Day 30 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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For most of my day today, I have been struggling.  No energy.  No motivation. Frustrated with life.  Hating everything.  I did very little for most of the day!  I was feeling exhausted – like I needed a holiday…thinking perhaps to take a day off writing this blog and cancel Chi Gong for the rest of the week!

I was irritated and EVERTHING was pissing me off!!  I felt surges of anger about being in this situation.  I’d had enough!

I speak in the past, as this has now past – now I feel calmer and really in the moment.  A completely different place.

This morning after Chi Gong, I didn’t do much.  Lay on the sofa and watched the film Toy Story.  I was feeling like I needed to rest.  I went to the butchers to buy some food.  Then continued to feel annoyed with life.  I wasn’t going to go for a long walk.

But then decided that maybe a run was what I needed to do.  Originally, I thought the beach again.  But then remembered that the back road round Arthur’s Seat has been closed since lock-down.  So decided to run there.  So Honey the Dog and I ran round Arthur’s Seat.

The is a road that goes right round the back of it, is usually open to the traffic.  So is virtually impossible to run with Honey (off the lead) as she’s not so good at keeping to the pavement.  But with it closed we could run along the road (easier to social distance from folk walking on the pavement).  The only thing that over takes you are the many cyclists.  There was only one near miss – when Honey went off the grass into the road to an oncoming cyclist!

For those who know Arthur’s Seat we ran clockwise – with a gradual steep climb for the first kilometre of so.

Half way up, a young family (Dad and 3 children) started talking with Honey the Dog.  We stopped and walked with them a while.  They loved Honey and gave her lots of attention and then started telling me all their stories about dogs.  It was really sweet.

The middle born (a boy) said he was 5 years old, so I’m guessing they were all between the ages of 1-8 years old!  I’m sure it would have been the talking point for the rest of their walk!

As I bid them farewell and continued running, my mood was feeling better.  I realised, that in lock-down, being in isolation – not talking to anyone (beyond virtually or the phone) is probably the hardest thing.  I really like the quietness and being on my own and not seeing people (in the real world) – as it helps me ground more within myself – but also I guess it gets to me – like today.

Half way round the road, there was an amusing sign – ‘Toad Migration’.  Apparently, when toads are breeding they migrate back to their ancestors breeding pond each year.  It’s interesting the sign said ‘Toad’ not ‘Toads.  Amazing – that they put all this up for one toad!  This sign was next to the pond where Honey went swimming (photo at the top of this blog).  But alas – I didn’t see the toad!

Instead of going right round the road, we picked up the valley and ran down the hill.  Mainly, so Honey the Dog could get some water at the stream at the bottom.  As we ran through the valley – there were a lot of ‘social distance groups’ sitting / gathering at different pockets on the grass.  I haven’t noticed this before, so it made me wonder – maybe more people are starting to find this lock-down a struggle – I mean, it’s now 30 days!

Its interesting – you can tell who lives together and who doesn’t.  Those walking close to each other, obviously live in the same household.  Where as those walking together with a social distance gap, obviously don’t.

I bumped into my friend Spud.  Who I haven’t seen for over 10 years.  But since lock-down I see him once or twice a week on Arthur’s Seat.

When I got home, I watched ‘Star Wars Episode I – A Phantom Menace’.  It was just what I needed.  As I wrote in a previous blog, I always like to find the kernel of wisdom in the film.

Two things struck me, which I liked, which relates to lock-down and my day:

“You can’t stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting”.


Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate to suffering“.


And now this evening, I feel so connected to myself and in the moment.  A new source of energy has arisen (just like Ya’Acov described).  I am so glad that I went for that run.  There was a beautiful sunset, but now in my Pyjamas took a photo from my window – not so good of an angle.

As I write this at the end of the night – I feel emotionally drained, like I have been crying lots.  It makes me realise, that often on lock-down I am doing so much sceen-time, that I am in my head lots.  But as it’s now daily, I am less aware of it.  The run and rest watching the Star Wars movie, helped me come into my body – hence the feeling of emotionally drained.  I need to remember, to keep running.  As it shifts my energy and helps me come back into my body.

As some of you probably know, a few years ago I trained as a counsellor and psychotherapist.  I am currently taking a sabbatical in practising.  Something that came up with me this evening, from that course, was a paper that Margaret Harkness wrote in 2001.

[REF Harkness, M. (2001) The Therapeutic Process, The Client’s Process, The River Person-Centred Practice Vol 8, No.1].

She compared the therapeutic process of seeing a counsellor to a river.  She described that just like the journey of a river, the life path is similar.  There are tributes, waterfalls, rocks and deep pools, taking a varied route.

The bit that reminded of today – was she said, that at times, we can sit in a ‘Deep Still Pool’ for a long time, going nowhere – could be days, weeks, months even years.  But it is the knowing and trusting that this is where we need to be right now.  Knowing that when it is time, we will continue on our journey.

Today – despite hating feeling like I did most of today.  Perhaps this is where I needed to be.  This evening, I feel so much more present within myself.

Yet it is often so hard to just be, even in the places that are really uncomfortable.  We have touched on this during the blogs, with the story of the old man living in the village, Helen’s story and being with the ’empty space’ within.

Today is the 50th Anniversary of World Earth Day, to celebrate the support of environmental protection.  The first Earth Day took place in 1970, in the United States.  It is now observed in 192 countries around the world.

Today is a good reminder that mother Earth survives just fine without us.  But how wonderful it is to live within her, to feel the sun on our face, the sand between our toes, the clean air in our lungs and the rain what is our life essence.  We are merely but a reckless annoyance that she must endure.  And endure she will.

At a time when we are so much more aware of the earth – enjoying it during our daily exercise – and noticing how life (at least in the city) is so much quieter and stiller – perhaps we can honour it even more.

I do hope that we can learn from this lock-down and support protecting our fragile earth.



Readers Corner

After such a massive amount of sharing yesterday, there has been none today.

However, I have a couple of things to share.



My friend Miles (I am not sure if he is a reader of this blog, but certainly has appeared a number of times in different blogs).  He is an engineer.  When I bumped into him about 10 days ago, he told me about work he is doing at Summerhall in Edinburgh to design and 3D Printing masks.

I stumbled across an article about it yesterday, so wanted to share it here – Engineering enthusiasts 3D print thousands of face shields


Whilst saying earlier to Fi that I had little to include in Readers Corner, she said I could mention that today she has been painting a log shed.  Here is a picture – she says it needs another coat, which she will do tomorrow.

She also shared a load of photos that she took this afternoon/evening on her walk.  So I have created another Photo Gallery.  If you click on any of the photos you will be able to see them full-size (and caption at the bottom).  Then click the ‘X’ (top right) of photo and the photo will close.

For the final part of today’s blog I want to share a couple of quotes that have stuck with me today.  The first from the book ‘A Gradual Awakening‘ by Stephen Levine.


Practice is very much like a dance on a tightrope, balancing energies, awareness, concentration; balancing what is appropriate to the moment. In a moment of forgetfulness we fall from the tightrope only to find that we land on another tightrope.

For me, this relates to life – a constant practice.

The other from a daily meditation quote that I get emailed most days from the website – mySamasati:


Ordinarily man is asleep. Even while you think you are awake, you are not. Walking on the road, you are fully awake – in your mind. But looked at from the vision of a Buddha, you are fast asleep, because a thousand and one dreams and thoughts are clamouring inside you. Your inner light is very clouded. It is a kind of sleep.

You are not awake. A mind full of thoughts is not awake, cannot be awake. Only a mind which has dropped thoughts and thinking, which has dispersed the clouds around it – and the sun is burning bright, and the sky is utterly empty of clouds – is the mind which has intelligence, which is awake.

Intelligence is the capacity to be in the present. The more you are in the past or are in the future, the less intelligent you are. Intelligence is the capacity to be here-now, to be in this moment and nowhere else. Then you are awake.


This quote reminds me of lock-down.  In the first 10 days or so, things were so unfamiliar, my ego couldn’t cope with the change.  I was so much more in the moment.  Even though it was hard and a struggle, it kept me in the moment.  As I now adapt to the “new normal”, I am feeling less in the moment and more “asleep” (in regards to the quote).  I hope, that I can continue to remain in the present and not feel at the end of lock-down that I missed so many moments.


Thanks for reading.

Good Night

Jim xx