CLEAR YOUR HEAD AND FIND YOUR TRUTH

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As some of you know I love jumping on my bike and cycling from A-B in London, whether it's to work, into the West End or to my local swimming pool. It's a really great way to experience the life and energy in this crazy city.

Renting a bike is also of my favourite things to do when I visit a new city, to not only get to all the main sights quickly and independently, but also explore some of the quieter neighbourhoods and hidden gems.

Some of my most exhilerating experiences overseas include cycling from the Forbidden City to the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing, across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, around the temples of Kyoto, along the Han River in Seoul, and following the trail that marks where the Berlin wall once stood.

Berlin is in fact one of my favourite cities in which to cycle because of it's history as well as it's contemporary culture, which tells a very dynamic tale with every turning of the bicycle wheel.

One of the best and most unique experiences in the world in my opinion is to cycle around the tarmac of the old Tempelhof Airport in Berlin. Tempelhof was one of Berlin's first airports; built in 1923 with re-construction by the Nazi government in the 1930's. It was cited as one of the world's oldest commercial airports, before it ceased operating in 2008. The terminal and tarmac still remain, but the terminal building has now become an emergency refugee camp and the tarmac has been designated a recreational ground where wildlife can flourish and people can picnic and do sports.

While I love weaving my way around the streets of a beautiful city, entering this wide open space of Tempelhof is incredibly liberating. I may be wrong, but I'm pretty certain there is nowhere in the world where you can actually cycle unhindered and in total safety down an airport runway (!).

A few people are walking and chatting, children are playing and flying kites and a there are couple of kite surfers on other parts of the tarmac, but pretty much the runway is mine. And like an aeroplane given clearance for takeoff, my headphones in, some motivating music at full volume, I push on the pedals and hit full speed ahead. The cool wind against my skin, I close my eyes for a few moments, knowing that there is no danger and no-one to stop me or to reprimand me. In this moment I am free and somewhat cleansed, and my body is smiling from head to toe.

In a world where we all have our limitations, whether physically, socially, economically etc., I believe that moments like this are so healthy for the soul. The more we give ourselves space to be present to and experience mental freedom, the more resilient we become, and the less the difficulties and challenges we face are able to disturb our inner-balance.

As I was gliding freely down the runway (as you do!), I was reminded of one of my favourite quotes by early 20th Century Sufi teacher Inayat Khan: 'It is not solid wood that can become a flute, it is the empty reed'. This is in reference to the teachings of another Sufi philosopher, Rumi of the 13th Century. It's a very inspiring metaphor in which Rumi compares the hollow flute to the soul of man channelling the voice of God. I don't follow a religion but this idea resonates when I experience moments of freedom like I did when I was soaring across the open tarmac.

Only the hollow flute can play beautiful music, just as a clear and uncluttered soul can express deep wisdom, joy and love.

Be like the hollow flute, everyone!

What is it that you do to clear and liberate you mind momentarily?

In my coaching this is exactly the kind of thing that we explore; identifying some of the blockers to clear and unhindered thought. When we create that space, we allow our deeper, inner voice to be heard; the voice that we know truly to be our own, not the one influenced by what we saw on television, read in the newspaper, heard from our parents. But a voice that is our truth, and to reference another religion, apparently 'the truth shall set you free' (that's from The Bible!).

What is your truth? Get in touch for a chat, and let's find out.

Take care for now,

Oliver

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