[ e s s e n c e & s p i r i t u a l i t y ]
A few mornings ago I sat in meditation in what could only be described as my dream sacred place. I sat etched into the cliff face, the vastness of the pacific ocean surrounding me, the elements audible and warming sun accompanied me into a blissed and blessed state. I love easing into meditation when I know my physical surroundings are displaying earthly love and peace. Satisfying these elements diminishes the discomfort of sitting in stillness and settles my mind as I enter into the moment.
Meditation is very difficult for me. Stillness is a hard place to find. If I attempt meditation indoors, I usually create a space for the senses. Ensuring comfort, candle light, tranquil sounds and good energy. If I am outside I usually try to sit at the waters edge or atop a mountain, feeling the earth below me and listening only to nature. Learning to silence the thoughts is the beginning of a life time commitment. They were there yesterday, they were here today and I will meet with them again tomorrow. The ego is ever present and to me, my greatest foe. Some day we will be friends.
I am writing about this no non-sense ten minutes of my life because as I was walking to the lighthouse, it suddenly hit me that I have finally arrived at the sacred heart. It’s been something that I have dwelled on for a while now. I’ve only just realised the courage to break away from a life I thought was already planned for me. A life where I kept searching for pieces of the puzzle that were all external to me. It is now since learning to look at it from within, that the true self shines through. The hunter of wisdom, freedom of direction and spirited self-illuminates.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space… and in that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom”- Viktor Frankl, Auschwitz survivor
The self-love and mind shifts have taken a while to build. It seems strange to think that I could pack up and travel solo to places less travelled and find a home there for months or years at a time. Each travel story returning happy yet increasingly on edge for the burning desire to see more foreign land, immersed in culture and connection. I often felt rattled at home in Australia, I couldn’t relate. Bit by bit I chewed away at this transition to feeling like there was a place for me at home. For now, home is Byron Bay, Gold Coast & Brisbane. I’m grateful to be here, to drink the wild air, love with abundant energy, create passionately and most importantly honour and respect my body & soul. It is here where I surrender to my imperfections and be a witness to divine happenings. For the first time, I feel as though I can believe it when I say, right now, in this very moment, everything is exactly as it should be.
My body is changing. I am getting stronger, physically and mentally. I still have so many moments of weakness but I am learning not to give in to those times. I am learning to just be with it. Be gentle, be kind, be brave, be love. Since my last post, I have been actively participating in the soul union of yoga. My teacher training is teaching me many things. I started this journey purely for the philosophical study and self-inquiry. And there is so much more to it. The physical discipline has admittedly been the hardest challenge, but day by day I feel stronger. When strength comes, the pain diminishes. The weakest times are when I have been completely thrown off by my thoughts, fixated on transitions in life at home, work, family, friendships. It has been an interesting time of awakening and of shedding the internal layers. The post travel come down, big life questions, and the pull to easily slot back into the comparison trap, the ultimate thief of joy. Learning to love myself on a public platform such as this has been intimidating. It has been insecurities blowing all over the place causing some kind of inner turmoil. It is like saying “hey look at me, I am so far from perfect” …but I now know we all are perfectly imperfect. We all go through a time in our lives where we feel something, whether it is pain, loss or ill health. The lesson I am learning is that we set our intentions by focusing on something. If we think a negative outcome, it will rear its ugly head. If we speak only good things, generally speaking, we feel only lightness and positivity. It is all a matter of thought. And that is the practice.
Rescuing my health is the single most important thing to me. In order to be the best version of myself, I need to release the pain. Send it love, send it light.
“I had betrayed myself…While I was plunged into excruciating pain, it served to reveal the pain of unworthiness I had been living with for years. Fear of being a flawed person lay at the root of my trance, and I had sacrificed many moments over the years in trying to prove my worth. I inhabited a self-made prison that stopped me from living fully. Radical Acceptance of all my feelings and fears of imperfection was the only way I could free myself. By attending to the bandaged place- embracing the pain I had been running from – I began to trust myself and my life. ” Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance
This fear of being flawed. Of being the odd one out, oversensitive, self-critical, unhappy misfit. I am learning to accept this now and to release the fear of being judged. I am a little crazy. But we all possess a little craziness. My crazy is what makes me, me and your crazy makes you, you. It is only just starting to sink in that it has been a lifetime of thoughts that has got me here, reversing those thoughts is the challenge. But it is up for the taking.
This year is one of transition for many. Things are changing, big shifts are taking place in all directions. An awareness is forming. Yoga study is creating this awareness of divine wisdom. Everything is as it should be. The undoing of thoughts, the introduction to positive practice. The education of life principles, the random acts of kindness, of giving thanks and gratitude, of mind-body connection, constant self-inquiry and of understanding. The learning of energy within our bodies and the awakening of prana – life force energy. The opening of the chakras from the crown, third eye, throat, heart, solar plexus, sacral, all the way to your root. Yoga is awakening my heart fire. The balancing chakra Anahata (Heart), a devotion of self and others bursting with warmth, always. This dedication to practice, this constant display of self-inquiry and light-filled energy. This is the learning that love is the most important thing. Without heart, there is little. The heart is at the centre of our being. Learning to stoke the inner fire, and being ablaze with love.
The physical practice is a daily struggle. I am constantly fearful with my back, making sure I am in postures with correct alignment, using core strength, extension, hyperextension, neutral, flexibility. I am retraining my muscles, sending fresh purified blood through my breath to the pain blockages. It is a daily practice of pain management. Some days are good, some are lousy and knock me right back to where I started. It is getting easier to pick myself back up again and it starts with the mind.
And just as I have started teaching to backpackers in Byron Bay this newfound feeling is taking the weight off. Karma Yoga, practice of selfless service. I am having fun, giving it a go, flowing to the beat of life, witnessing the magic unfold. I am still learning. I will always be learning.
Thank you for being here, thank you for being part of my journey. From my heart to yours,