Photo by Robert Moses Joyce

Hello Dearest,

I wonder where you are while reading this? Are you on your I-pad by the sea, or ferreting away a little time to yourself whilst at work? Are you feeling well? Wilted by the humidity? Wherever you are this summer, I hope you are resourced in beneficial ways, and able to enjoy this wild ride of life…

I just got back from LA, where I was with my wonderful friends and teachers Tony Giuliano, Gina Zimmerman, and Sianna Sherman. I was out in the desert, in deep meditation, with the radiant meditation teacher and scholar Paul Muller-Ortega, and my beloved colleague Anja Bergh. And, just this past weekend, I had a more-ish dollop of practice and many deliciously indulgent tete a tetes with the outstanding Tara Judelle. Well, I am blessed to be able to learn in this way – and to have so many powerful mentors in leading the life of the awakened heart.

I have been buttressed by great beings in my life, and never have they been such a support as in the past year. I offer my loving gratitude to my teachers, loved ones, and students who have been so supportive to me. Especially my father, who I know is right behind me right now, and always. Thank you, Daddy. x

Today is the first of August – in ancient times, in this land, this day marked the celebration of the first harvest, Lammastide. It is a day of gratitude for all the fruit you have reaped from the activities of the year.

It’s very magical, this process of life, even when it is painful. I have been in a process of surrender that I can only describe as truly guided by light. This past cycle of my life has been supremely challenging, no doubt. Yet the perspective of the yoga I follow is that EVERYTHING is an arising of grace..

Paul Muller-Ortega said on a recent tele-seminar: ‘To the extent with which you have aligned yourself with life, with the highest principle of your life, you will experience grace as nectar, as sweet. When you have not fully aligned yourself with the highest perspective, you will experience it as fire.’

This light that I am being guided by often feels like fire – like parts of myself are being burned away. And I have been contemplating Paul’s words again and again… Is it possible for me to open my heart so profoundly that I can experience this fire as nectar?

Only when I fully surrender.

Surrender is not an act of will. It is a movement of the heart. We can’t try to surrender, we can’t actively ‘let go’ (despite what you’ll hear around personal growth and new age circles). Letting go by force of will just engenders disassociation and denial. We can, however, sink so deeply into our life experience that we release all resistance to things just as they are.

Surrender, like forgiveness, is something that your wisdom body knows how to do better than your mind. The deeper intelligence of your life knows how to surrender to life, but your mind is mostly co-opted by ego, by the need to fix, to control, to manage. It’s a big deal to recognise that there is something more inside us than our mind. What is this wisdom? How can we access this?

I can tell you one thing: it’s subtle. And easily overlooked. It requires sensitivity, willingness, and the will to slow down and settle into yourself.

I have, indeed, been right up against the parts of me that want to be in charge, to control my life. And everywhere I look, in the lives of my friends and students – I see this pattern of trying to control life, to finally get a grip on it –

I see whole schools of thought, yogic practice, and personal development work devoted to this aim!

I am heading, by force of life, by mandate of universal will, in the opposite direction. And I am pretty sure that the places inside that are burning are where I have been trying to manipulate my life – my self – into something that I can control. Something I think I want. Something comfortable. Something manageable.

Life is wild. And as far as I can see, it can’t be dominated, not for long.

A great invitation of yoga is the invitation to become that wisdom body, and to let the need to manage and control fall away, without effort.

Today, on the day of first harvest of this year, 2013, I offer my deepest thanks to this movement of surrender inside my own life. I move with this light, with love, as grace, as an act of devotion to life itself.

Yes, there is fire… but there is nectar as well.

I hope you are enjoying this blessed day. What gratitude will you offer on this first day of August? What is on fire for you right now? What is nectarean? How do you see surrender as a current that moves through your life?

In the next few months, I have some offerings that are, we could say, very core – intimate expressions of my life’s mission to support people in opening to their highest potential. Most particularly, The Practices of Freedom and Wellbeing Immersion starts this fall, followed by a The Practices of Leadership and Empowerment Teacher Training. See below.

Of course, Shakti Shop Ibiza, Oct 3 through the 7, is also up there, along with my birthday Shakti Shop on August 30….

I am back in London and teaching all of my classes, and seeing private clients, for many weeks to come.

I look forward to seeing you.

And please let me know if my thoughts have brought forth contemplations – I love to hear from you.

With Great Love and Gratitude,

Leila x