the road not taken

yoga hands mudra

On Sunday, my second baby will be 6 months old. I find myself emerging from the fog of baby raising, starting to look out again into possibilities for what I might do, how I might work, and what life might look like on the other side of this time. It is an interesting place to be. Slowly, a creative energy is coming back. Very slowly slowly.

At this time, it is difficult to look out at what other people have accomplished, what projects they have given life to, how they are growing and sharing their work. It is difficult because I feel both so empty and so full. I feel so far away from that person who ran that big studio, who taught those trainings, who built all that I built, before it all disappeared for the babies. It is hard not to compare, it is hard not to feel small, despite that I chose, both consciously and unconsciously to take the time out to spend their early years with them.

So today, I am reflecting on the yogic principle of aparigraha: non-attachment, non-hoarding, non-ownership. I suppose sometimes when we are out of the doing phase of our life, for whatever reason, there are other things that arise. I am really happy to see some of the new projects manifesting by my friends and colleagues. I am glad they are being made by someone. Sometimes, I wish it was me who was doing the creating, other times not. Sometimes it is hard to live with the questions about what might have been if… if… if…

The truth is of course, there is no if. At some moments, we are given the inspiration and energy to manifest outwardly. Other times we must work small, work within. Let go of all that stuff that we are supposed to do. LET GO OF HAVING IT ALL.

When I was a teenager, I was torn and conflicted by the concept of freedom. Every freedom came with an equal opposite set of chains, everything chosen was something else not chosen. Sometimes, that is obvious. Sometimes it is satisfying. Other times, what you feel is the loss, the path not taken. Even if ultimately, at any moment, you know what you are doing is the right path, one can mourn the loss of the other.

We cannot have it all. To think we can is crazy. And while we can make conscious choices, and feel satisfied in them, it doesn’t always satisfy the feeling of loss.

I wrote this the other day, and it feels like it follows.

Once upon a time, on a new moon, I would have visualised all that I planned to manifest in my life – teaching opportunities, love, time, handstands etc. This time, I am spending the new moon reflection on the last 4 years with Simon and the 6 years since April 2011, when my life shifted course onto the course it is now on. There have been incredible gifts, manifestations, dreams coming true in ways I could not have imagined. There are 2 beautiful children and a loving marriage. But there also has been a lot of loss. There was 18 months when I couldn’t leave the UK. There was the passing on of people close to us. There was a fire and closure and loss that remains without closure. There is still grief from all of this and more arising.
Also, this moon is triggering Brexit, is dismantling climate change policies. It is a difficult moment in the culture and human collective family.
I am over the sort of manifestation that says in a year I will have this or get this or do this. You can do anything that you want to. Of course. That isn’t a secret. Even 45 can teach us that. If you believe so firmly in something, you can do it.

But at this moment, I am not interested in that kind of “spirituality”. At this moment, I am interested in honesty. In non-attachment. In knowing and believing that I am held, we are held, and that we are being asked through these challenging days to find, refind and redefine what our lives mean, how we will activate our creativity, and how we will get through the dark times, without being defined by them.

The manifestation I am doing now is to remember to connect. To be peaceful inside. To give love with my whole heart. To ask for support when it is needed. To wake each day and do what needs to be done with an open heart and a quiet mind. To connect in person and to connect to what is real. And to believe that the universe gives us what we need, and not only what we want. That the progress through life in not linear and it is not always towards better and better and better. Sometimes it is to empty the pebbles from your pockets, the boulders from your shoulders and stand with your palms open and say I do not know. But I am here. And I will do what I am called to do, if that is to raise my babies, love my family, support my friends, teach who I am meant to teach, say what I need to say. If that is to tend my patch, or to create something bigger, it doesn’t matter. This is dharma, and I am ok with it as it is.

Friends, I love you, thank you for being in my life. There may be difficult times ahead, let’s work together, support each other and generally be kind.
Om shanti.

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