FINDING YOUR WAY BACK

“This morning, I opened two gifts. They were my eyes.” Unknown

Sometimes, I wake into a sleepy state of forgetfulness. Do you know that feeling? It has a bass note of anxiety and a through line of not good enough. It’s vaporous and shadowy and hard to pin down. An aged ring of insidious discomfort that quietly wriggles its way into those opening moments of daybreak. 

It tends to happen if I’ve been traveling or thrown out of rhythm. Adapting to new hotel rooms, cities, landscapes, languages, food, air quality, space. My particles take their time to catch up after flying too many miles in too short a time. And so the old cloak drapes itself over my sensitive head.

One of my dear friends recently shared about how her self-care practices had slipped since Christmas. How work had taken over and how easy it can be to breathe the morning shadows bigger with cruel whispers of disappointment. When, really, our practice is to simply pause, listen and tune into what is alive inside us. To listen to what our being is truly calling for. We get fooled into thinking it’s chocolate or beer or distraction but, if we look a little closer, it’s often rest, nourishment, touch, connection or the edges of an emotion that hasn’t been traced.  

And this is the practice. To strip away the stories and dissolve old patterns so we can move closer to what is really happening in each moment. To get closer to truth. To what is referred to as first order reality. Reality before you have a thought about it.

“The presence of stillness opens the body and soaks into you like a sponge, if you allow it. A silent understanding happens that is not in words but is the direct experience of what is.” Adyashanti, Emptiness Dancing

There are many portals into presence and ‘what is’: stillness, touch, art, music, movement. I’m always looking for new ones and this is a small selection that might help you find your way back home:

  1. FOLLOW THE INNER PROMPTING

If you’re feeling heavy when you wake up, break your routine and let yourself be guided to your journal, your mat, your lemon water, your shower. Mix it up. Don’t do what you always do. Let your inner voice take the lead and see where you end up. I always give myself 90 minutes in the morning to get ready, eat and allow for whatever is needed – writing, moving, dancing, meditating, breathing, sitting, sipping some warm elixir. 

  1. DO ONE THING

Whatever it is, focus entirely on just one thing. Maybe its walking outside your front door with bare feet and breathing the morning air. Maybe it’s five minutes of meditation. Maybe its being completely present while you polish every tooth. Maybe you grab your journal straight away and let the pen move across the page in words or pictures. Which leads me on to tip two.

  1. WRITE

I did this today. I sat up in bed, pulled out my laptop and started to write about the shadows. It turned into a poem. Which turned into this blog. Let life move through you and see where you end up. And then take that principle into the rest of your day. When you go into a story, feel your feet, breathe, listen, then follow the inner prompting again.

  1. BE A CREATURE

Because you are one. This really goes out to my friends in the UK and Northern hemisphere. Sleep, rest, snuggle, eat warm soups and stews, do less and be more. Go to bed earlier and catch the quiet of the winter mornings.

  1. MICRO MEDITATE

If sitting to meditate has fallen away or feels out of reach then do micro meditations throughout the day. Close your eyes and tune in to the contents of the moment. Use your senses to anchor you into presence and sit quietly for a few minutes. Ask yourself, ‘what is the quality of this moment before I have a thought about it?’ Or put your earphones in and enjoy a guided meditation for ten minutes at lunchtime. It will make all the difference.

You can practice presence in each and every moment. The portals are always there and meditation allows us to abide there more fully but you can step in at any time.

How do you find your way back to yourself when the shadows creep in? What are your ways ‘in’ when practice is out of reach? Please add to this little list and guide us all into your own magic doorways by leaving a comment ❤

MORNING SHADOWS

Still, sometimes, 

there are mornings 

where that old distant shadow hangs

a loose lace,

old and fragile

yellowed and stained,

like my mothers nicotine walls.

It suffocates my deeper knowing,

rivering freely below. 

A heavy widow’s cloak

blocks out the light and

that part of me that always knows 

this new day is already complete.

But I am sleeping

and the edges of not enough 

are sharp and ragged.

Lodged in old grooves,

achy wheels that get stuck,

carrying the ghost of uncertainty

so she can sit lightly on my chest,

almost imperceptible,

her heavy layers 

tremble with short breaths

until I let her pass through.

I see you. I am here. The secret to successful communication.

‘Some people possess something very special: they have the now in their heart.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

I’m barefoot on the volcanic path, the jungle fully awake and the morning sky all silly blue, taking the 20 or so paces from home to the studio. Ten minutes early for class and there are a few people sitting quietly in the space. I set myself up and approach them, one at a time, careful not to intrude. I’ve meditated and am deep in the dimension of relationship. It’s the theme for my class and it’s a good one as it keeps me anchored into my big Self. I’ve got my presence on in a big way. And I am here. Ain’t got my head in no other place. I’m not with anyone else doing any other thing, following any other story, making any other plans. I’m here.

Himlayan yoga practice.

Yoga as spoken word

‘The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is good as dead.’

Albert Einstein

I’m channeling Russell Brand as I try to remember how he spoke about prayer. It was so eloquent and spot-on and he said something along the lines of prayer being intention. Taking the time to connect to an aspect of you that is bigger than you. To acknowledge guidance, to ask for support, to put yourself to one side and recognize that you don’t have all the answers. To simply put something out there into the world, with intention, gratitude and meaning. For me, prayer is all of these things but it is also inspiration.

Yoga and the tickle that ends with a blaze

‘It begins with a tickle and ends with a blaze of petrol’.

Jacques Lacan

I’ve become a heavy breather. A hefty exhaler. An uninhibited sigher, catching the high notes as they roll down the back of my throat. Purring at the end of the exhale and letting the ripple take a soft seat in my cells. I think it started in meditation. Bliss trills would surprise me and trail out in whispers. That moment when everything settles down and you can really exhale for the first time.

Silenced for the very first time

An auspicious 11 insights for vipassana virgins

Click the image below to check out our recent article for men’s yoga clothing brand and our brothers, So We Flow. We’ve partnered with them for clothing and content and with the Fellowship Of The Flow, we’re pleased to offer you 10% off their clothes at the checkout. Simply add the code THEMATMOVE10 to claim your discount.

Balinese expressionist oil paintings from I Wayan Pugur

A gentle artist of note from Ubud

Everyday in Penestanan, Ubud, we pass I Wayan Pugur. A gentle, old, artist, busying-away in his workshop between the rice paddies. He looks up over the rim of his glasses and smiles a wide smile with soft eyes. Sometimes, when he’s finished painting for the day, you’ll find him playing out with the taxi drivers at the other side of the valley. There’s something eternally mischievous about him. 

A real community story

‘Imagination will often to carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.’

Carl Sagan

 
As our time draws to a close this year in Bali, it’s good to reflect on a really positive story and some beautiful people we’ve met. We hope you get to meet them too. You can. Here’s how.