This year has really taught us something hasn’t it? Are we being grounded? Did we need time off? Is America going to vote in Kanye West when he runs for President?
Has the world gone mad?
In England, we are still vaguely in lockdown. I was suffering from what I call “New Millenial Transience” (but you still register as homeless) before the lockdown, which came into effect when I decided to settle onto my fathers’ sofa. Three months later and I am still here.
I didn’t take time off.
Instead of taking the cue to rest, I took the stable(ish) living environment as a cue to work on solidifying my business. It’s been three months of hard lessons – for someone such as myself, much happier in a daydream, much more at home floating around or engaged in some creative activity. Unfortunately I have not struck the perfect balance. I frequently feel stressed, surly, irritable – either overdoing the screen time or drastically under-doing it and burying my head in study and practice.
I’m working towards a freer way of being that requires, first off, at least above the living wage and my own place to live in that isn’t somebody else’s sofa. And requires plenty of free time.
Quickly, at least relatively given the massive transformation I’ve gone through over the last decade, I realised that my life could not be like other lives. While many teachers manage a fast-paced life teaching many, many classes, juggling one-two-three jobs to make ends meet, whenever I neglected my quiet time my life started to really and truly deteriorate. I have something of a responsibility to myself to keep life mostly quiet. It’s been a point of massive frustration and I’ve dug in my heels, against the expectations of family and to the destruction of almost all my friendships.
Let me explain – quiet doesn’t mean without confrontation, frustration or difficulty. I just can’t live like other people live. Massively empathic, hugely sensitive my mental health deteriorates into a state of mild schizophrenia when I don’t honour the practice that I need. This is common in awakening – or so I learned through experience, watching and feeling into my own state of change.
This could change over time – as my capacity grows, as I recover from the shock of it I might emerge integrated and ready to open myself up to more ‘normalcy’. But do I want it?
No. And I’m not about to live my life as an ascetic either – I don’t require a luxury house with a huge garden or a pool, but when helping the people I help in the way that I do, I do need to take care of myself beyond what normal people do. I’m a master-in-training on a beginners salary. This lockdown gave me the stability and space to start laying down the groundwork to change that.
Hence the slow build and launch of my very own yoga studio. It’s a totally online, live, multistyle studio that hosts teachers worldwide to connect them with students, also worldwide. I know that this is going to build a network, a community and a thriving platform that I hope will give my own space.
Despite the good reviews, I’ve never found many yoga jobs! And I’ve applied for MANY. I suppose it’s not possible to be available for everyone when you’re working with a very niche skillset, and in the midst of awakening.
This lockdown has also been a period of serious levelling up – and although my practice hasn’t been what it once was (I’ve been a lot more experimental), I’ve really invested in my study. I’ve been fortunate enough to be offered a “Pay From The Heart” Scholarship to study with Bonnie Banbridge Cohen over the summer for her online classes. And I’m thrilled – Bonnie has lead the way for many in somatics. While she specialises in patterning in children, she also does a lot of work with adults – particularly dancers, performers and yogis. It’s an exercise in re-learning movement again and finding the spark of divine creative essence that resides in each and every cell, and can and will be awakened with conscious movement. Her teachings have been a joy every Thursday.
Bonnie was on my reading list for my Yoga Teacher trainings, and during the peak of my grief in 2018/9, it was her book Sensing, Feeling And Action that allowed me to really escape from the intense pain that I was in, and focus very strongly on the sense of grief in my body. And to view my body as a laboratory for exploration of self and movement.
She’s not the only master teacher I’ve decided to study with this summer either. I do pride myself on my excellence and the only way that I know that I can achieve that is to study hard, learn from experts, then integrate the experience and make up my own mind.
As a practitioner working with people who have emotional difficulties that range from stress to suicidal ideation, I like to keep abreast of different ways to help my clients. So there are two events in my calendar (whether I attend all of the offerings is another thing), but The Embodied Psychology Summit and The Trauma Summit have a lot of very skilled and seasoned practitioners in their fields. I attended a couple of events like these earlier in the year, and while I might have some personal reservations about large-scale events of this kind there’s no doubt that there is a huge amount of free and valuable information available to anyone who participates.
As long as you take good care of yourself by:
- making sure that you rest well
- attend what you want
- don’t get overwhelmed by the choice
- try to have someone you can check in with
you will find that they can be a great resource.
Personally, I haven’t decided which classes I’m attending yet. Honestly, the wealth of information to aid in my constant study this year has been unbelievable.
This full moon was a special one for July, and brought a ceremonial celebration of the Guru – Guru Purmina.
It is a day where the teachers of your life are celebrated, and although those of you who know me will know that I have a tendency to clash with authority sometimes, I feel grateful to the thousands (if not millions) of teachers past, present and future who have enabled me to be the woman that I am today. And the teacher that I am today.
Yes, I do believe in time travel (hence future!) and you can send me a contact email any time if you’re having issues with chronological integration.
Finally, July is my birth month. Birthdays have been very, very difficult for me the last few years. I haven’t really celebrated in style, I’ve been very lonely, I’ve been going through many different aspects of many different awakenings. And I’ve been grieving – celebrating that I was ever born didn’t feel appealing. That’s the deep depression of grief, isn’t it?
But, on 30th July I’ll celebrate 32 trips around the sun, as a fiery Leo woman and I can’t think of any gift greater than people showing me that they value everything that I put my life and soul into by attending my classes. So if you want to get me a gift, and you can’t afford to buy me a house (ha ha) then please come to my classes and wish me a happy birthday. That would be the most beautiful gift you can give.
That’s all for July. I’m going to try and make these blogs a monthly thing. To keep everyone posted on what I’m doing. I mean, the answer is that I am studying and practising yoga, but maybe there’s a little more to it than that?