What a Year?
A global event such as a pandemic or ‘plandemic’ as some have called it, has given many of us an opportunity to look at our lives, relationships and connection to the earth in a whole new light. Whether this global situation was experienced through a ‘break down’ or a ‘break open’, on some level we were all impacted.
As I sit, at the beginning of a new year, I can only think how grateful I am for such an experience and the depth of love this year has given me. I am mostly in awe of the fact that I have yoga in my life, not only as a daily practice for myself, but also as the opportunity to share this with others and to be able to understand and provide support in such great times of change.
My yoga practice itself has merged and changed over the years… Where I find my greatest growth is through the radical practice of self-awareness, which comes through a lifestyle of self-reflection - thanks to my relationship with asana (daily mindful movement), breath awareness and daily meditation.
Considering the collective humanity, it has been fascinating to witness and be completely immersed in the huge divide that reared its head through the peaks of this global situation (and continues to do so). With everything being thrown in the air - it became a very clear choice - choose Fear OR choose Love.
The pendulum was swinging and I was right there holding on to the rope, hair wild, pyjama pants on, incense stick waving, swooshing from side to side without looking in either direction - from Love to Fear - back to Love - and to Fear - and back around in every other direction possible.
My life during the unknown madness of 2020 had become a rich fabric of rage, forgiveness, blame, joy, creation, destruction, bliss, yelling, understanding, silence, anxiety, acceptance, rigidity, flow… Yet with the birth of a new year - I can see that ultimately my practices taught me Divine Grace.
Grace: A state of flow, connection to our sacred mother and divine father, a deep rooted understanding of divine timing. Acceptance of our own heart through radical discernment and awareness.
My biggest teacher was fear. What a roller coaster we went on together, with absolutely no regrets. I can clearly see the threads I followed, the rabbit holes I explored, each were of such profound importance to my understanding and growth. Let’s just say - I have always been on the conspiracy side of the fence, I think some of us are just born this way. I will never fully accept a reality that harms so many of this planets divine beings.
This deep dive into the ‘dark side’ helped paint a tapestry for my life that has led me to understand divine Grace. Before the explorations of 2020 there were many perspectives I preferred to avoid. Being a self-identified ‘sensitive/spiritual person’, I had many subjects that I would rather not go into, as it was too hard or challenging to settle my internal emotional body afterwards.
I was, without awareness of its rigidity - a left wing, perpetually offended, not so aware, version of myself. Don't get me wrong - I was into this version of myself, I still have love for her. She was doing the best she could with the resources she had at the time.
What I learnt though, was that I didn't have to be as exhausted, or in hiding all the time, to try and stay centred. Through divine Grace I would discover my sweet, sensitive emotional body could cope, and really just wanted a seat at the table… turns out a front row seat!
What this meant was listening to, and learning from, both sides of a situation and feeling into these truths through the versatile vehicle of my emotional body - through this lens of Divine Grace. In doing so I have become more unapologetically me.
Now let me tell you.. There is nothing quite as energizing as being unapologetically YOURSELF.
Initially I, like many others, was all over social media during these lockdown times. Generally always leading with my emotions, I was sharing and writing what felt true to me at the time. I have encountered people who have disagreed with me in the past, (As I have mentioned I do love to dangle my feet into those warm conspiracy waters), yet nothing compared to the social media stage of 2020 – WOW!
Let’s just say I have ‘lost’ a lot of… ‘friends’?
I share the following story because it was such a beautiful experience of the polarity that was everywhere and how divinely timed it was for me to go deeper into that polarity, to ultimately decide that is not how I choose to live anymore. Exploring both perspectives means I can rest my emotional body in the centre, neutral, a state of Divine Grace.
I had been involved in many ‘heated’ debates (which included yelling individual opinions through written words, to manufacture a sense of safety) on Facebook, during this lockdown. The intensity was real. I felt that researching, and sharing, different narratives to the heavily censored mainstream narrative, was of great benefit.
One particular debate took an interesting turn when this now ‘Ex-Facebook-friend’ anonymously mailed to me, from an overseas location (a very specific, and post-marked location), two exact copies of a particular book… A book with the most simplistic, mainstream point of view they could have possible found. Apparently in an attempt to sway my ‘mis-guided’ ways back to a somewhat more mainstream scientific view.
The sheer shock and hilarity of this was quite incredible, Facebook just got very real life.
The beautiful contradiction - which could truly sum up this entire year - was that I was also received, from overseas, another book. This time not anonymously, but from a complete stranger. This book was filled with elegant spiritual poetry and wisdom. This book was sent in thanks for all of our online efforts (my husband and I) to provide yoga classes and supportive tools during this time.
It truly was divine, the timing, the experience itself.
The reality being, some people are going to be haters - who want to bring us down, and others are going to be lovers - who choose to lift us up. I do believe we are all haters and lovers within different relationships, depending on the context. This is what creates the polarity that we live in. I know that I have played both roles many times, which always teaches me the art of humility, a lesson that generally shows up in perfect timing.
I am exceptionally grateful for this experience of receiving these two gifts so close together - being able to witness my flow of emotions from both ends of the spectrum. Ultimately these situations showed me how to show up, choose love and see the world through my own heart while choosing to live as unapologetically me.
I experienced many people messaging me to tell me I was wrong, misinformed or dangerous. I witnessed, I pondered, I felt it - I realised they were also reflections of my own self-doubt - Do I truly have the courage to be me? To live, create, move and speak as the authentic version of myself?
This year has shown me how these interactions offer a profound space for radical self-reflection - and I’ll be honest - I loooove self-reflection. The opportunity to experience a heightened emotional state to break through some outdated toxic beliefs… Yes! pick me any day!
The irony being, to those with the long arms of ‘salvation’- you did save me: you saved me from caring about what others think about me; you saved me from doubting myself and how I choose to live in this divinely abundant world.
Through all of this, I have shown myself the person I want to be in the world.
I am more open and capable to fully receive other people’s truths with much more curiosity and love. Rather than quickly assuming their view was mis-guided to protect my wee glass palace of existence. In doing this I have given myself the freedom to feel how my perceptions are un-true to others, and that even when I believe something to be true, there is a version of reality where my opinion is ‘obviously incorrect’.
This has truly opened up the road to liberation in my daily interactions, flowing with so much more Grace. I am more comfortable to face daily encounters and I have started to experience the internal strength and resilience that I actually have always possessed.
Knowing deep within myself that as Divine beings of Grace we all hold ‘truths’ and ‘non-truths’ within different relationships and environments. I believe if we were to zoom out, to observe from a greater soul perspective, we would clearly see there is one truth. The rest is a playful dance of perceptions.
This concept of ‘one truth’ can be easily known yet takes on many spirals of experience to embody and understand from a heart centred place. I think it’s fair to say 2020 gave me a good dose of training to use my senses, my knowing, and mostly my heart to gain yet another perspective and higher understanding of how to navigate the human experience. Especially alongside so many other strong, beautiful divine beings. For this I am incredibly grateful.
I believe for a lot of us, when we start a regular yoga practice we may not consciously know what we are getting ourselves into. As I sit in reflection, I can only have profound gratitude for the 23 year old me who thought yoga sounded cool. What a woman she was, listening to something within, that didn’t make any sense at the time, has led to a life of such wonder. I love the challenges and I love the ease and grace that comes when I have the tools and awareness to choose love and forgive myself - time and time again - for being the beautiful, mad, crazy, wild human I am.
My piece of advice; listen to your heart and always be ready to forgive yourself. Live in your own Divine Grace.’