As I sip my ginger tea, fighting off the last stages of this cold, I've been spending some time re-reading the yoga sutras and some beautiful books. I found myself this morning journalling and thought I'd share.
The podcast is late this month because, frankly, the well is dry, I've had to just sit back for a few days to get better and I think creativity can suffer when our head is achy and limbs are tired...
Recently, I have been treading the line of grief a little more closely, it always surprises me, shocks me, and at times, the sadness feels fresh and new. And perhaps, that's okay, that the way we love, have loved, and grieve is different.
I've been wanting to write about grief, but I can't find a way to grapple with the enormity of it, the fact we as humans, all of us have or will at some point have to go through it, yet it is still a fearful subject, shameful, self-indulgent even. I love that more podcasts and conversations are had about it, but we still have a way to go.
I am still on a journey of realising myself, that I do not have the same capacity as before, 4 years ago. For once you've weathered a storm, you know there was the you before and the you after, they are a similar shape and form, but very different.
I keep thinking I can handle a week full of yoga classes, events, meetings, laptop hours, socialising and life admin. But I can't, then I feel alone, 'is it just me that can't keep up with what's expected of me in the West'. I just can't do it, without getting run down, my nervous system getting fried and begging for a reset.
I've been thinking of water. Of Circles. Patterns and lessons...
I've noticed a pattern, that I am willing to share with you, my community, I wonder if you'll see some of yourself here...
Everything is a circle a joining loop that repeats, from our menstrual cycle, life cycle, seasonal cycle, I could go on. But I am also seeing cycles in myself, my health, my mind, my heart, and the more I listen closely the more a rhythm and pattern emerge.
I will fill up my diary and neglect to check in, 'I can do that, I have to, I want to, I love my work' etc etc, but then in 4 weeks' time, I am TIRED, 'how am I here again', why can't I seem to learn this lesson, why can't I draw upon the teachings of yoga that have saved me time and time again. Trust, breathe, practice, be still.
I then started thinking of the sea, and rivers. Movement, and change. The only real thing in this life is change.
But I reflected on my grief, my sadness, as a pool within my heart, a space within that will always be sad, and perhaps this pool has a rise and fall to it, a tidal pattern like the sea has with the moon and the shore.
At times the water level is low, still, quiet, and undetected, there's space for joy, love and buoyancy. At other times, the water might rise, my body and spirit needs to let some of it spill over the edges, to clear, clean and rebalance the water level. There is definitely a resistance to letting this happen, grief and sadness, it is painful, but perhaps the pain is found in the resistance, like trying to hold down a body of water.
We do not stop the seas from rising they just do it, it is natural, and once the rush of water slides down the pebbles, there is a clearing and turning of the page.
So in this analogy I wrote in my journal, brought me comfort, that I do not need to be fixed, or expect myself to 'finish the grieving', continue to be surprised that I find my heart heavy, eyes wet and very very tired. But also trusting that 'The tide is just coming in' or, the relief of 'the tide is going out'.
Recently, I have been gripping, grasping, holding on for dear life. Because when I need to sit with the pain, I can distract myself, without even knowing it. I suddenly need to get all my work done at once, I need to clean my fridge, or reshuffle my furniture (just me!?). Now THIS is my circular lesson, that comes around again and again, when I get busy, I can neglect my self-practice, my morning meditation, journaling, and daily yoga. I get overwhelmed and the most important things can fall away or get squished. This can also let the voice of judgment grow, the word 'should' gets thrown around my brain too much and it can be rough.
So, when we get sick, a cold or flu, we have to let go, space is created through enforced rest.
I settled into a somatic yoga practice yesterday, and finally listened to my body and allowed myself to feel, let go and release. And that came through deeper breaths and tears. I whispered a soft apology to my body and myself for ignoring the messages it has been trying to send me for days, weeks perhaps, the messages that so often we are all too busy to hear, because we are all doing our best, to keep on top of our to-do list, to stay healthy, to earn, to connect, to be fit, to be a parent, mother, father etc.
So perhaps, if you can, let the tide rise and fall, let the water within carry whatever needs to be seen, and know, with comfort that the tides will always change.
It always feels rather nerve-wracking to share a vulnerable post like this, it may only connect to a few of you. But it's where I am today. And life is short, I love writing posts like this, and I'd love to hear from you too.