PROLOGUE (not necessary to read and I swear I am okay with this trip, but writing it feels like the a cathartic act just summarising to check I was not making it up):

BRISTOL TO PORTO, 4 DAYS AGO

An EPIC journey to get to Portugal:

19:10 Flight cancellation to Porto…airport uproar…I stay quiet apart from telling Easyjet lady that I AM NOT GOING HOME…book a flight to Lisbon for the next morning from Luton that is full, will possibly be stand by unless I check in. I do…bus to the Temple Meads train station…train to London…underground to Luton….arrive 00:30…sleep 4 hours in a hotel…walk to airport…flight delayed, cabin crew did not show up…eat pancakes and drink coffee and do work…last call for my flight- they forgot to announce it on the board…make it- just…don’t even sleep on the plane, although I feel completely delirious…write out smoothie recipes for my dad…arrive Lisbon…attempt to go through EU electronic passports…the computer says no…realise I am travelling on my Canadian passport…join a 2 hour and 45 minute queue to go through passport control…read some of ‘The Power of Now’ on my kindle…keep passing one guy as we snake around slowly…notice his bag has a tag showing he has come from Nepal…breathe and explore my feet and rib basket…read a bit more…look at the guys t-shirt…it reads ‘WE ARE ALL THE SAME PEOPLE’. I smile and feel absolutely fine. I see a rose a girl clutching a beautiful rose plant on the metro in Lisbon and we smile.

Lisbon has always been my gateway into the mountains so I am hoping that there are not too many challenges ahead. I can not decide if my calm demeanour is sheer will, zen or delirium from lack of sleep!

LISBON, 3 DAYS AGO

Lisbon, although I know it well, does lack the ease that I have accustomed to when I travel but day 2  after a night of deep sleep I head to the park and run and skip and feel like I am connecting back with fun, the freedom of travel and new places. Rather than thinking that everything is happening for a reason, I accept it just is and get into the moment. I skip better than I ever have. Thinking of my inner child makes me smile. Today I skipped even better! Poolside location or embracing the inner kid may be the trick…

 

LISBON-OLEIRAS-AMIEIRA-MOUNTAINSIDE RETREAT, 2 DAYS AGO

Fast forward to a rescue a day early from Lisbon by Peter and Sue who run Yoga Evolution Retreats, they deliver me to a space to call my own in the cottage on the mountainside. Time with these two is always special and they are why I return to this haven. They mean so much to me, and have been an integral and huge part of my life journey. I have only ever known them in the mountains so to greet them at arrivals in the in a modern airport, eat at the services and see Pete in shoes is quite something! And I readily accept the feeling of being looked after and taken under their wing; after all my inner child would totally be down with that.

And this fairytale bed… Sue’s bedding is always the best! Crunchy linen, lined dried and sumptuous duvets 🙂 , a dreamcatcher, a Shaman stayed here just before me and there is cacao, candles and incense!

 

MOUNTAINSIDE RETREAT, YESTERDAY

“What does your t-shirt say?” asks Sue erring on incredulity. “You can call me butterfly!?” I burst out laughing. NO!!! That would kind of be weird!! It actually says: YOU GIVE ME BUTTERFLIES. I never really thought about it much before but I did wear it when I started teaching yoga. I go to the town with Sue and Selena. I help them with the groceries. Everything is beginning to look sharper and I love the produce and feeling the connection to the earth. I think I am slowly landing after hectic times.

MOUNTAINSIDE RETREAT, THE NOW

Today, YOU GIVE ME BUTTERFLIES, takes on perhaps the best of all meanings. Because this morning there was an abundance of butterflies dancing, fluttering, crossing my path and landing near and on me. Maybe they were there yesterday. But I never sat, never was still or never mindful long enough to bask in the butterflies of Amieira mountains. Now, I am ready. To watch as I would have as a child. To sit and watch the grass move, the crawl of an ant, the shimmer of a spider’s web, to hear the song of the birds, the buzz of the bumble bees…the butterflies were my message to sit still and watch with curiosity and wonder.

My mind so much clearer, that I can sit and enjoy writing, sharing. I have so much more to explore with our theme of the week back in the studio: BACK TO YOUR ROOTS, and I am not surprised that this is already a theme woven into the week here…circles, journeys, four directions, memories and being children of the earth- feeling in the belly and coming out of our heads. You know, the feeling of the belly where we feel butterflies. No rationalisation and judgements.

 

Thank you for the space that is being held here. YOU GIVE ME BUTTERFLIES. And right now, I can not think of a greater gift. Only as I put this onto the blog structure and upload my photos and scrolling through my recent pictures, does this fit absolutely perfectly into place…