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A Game of Chess


Where: Tasmania

What: It is that time again, when my phone is full to the brim and won't accept another photo. Time for a cull. I did the same thing about a week ago so clearly I did not take the process seriously. I make a decision, this time, to be ruthless clearing everything that has no connection with what I am doing at the moment.

Blast from the past

This is a tough brief - I find myself deleting over 1000 photos and countless videos. In the end, 15 photos and one video are left. During the process, one photo stood out that felt difficult to delete. It was taken about 3 years ago. An ex-partner of mine found the patience to teach me to play chess.

Looking at the photo brought a smile to my face. It was at times, a challenging relationship but one filled with adventure, excitement and (many) life lessons. The photo seemed to capture the spirit of the relationship. We were a good team but had very different lifestyles finding ourselves at opposite sides from each other. We gave each other the space to do what we wanted but slowly lost each other in the process. Each making a decision that required the other to make his move. In its own way it was tiring but also fun as it kept an element of fun in the relationship.

What connection does this photo have with what I am doing at the moment.

On face value, potentially nothing. I decided not to delete it so I could let my feelings of the moment unfold.

A boost for the system...

When I woke up the next day I felt tight as though a lot of exercise had been done the day before... or it could be that 'stretchy' feeling of falling ill. I assumed the latter having not done any tiring exercise for a day or so. Having agreed to a few breath workshops with local businesses getting sick was not an option.

With the right breath and movement I felt I could avoid getting ill. I have a few 'go to' breaths and movements to help release this feeling and there also breaths to boost an immune system.

As if in a dream

As the breathwork session progressed I began to feel more human and gently energised. As if in a dream, a flash of the chess pieces came into minds eye. A wondering began. Did my tightness have anything to do with holding onto something unresolved from the relationship? Was this psychosomatic?

It seemed not to make sense. That relationship was the most explored (and also completed) of any of my past relationships. What could I possibly be holding onto?

A Clarity Unfolded

Suddenly it became clear and it was to do with breath.

"Life is like a game of chess. To take part you need to move. Knowing which move to make comes with insight and knowledge and by learning the lessons that are accumulated along the way. We become each and every chess piece within the game called life!"

I heard the words in my ears and laughed out loud as they seemed to make a lot of sense. Not only was the relationship like chess but so was life... and in a smaller (but no less important form) breathwork.

Tuning into oneself with insight and knowledge takes practice and time. Learning the different ways a 'game' can progress. What leads us astray and what can bring us back to a grounded self. The moves and techniques that can support us back to life, by the same token, can also leave us tired or drained.

Now I was clearer what to do with the photo. It was to become the inspiration for this post. Having posted it I have since felt comfortable deleting it from my phone - grateful for how it has served its purpose in my own life and hoping it can offer some purpose in yours.

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