Skyros, Greece

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Thursday, 4 June 2015

Lessons from Atsitsa. By Kelly Stock

Go to class but do not expect to learn what is in the brochure. Do not come with expectations of what you want - you will be given what you need.

Learn martial arts - how to tread carefully, to stand rooted and to find your balance in the world. To block, to know when to push, when to deflect and when to run away. To stand tall with your head held high.

In yoga, find how much you can stretch yourself and accept some pain is good.

Sing. Find your voice and discover what it is to be heard.

Leave behind your to-do lists. Take your time. Slow down. Create legacies that count. Footprints fade. Fingerprints last a lifetime.

Find out who you really are and not what others expect or want you to be.

De-clutter your life both of people and possessions. If you came here for six months what would you bring? What would you need? What or who would you miss most?

Look after your mind. Nothing works without it. You will not know the value of your sanity until you lose it.

Wear a bikini - you are not as fat as you think you are.

Connect with others. Take a chance on strangers.

Be brave. Fall in love a little with someone who is not your type. Rejection is not the end of the world but missed opportunities may be your saddest regrets.

Swim even if you are afraid of sharks.

Accept that life and nature can be cruel. Wasps sting and sea urchins stab. Pain passes, you survive, or you learn to cope with it better one day at a time. You are stronger than you imagine.

Find the beauty of nature too. The way the sea holds you in its embrace when you surrender to its strength. It's healing salt to mend old wounds.

Search for the stars in the darkness, both here and at home.

Try not to worry. It is the things you never imagine that hit you sideways.

Take time to grieve. Mourn the hopes, the dreams, the love that was not meant to last a life time.

Think carefully about what you cling to. It is always much easier to grab hold of the new when you let go of the old.

Be careful what you take home in your suitcase. Leave the long black coat you took off here. You do not need it any more. Leave the layers you have stripped off; the shame, guilt, anger and loss. The island will absolve you of it.

Learn the art of forgiveness. The trick is to let go of the hope that it should have been different.

Be wise with your expectations. To dream is to invite disappointment into your life. To hope for more leaves you vulnerable to disenchantment with what you already have.

Perfection is an illusion but there is no crime in aspiring to be the best you can be.

Time is precious. So live your life for those you have lost, but most of all live it for you.

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