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  • Writer's picturefrederique STREF

Returning to self

How willing are you to be involved in your well-being? Will you take the risk of hearing what moves you?

The reactions to the publication of the survey results were many and varied and gave me the courage to expand my repertoire of regular publications.

One of the key questions was about returning to one's country of origin. Yes, of course, an important antidote to the reality. What if 'home' was just the word 'home'. Back to what core? Back to what ideal? Back to which illusion? Back to what source?

Borrowing some applications from other disciplines that I practice for my own personal balance and also for sharing, I offer you today a paragraph extracted from a Taoist mediation by Den Ming Dao, followed by a simple, accessible and effective activity.


Swallows are famous for their daring speed and the unpredictable routes they take in flight. Yet, no matter how far they fly, they return to their nests by circling. The idea of return is significant for all of us. We must work, explore, travel and achieve our goals in life. No matter how hard we try and how far we travel, we all need a home base, a centre from which to operate. For some it is a place, for others a home, for others an emotional connection and for others it is simply retreating within themselves..... Returning is a vital process of simplification that removes the unnecessary problems created by socialisation. It is a process of peeling away layer after layer to clear the way back to the inner self. This journey requires time, personal work that is "supported, heard and recognised.

What if this journey of return began with the discovery of our essence?

You could set aside a time each day, say thirty minutes to begin with, to go out and take a mindful walk and connect.

A mindful walk could transform your well-being, making you less stressed, more grateful and more connected to your own senses, the sense of wonder and appreciation of the external world and of eternal evolution. You could highlight the wonders that surround you every day. How? Seek out awesome new environments, put your phone on aeroplane mode to limit interruptions, keep things fresh by changing your itinerary each day.

A little exercise to connect to your 5 senses (sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste) as you walk.

For Sight, look for 5 things, name them out loud. Choose a word.

Example: It is a wild beach, not very busy. It is a large open space from which I can watch the waves. Word choice: wild.

For Touch, name out loud 4 of your current sensations.

Example: The bark of the tree is rough and wet in a regular shape. Word chosen: rough.

For Listening, listen to 3 sounds around you, name them out loud. Choose a word.

Example: the light breeze, the high-pitched song of this bird, the foam crackles on the sand. Word choice: crackles

For Smell, smell, take 2 deep breaths and recognise 2 specific smells. Choose a word. The bewitching smell of iodine, the subtle scent of vegetation. Chosen word: bewitching

For Taste, take a sip of the tea, coffee or water you have brought with you. Choose a word. Example: the bitterness of hot coffee is delicate.

On the 'way home' you can take a picture of the landscape that you think is most appropriate at the time to illustrate the experience you have had in doing these exercises.

On the way home you can write a few lines about your experience using the words you have chosen.

Let yourself be drawn into the game and repeat the exercise regularly.

You will probably feel relaxed, alert and refreshed, and more conducive to this inner journey.

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