The birds

I know it’s been two days since I’ve posted. But I haven’t turned my laptop on in two days. Partly because I’ve been otherwise engaged. And partly because I have been trying to avoid the internet to feel better.

Quick post off my phone to say I haven’t heard the birds so resounding clearly in my neighbourhood since the 90s. These are such strange times.

More soon.

One year ago: Mostly nothing
Four years ago: Piece of peace

Even flow

It’s been a good couple of weeks, the energy from the weeks before has turned. Like I said yesterday, there is equanimity. And this time, I find myself not dismissing it as “surprising” or “sudden”. I know this is deliberate. It is cultivated. I have put certain practices in to place, prioritised some stuff over other stuff, realigned my life to look and feel the way I need it to.

I’ve been sitting with duality again. About how sometimes it is possible to be going and coming at the same time. To feel incredible freedom and yet feel clenched up at the same time. Finding surprising elements of femininity and masculinity that exist within me at the same time. In realising that a sense of loss almost always precedes new discovery.

It’s been a day spent out with S again. A day of such lightness and freedom. Rushing off for a morning movie show so early, I was reminded of my years when I held down an office job that required rushing against time to get things done at home before I dressed for the day and dashed out the door. Except that was to go to work, and this was to go to fun. Walking around CBD with its wide pavements in the summer sun, oversized sunglasses making an appearance in March, an easy, luxurious Mallu sadya lunch on a banana leaf, running errands with S, and then catching up with D and S for a work meeting that turned into a lazy hang that last three whole hours before I slowly dawdled my way home.

It had been nearly 12 hours since I had left home in the morning.

It was a day that gave made me experience freedom in more ways than one. And a day filled with timely, required reminders that this, here, is enough.

One year ago: This is us. Really.
Two years ago: Let’s get one thing straight now
Three years ago: Whisky-shisky
Four years ago: Flying solo

Peace within

Feeling a sense of equanimity and peace today. Despite stepping out of my cocoon to read and realise that the world is still fast spinning out of control.

On days like this, when the balance shows itself, I feel that internal “container” within me that we have been talking about building and growing since I began therapy. It’s the space that keeps me grounded and in touch. Balanced. Peaceful. Even as worlds of emotions swirl inside. The two can coexist, without my having to fly off into a mood.

It’s also been a full, satisfying day. Once again reiterating my need to be grounded, in reality, to feel equanimity in my being.

A night of restful sleep, a sweaty workout to start the day, two readings in person, the house to myself all day long, a nap, a long walk around the neighbourhood and returning with some fresh greens and groceries I picked up along the way, some solid, involved, deeply satisfying cooking (for today and tomorrow!), dinner that hit the spot. Finishing this all by 8 pm and settling in bed, done for the day and writing this as I get ready to shut my laptop off and wind down already — it just feels very, very good.

One year ago: Home away from home kind of feeling
Two years ago: I still remember when we did not have the answers

Soft, rested, easy

A softness and ease that I was missing since the start of the year, seems to be slowly returning.

Easy. Relaxed. Unwound. Rested. Calm. Happy. All things that felt like they needed effort, are now within reach again.

A good night’s sleep, that has been really hard to come by (to the point where it was beginning to worry me), has made a comeback. Consequently waking up — that I was also struggling with — has become easy again. Which in turn means I’ve been very good with getting exercise at the best time of the day for me. And that soft, good beginning that really sets me up for a day of ease and flow, is possible again.

I had decided I want to get 5 days of exercise per week, as far as possible. Because this number had dwindled in the last 3 months of 2019, and the effects of it were showing. I have had way too many fits and starts since then. But as of last week, I think I may have made a real comeback, without having to struggle for it.

Mid way through last month, my gym membership expired. It was around then that I realised it was time to listen to my body that was asking for the usual change I crave every now and then, and I didn’t renew it. I’ve also been feeling a very strong urge to run, outdoors, more seriously, more frequently. And so I began. I just began, without thinking about it. Running outdoors and working out at home on alternate days.

Summer is also upon us. The days are getting longer, mornings warmer. Waking up and wanting to head out has been easier. And so, I’ve had an unbroken streak so far — 5 days last week. Everyday so far, this week.

The green outdoors, running amidst freshly flowering trees, morning glow all around, my current music OBSESSION in my ears — on two occasions I teared up while running just from the sheer goodness of the endorphin rush combined with the perfection of the moment.

I managed to get out and have some fun, to balance out all the heady work I’ve been doing. The heaviness that has made me constantly choose the bed as my only respite when I wasn’t working, has lifted.

Solo outings that I so, so, so need are happening again. I’ve also been enjoying cooking good, wholesome meals for us at home again. Minus the drudgery. And even allowed myself take out on the days I most needed it. Minus the guilt.

I’ve been taking naps when I needed them, given the bad night sleep I’ve been having. I have been in a consistent fog of sadness through the last few weeks. Even when things have been good, happy and uplifted even, there has been this fog lingering at the back of my mind. It sometimes felt so physical, like my vision has been hazy at times and seeing clearly was difficult. But, I feel rested, eyes open and I feel clear again.

VC and I have been enjoying relaxed time together — something we strangely haven’t done very much of since the start of the year because we’ve both dived headlong into our respective new work areas and it’s been very, very preoccupying for the both of us. So the past week or so we’ve had relaxed evenings just sitting together, chatting, sharing a drink of wine and I realised it’s something so simple, but has been missing, even though we’re both working from home, and are together all the time!

My energy has changed, and I know getting sleep and exercise back on track has everything to do with it. But I also feel it was an energy shift from the weekend of workshops. Not just from facilitating, but also from being in a healing circle and receiving gifts even when I am not there to work on myself. That has been such a gift.

I didn’t know that what I was missing during these confusing, heavy, sad last few weeks was softness. But now that I feel it — in my body and in my mind — I realise there was something clenched up, hard, about the way I have been lately. Maybe it’s the constant onslaught of the political situation, plus the hyper-focus on making work work and a serious reduction of all my rejuvenating practices that actually ought to double or triple at a time like this.

I’m enjoying this return to me.

One year ago: As Goa as it gets
Four years ago: Because I want to remember

Chasing sunlight

I took yesterday off.

After a rather hectic week, and an intense weekend of two full day workshops, and the realisation that I need to see some light, I got out and spent the day with S.

We’re so focused on our catching up that we make time for it, choosing to meet ahead of lunch to maximise the gabbing so we can cover all the topics we routinely file away to discuss at length “when we meet”. So there was a pre-lunch hang over chai, then greasy Chinese for lunch, then a post-lunch chai, and then dessert. And this time we did each thing at a different place, walking around Richmond Road.

It was like a breath of fresh air in an otherwise very dreary time.

On my way there, as early as 10 am, I thought to myself what a privilege this is. To be able to have life go on, undisturbed even as parts of this country are ravaged. What a luxury to have the space and the ability to begin a Monday morning like this. What a delight, to choose rest and recovery, with deliberation.

I’d like me more of this.

Three years ago: Kitchen soup for the homesick soul
Four years ago: Shine on

Seasons

Observing the quiet, natural way in which the planet gently and purposefully moves, signalling timely moments of birth, blossoming, life, rest, recovery, strife, renewal and eventually death has come to hold a lot of meaning for me. I’ve unconsciously internalised the message about everything happening in it’s right time, all things — even difficulty — having a place and a purpose, so deeply in the last couple of years, that it has become natural to now see a tree in full bloom, or absolutely leaf-less and immediately feel a connection.

Flowers, plants, butterflies, dragon-flies, moths have taken on a new meaning, when I spot them. Nature holds so much more. The earth has called out to me in so many ways.

It’s how I observed some days ago on a Sunday walk, that it is that time of year again.

The start of the same cycle that I have noted before.

Here. As hope, in a time pregnant with uncertainty, but promise.

Here. When I experienced the transience of time and how insignificant my worries, and I myself, felt in the larger movement that is life.

And here. Symbolic of the the despair I was experiencing then.

Looking back I see a movement in how I have moved in experiencing the same phenomenon as distress, to eventually hope. It’s telling for how much power there is in working through distress, even when everything is saying don’t go there, and processing it. Not so you can forget, forgive, or deny and minimise the effects of a difficult time and the pain it may have caused, but so you can actually integrate it in your being, in a way that eases the power it holds on you, to move on with ease.

Yesterday, I wrote a post on Instagram about trauma, and how the most human tendency towards processing it is avoidance. And how holistic methods of therapy can actually work in ways that befriend feelings in order to loosen their grip.

One year ago: Move, move, move
Two years ago: There’s nothing here to run from 
Four years ago: Major leaps, minor struggles

Flow, flow, flow

For a while now, I have been aware of the fact that the ups and downs in my energy and attitude towards working out everyday, has carried a message for me. I have, as far as possible, tried go with the — giving in to the needs to be slothful as much as working the high energy bursts to my advantage. But it has been a tad sad, to have to see the absolute high of last year’s energy in this aspect of my life change so dramatically.

The message has mostly been about coming back in touch with my body. To listen when it is saying something — whether asking for rest, or a change in form of exercise, or an indulgent rich dessert — whatever it is. Just to listen. Some clues have surfaced when I have, but it has been a challenge to still the mind and it’s need for rigid routines and perfection, and allow for that listening.

Yesterday’s tarot message was, unsurprisingly, mostly for me. It is already very, very true for me — when my mind is well, my body is too, and vice versa. Which is to say when my body isn’t well, it’s sometimes something to do with my mind. After years of training myself to listen in, and the years I have spent exposing myself to a holistic practice like Family Constellations, I now turn to look at what inherent connections I am missing, before I jump to medicating myself.

Anyhow, after many months of chipping away at a return to fitness on my own last year, and the uphill task of trying to sustain that some rhythm this year even in the face of clear and present need for change, it was suddenly time for an intensive movement workshop that I had signed up for last year.

I spent this past weekend in an intensive two day level 1 certification of Animal Flow, a practice I have been tracking for some years now. I’ve watched in awe not just the flair and flourish with which these flow-ists practice, but felt very deeply attracted to the mind-body connect it inherently requires, the slow, mindful way in which the movement flows, and the way in which the practice always feel so grounded — literally — since it is performed bare feet and on all fours.

This ground-based, quadripedal, body-weight movement training is focused as much on strength and power as much as it is on flexibility, agility and grace. It draws heavily from primal movements typically seen in animals, and is a beautiul framework of movement that has an insanely high focus on building greater neuromuscular connections and performance.

Again, bringing me right back to the mind-body connect that, even as I dole out as advice to so many people on a daily basis, I have been unconsciously moving away from in my own life lately.

The opportunity to certify myself as a level 1 practitioner finally aligned for me, after three missed chances, last year. I grabbed it back then, no knowing what 2020 would hold for me or if I’d even be around, and that an early commitment would mean I would prioritise it. And yet again, unknowingly, most serendipitously the timing couldn’t have worked out better.

Just when I have been flogging myself for not being able to just get with it, and get regular with my exercise, just when I have been not listening to the cues I’ve been getting about trying something more grounding, more in tune with being outdoors, something a little more challenging than the comfortable rhythm I have fallen into, it was time for the animal flow weekend.

And it kicked my butt. Physically, and metaphorically, both.

Despite being in a very good place as far as my body and fitness goes, I have been struggling since the start of this year. Waking up has been hard, my body is clearly demanding a new rhythm from me that I have not been very willing to give it. For eg: I have not stopped to wonder even once, why it hasn’t been hard to wake up and get to Sunday walks, as much as it has been to wake up and go to the gym everyday. The answers are there, pretty clear, if I had chosen to stop beating myself to go against the grain, than lean in and do what my body was asking for. More outdoors, more nature, more unfussy practices, less rigidity, less routine, less flogging.

At a time like this, there’s quite nothing like spending two full days around serious fitness aficionados and trainers — I was one of only 2 members in the group that were learning it for purely personal reasons — to shake the ground beneath one’s feet. The rigour of the training was way up there, because it was geared for fitness coaches, but I enjoyed every bit of it.

The thrill of a new skill, new tricks, and a 1000 new possibilities that lie ahead as far as working out and fitness goes, is high. But what’s more, I felt an intense mind-body connect over the last two days, and spending the whole time crawling about on all fours, doing those moves over and over and over was just the kind of big dose of physical grounding I need right now.

There’s also quite nothing like a good challenge for the body to remind me once again what’s emerged as important points in my fitness journey goes. The weekend brought me right back to remembering how well these have worked out for me recently:

  • Being honest and realistic about my expectations and goals
  • Focusing on what feels right and noticing when I find flow
  • Being grateful for my body, where it is at, and all the it enables me to do

I’ve already made the shift from focusing on fitness as the pursuit of slimness to focusing on it for strength, health and wellness. This past weekend I felt myself feel into my body, at a cellular, muscular level, and I daresay I really enjoyed the experience of what my body can actually do, in a very, very different way than ever before. There was a very deep, primal connection I felt with my limbs, my muscles, my skin, for my brain, for how incredibly crazy it is that we can learn new things and get our bodies to work in new ways. AND THE BODY JUST LISTENS.

Overwhelming. And humbling.

I guess there’s something to be said about non-fussy, no-equipment practices like this, or even yoga, that just use the body as the best instrument that it is. It touches and activates a very powerful, primal spot that is in all of us, that either lies dormant, or covered in heaps of layers of gunk for the most part.

I keep thinking about how the word flow keeps coming to me. My my experiences, conversations, how it’s emerged as a focal point, a goal, a measure of goodness almost. And it’s so uncanny that I literally learned another way to flow yesterday. The synchronicity is not lost on me.

One year ago: In-between   
Four years ago: Light and shadow

Finding flow, and flowing with it

It’s been over a month and a half of doing tarot card readings for people. At the end of practically every one of these sessions, I feel a bit in awe with the realisation that if there’s one utterly human thing that connects us all, it is the basic desire to understand ourselves.

It’s very grounding and humbling. Levelling, unifying. As much as we are diverse and unique, we’re all also much the same.

The pursuit takes different meanings and manifestations for each one of us, but at the heart of it, is always a desire to “make sense” of the machinations of our minds, hearts, desires and stimulations and getting them all to align from time to time.

Since committing to sharing my journey and learning, and stepping into what Bert Hellinger calls The High Art of Helping I try and stay in touch with what feelings are evoked in me when I engage with clients and am in the seat of The Helper. It’s usually where I find clues for what I need to still see in myself, what parts I am yet to integrate and possibly to unpack a little bit more, the complex machinations of my own spirit mind.

It is a process that while very satisfying, evokes a simultaneous helplessness and the desire to do more, reach more people (because I see how common and universal human struggles are) while also drumming up the soft rhythmic beat of a series of gentle yeses that affirm I am in the right place and this pace is just right.

Like I said, grounding and humbling. Levelling and unifying.

***

At some point in the last few months, I made a slow and almost inconspicuous shift from the pursuit of flow, to just flowing with it when it arrives. I’m somewhere in the process of making friends with the up and down natural rhythms of my body’s energy, my minds willingness to be motivated and push through, and the sweet spot when the two meet and find alignment. I don’t recall exactly when, but I do recall having a conversation about it with S and saying, perhaps this is just it then. I welcome the highs when they arrive, and ride them fully, enthusiastically. And I give in to the lows with as much welcome, allowing for rest, if that’s what it is asking of me.

Working with people in the way that I am these days is also asking for a lot more emotional and mental energy than I imagined. I know I will develop ways to conserve and protect my energy, as I go on, but that is a curve and right now I am at the very bottom of it. So it has been taxing, depleting and quite revelatory.

Which explains perfectly, why my energy hasn’t been uniformly upward or even plateaued. I’ve seen wild ups and downs and for the first time in my life, I have been able to go with it peacefully, rather than grit my teeth and fight the natural rhythm of things.

***

And then there have been days like today. Three readings, two of which were in-person, in my home. And two more enquiries from people who I’ve done readings for last month — my first repeat clients!

Today has been a super demanding on me, but also super satisfying for all the same reasons. It’s been a day of flow. A day that flowed. And I was able to just go from one thing to another with ease, enjoying thoroughly, every moment of my work. I live for days like this, and I’ll bookmark this one to remember.

One year ago: Renewal
Two years ago: You guys, I must be the luckiest alive
Four years ago: Beach bum

I’m alive

WHAT. A. DAYYYY-YYYYY!!

1) It started at 7 am. For making it to the gym, two days in a row. Yes I’m now down to celebrating this, because January has seen the exercise streak take a severe beating. One that I was happy to just go with, till it led to unbelievable levels of sloth that I had to just ride out, I suppose. An upward spike in energy since the weekend has meant I am back, once again. And two days in a row made me insurmountable happiness first thing in the morning.

Working out to this on repeat a handful of times probably also had a major role to play.

2) Also the fact that I started loading and refreshing the Election Commission’s website at 8 am today. It was bound to be a good day, right form the get go by the look of things. But boy, I was not prepared for just how good Delhi came through!

This is probably what reaching tipping point feels like. When the status quo has been hella shook, people have no fucks left to give. I’ll admit, I had a mad sadistic happiness watching the results, with BJP getting absolutely pissed on, and Congress, walloped. Every cell in my body feels relieved. And insurmountably happy that after years of wondering how much lower will we have to go before there’s a glimmer of some push back, some turnaround, this happened.

The single-minded hate campaigns have had me really disillusioned lately. That this is a state’s response the country’s current ruling party got, for what was probably the lowest, most despicable, disgustingly hate-laden, vilest campaign possible makes me happy no end.

Kejriwal’s “I Love You” to Delhi punched me right up in the feels today. I feel hopeful that as a country we know better, we want better, and even though it might be a long and painful road ahead, this victory makes me feel hopeful that we will not settle for less. Not anymore.

I read this couplet somewhere today, and aside form feeling really apt for the turning point that today is, it really, really touched me:

tū shāhīñ hai, parvāz hai kaam terā
tere sāmne āsmāñ aur bhī haiñ

Translation:
You are a falcon, flying high, your purpose
And you have so many undiscovered skies ahead of you

This is what hope looks like.

3) And as if all that goodness was not good enough, I watched Little Women. It was an impulsive plan to tag along with S and S and I wanted so badly to “revise” the plot of the book before I went but that didn’t happen. I kept repeatedly mixing up details and plot lines and earlier televised and cinematic versions with Pride and Prejudice (*eyeroll*) and I was all kinds of confused until right before the movie began. But OMG OMG OMG — what. a film! Came home so utterly confused about why Soirse Ronan didn’t bag the Oscar for Best Actress.

It was just beautiful — stunningly re-imagined, picturised, shot and edited. And just such a delight to see a film so full of powerhouse women taking so much screen time, uninterrupted by men who are just mostly in the background. It was poignant, and I could personally relate to so many little nuances of each of the characters. Their pains, sorrows, joys, triumphs, confusions, disillusionments, frustrations and ecstatic successes alike. It was touching and joyful, heart-wrenching and uplifting, simultaneously. Experiences that show me humanity, and duality are fast becoming top experiences in my book.

4) We shared a plate of the best potato wedges after the movie.

Yeah that’s it. That counts for a darn good happy day in my books.

One year ago: Super power
Four years ago: Fail

Coke love

Something about flights and travel brings back Coke Studio to me in a big, big way. Every single time.

Did another massive on-repeat listen of my Season 12 favourites all the way to Bombay, thinking fondly of this warm evening we had at home in December. I actually physically hurt with a longing for how much I miss this music-filled, perpetual-food-coma, period in my life from the Goa years that was super-charged on a bonhomie I am yet to experience since then.

Listening tot he entire playlist made me super nostalgic, as usual. Enough to want to check ticket prices to Berlin for another reunion. Hahaha.

PS: Also, I’m running out of descriptive titles for this repetitive Coke-Studio-Love kind of post

One year ago: Glowing within, growing within 
Two years ago: What you seek is seeking you 
Three years ago: Busy times apparently

A sense of wonder

Off to Bombay tomorrow for a third workshop. And as I sit here today, with a just-packed suitcase, I’m still a bit gobsmacked to be making a “work trip” that though isn’t panning out the way I imagined, is already offering up so much more that I just didn’t imagine.

There is a huge sense of wonder in this building a new practice up from scratch. I have been feeling quite like a little child who has just got her hands in something entirely new, thrilling and riveting.

I want to soak up this sense of wonder a bit longer. Wonder and awe at how quickly and organically, yet ever-so-naturally, this avenue has unfolded for me. And how absolutely new and undiscovered everything is. No rules to play by, no predecessors to follow, no milestones to hit. Just one step in front of another, and on I go.

***

There is this feeling I get at the end of every workshop. When we’re sitting in a circle, sharing final thoughts, exchanging glimmers of where each one of us is at and riffing off of that, I feel a rush of being in the midst of immense courage. I always feel gratitude for that courage. The courage of every single person that shows up at a workshop. It’s easy not to see it as that, because I know I went into my first workshop some years ago, feeling quite depleted, defeated and “weak,” in that sense. I was looking for answers I so desperately wanted, and I was certainly on the back foot, facing life.

The truth is, though, taking a step towards healing is always a step of courage. It takes great inner strength, strength that one might not even know lies within, to seek wellness. It is a glorious, almost divine space to be in, when you surpass the fear of what change will bring, and you throw yourself into the abyss. For me it meant that anything was better, more promising, than the place of stuckness I was in. I wanted out, and even though it took me a long while to get there, sitting in that workshop was a first courageous step towards finally doing something about it.

I know it takes fighting a serious amount of fear — of what people might say, of what it makes them look like, of what might surface, of the discomforting truths they might have to face, of oh so many things, really — to take that step. So yes, gratitude for people’s courage. Courage in seeking better for themselves, and courage in trusting us with helping them to navigate that path.

I know now that focusing on self-development means focusing constantly on confronting this fear that is always just two steps behind. It means making a habit of making courageous choices in our own interest. Choices that often make us feel selfish, guilty, self-indulgent, every single day. It means facing that voice of fear and shutting it down and doing it anyway.

These days I have a new measure of maturity and responsibility. It is in taking control of one’s situation and seeking better. Even if that means making a choice towards that wellness, in taking that step with a sense of fearlessness. In making that choice even in the face of words of caution from within and around. Those are voices that usually operate form fear. Fear of being perceived as reckless, wasteful, silly, wishy-washy, even. It takes emotional maturity to want to push past that fear and do it anyway. And I have an immense of wonder for that aspect of courage. And respect for anyone in whom I sense that spark of fearlessness.

One year ago: My heart is a bloom
Two years ago: We are children that need to be loved

On blooming

It’s nearing that time of year when the Jacaranda blooms in full fervour and intensity all across Bangalore. It’s one of the first signs, long before the hay fever and really warm days, that spring is upon us. It marks a slow coming to life after the snug days of winter, (even though we didn’t have much of a winter here this year – boohoo) a gentle blooming of life again, after a period of germination.

For some time now, as I have been seeking and feeling alignment within, I have also been observing patterns in nature. These age-old cycles that have been keeping rhythm of life for billions of years. Announcing periods, setting the pace, informing us in so many ways about when to slow down, when to keep pace, when to rest, when to retreat, when to conserve energy, when to step on it and ride it out.

I’ve been thinking about about natural rhythms and seasonal cycles, and how much it impacts the state of my body and mind. And I’ve been thinking about ways to observe closer, in order to find a deeper alignment. Because there is without a doubt, a benefit in this for me. Much of my work over the past few years has been in finding my own natural rhythm. A pace of life guided by an internal axis, rather than one set by the world around me that runs to a different beat.

I’m nowhere close to where I’d like to be as far as working in rhythm with natural cycles goes, but I am trying to make a deeper habit of tuning in and tuning around. Watching the moon cycle, noting my energy levels through the month, seeing what changes within me, as the seasons turn. When am I at my most energetic? And what can I do to maximise that, so that I can seek rest and retreat guilt-free at the times when I feel the lows?

I have been big into practicing staying with my pace and inner cues, and not going against the grain of late. And so, spring is about coming alive again. A liveliness that I have been feeling bubbling over all through January. But even so, I have felt the energy peter out in the last ten days or so.

It makes me wonder, how aware are we of the natural signs around us? Urging us all the time, gently and by example, that everything is cyclical. That there is no growth without descent. No spring without winter. No rainbow without rain. No full moon without new moon. No life without death.

Being in tune — whether it has been in taking to plants and dabbling in a bit of gardening, watching the moon and observing my mind and body through the cycle, running when I feel like it and lazing when I dont — has affirmed in many a way again and again, that growth has it’s own pace. It’s own milestones. It cannot be rushed by an externally kept schedule.

To ready yourself to bloom often requires long periods of inaction — whether you think of it as germination, autumnal period of your life, hibernation for self-care or whatever you will — it signals the necessary time of pause. Of stillness that is needed to first drop below. To peel. To shed. To let go and leave behind. In order to heal, nourish, nurture what lies beneath. And eventually to move on and about. To reach out. To evolve. To thrive.

To bloom.

One year ago: Sparks of joy
Four years ago: So, is this a blogathon?

On being

Very quietly, I stepped into a new life and into a new role — that of a practitioner and helper (as we call ourselves in Hellinger’s system of Family Constellations) very early this month. First with putting out my website, then with inviting tarot sessions that flew in thick and hard, and finally with two Family Constellation workshops on consecutive weekends these past two weeks.

Even though I very silently slipped into this new space some weeks ago, and it has been a busy time since, I really felt like I had landed in the very centre of the space that is this feeling like a whole new identity for me only yesterday, at the workshop.

One of the threads of Hellinger’s Family Constellation philosophy, is the idea of a spiritual conscience. And even though we have defined it in words so many times over the years in training, and I know in my head what it is, I have struggled to really understand what it is. I have had no counterpoint or marker in my outer world, in real life to pin it to and say Ah! Yes, this is what it is.

I have over the years understood it as many things and concluded that perhaps it is all these things at different times. A spiritual realm, a twilight zone between that which is known and that which can only be experiences, a sense of flow, a connection with ones higher conscience.

Yesterday though, at the workshop, I really landed — and I mean to reflect the deeply visceral experience that I had facilitating a full day’s work in Family Constellations — in this new space. I felt firmly in my mind, body and heart, that I was in the space of a helper.

It felt like safety.

It felt like alignment.

It felt like all was well with everything around me.

It felt like everything was as it should be, in the right place, in the right way.

It felt like a great sense of harmony flowing within and out around me.

It felt like intense satisfaction and intense purpose simultaneously.

It felt like perfection.

It felt like grace.

It felt like flow.

It felt like I have hit solid ground, and yet floaty and airy like I could fly endlessly.

And I realised at some point, for a brief moment, mid-work, that perhaps this is what the experience of the spiritual conscience is. The dance of the movement of one’s spirit, when it is unencumbered and free to move in the way that it needs.

When I get out of my way.

When I surrender, over and over, to the call from within.

When I find a deep inner connection that feels in my outer world like I am being guided mysteriously.

I also realised that this experience of the spiritual conscience is not an end point like I have imagined in the past. It is an experience that will come, when all things are in alignment, and go, when it must.

Yesterday was a blissful, immensely satisfying and rich day for me. I can only hope some of it translated to the group of folks that attended. And I ended the day just so grateful to have found this work and to be sharing it with the world in my own small way.

One year ago: Learning to let go
Two years ago: Sorry seems to be the hardest word
Three years ago: 2017 book beginnings
Four years ago: Perspective

On emptiness

Committing to a life of getting to know myself a little more intimately has meant consistently peeling back layers and layers of protective fluff that we as humans tend to gather around our hearts. As I told someone in a reading today, this is human nature — the need to protect and keep the heart safe at all costs. Even from seeing the truth that needs to be seen, before we move forward. This process also takes us further away from the core of our humanity as well. Creating layers between our outer and inner worlds, keeping us away from our own  selves.

So then, to commit to a life of getting closer  human to try and confront whatever it is we are seeking protection from. To do it in a gentle and compassionate way, that facilitates integration and forward movement in life, is super important. The goal then has been to be more touch with that which makes me human. What lies at th core of my spirit, when all the layers have been shed.

I have been thinking a lot about this — about the very core of humanity, and what it is that makes us the way we are. And the process of getting there through constant cutting of fat, peeling of layers, letting go of all that doesn’t serve me, processing all that does, often requires culling away and gracefully shedding many things. People, emotions, beliefs, ways of being and living, even. And very, very often, staring at the emptiness that remains.

It has taken me to the depths of understanding the heartbreaking, but liberating, price of living in a way that deeply honours the needs of what lies at the core of my spirit.

I have been witnessing emptiness in my life so often, in so many places and forms, these past couple of years. But the simultaneous process of filling myself up in a healthy way, of finding inner solidity of and from myself, has made all the difference.

This mornings edition of the daily aha moment while on my run was this: that I have discovered the difference of looking at emptiness from a place of emptiness, versus now looking at emptiness from a place of being quite filled up.

It means I am less compelled to be uncomfortable as I once was, by that emptiness. Less troubled, less thrown, less inadequate because of it. And I am less drawn to immediately fill it up with something else. Less inclined to do anything at all, actually. I have somehow found the ability to just see it and acknowledge it for what it is — emptiness. Necessary emptiness. And I am able to hold it as it is, more often than not. And the discovery thrilled me no end this morning.

One year ago: Solo Saturday night
Two years ago: Obscured by clouds (Coonoor, 2017)
Three years ago: Two new pieces
Four years ago: Lessons in letting go

Recharged

I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the year, really.

It’s been a week since I left home, and it feels like a lifetime has passed in my mind, during this time.

Feeling at home so deep in my bones, in my place, with a solid sense of belonging, is a truly unparalleled experience.

There have been worlds of thoughts marinading and being very slowly processed in my mind.

Thoughts about the power of truth snd conviction.

Thoughts about being impossibly heartfully connected, even as I find healthy separation.

Thoughts about how months of cultivating a healthy container seems to be giving rage a new kind of outlet.

Thoughts about an all new adult kind of definition of settlement.

I hope to unpack this slowly for myself over the next few days.

Thank you to this corner of Wayanad we now call home. Thank you for filling me up on ways I don’t yet have words for. But I will get there. For now, I’m Back on home turf, recharged and raring to go.

Two years ago: Here I go again (on my own)
Three years ago: 2016
Four years ago: In-bloom