One step at a time


In the name of practising what I preach I’ve joined a local yoga class. Since entering my 30’s I’ve come to the realisation that I may actually have to start moving my body further than the sofa. Given my low levels of motivation this cannot be achieved without someone screaming at me whilst I lay like a jellyfish on the floor. I’ve also come to the realisation that in order to achieve anything EVER I need to form a routine. For me it’s the same old story. I promise myself that tomorrow will herald the start of a new regime but somewhere between 7am and the allure of my double duty winter duvet, I lose my willpower and find myself eating porridge in my pyjamas at 11am. So this morning I set the intention. I fell out of bed kicking and screaming and I left my flat by 7am, slightly irked that my usual bus route was on strike. I would have to walk the full 20 minute journey to my class in the rain (an inconvenience that only a Londoner will understand). Barely conscious and cursing the weather I began a slow amble down Tooley Street. I looked up at the sky, I looked down at the pavement, and I joined in with the hustle and bustle of life. Instead of feeling the familiar annoyance at failing to minimise my journey time from A to B, I drank in the crisp autumnal air and slowed to observe my surroundings. I don’t usually have time for this luxury when I’m hurriedly lost in the fast pace of modern living. But as I imagined the other me speeding quickly past on the bus, I began to open up to all of the encounters and opportunities for living that are so easily missed.

I had a productive yoga session, (that’s as much enthusiasm as I can muster right now), and on my way back home I spotted a beautiful image that encapsulates everything that I’m trying to say. One of the joys of rain, (I know, there aren’t many), is that long after the downpour has disappeared the pavements remain scattered with little lakes of water, a visual reminder that nature is ever present and delightfully unpredictable. Had I hopped onto the bus I would have missed this elegant display. I whipped out my iPhone, (I lack the technical inclination to master a Nikon D850), and what I managed to capture was a beautiful reflection. The cars still sped by, the sirens still wailed and the crowds still surged, but for a wonderful moment the world stood still for me and allowed me to witness its beauty. It’s so easy to overlook the little things when we’re busy. I stood there for a short while and allowed myself to be thankful, and I mean really open heart grateful. I was forced out of my comfortable routine this morning by a bus strike which actually turned out to be a thought provoking and unexpected gift. I might get lost in the fast pace of life again, heck, we all do. But I’ll carry this experience in my pocket, and I’ll get it out whenever I need the reminder.

Gary Cooke