I hope that this message finds you fulfilled and delighted on this glorious summer day.
I am just back from the most radiant retreat in Joshua Tree, California. Immersed in deep practice, surrounded by likeminded people, settled in quiet, and shimmering in 40 degree heat, I felt sweet shift within – a delicious melting away of resistance to life. An awakening to another marvellous level of life’s intrinsic beauty. It was ecstatic – but totally ordinary. Sumptuous – and light.
I still feel very easeful and sweet. Buoyed by the weather, no doubt – but it’s not just that. I am standing in a new appreciation for how deep, consistent practice over time sets the stage for so much love and richness in life. Of course, I have dedicated my life to sharing practices of profound benefit. I know the exceptional value. But each deepening of my own experience opens a new serendipity, a fresh revelation on the importance of this. I am so grateful to be in a position to share this work with others. I feel so blessed that this is my life.
As we sped back to LA from the retreat, in the car with Stockholm’s wonderful teacher Helena Wintre, and elegant teacher Jill Blumenstock of New York, we were hooting and howling with joy. We resurrected some truly unlikely 90’s rock. (Don’t judge us). I was reminded of my teen years, that sense of elation was so similar, I hadn’t felt that way for years. But I noticed a crucial difference. When I was younger, that elation was less stable and more cracked-out. And, always, I can recall even in my most fun and delighted memories – that subtle sense of smallness. That slight sense of contraction, even in joy. Looking back, I see that it was that smallness feeling that led me to seek out meditation and yoga. I used to feel like something was wrong with me for feeling that way. Everyone else was having such a great time – why did I always feel so screwy? Even in my twenties, especially in my twenties, that smallness took on a sense of urgency, a longing to release. Now I see that it was perfect design – perfect attunement to smallness from a young age – that led me to become a seeker of bigness. What a boon to come to hold that perspective – that life-affirming perspective that reminds me that EVERY little thing seems to show itself as beneficial eventually. As my bodywork mentor Yamuna Zake recently put it, ‘Now, at 60, I KNOW, something good always comes of this.’ Indeed it does.
So there I was in bliss, laughing and cavorting with girlfriends like I have so many times before. And this time – no perceptible smallness. Just sweet openness, extending in all directions.
I hold the remembrance of what these yoga practices are truly for: the melting away of smallness and resistance to life. I offer you, with love, that reminder. Whether you are facing storm clouds or celestial heavens – know that this moment of life, regardless of content, is pitched in that direction, is leaning towards awakening. The outer manifestation is ceaselessly turning, like the twisted trunk of Ganesha. But the inner light is always dawning.
So, here’s my revelation: practice makes blissful. It really does. Stick with it. If you don’t meditate regularly, try it. Seek the highest reward. It’s there for you.
I am thrilled to offer you an invitation to celebrate my 40th birthday with me! I will be doing my favourite thing, enjoying practices of freedom and bliss, at Indaba Yoga on August 16. In fact, I’ll be teaching asana for the first section of the workshop – and then we’ll chant the 1000 names of the Divine Mother. This is a practice of profound power and magic. I hope you can make it.
On August 9 I am offering my only body rolling class until October at least – Deliciously Uplifting Self-Care at triyoga Primrose Hill. That pretty much does what is says on the tin. Super delicious, ask anyone who has tried it. You’ll get super stoned and feel a substantive physical shift after a whole day – you might just be a smidge taller. Saturday August 9, 10 to 5. The cheapest, most effective 6 hour bodywork session money can buy. Yee-haw!
Looking forward: Some dates for autumn offerings, dates are up for the Practices of Freedom and Wellbeing Immersion 2015…
At the bottom, you can read my bookend to this newsletter, ‘The True Meaning of Feathers’.
Let me know how you are doing. Please share your stories of how practice has opened the doors for your life. Share if it hasn’t and you’d like it to. I love to hear from you, and I always respond… even if it takes me a month to get to it, I eventually do. With pleasure, I respond.
Blessings of Love, Dear One,