinks! )

But, I do enjoy swimming in natural water – sharing with the other creatures who are more suited to it than me – many people fall into that category! – But I’m referring to the fish! The swans and ducks – and the jelly fish! I’ve been stung a few times in the Mediterranean when inadvertently crossing the path of one – or more!

However, the positive of this was that I learnt a few new Spanish words, so that I was able to fluently tell my story to my Spanish friends on returning for breakfast!

‘Una medusa me picó cuando estaba nadando hoy’!

And the flying fish!

Jane and I were swimming together in Lanzarote and suddenly whoosh! A fish jumped high in the air beside us! We squealed! And it kept happening! Until we became used to it…. And happily swum with the flying fish jumping around us…

We are very adaptable us humans!

This has many positive aspects to it – we grow and develop through all the different experiences we encounter first evident in our childhood years

With everything new, huge openings and development and growth occur

As well as adaptations… These adaptations help us survive difficult situations or adhere to family and social expectations, but although continuing to help us survive this life journey, they can also inhibit our true expression.

This can mean that aspects of our true selves are hidden away or disowned – or even lost altogether.

It can also mean that in losing connection with our true essence we lose touch with not only who we truly are – but of course what we truly want… Instead we often follow the desires or expectations of others, which means we are using the ability to adapt in the wrong direction

For true freedom it is worth investigating our life adaptations, and seeing where they have come from – and how they might be inhibiting our true voice and expression.

Adapting to changing circumstances is required by us throughout our lives, and having the ability within us to do so, and not lose our centre can enhance growth – or deepen unhelpful patterns…

The more aware we become, the more we can clear the pain of the past and align to the present moment. This practise allows us to recognise that true happiness is primarily from within; and with a sense of who we truly are – it means externals changes are easier to adapt to…

But – adaptation can pile on top of adaptation… 

Someone comfortable with following rules because this kept them safe when growing up, could follow without investigation – whereas someone ‘always a rebel’ to authority could rebel for the sake of rebellion…

And neither position are necessarily honouring the still voice of calm within; the unchanging place within from which we are all born…

Only we will truly know where our behaviour is coming from – it might need a process of reflection and a willingness to stop the chatter of the mind and turn inwards…

Because when we do this, we discover at the centre of all is consciousness, love

Freedom

Truth

Our own truth.

To the own self be true

This is all that is required

Creating the life we are living

Julia Chi Taylor

Anyone who knows me well, or has read my blogs over the past twenty years, will know that drinking alcohol is not one of my talents…!

But it is something I have occasionally resolved to train to ‘do better’!

About twelve years ago, or even more, I made it my New Year resolve two years running to ‘drink more’ – as I could count the amount of alcoholic drinks I had imbibed the previous year on just one hand!

One of those ‘Resolve’ years ended practically before it began – I went to celebrate a friend’s success in a bar in London in the January – and  – drank FOUR margaritas!! 

It took me about a week to recover, and I didn’t drink for the rest of the year…

The next year I tried again – but it sort of petered out like a damp squib!

Then I met Anadi I became quite a cocktail queen for awhile…!

Anadi enjoys a G and T ( especially in Spain where they don’t appear to have formal measures!) and a cold beer or two…

But I’ve sort of fallen by the wayside as the years have passed – jumping on the wagon rather than off it!

I am of course aware that for some alcohol is a poison and not to be taken lightly.

But in moderate quantities, it has many positives; it is fun, it relaxes, it can de inhibit and lead to greater connection and conversation – unlocking tensions and truths… As well as simply being a part of the pleasure of the human journey; it also offers some health benefits to body and brain! 

But we all have a different path to tread, so as a previous almost non drinker, I am not writing a blog to persuade you into the drinking life…!

However – this year I have dusted off my old resolution… And today – January 8th 2022, instead of a coffee post brunch, I ordered an Espresso Martini!

Anadi joined me!

I felt moved to share my ‘resolution’ with the young man who was serving us ‘Often the other way round in January’ he laughed – ‘but why not?’

And it was delicious…

We sat sipping them as the light started to leave the sky, having spent the morning enjoying our pre run coffee and croissant and then running for ten miles all around Hyde Park, Holland Park and Kensington gardens in a glorious bright winter lit day…

‘The things I’d like this year’ I stated to Anadi as I sipped the delicious nectar – it seemed somehow fitting to continue with the resolution theme!… 

‘To keep living in London – to run and run – to spend time with you – to continue loving my work – to write… And… To run on beaches barefoot again! 

Oh – I’m living it! 

I’m living my life. 

This is the life I am creating.

In every moment, we are creating the life we are living from our source energy – which is creating universes and  from whence we are all born and our life flows from this place

Just the barefoot running on beaches and cocktails to bring in to the picture…!

So Within; So Without…

Julia Chi Taylor

‘Let’s walk home’, I suggested over breakfast…’We could walk all the way back along the river’

It took us twenty five minutes to journey there on the tube…

And all day to walk back; with a stop for lunch!

The river route turned out to be fifteen miles; We started on the South Bank in Richmond and enjoyed witnessing a magical unfolding of new uncharted territories.

‘I love being by water’, I said to Anadi as we walked; ‘whether its the sea or the river…

I just love it’

‘What do you love?’ he asked

We walked in silence for awhile – I realised that I just love it, and at first had no words as to the ‘why’

Other than ‘I just do!’

But after awhile I said to him, ‘I love the expanse, the stillness and the movement; the reflection of the whole in the individual swirls and ripples…

When it is the sea I love that I can’t see the end and so I glimpse eternity

And I love the experience that we are ‘the whole ocean in one drop’

We are that ocean – we are that river; we are the whole; we are all that is

And the water reflects that as I walk beside it.

‘Why do you love it…’? I asked him 

‘I love the expansiveness too’, Anadi replied; ‘and the freedom and that it changes form; it can be solid when it is ice and then it has movement and is fluid…’

At Barnes we crossed the river to the north side… We knew there were many pubs along the way! And so after enjoying a delicious lunch stop in ‘The Dove’ on we went…

The rhythm of walking silent, peaceful. Time seeming so arbitrary, as to not exist. The hours passed and yet there was no concept of the hours; as we walked and talked and walked in silence too.

An inner journey as each moment is; every experience an inner one reflected in our individual creations; this life.

We an expression of consciousness; and our minds the incredible receivers of our inner divine creative force

So within, so without…

Alive

Julia Chi Taylor

Anadi and I spent our New Year on a mini break within our Christmas break!

We had taken the whole week off to play and be together

And then – to see the New year in – we ‘journeyed’ for just twenty five minutes on the tube – to Richmond…!

Transported in a flash to a completely new land… It was as if we were seeing it for the first time…

The building we stayed overlooking a river across a road – a vast tranquil vista – with parkland just two minutes walk away.

A lovely room to relax in, with sumptuous bed – and a spa to return to after we’d circled the beauteous wooded grassy sandy trails on the first morning of 2022…

The weather like spring – we jogged and talked our way around the landscape we know so well

And yet each step ever new – treading the pathways with others on foot, on bikes – and we waited awhile to cross a trail – as little people on little ponies went by…

All of us were taking our first steps into a new year, a new day, a new hour, minute, second – a new moment…

Creating our lives with each footfall, with each breath

From the source of all creation – all we know and don’t know emerging and ever expanding

We the light of our own lives

Creating and shaping

The energy limitless

When we allow its magic

And forget everything we ever thought we were…

Who we are cannot be thought.

And yet thought is how we create our experiences here…

So it is worth becoming conscious of what we are thinking!

Conscious that we are thinking…! And take time to experience the silence in the gaps between thoughts. 

And then when we witness from this place of stillness

We can watch our lives unfolding

In each step.

This step when we live it fully – wholly – always takes care of the next…

However many times I have run around Richmond park – and I have been doing so for over forty years now – it is always different…. 

New, fresh, magic, holding the promise of the fresh, without end or beginning.

Life shimmering in every breath we take.  

What a gift we have, this wonderful opportunity

To be here, now

Alive 

Hope is in every moment

Julia Chi Taylor

Anadi and I had booked tickets at the Natural History Museum to see the Wildlife photography exhibition

But we couldn’t find it!

We travelled down many corridors and into rooms with many wonderful treasures, mammals and reptiles and meteors 

And a whole hall of minerals rocks and gemstones

But no sign of the photographs…

We stood in the hall of minerals and gemstones feeling the energy pulsing

Through my heart

Anadi felt it in the palms of his hands

We could have stayed in that room and bathed in its energy for ever.

But…

The time came to ask for directions!

And at the end of a very long corridor we came to the exhibition

And were transported to other worlds

Snowy, watery, expansive lands – spiders, mushrooms, a lynx in a doorway, a lioness eating her prey – blood dripping from her mouth – flamingos pink. A humming bird hovering; a bear looking straight at the camera – beauty, raw and real.

 Emerging again into the main hall, looking upwards we saw the skeleton of the Blue whale. 

I remembered that she had been there fifty five years ago, when I last visited the Natural History museum – and there she is still, suspended high up above us all; in a different place to before – but still there.

Huge magnificent awe inspiring

Her name is Hope

She is called Hope as a symbol of humanities ability to create a sustainable future.

Any imagined future is the responsibility of each of us – individually

And paradoxically the promise of a bright future comes from this moment

In every moment we can heal the past and create a future that is expansive joyous loving

By staying in the present

Presence

It is as simple as being conscious now…

But as complex as the human mind that most humans identify with

Believe they are

The tangles and distresses and endless chatter that never ceases

The mind now the master rather than the amazing useful incredible creative and brilliant tool it truly is…

And so when we watch the mind – step back and witness it in all its pain and excitement, complex thought and repetitive stories

When we start to watch it instead of identify with it, we can be free

In watching we can ask ‘who is the watcher?’

And so we connect with the quiet, the spirit within

Us all

The silence.

And if we are to stand still – anywhere – and look upwards to Hope, the blue whale, who has now been there for 126years

And look upwards anywhere, to the trees, the tall buildings, the clouds and the skies

The statues

And be still amidst the movement all around

Stand and stare

While the activity and sounds and all that is going on on the outer realms continues

We know in that moment that we do not need to hope for a future

The future is here 

Now 

The message of Hope is in every moment, in the silence

Now

Forever