Acceptance · Inner Beauty · Mindfulness · Power of Now

I love Eckhart Tolle!

“The light of your presence needs to be strong enough so that you no longer get taken over by the thinker or the pain body and mistake them for who you are.” Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now.

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(Contented Seagull in Porto)

I love Eckhart Tolle! Before we left Ireland on this Portugal trip I was a little overwhelmed by the level and scale of organisation I would be required to perform in order that we leave on time with everything we needed. Even reading that now makes me smile because it doesn’t really matter what you bring or forget, you make do. Anyway, at the time I needed help so I played The Power of Now audiobook on continuous loop, in the kitchen, the bedroom, the bathroom and even in the car. Every time I went to get groceries or to the post office Eckhart was sitting in the passenger seat chatting to me about the benefits of staying in the present. Oh, he’s great company. Always focussed, never complaining about my driving or what I forgot to buy or post.

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(The signs…)

Anyway, here we are weeks later and I hadn’t been talking to Eckhart for a while. Yep, I stopped listening to his words, I stopped sitting beside him and discussing whether it was really practical to accept anything… at all. Really, Eckhart? Do you really, truly mean I have to accept everything my partner does? Are you sure you were thinking about Denis when you said those words? Anyways, we’d stopped talking and you know when you stop talking it’s kind of the beginning of the end, right?

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(Porto from the Dom Luis I bridge)

Nope, turns out Eckhart is true to his own words, when I needed him he was here, in this moment, on my computer, just waiting for me. And he was full of the same wise words he spoke to me in the car. Ah Eckhart, you’re the best! So the quote above is particularly special because as soon as I remembered him and stuck the earphones in my ears there he was telling me exactly what I needed to hear…

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It is so easy to be fooled by your thoughts or the pain stuck in your gut and think, this is me. No, it is not you. You are so, so beautiful. You are not the pain. You are not the brokenness. You are in there somewhere underneath the thoughts, underneath the pain. Where all is at peace. Where there is love, there is joy. You are so, so beautiful. This is freedom… I loves Eckhart.

You are so beautiful, Mairead.

Acceptance · Inner Beauty

Where it all Started…

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(Friday evening in Furadouro)

I mentioned yesterday that I loved the town of Furadouro and one of the reasons was the beach. Not the sand but the shells. Not the perfectly pretty and complete shells. The broken ones. I had started noticing broken shells on the beach at Vila Chã, I thought they were interesting but not as interesting as the terracotta coloured stones. Then at Lavos Praia there were no terracotta stones but loads and loads of little broken shells.

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(A mix of broken shells and pebbles)

They weren’t everywhere, they seemed to be washed up in a line parallel to the tide line… a broken shell line, but there were so many I couldn’t but notice them. I started picking them up and once I started it was hard to stop, it was like they were calling me. Why would they be calling me?

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(Some of the bigger shells I saved!)

The ones in Furadouro were bigger, the chipping away had only begun, but in time (unless I saved them?) they would be tiny little broken bits of shells. I wonder if shells start off perfectly pretty and complete stuck on a rock somewhere up north and they get little pieces chipped off as they travel south, until they are so small they look like sand. I saved a bag full from Furadouro. I think I know why they were calling me…

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(and more…)

When I picked up the first broken shell I was surprised it was so smooth at the broken edge. It was like it had been sanded with sandpaper. Of course it had been sanded with the original sandpaper… sand. That’s why I kept picking them up. They were lovely to hold and to run my finger along the smooth edge. And they reminded me of buttons. I love buttons. But it wasn’t just their button-like feel, I also recognised a human-like feel.

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We start off perfectly pretty and complete and then bits get chipped off and we’re broken. We feel broken. We chip off others. We break others. Everyone we know is broken in some way. But these shells were asking me… Can’t you see how different we are? How very interesting we are? How we are so, so beautiful in our brokenness? I’m bringing a bag of broken beautiful shells home, please let me know if you’d like one to remind you that you are beautiful.

You are so, so beautiful, Mairead.