Shelter from the storm.

IMG_2315It's rare that one is offered the opportunity to learn from not doing. I realised today that I learn more from not doing when it comes to my meditation practice. The lesson speaks loud and clear when I don't attend to stillness.

When I tell myself to 'have a holiday', 'sleep in' or whatever excuse I care to use.

I always take my kids away in January, prior to that Christmas spins through my life and the weeks flap by in it's wake. I drop my bundle for a month or so and the inevitable consequence is a post holiday storm in the teacup that is my mind.

 Chakras, whirling wheels of prana- I am reminded that our energy spirals.

Without my morning meditation I step into the spin of life. I allow myself to bounce around in fear and insecurity. Old habits surface, I become less patient, less certain and my world is quite literally louder. I am a whirlwind, I was born that way. I've ran with the wind in my face for most of my life. Torn up, turned on, trouble for a good part of it. I've brought the lightning and the thunder through more sunny days than I care to remember. I friend of mine once said I could turn the weather with a stick (whatever that meant!).

Meditation allows me to step into the centre of myself. It's my shelter and my sure bet and when I don't do, I experience the storm.

I'm not very good at it.

I'm never sure if I'm doing it right.

But then I don't do for a month....and this is how I learn.

I see the change in me and I know I need to turn in. I sit quietly and do the practice of not doing.

After one twenty minute session I am reminded. I am back and the sun is warming my face. I hear birds and crickets and the trickling water from last nights rain. I breathe into that warm dark place between my eyebrows and I see myself without the tempest and the tumbling. I am infinite energy, love, part of a whole that isn't bordered by my brain or my body.

I am back.

We are free....

IMG_1187 You and I are just a whole bunch of stories.

We might think we're skin and bones and hungry bellies, but thats just another yarn we hold close. And so we should. There's some precious truth in that tale after all, us being of the flesh and full of life.(Look after the vessel.)

But today we told ourselves a story.

And yesterday.

I am guilty of telling myself all about what I should have done and didn't. Moments all tangled in a past tense that keeps perpetuating. It's gone my friend. That story has no future if you'll pardon me stating the obvious. I suggest you thin it out, take only what you need and leave the rest for dust (and it's all just waste on the wind).

We're free you and I. Much more so than our busy lives would have us believe.

We are free to speak gentle words full of praise and pretending. Funny make believe fancies. Stories worth reading over tea and toast, with a blanket and a beloved. Or tell a tale of whimsy for your pint sized pirate or  sleepy eyed princess.

Tell yourself a nice story at 3am, when you worry the sun from the inky night sky, as the house creaks and shadows fall down the hall. Ask that fearful, cynical you to take a long nap while you write yourself anew.

Clean down the page and start again.

IMG_0388

You get to choose your character, make her good and strong and kind. And big. Please make her big and bold and let her fill the page with purpose. Make her laugh often and long. Fill the moments in between with words of friendship and gratitude. Make her a generous cook and a great listener and give her a strong back for all she holds aloft. Put a babe at her feet and fill her arms with family. Give her soulful eyes and a warm smile (and shiny locks).

Give her the strength to move past the wrongs in her wake. It's just dust out the door. Forgive all the villains, they didn't know they could be someone else, brave and strong and good. Be gentle with the scared ones and patient with the silly.

Life will be a glorious adventure my friend.

If you speak it so.

 

Lest we speak it.....

IMG_0169 What's the worst word in your vocabulary?

(Keep it classy folks!)

Yesterday, I embarked on a whole new learning journey to become a yoga teacher and I was reminded of the most dangerous word to ever run through my brain. Worse still when it leaves my mouth in the company of wholesome folk. Such a word really _____ be irradiated at all costs.

"Should". For me it's right up their with 'diet' and 'doctors'. However, the latter two are rarely uttered by my brain, preferring instead to avoid such unpleasant terms lest I upset my delicate disposition. 'Should' is the single greatest threat to our happiness and to a greater degree, our self acceptance.

"I should have studied more."

"I should be smarter."

"I should be more flexible."

There's a few happiness thieves right there. I'm tempted to remind myself that I shouldn't say it, but then it just takes my hand and leads me back to the problem. So instead I'm going to remind myself that I am in perfect place, in perfect time.

And more importantly, all is well.

Anatomy is going to infiltrate my brain with such force that I'll have no where to store such gems as.....Jellyfish eat and poop out of the same orifice or grasshoppers have ears on their knees. Or that ancient Greek dentists used stingray venom as anaesthetic.

Sanskrit is totally going to inhabit the dusty vestibules that house the really weird stuff like...kangaroos have three vaginas or 'almost' is the longest word with all the letters in alphabetical order. I still have a little room left in my grey matter for some important stuff.

I just need to trust myself and have a little faith in divine order.

All is well.

Michelle xx

 

Why Yoga???

35fba-img_1202 I love yoga. Like most people my experience with yoga began in a local hall on a few feet of recycled rubber. In recent times however, the practice of yoga has carried me off the mat and through to becoming...

Healthy.

Happy.

Whole.

There are of course benefits that are really obvious. I sleep better, I eat more intuitively, I  live more intuitively. I'm stronger, both mentally and physically, wonderful perks that come from regular asana practice.

All of which I was talking to a non yogi  friend of mine about the other day. Her response was to probe a little deeper. "Yeah that's great, but why yoga??"

Umm.....

It took me a little while to gather my thoughts on this very broad question, but here goes my top five reasons.

Yoga has taught me that I am not my labels...

I am not the daughter, sister, mother, artist, writer, partner, funny girl, emotional one, hormonal female, foodie, friend or hot chick. Ok, I may have made that last one up but you get the idea. For most of my life I have walked around believing I was all of this and more. Yoga has taught me that I am none of these things. I am in fact infinite and expansive, a divine manifestation of love in a transient body.

Yoga has taught me to honour my body....

Like many women, my relationship with this bag of bones has been fraught with negativity. I have never in my life treated any other human being as poorly as I have treated my own body. I've endured eating disorders, horrible harming behaviours, ridiculous diets and loathsome dialogue. Yoga has made me appreciate the extraordinary functionality of my greatest claim to humanity...the skin I am in. It's a miraculous, supportive and creative experience of being me. I no longer hate my sturdy thighs because I know they will carry me through warrior poses. I am less concerned with how my body looks and far more focused on how it works.

Yoga has taught me not to impose on others....

Not my children, or my partner. Not my beliefs or my bullshit. I'm so busy with the business of my own 5ft of evolution that I don't have the time to live other people's life for them. That doesn't mean that I'm self-absorbed and unavailable to be a parent, but I don't assume that I know how anyone else should live. Including my immediate family. I actually think my children have been sent to me to teach me a thing or two.

Yoga has taught me to breathe first and ______ later.

Fill in the blank any way you wish.

Yoga has taught me about love.

It has taught me the art of being present with another human being. About the destructive force of small thoughts in a powerful mind. It's taught me to pause when I face conflict and pause when I am at peace. Or laughing. Or doing my five year olds homework. Every day I make a decision to enter a state of loving, in this way I become a manifestation of Love and Light in the world.

Nameste

Michelle xx

 

 

Be here now

The pull of melancholy has often added some tension to my days. That strange trickster that takes your present joy and gives it the ache of all that might be lost.

It happened this morning and I saw it's wile machination, I saw it and I told it so quite squarely.

"I see you."

I was sitting with my children having breakfast when to my surprise they unexpectedly broke into Happy by Pharrell Williams. All three of them, laughing and singing into their cereal, dancing in their seats. I was overcome with a really good hearty serve of gratitude for this moment. I was crazy pre-coffee happy and then.... this odd insidious sadness-

One day this will end.

One day my children will be grown and they won't sing around my breakfast table. They will be old and I'll be even older and this life won't be the same ever again. The sadness seemed to just swallow my joy like a piece of toast, until I saw it.

I see you Melancholy. 

I tried really hard not fall into lament, to pull back from that feeling of loss. I took back my happiness and willed it to be bigger and stronger. I let it fill up the room and have it's crazy impromptu performance moment. I told myself to have a good hard look at what's in front of me. Noah, with his wild hair and imaginary drum kit. Charlotte giggling so hard, she sings like nobody's listening. Isaac with that face that changed my days.

Be here now.

It will all end, someday. But now, I am here, surrounded by this mad bunch of beautiful people. I am lucky, but the greatest gift I have is that see my good fortune. I have learnt to take the time to notice and I have learnt to spot any threat to it's continuation. I'm not about to let myself just imagine bad stuff.

Yes one day the wolf may arrive at my door, it might be tragic and sad. Life sometimes is. Until then I'm with Pharrell- I'm a room without a roof!

 

 

 

Michelle xx