Updated: Oct 10, 2019
Blink and you might miss it. As I lay in Savasana this morning after my morning sadhna I felt, like I have repeatedly for about a year now that I am on the brink of something - that I am standing on a precipice - that everything is quiet and that even a slight breeze in the trees outside might take or shift my focus - that if I don't pay attention - I might miss it. What? The bus? I am not quite sure.
Something is about to happen, the universe is asking me to listen and so I do.....
And then it doesn't - happen (or I don't think it does) - so I'm poised and alert... still waiting. As I lie in Savasana there is this tingle, some might call it prana, life force, buzzing around me bright and sparky like an electric circuit. There is bliss. There is 'connection'? I don't even think there is a word in the English language that can actually describe this feeling. Then I wish for a split second that this could be my forever this moment where there is silence and nothing matters. And then the tears start to come and then the joy and then the lump in my throat and then the fear. The fear of loss of this moment, the fear that I can't describe this moment to anyone else no matter how much I want to. The fear of no one else understanding. Which is when I forced myself to lie there, eyes open, still and feel. In wait. As a child I was regularly branded as overly emotional. I saw it as a negative thing, as that's what society told me it was. Looking back I was just a small human trying to form whilst processing my father's decision to leave us, his young family, and all the trauma that went alongside. I persistently tried to turn it off, those feelings, all the feelings and I would just concentrate on the thinking. I would bury myself in school work, (luckily for me I had an appetite for learning). I was put into some sort of late 80s, early 90s talk therapy - where I just had to talk and talk and talk. No one ever encouraged me to feel. No one ever encouraged me to delve into my darkness, no one ever explained to me there was always sun behind the clouds. Instead I had to be fixed. I was broken and I could be fixed. As part of the unconscious side affects I started to hold my breath. I would go for long periods of time holding my breath and never ever breathing fully, and then i would sigh, a deep long exhalation sigh and then I would hold my breath again. I would also rub the back of my tongue on my teeth. I would slowly grate the central part of my tongue over and over again on the backside of my bottom teeth until it was raw and sore and painful. I don't really remember who taught me to breathe, I don't really remember when I stopped making my tongue bleed - but I do remember when I realised I would be a yogi on a life long path of searching, a path of dismantling the complexities and rhetoric around me. I do remember when I made the decision that feeling not ok was not ok. I do remember the first time I made the decision on take control of my life. And those decisions continue, those life changing decisions continue on a daily basis and its hard, its hard to stay focused. This year I chose to give up drinking alcohol. I am now into my 8th month and life is shiny. I am full of energy, except when I need to sleep, I am focused and I am able to teach with clarity. I am able to feel my feelings without getting lost in them. I wonder constantly if I have made the right choices, like we all do. I continually ask for signs from my guides, ask them to show me my path and they continually deliver. Sometime I get sidetracked and I hear the thinking mind take control and then I have to stop. I have to pause and I have to come back to the practices. I asked myself only this morning - what next? what else is there to do in this life time? As my astrologer told me this week on the eve of the new moon, 'To scale great heights takes great focus. It takes knowing what to put aside. It takes knowing what to cut out completely. It takes knowing what to pack extra of. It takes trusting that whatever falls down the cliff wasn’t meant to make it to the top with you.' This is no time to get side-tracked. Blink and you might.... Remember we are feeling beings not thinking machines. This really has been a revolutionary learning for me. A technique that has really helped me to stop the thinking, honour the feeling and allow me to stay focused on what I want and need, is the use of mantra. This year particularly mantra has been quite radical for me in my practice and in my daily life. Mantra they say is the force that liberates the mind. Remember that we have over 60,000 thoughts a day and most of them are on repeat so it is sometimes hard to even realise that you are repeating a negative self image or that you are not aligned to what you desire, or that you have feelings under the thoughts. We are surrounded by fear, humans in places of power that are judgemental and try constantly to force separation, both in community but also from our true nature. But we are the change agents in our own lives. They talk in the Vedic tradition of sakara - loosely translated as the manifestation of thoughts into things. We have the ability to live the life we love, staying connected to our truth. The sages saw sound and its vibrational quality as the audible manifestation of the energy to which we are all connected. They would mimic sound patterns they heard in nature as a form of meditation, achieving clarity and transcendent peace. Years later we can still do this... You will hear traditional mantras in yoga classes regularly: Aum (ohm): The basebeat to the universe, a powerful acknowledgement of connection between all beings. Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu (lo-kah sah-mah-stah sue-kee-no bah-vain-to): Asking for peace and contentment for all living things.
Om namah shivaya (Ohm nah-mah she-vah-yah): an acknowledgement of the power, beauty, and unique perfection of another being. I like to work with my own mantras. Vibrations that are aligned to my belief system. There are no right or wrong mantras, just ensure that energetically they are an individual and unique expression of what you truly desire. It has to be authentic. Creating your personal mantra - the mantra recipe. 1. Sit with your journal for at least 15 minutes and free write about what you desire in this moment. 2. Decide / refine what speaks to you most from this non-judgemental train of writing 3. Turn it into a declarative statement. 4. Bring the mantra into your day. This can be through meditation sitting quietly or walking for at least 10 minutes and focus on it, repeating it over softly. 5. Let it go, believe and surrender - give it over to the universe. 6. Then, receive. Sometimes I will try a mantra for a few days and if it doesn't flow right, or I struggle to remember it, I will change it. Try not to make your mantra too long or too complicated this will help you drop it into your day with ease. Sometime I work with multiple mantras through the week, but always make sure that you focus on one at a time otherwise the energetic vibrations get themselves confused. Some mantras to help you get started: I am worthy of feeling good. I attune my energy w