A delicate poem in honour of the sacred silent spaces within us all.
Ah, February. Just when we thought spring was here - deceived by those optimistic daffodils, snowdrops and crocuses - then you came right back at us with snow, wind and ice. I just returned from teaching a beautiful retreat in a very luxurious spa on the Isle of Man, and walking along the coast there certainly reminded me that we are still very much in winter.
The time between winter and spring is a fragile time. Those cheerful plants that rise up through the soil can easily be cut down by a harsh frost, those enthusiastic desires to take on new projects and goals can suddenly be thwarted by unpredictable fatigue or illness, and we may find, as John O'Donogue says so beautifully, that we have been forced to enter empty time.
Sometimes we have to surrender to the urge to do nothing. To hibernate in our homes with steaming cups of cocoa and a good book. To snuggle up under a blanket, and have nothing to do apart from potter around the house doing the occasional chore.
The new ideas and ambitions that you have in those moments of spring like energy? Harvest them. Keep notes, let the ideas germinate. Not everything has to be started now, and if you let your subconscious quietly mull on them as you go about keeping your day-to-day life going, you may find that it becomes easier to make decisions about what to do, and what to drop.
For women, this time can be compared to the transition from menstruation to pre-ovulation. To discover more about your inner spring, join me and a group of women in circle on Saturday 12th May 2018. More info here.
And for now? I'd say it's time to rest...
Three simple starts to start a gratitude journal that actually brings more love and joy into your life.
The passing of Michael Stone acts as a wake up call to all that teach and practice yoga. In a culture where weakness is frowned upon, vulnerability is weakness, and there is no time for grief, no space for sadness, no acknowledgement of deep pain, yoga could be offering us salvation. Yoga could be building a community where we create space for weakness, for vulnerability, for grief, sadness and pain. But it isn't. Yoga (or the industry around it) is exactly the same as the other corporate bullshit we are fed #everydamnday. We all have a responsibility, to ourselves and to others. To get real - and to learn what true love really is.
When our attitude to ourselves is one of loathing, it doesn't matter what we do to change or improve ourselves, we will always fail. Companies like Weightwatchers make most of their money from repeat customers, because if you are punishing yourself with food and exercise, you are going to run out of steam and either go on a mad binge or just burn out. The more we can bring love to everything we do, the easier it becomes to realise that you truly are beautiful.