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Showing posts with label stillness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stillness. Show all posts

Monday, 9 December 2019

The death of me

In retrospect, the past two years have been horrendous. And as I type this, I realise that it's pretty much exactly two years ago that things started changing. Details are not important, but suffice it to say my mental and physical wellbeing were put to the test. There were times that I couldn’t see a way out, there were times when I almost gave up completely. Actually, there were times when I did give up. That resigning, letting go, surrendering.

It was my sister, and a fantastic friend who were always there to remind me that there was good, that I was good. Cuen was a pillar of support, completely unjudgmental, and always there if I needed to talk or vent or cry or find out how to go about admitting myself to a special hospital… Yes, times were rough. No, I didn’t actually go. Because I had support, all around me were caring and loving friends whom I could and did speak to. About everything. …I’m almost embarrassed to admit that there are some almost complete strangers that know my whole life story… Over share was not on my list of cares.

But looking back on it now, it was because of that openness and (over)-communication that I came through it all. Talking was the therapy that I needed to put things into perspective, and to move on. It was the support of good people that kept reminding me where I was headed, and where I needed to let go.

Now I totally get that talking isn’t the optimal choice for everyone, but I’ve also seen the absolute horror that can come from complete silence. We need people around us, to bounce ideas off of, to get different opinions, for support and care, a shoulder to cry on, or just someone to vent to. Friends or strangers or psychologists. Your choice. But choose one.

I think I’ve come through the darkness. I’m hesitant to say it out loud for fear of being smited by the good ol’ universe… But who I am now is so vastly different from who I was, and I am so much stronger, so much more confident, and so much more focused on my own life. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger is such a cliché, but it’s true.

(And in my modesty) It feels like I’m a phoenix, risen from the ashes. The death of who I was, was a necessary step to becoming who I am meant to be.

At least I hope that’s what it was.

Reaching for the stars.
Vasistasana is a great pose, and a strong pose. And the slipping sand makes it harder. Just like life. 

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Sunday, 14 October 2018

Treasures

I've been lucky, in a way, to not have had much of a run in with death and losing loved ones. Yes I'd lost grandparents, teachers, and uncles and aunts, but no one whom I was particularly close with. (My English teacher was probably the closest, but I was out of school already when she passed away.)

But that changed this year. And fairly drastically. In January, the absolute best grandmother in the whole world passed away. Even though I wasn't as close to her as I had wanted to be, we'd had a connection that is difficult to explain. She was always there for me. If ever I needed advice or to talk, she'd be there. Even though I didn't make much use of it, just knowing that I could if I wanted to made a massive difference. And that's not even mentioning that she was the kindest most loving most forgiving and most accepting person I've ever known.

Her death changed my life quite a bit. For one, I got more into my gardening :) and I fully believe that it's her spirit that's making my garden bloom so incredibly. (Almost) more importantly, it had a drastic effect on my outlook on life. On where I was at, and how I was dealing with things. The previous year had been particularly rough for me and my reaction wasn't entirely healthy or sustainable. The change was difficult, but essential, and amazing. Her death was the push that turned me from a bud to a rose. So, thank you, Oumies.

That same transformation, as good as it was, was equally challenging. There were tough decisions, hard changes, a lot of psychological work. Apart from my awesome psychologist, I had the unending, non judgemental support of a great friend. Our friendship had been a bit of a roller-coaster ride, mainly because both our lives were a roller-coaster ride at the time. But our rhythms matched and we were perfectly suited to helping each other deal with the mountains and hills of our lives. In many ways we were mirrors to each other.

In the weeks before he died, though, our friendship reached a new level. Its difficult to explain, but it's like we hadn't realised before just how supportive we had been to each other. For two weeks I consciously had this pillar of support. He'd always be there to help or encourage or advise, or just listen. Always. As was I for him. So when he died... He was suddenly just not there. Yes, that's generally what happens when people die, but... like... it was so much more than a physical loss, or an emotional loss even. A little piece of who I had become was shattered. If soul mates were a thing, then this was it. And it was gone.

If my gran helped to transform me from a bud to a rose, Cuen helped to make me bloom into a stellar rose, to start standing tall (even though I'm actually really short), to shine my brilliant colour out to the world, whilst protecting myself from... The aphids of life? 😬



I strongly believe that my gran is in my garden, and similarly that Cuen is in every bird that sings. Always there, in the background. And when you pay attention, they're the absolute beauty of the world. The birthing, growing, blooming beauty, death and re-cycling of life. A constant reminder of death, and a perpetual reminder of beauty, love, kindness, giving and caring.

Sometimes I just stop to smell the flowers (I haven't been able to keep roses alive yet) and listen to the birds. And it makes the world of difference to my day.

It may not have the same meaning to you at all, but I'd still suggest that you give it a try every now and then. It can't do any harm, but perhaps it freshens your day, or cheers you up just a tiny bit.

And hopefully this is my last somber post on death 😬

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Thursday, 11 October 2018

It never rains, it pours

In my head I’ve written this blog a thousand times. Each one has been slightly different, but they've all had the same gist. The same topic. The same everything, just phrased or sorted differently.

Each one was about how “it never rains, it pours”, and how, (somehow; I can’t think about it right now for some reason) it relates to yoga, and letting go of the excess, and how the two intertwine so magnificently.

But then, in my head, I started making this blog post so much bigger, and bolder, and more detailed than it needed to be, that I started to loathe the idea of having to write this post... I always had an excuse, or an alternative time to do it, or any reason to avoid writing it.

Yes, I was away on holiday at that time, too, and that could easily be a legitimate reason to postpone thinking about ‘work’ stuff. But still, my head continued birthing ridiculous comments. This time about how I was being so lazy, procrastinating again and falling back into bad habits, being so selfish and self-absorbed, a disgrace to humanity.

Luckily I managed, somewhat, to capture this train of thought at that point. I took a deep breath. I realised that it was self-sabotaging. I realised that it was a toxic thought path. A dead end. And it was only a week later, while lying in bed trying (admittedly, not very hard) to fall asleep, that I realised that I had just lived out the message of my blog post. The excess noise that our thoughts make needs to be let go of. It doesn't always have to be pouring.

But even if it IS pouring, and it isn't just your head making little mole hills into huge-ass mountains, we still can calm the mind down. We can still make it less pour-y and more rain-y, in our heads. And by doing so, perhaps alter our perception of where we're at. Similarly, in yoga, we need to let go of where we were yesterday, or where we want to be, and we need to stop putting ourselves down for not being somewhere further, or somewhere else. We do have the power to calm the storm in ourselves.



Sometimes I feel that my cat always thinks that it's pouring. Like, if she has only two bowls of food available to her around the house, rather than three, her world might end. But it is all about perspective, Elsie, it's all about perspective.
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