Life can be draining. Sometimes it feels like being in a hamster ring, running around frantically until our batteries are flat. The prospect of farm duties, mucking out, feeding, watering, bedding, seems like another chore and it is with an often heavy heart and a trickle of resentment that I laboriously pull on well worn wellies, zip up old faithful farm jacket and head out towards the farm for evening chores, my mind full of snatches of the day’s activities and conversations past and future.
The journey takes less than 5 mins through my 20 mph village – although not many drivers seem to be able to read the signs that proclaim the speed and I frequently hold my hands up in despair as another speeding lunatic flies round the street corners.
“Grrrr…. don’t they realise that there are dog walkers, horses and cyclists! Idiots!”
What is their hurry!!!
And so, frazzled, I reach my destination.
As I potter around, going about my tasks, something very special happens. The mind slows its chatter and opens to the sounds around, even picking up insects’ whirring wings. A feeling of well being with a bit of happiness begins to well up inside. I see and hear more vividly, senses are attuned to the animal life, big and small, around me. As though we are in harmony, the animals respond and sensing a food source, come to visit in the stables.
Here are my top 10 tips to find meaning and peace on the farm.
- Don’t think about tiredness or resting up – just go!
- Time will take care of itself. Take your watch off – there’s no hurry
- Let your mind be free. Even if the day’s challenges are flashing through your mind, allow them to be there. Nature will work its magic all by itself
- Do one chore at a time. Think only about the chore in hand – and do it methodically – even down to sweeping the floor
- Listen. The more we listen, the more we hear. It sounds trivial but if our minds are filled with past and future thoughts, we don’t hear what’s around
- Look at the sky. Look upwards. Stay for a while looking and being present. The sky is an amazing space that will transfix you – as long as it’s not pitch dark!
- Respond to the environment. When the farm ducks find me and stand quacking outside the stable, I stop what I’m doing and spend time with them – feeding or putting them to bed
- Be alert. In stillness the mind becomes alert to sounds – from the whisper of the wind to the noises of the animals as they prepare for night fall
- Do not judge. My stables could look to an outside eye to be dusty, smelly, dark and damp – but to me they represent a home for my two little equines and a precious escape from the trials of life
- Be grateful. Above all else, this is my top tip. Practicing gratefulness is a transformative tool. There is a heart response that awakens happiness, peace and joy.
Thank you farm. I return home, fingernails grubby, hair frizzed and wild, clothes smelling of…..farm, and overall I am refreshed and at peace.
Hey!!! Not everyone has the opportunity to go off to a farm Rosie! Yes, but my point here is….. that my top 10 tips could happen anywhere. Well, not in the car if you are driving, but at home, just find a quiet space – and try them. You’ll be cool. Just see.