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

 

 

So you think you're a feminist?

IMG_1518 What does a feminist look like?

Not I said the fly.  (perhaps)

I have devoted most of the last thirteen years to the guidance of my three amazing children. Sometimes I have totally nailed the top job of motherhood and I've had woeful moments that I'd rather not talk about.

(Like the completely insensitive conversation I had with the kids when their cat died or the time I made my son wear the monstrous chicken sculpture on his head for the Easter parade.)

I am happiest in the kitchen and spend hours baking and preparing food from my kitchen garden. Nobody leaves my home without a full belly and a bunch of greens for later. The kettle is always on or there's something in the fridge. "Pull up a stool, I have time." This bright and airy space is where I most identify with being me, amongst the pans and promise of a good meal with family. This is home.

I totally rock a red lip and I love a good beauty tip! Nothing makes me happier than a few hours well spent with an amazing gal, good friends are the great treasure in this life. I am not the vain ingenue of my wasted youth but I still take care of my business. I eat well, I exercise most days and I spend too much money on clothes. I have flowing hair envy, because mine is a shaggy mop that grows oddly sideways. (??)

I'm devoted to my partner even when he's not at his best. Sometimes we are not, myself included.

All this and a big fancy hat I like to call 'feminist'. It looks good on me and it will look equally good on my daughter and great on my sons (yes, they get to wear it too). You only need one simple belief to wear it and it needs to be a non negotiable rule....choice.

Thats it.

So beautiful people, let it all hang out or pluck yourself like a broiled chook, I care not. Wear cheesecloth or jimmy choos, suspenders or birkenstocks. You can read The Feminine Mystique or Fifty shades of whatever, I haven't read either and I probably won't. None of it matters when it comes to celebrating your magnificence. I just want you to make choices and if you don't like your choices.

I want you to make new ones.

For you.

Nobody gets to take away that choice and if they want to, well, I would choose to look closely at their character. You still get to choose whether you want to put a thousand miles between you or share a china set. Hell, we all make dodgy choices sometimes, I know I have. To my children and my friends I would whisper "choose wisely". 

An unhappy relationship can make the days long and the years short. Choose well and be happy.

Michelle xx

lets talk love

Ask most people what they need to be happy and I think you will find love near the top of their list. Many people will say that they "love too much" or they "need to be loved" or "are unloveable".
It seems that it has become a currency of sorts, a commodity to be traded. Sadly, many of us see a deficit, we have issues with family or romantic love, old baggage that we drag around. Love looms in the equation of our happiness, our self worth and our identity. We look for it in others and we measure it in ourselves.
Many people believe that it is our purpose in this life, to give and receive love. There may be some valuable truth in this idea but I wonder if we really understand what it is?
Is this idea of owning love a shimmering mirage to a thirsty soul? Is it life's lottery that we somehow win by our birthright or our beauty? I've given this some thought and I'd like to believe that the universe provides a purer pathway to it's pinnacle of benevolence and compassion.
Imagine for a moment that Love is like an ocean. It's vast and calm and when you enter the water it's warmth surrounds you. Imagine that the water fills up the minuscule spaces between the atoms that makeup your entire being. That it fills every void, every hurt, every longing.
We cannot own the sea. With an open heart we accept that it just is. We are changed by it's current, it's buoyancy lifts us, it embraces us without judgement. We make the decision to enter a state of Love, we decideand in doing so we are forever transformed.
Every day we can make this choice. We enter Love by participating in loving acts and kindness towards all beings, including ourselves. In this way we nourish our soul and care for others. Love isn't traded. It isn't given or taken away or even hard to get. It is available to all of us, at all times. Every loving act is a step towards Love, so we must be mindful in our choices. Be aware of negativity and know that very angry thought moves us further from the embrace of our elation.