Caught in Indra's Net
I realised the other morning that I had stopped dreaming - well not completely - but I hadn't dreamt BIG for ages.
For such a long time my dreams had been about leaving the UK, living in Asia, teaching yoga to people who really needed it. I had dreamt these dreams and then realised them - I had put so much into actualising the dream that I had forgotten to continue to dream. My main problem is that I am a dreamer - and left to my own lunar devices that is all I do (my sun is in pisces) - luckily my moon is in capricorn which keeps me somewhat grounded and vaguely driven.
Ideas, dreams, ambitions often appear eccentric to people who don't share your vision. When I had first shared my ideas of moving to Myanmar with the nearest and dearest - there was mixed reaction. Why would you want to give up everything you have here? Life for you is great? You teach in some great studios, you have just finish doing up your flat, you have great friends and a big social network, dear family, you are dating a lovely man it's going well ....whats not to love? But for me the dream was bigger, it expanded wider than London, further than the distance across the channel from England to France, further than the boundaries of 'Europe' that had provided me with security for so many years ... I wasn't quite sure where this dream would take me ... I consciously tried to have no expectations as I knew that would only lead to disappointment.
What is it that stops us dreaming? Our busy schedules? Fear? Fear of what - age? Fear of failure? Fear of other peoples opinions? Fear that no one else dreams like us - that there is something wrong with us?
So... this week... I have started to dream again.
A dear friend here in Myanmar (she is a unicorn of sorts), reminded me of the power of drawing, so a few nights ago I sat down and with a large selection of colour pens and pencils and I started to draw. Attempting to make a map for my dreams. The initial few marks I placed on the paper were tentative - I was properly scared - I hadn't for as many months that I could remember taken this time for myself - to dream - to imagine - to allow what I wanted to come out from the inside organically onto the paper.
My map wasn't really a map - it made no sense really - there was a lack of colour - which is something that I crave - there was a lack of direction - which is something I don't - but there were a few clear pointers on this paper - and those clear pointers clearly spelt out - you are ready to leave Yangon. There is nothing more for you to learn here right now. There it was clear as day - glitter and all.
And then the fear set in.
What about all that you have created here? What about all the people you have connected to on a deep level, friends and students? What about your projects? What about those dreams? The old dreams? How can they connect with your new dreams?
But life (in my opinion) is about going beyond your comfort zone. It is about taking yourself to the edge and sometimes into the deep waters filled with sea-monsters.
These last eighteen months have stripped me naked - have literally (at times) had me wandering arse out in the desert. But amid the harsh sun and my parched skin, I have developed survival skills and resilience on a level I never knew was out there. I have developed a sense of humour that is simultaneously darker and more joyful than my previous line of comedy.
Sometimes I see myself a Mowgli and his lyrics always keep me chipper.
Wherever I wander, wherever I roam I couldn't be fonder of my big home The bare necessities of life will come to you
My big home... me.... my physical vessel. Nothing else.
Now I need to listen again to the call of my soul.
I realised this week, I still have an imagination, and my self-awareness (eternally being refined) was such that I just had to dig deep for another bought of courage to pursue some more dreams. Edmund Hilary didn't turn back half way up Everest! Once dreams are actualised, brought into the real world there is no re-set button.... things move.... they have to... it is a universal law. The universe makes space for new stuff, when you make space in your life for that new stuff to appear. That is unless you are content being the part of the masses - doing what people have always done? (Which if you are - fair play!)
I am not.
At these times when I dream, when I allow myself to imagine - I struggle to practice vinyasa yoga - naturally my practice leans more to yin - and I relish it.
To Practice: take a simple yin posture for example child's pose or caterpillar (the yin version of paschimottanasana - seated forward fold) and practice it everyday for a week. See if you can start by holding for 5 minutes and work up to 15 minutes. While holding this pose work with the three tattvas of yin yoga (a tattva is a reality of a thing or a principle) :
1. Come into the pose to an appropriate depth "play to your edge" - feel significant resistance
2. Resolve to remain still
3. Hold the pose for time
Follow each pose with 15 minutes of Savasana (corpse pose).
Take a few moments at the end of each session to pause, to notice, to observe, physical sensations, thoughts, feelings, dreams - observe your progress in the pose through the week and then journal record your findings.... see what appears for you.
Give yourself time and yinspiration.
Dream new dreams.
When you believe in your dreams you create miracles.
I am still coming to terms with these new dreams, I still have a fear of 'seeming' failure. Will people think I have failed with my project in Myanmar that I have spent the last 18 months manifesting? (No - stupid - I have brought it into being). From this project in November I will leave a legacy here for others to continue in the future - and I will continue to come back and nurture this project that is my commitment to Myanmar.
A friend said when I was home in the UK in August, that I had "left London to find myself". I laughed. I left because I already knew who I was and my life in London didn't reflect that.
I had dreams that I couldn't actualise in the UK.
I had dreamt about conquering and accomplishing and adventuring far beyond the walls of expectation that we are all bound by.
Schopenhauer points out that when you reach an advanced age and look back over your lifetime, it can seem to have had a consistent order and plan, as though composed by some novelist. Events that, when they occurred, had seemed accidental and of little relevance, turn out to have been indispensable factors in the composition of a consistent plot.
So who composed that plot?
Schopenhauer suggests that just as your dreams are composed by an aspect of yourself of which your consciousness is unaware, so, too, your whole life is composed by the will within you.
And just as people whom you will meet (apparently by mere chance) become leading agents in the structuring of your life, so, too, will you have served unknowingly as an agent, giving meaning to the lives of others.
This is the symphony, with everything unconsciously structuring everything else.
Schopenhauer concludes that it is as though our lives were the features of the one great dream of a single dreamer in which all the dream characters dream, too; so that everything links to everything else, moved by the one will to life which is the universal will in nature.
This same idea appears in the Indian Brahmavar Upanishad in the mythic image of the Indra's Net, which is a net of gems, where at every crossing of one thread over another there is a gem reflecting all the other reflective gems. Everything arises in mutual relation to everything else.
Relativity - this does not exist without all other such things. Any one event implies all events. There can not be me unless there is everything else.
So when you step into alignment of your greater good, where your dreams and the collective dream resonate in exquisite harmony.
Your fortune becomes everyone's fortune when you live as a channel for providence.
So, follow your bliss.
If something is not working for you change it.
There's something inside you that knows when you're in the center, that knows when you're on the beam or off the beam.
And if you get off the beam you've lost.
If you stay on the beam, you still have your bliss.