Sunday, 4 May 2014


There was a moment, when walking along the seafront hand in hand with my wife, that I realised that all I was listening to was the white noise around me. The snow was falling, which makes everything so peaceful I always think, the waves crashing against the rocks, and the quiet hum of traffic in the background. There wasn't anyone around, just us, and in perfect silence we just walked. I remember thinking that that moment was so perfect I wanted to exist in it forever. My head was silent, our mouths were silent, we just walked together, and just 'were'.

Since that moment in Iceland I have been looking for ways in life to re-create the deep sense of peace I felt. I am the line manager to 15 people, the named midwife for 28 women, a daughter, wife, sister, mummy to Willow. This is not an unusual story, I live a very usual life. But that does mean that pretty much all of the time, someone wants something from you, or you want something from yourself. I have an ongoing narrative in my head, compiling to do lists, analysing situations, remembering things that have happened, it is there as I close my eyes at night and there first thing in the morning. Other times I have a dialogue that never seems to end, with those around me. Please, I am not complaining, I am so very happy in my life, and so grateful for those I share my life with. But sometimes, you just want to 'be'.

My wife discovered the 'headspace' app whilst we were planning our wedding (when your mind really does go in to overdrive with to-do lists!) and we have both used it on many occassions. It helps you to completely shut off, to listen to what is around you and not to the narrative in your head. In fact I listened to it as I got into bed the night before my wedding, and it helped me to switch off about the next day. But I wanted to be able to achieve the same outcome for myself, not needing to rely on a voice on an app to tell me what to do.

There is little else I want to achieve in life
The past week or so I have been noticing that I have been achieving exactly what I found in that walk in Iceland. Sometimes it has taken me a while to realise what was happening - like the time I was walking Willow and realised my mind was empty, I was just walking along listening to the birds chirping away, and the roar of the traffic next to me. Sometimes I have woken up in the arms of my wife, as we do more often that not, and realised that I have just been lying there, without a thought or care in the world, just listening to her breaths, and on occassion, her heart beating under my ear. And sometimes it has been actively sought - in a way of "I'll sit her and drink this tea and be surrounded by nothing but silence" kinda way.

I don't know what prompted me to write all of this down in a blog post, maybe it's just to read back and remember, if I do fall out of the habit again, that you don't need to be anywhere special, or be doing anything really significant, just to take a step back, a deep breath, clear your mind and breathe. There is peace in all of us, all around us, we just have to remember to notice it.

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