Changing the mind!
It has to be said that that was a very tricky moon cycle, between swimming in the pool under the light of the-almost-peaking full moon on Friday 3 November 2017 in Goa, and the full moon that I celebrated in the dark and cold here in Guernsey on Saturday 2 December 2017.
The wheels fell off for a time. We invited Shiva into our lives in Goa so I shouldn't have been surprised. India alone will bring you to your knees, but Shiva, well he's something else. I knew there was a reason I needed to invest in a little statue of Ganesha, remover of obstacles, before I left Goa. He's been a central part of my Altar this last month!
Things need to fall apart so that we can grow, at least spiritually, but it's a tough process to go through. I questioned every aspect of my life wondering what needed to change, what I no longer needed and what had to stay. Of course I knew deep down that it wasn't about changing the external, but I was trying to maintain some control...the ego likes control. It makes us feel safe.
But I wasn't feeling so safe and with my right ear deaf for a good month, I've had to be honest about what I'm not listening to. Ah yes.
The healing came as it does. The anger, the fury, the tears, the everything that we need to go through to reach our bottom where we finally surrender and let go.
That's where the magic lies. In the letting go. Because only then does grace enter in and all is revealed, as if emerging from the fog. I felt foggy that's for sure, being partially deaf does that to you, and blocked sinuses that make it difficult to think clearly, and the extreme tiredness post long haul travel with children who take time to adjust to the time difference and a partner who's sick from the flight.
It's not easy feeling so raw and vulnerable and wondering where it all went so wrong. Of course it never did go wrong, it's just about perception and realising that it's time to transition from one way of being to another. The dream has shifted - it's no longer just my dream, my life, now part of family, and with that priorities change.
Essentially the mind changes. That's where the pain comes in. Changing my mind. Becoming more aligned. There's a poetic rhyme to it. And it is poetry really, the rawness of it.
I read probably one of the most poetic books I've read in a long time, "When breath becomes air" by Paul Kalanithi, which is nothing short of genius. An amazing book and an inspired mind and heart, that man. This lead me to read Henry Marsh's "Do no Harm". There was a theme here, brain surgery, death and meaning in life.
It's been a heavy month! But I've learned more about the brain, about the mind, about faith and spirit and the ego and about the manner in which life unfolds, how it changes.
I've recognised that it was my mind that needed to change, not the external of my life, but the internal tapestry that gives rise to a change on the outside. There was no effort required either, it was just about going through the process. Being present. Sitting with the pain (of change) and listening to the body as it communicated it's needs.
The mind resides everywhere, not just in the brain. It fascinates me. My mind. Everyone's minds. Changing minds. It's all there.
We make changes on the inside, often having to do a complete turn-around in how we believed things to be, so that we see things completely differently - the pre-school I didn't think I liked, becomes the place that actually I really love, the place I didn't ant to visit on holiday becomes the very place I now long to go, then person I didn't initially like on meeting is now my close friend.
Everything I resist persists and becomes an integral part of my life. So there's something to look out for. Resistance. It's often the very thing we need.
So once the mind changes, the inner world changes, then the outer world changes too. Not hugely necessarily, it all looks the same but it feels very different, more aligned, heartfelt and joyful. It feels right somehow.
It was a joy therefore to teach the waning moon and for everything to settle. Shiva worked his magic, destroyed so that life could be re-created. I'm just grateful for the practice, for the mat beneath me, that space, for the breath and the Yoga Nidra and for the light of the candle reminding me to keep heading towards the light, the heart the truth.
Changing minds is never easy but it's essential too.
With love and gratitude.