It’s been quite a while since I wrote a blog and we have had so many different experiences and adventures over the last 12 weeks since we drove away from our old home in Northern Ireland in search of our new life in the Dordogne.
As I write this, however, I am not in France but in Edinburgh airport on the first leg of my journey back to Eoin, the dogs and our new winter rental home near Bergerac which we moved into a few days before I flew out to Ireland last Thursday afternoon. It has been a mad whirlwind week which feels more like a month. I flew to Dublin where I was running an event for 160 people through the Positive Living Network which is one of my businesses there. During my 48 hours in Dublin I also had precious 1-1 time with my Positive Living Network team, a couple of girlfriends and one of my step-daughters. I then got a lift up to Northern Ireland where I stayed Saturday night with one couple of friends and Sunday with another. I checked in on Source Wellbeing Centre which is our business in Belfast and had time with our manager there. I even squeezed in a yoga class with my old yoga teacher before flying over to Edinburgh on Monday!
Once in Scotland I drove up to Dundee to stay with my daughter, Georgia, and her partner and to help them move into their new flat. Yesterday was spent at Georgia’s graduation from her Master’s degree and then celebrating with my brother, his wife and one of their daughters over a meal and cocktails.
I don’t think I could have fitted more into the week if I had tried! Georgia said to me yesterday “it hasn’t been much of a holiday for you” and I had to point out that it was never meant to be a holiday. Strangely enough our day to day life in France still feels like a holiday and coming back to Ireland/UK is more about going to work and catching up with loved ones.
After only 12 short weeks of living in France being here in the UK/Ireland has felt quite alien to me and I have been acutely aware of the much faster, more stressed and less connected way of life which is so different to life in the Dordogne. I am really surprised that after such a short period of time, the UK/Ireland no longer feels like home to me and there is literally nothing that I miss from my old life (apart from my friends, who are still my friends and whom I chat with regularly anyway).
Eoin and I have spent the last few months correcting each other when we say “home” in reference to Ireland. We have had to remind each other that it is no longer home and that France is now our home (even though we have not yet found our dream house). After all the moving around with living in Mirabelle the motor-home and house-sitting over the last year (and specifically the last 3 months) I realise that, for me, the word “home” no longer refers to a house or a dwelling space. I thought I would be devastated when we left our house in Northern Ireland but I have hardly given it a thought since we drove out the driveway in Mirabelle. So what does home really mean to me now?
I realise that I can live pretty much anywhere (as long as it is reasonably comfy) and I can adapt to most environments very quickly now and I believe that this is because I have found “home” within myself at long last. After many years of meditation and mindful, heart-centered living, I know that my true home is deep in my heart space and this is somewhere that I can rest regardless of where I am in the world or what is going on around me. At any given moment I can simply close my eyes, take a few deep breaths and come home right there and then with no effort. Having spent so much of my life changing my external circumstances and surroundings in an effort to create more happiness, I am struck by the simple wisdom of my soul which now whispers to me regularly to BE HERE NOW. And in the being here now, I return home to myself.
However, there is definitely something about the peaceful simplicity and beautiful softness of life in the Dordogne which makes it much easier to drop into my heart centre and relax there for much longer than I was previously able to do. Especially when we get to wake up to this most mornings (even in November)…….
My flight has been called and I notice a joyful leap in my heart as I think of going for a long walk along the Camino in the sunshine tomorrow with my lover and our doggies.