Waking up

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On Waking
I give thanks for arriving
Safely in a new dawn,
For the gift of eyes
To see the world,
The gift of mind
To feel at home
In my life.

The waves of possibility
Breaking on the shore of dawn,
The harvest of the past
That awaits my hunger,
And all the furtherings
This new day will bring.
– John O’Donohue

I created this blog around 15 years ago as I set off on a journey – the prose were originally about my travels, what I thought would be ‘Life’s greatest adventure’ – hence the strapline. Physically this was (is) my greatest adventure – 18 months 14 countries, then later (while holding down a full-time job and paying a mortgage) around 10 more countries – and I like to think I’m still going! These physical journeys constantly allow me to grow, to awaken to a new dawn – but I didn’t realise that I never truly opened my eyes until I found Yoga!

I’ve seen the Pyramids; jumped off Auckland’s Sky Tower; marvelled at ancient cities, stood in awe of the Taj Mahal; sailed down the Ganges; trekked in jungles; dived with Turtles, gasped at the power of the humpback whale; visited Buddhist temples, Hindu temples, churches, mosques, even the Cao Dai Holy Sea… and much, much more.

I have been phenomenally lucky to have these opportunities and experiences, my life has been enriched because the physical journey introduced me to cultures, beliefs and ways of thinking that allowed me to become who I needed to be to walk alone into a yoga class and stumble upon life’s greatest adventure – finding your truth!

Beginning my Yoga journey I explored different styles, went to different teachers then boom – Ashtanga Vinyasa. For me a truly whole-istic practice. A practice of concentration, mind body and breath become one – a moving meditation. It cuts through the crap and forces you to confront yourself, and as a result your demons, on your mat.

Ten years of dedicated practice couldn’t help but illuminate my bad habits and allow me to hear my destructive thoughts. But despite momentous effort I couldn’t quite shake them. A two-year teacher training course (to help me delve deep into my practice) then a few more years practice, and still I fought daily battles with myself – yet I felt powerless to change.

A few months ago I could feel change on the horizon, I felt deep within myself that a new dawn was coming. And I was right! A seismic shift occurred around July’s supercharged eclipse. But ironically for someone who is always too busy to rest, it was Nidra Shakti (divine sleep energy) that brokered my awakening.
Eleven days of Yoga Nidra (yoga sleep) and suddenly the awakening to a new dawn allowed me to see though my eyes as never before. I suddenly feel truly at home in my life, enjoying a great affection and familiarity for the truth I always knew was there.

I am awake my deepest truth; I am awake to my inspiration; and, I am awake to what really matters in my heart. I’ve voiced hopes and desires to myself and my partner that I never thought I’d have the courage to say. Time has a new meaning, days last longer in the best possible way. Work stress has evaporated, but my job hasn’t changed. I’m writing again the first time in years, words flowing out of me and unprompted unplanned just there needing to find themselves immortalised on the page. I rush less, relax more. But best of all, many of my bad habits have evaporated – I simply don’t want to do those things. Destructive though patterns have quietened. My demons are sleeping!

I can feel the waves of possibility lapping at the shore. I am excited for what comes next, for all the furtherings this new day will bring. But while Nidra Shakti was responsible for my new dawn and the awakening of the waves of possibility four key teachers made reaching this new day a possibility…

Firstly Goddess Virginia – who led my first ever yoga class. She was my teacher and is now a dear friend. A guiding light, a constant source of support and encouragement throughout my yoga journey and a reminder of the power, brilliance and pure love of Wild Women!

Uma Dinsmore-Tuli who showed me a way of being and practicing that was always within, but was dormant and introduced me to a mantra that previously terrified me but, looking into the dawn of a new day, feels incredibly liberating: “With great respect and love I honour my heart, my inner teacher.”

My Yoga Teacher Chris Croft. For reminding to show up on my mat regardless, but also helping me recognise when sixth series needed my attention. His words of words of wisdom and personal insights are astoundingly accurate and regularly show me the reflection of myself in my practice.

Finally, and most importantly, my soulmate Andy, who despite me being a crazy, neurotic, grumpy, over-worked bitch never gave up! Thank you for the last 10 (20) years! Thank you for kick-starting my yoga journey, for beginning to walk this path with me, and for standing with me at the dawn of a new day. With the waves now breaking on the shore of possibility I am excited to see what lies ahead for us…

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