Don’t give up. Create space and rest.

When you are feeling tired and lethargic, overwhelmed and anxious, grumpy and hopeless, it is your body’s call for rest. It is your heart’s call to be heard. It is your soul’s call to reconnect.

Create space. Rest. Listen.

Don’t give up. The song by Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel came on the radio in the car this week and has been repeating in my head for days (along with the image of their very 80s music video!).

A poignant message of love, empathy and hope, this song has such depth and significance, for our relationships with ourselves, with our partners, with each other.

As I prepare for my upcoming Rest to Rise programme of retreats, restshops and heart circles, the song made me reflect on our cultural trends and norms, and the epidemics of stress-related malaise, burn-out, depression and anxiety. So many people feeling disconnected and tired. So many people becoming more sensitive to a way of life that isn’t working for them.

These words started to flow and I wrote them down:

Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t give up on your heart’s passion for life, on your dreams. Don’t believe those negative, self-depreciating, hopeless or angry thoughts.

You are tired and weary, that’s all.

You have been pushing for too long. You have been trying so hard. You have been caught up in cultural trends and illusions, making you think you need to do more, have more, be more.

In your heart you are just seeking love, belonging and connection. You are passionate at heart, longing to live and love fully. You are doing the best you can.

Don’t give up. The pain that you are feeling is the pain of disconnection. It is the pain of holding on and holding back, of suppressing for too long the full expression of life and of humanness as it seeks to flow through you.

To be human is to be wounded. Loss and pain are inevitable. Your pains are those of all humanity.

Don’t give up. Don’t give up on your joy.

Your body is calling you home, like a wise old friend. Come home to the fireside, be comfortable, be quiet, be still. Rest. Let go. Let yourself be comforted and held. There is nothing to do, no place to go, nothing to know, no-one to respond to. Relax.

Be quiet. Be still. Rest.

Soften and let go. Let go. Let go.

Rest deeply. Rest completely.

In this place you will remember. Remember. Remember.

Grace and ease abide in this place.

Stay here for as long as you need. Come back as often as you can.

when-did-you-stop-dancing

Every week in my work I meet people whose bodies are struggling to keep up with the pace, chronic stress, being connected all the time to screens and technology, and the lack of down-time or space for rest. The result is a loss of creativity, vitality and passion.

I know this feeling in myself all too well. This is why I created Rest to Rise.

Rest to Rise is a customised programme that supports you to rest deeply. It empowers you to restore your health, energy, clarity and compassion.

Too many people are pushing through, using pharmaceuticals and other strategies like alcohol, work, shopping or food, or dropping into depression, to numb out the discomfort.

We all have times in our lives when we just feel exhausted, overwhelmed, hopeless and out of control. We may experience sadness, anger, guilt and despair. Whether it is parenting, or looking after ageing parents, the loss of a loved one, a health issue, work deadlines, financial pressure, or the growing pressure we put ourselves under to achieve and succeed some sort of status, it is only human to have periods in our life that are particularly taxing. It is only logical then that our bodies and minds need regular time off to rest and recuperate.

The source of the discomfort is disconnection. The remedy connection.

The remedy starts with creating space and resting, deeply.

If it is not comfortable or possible to do this alone, reach out. Support, love, belonging and connection is all available in abundance when we dare to ask. And oh yeh, it’s so enjoyable to just let go and have someone take good care of you!

So, please, don’t give up. Create some space for yourself and rest.

Everything feels different when we are well rested!

For more information on upcoming Retreats, Restshops, Massages and Heart Circles, check out my websites: www.resttorise.com   and  www.georginapeard.com   and join me on Facebook.

The Freedom in the Not-Knowing

“Think Less. Relax More. Listen More. Then, new knowing will begin to flow into your mind.” Erich Schiffmann

I like to remind myself often that I don’t know what I don’t know. How could I? The moment we get stuck and attached to needing to know (or even worse, in thinking that we do know!), we become righteous and unteachable, and greatly limit our potential.

Have you ever noticed how desperately attached we are to ‘knowledge’ in our society, and more specifically to ‘needing to know’? (I am talking here about knowing beyond what is one’s own ‘truth’ in any given moment)

We like to know the answers. We like to know where we are going. We desperately fear not knowing how something will go by worrying a lot about it! We like to think we know best. My way or my perspective is the right one.

We judge a person’s value and worth on how much they know (or at least should know based on all the training and research and studies they’ve done!). Doctors get paid a lot more that intuitive healers, for instance!! (wink)

It is such a part of our conditioning and value system that often it goes unnoticed and unquestioned.

Don’t get me wrong. The quest for knowing more (and especially the acceptance that we don’t know A LOT) is a major positive driving force in our evolution.

Have you ever reflected honestly, though, on how much of your tension, anxiety and stress is created from desperately trying to KNOW? We grasp for it and hold on to it for dear life as a form of control, to avoid the predicament of our very real vulnerability.

Not-knowing is painful, even terrifying!

If I know more I AM more (worthy of love). The more I know the more I can avoid or minimise the painful feelings of shame, not being good enough, and of being a vulnerably mortal being.

Sitting in meditation recently (on an airplane as it happened), I caught myself feeling very confused and perplexed. Confused about how I was showing up, what I was doing, what I was valuing and what I wanted in the bigger picture of a life-time. There was such a muddle in my head, I was feeling lost and out of control.

As I tuned into my body, I felt tension in my muscles and an energy of resistance or struggle in relation to this confusion. I could feel how tiring that was on my whole system to be in constant fight-mode, and what a waste of energy!

I noticed some thoughts – What is wrong with me? I should have it all worked out by now. Am I heading toward breakdown? At an emotional level I noticed I was down on myself and feeling some shame about being in this place. And of course with all that chatter, I could feel that I was vibrating pretty low.

I sat with it, curious about all these feelings.

Little by little I invited my body to relax, layer by layer, like butter melting in the oven. As I started to let go of the tension I noticed my body breathing more freely. I continued to enjoy the process of relaxing and feeling myself opening. What a relief to let go of the effort and struggle around not-knowing. The effort of trying to KNOW or to be something that some part of me thought I needed to be.

Then, with an internal chuckle and a note of glee across my face and in my heart, I remembered……a higher “knowing” flowed into me…….

The acceptance of not-knowing….

….. invites me to be fully present here and NOW.
….. means that I am open to the real truth in this NOW experience. 
….. is a humble and awake state of being.
….. is way more advanced than thinking that I know.
….. is FREEDOM!! 

Aha! I’m not having a breakdown. I am having a breakthrough!

Youpee! I felt so much joy as I just let it all go. I was home again in myself, riding the wave of life, the great unknown mystery. This type of ‘knowing’ was visceral and trustworthy.

Now, why oh why do I keep forgetting?!! I guess it is so that I experience the joy of remembering again and again.

When you sit to meditate you drop into the NOW experience and that guides you to whatever the truth happens to be in this NOW. 

It is such an exquisite feeling to be totally present to the feeling of letting go and opening up energetically. In yoga we speak of a thousand-petaled lotus on the crown of the head blossoming open.

crown-chakra lotus

Meditation (or sitting relaxation if the word and idea of meditation scares you) is for me a very special private moment where I get completely honest with myself by ‘listening’ and ‘feeling’ what is really going on with me. It is humbling too to sit in the not-knowing.

As we relax and open to listen, wisdom starts to flow and the fog clears. In this ‘knowing’ we can trust. The challenge is just to trust ourselves enough that the knowing will always come, in any situation, when we dare to get present, vulnerably present, listen to our body and watch out for the signs through all our senses.

Meditation is such an essential part of conscious joyful living.

I invite you to sit and relax into not-knowing and experience the lightness, joy and freedom it brings. You may just be amazed at how wise you become too!!

Hello 2016 – Here I AM!

As I step nervously toward the edge I feel weak in my legs. Nothing but vast Atlantic Ocean reaches out before me. No land stands between me and the West Coast of Africa. The rising sun is mirrored on the swelling waters. Almost 100m of a drop below me to the frothing waves crashing against the cliffs, sculpted by the never-ending beat of the sea. The warm Caribbean winds gust around me, testing my balance. On the narrow rock beneath me a number of fiercely prickly cacti await any misplaced step or loss of balance. Standing alone here on the Southern most tip of Antigua on New Year’s day 2016, I feel called to step out onto this overhanging cliff edge. “Crikey!” I wonder. “What on earth for?”

IMG_1966

This is the spot for my New Year ritual! I went back the next day with my sister who took this picture. Southern Coast, Antigua. © Georgina Peard

Imagining some passionate and triumphant Kate-Winslet-on-the-Titanic-type moment, I find myself on the edge of fear and elation. In honesty, more fear than elation! There is no Leonardo DiCaprio to hold me safe here!!

I feel incredibly vulnerable. 

Face-to-face with the immensity and power of nature, I feel tiny. The insignificance of ME and my life is glaring at me.

I try to ground down through my feet and legs. “C’mon, I can do this. I’m a yogic, shamanic, spiritually-connected, free, inspired -being for goodness sake!! What is there to be scared of? Trust more. Let go. Feel the stability rising up from the support of the Earth.”

I desperately want to drop to all fours and hold on for dear life, but with me and the “fierce” cacti on this bit of rock there’s not enough space for hands and feet. “Dammit! This is ridiculous. What am I trying to prove?”

But something in me keeps me there. I consciously experience the fear rather than shying away from it back to my comfort zone. 

I am aware of the voices playing in my mind – “don’t be stupid, get away from the edge, the rocks could crumble or the wind catch you”, “there’s nothing to be afraid of, it’s all in your mind, anyone else could do that easy”.

“HERE I AM!” I hear myself suddenly shout out at the top of my lungs. I breathe deep and do it a few more times. I start to realise what I am doing.

Here I AM with all my fear and doubt and vulnerability.

Here I AM with all my vices and failings and weaknesses.

Here I AM with all my strengths and gifts and accomplishments.

Here I AM with all my stuff.

Here I AM as me, in this moment, a work in progress.

Here I AM authentically human. No more. No less.

Here I AM 2016.

In this moment, there is no proclaiming limitless power or holding on to dreamy visions and hopes of what I want to be or think I should be. The visceral fear has me totally present, stripped down to the naked truth. I am humbled. I am real.

IMG_0661

“HERE I AM !!” Stepping out and showing up with ALL I am! Heart open, legs still a little nervous! © Georgina Peard

As I step into 2016 I choose to show up in my naked truth. To be honest and compassionate and confident in my awesome imperfection. To engage fully and courageously in the human experience with all I am. Yes all of it! And I choose to DARE GREATLY. 

(Indeed, I owe much to my inspiring read during the end of year holidays of Brené Brown’s “Daring Greatly” which I highly recommend!! )

I step slightly back from the edge where I find a little bit more space to move. I let my heart and soul sing as loud as I want. No-one can hear. I chant and and let my body move as I perform an intuitive ritual to celebrate and welcome in this new year.

A big brown pelican takes flight from below and surfs gracefully the gusts of wind. I start to feel in my body the power of the ocean, the wind, the sun and the land. The fear and vulnerability are still there but I am leaning into them, accepting the discomfort and dancing with it. It feels good!

Finally, I jump back off the overhang and breathe a sigh of relief as I settle back into my comfort zone. I acknowledge my courage and at the same time giggle at my self for the drama!!

That little unexpected adventure reminded me of what it takes and how it feels to step out of my comfort zone; that I can stand consciously in my fear and vulnerability; and that this is where I may grow the most.

On the edge of the comfort zone is where we are most ALIVE! 

Wishing you a very happy, healthy and abundant 2016.
May you dare greatly and enjoy the ride!

Happy New Year! Original artwork by Georgina Peard :)) © Georgina Peard

 

Remembering “I AM” through Yoga Nidra

I start to move and stretch and yawn, returning from a deep state of Yoga Nidra. No need to rush this delicious moment of transition. My body is relaxed, comfortable and warm. I savour my every breath. I hear cowbells outside the chalet. I sense the profound stillness of the mountains rising up all around. I feel safe, grounded and expansive. It is for these moments of “remembering” that I offer myself a long weekend retreat once a month.

As I sit up the morning sun appears over the mountain ridge directly in front. It warms and illuminates my face and closed eyes. I smile with delight and enjoy how that smile feels in my heart.

As I open my eyes, the hillside opposite is ablaze with yellow, gold, green and amber colours, topped off by the snow-capped peaks above and a bright blue sky. I smile with even more delight. Here I AM.

Here and Now. I AM.

It seems as though my inner reality is reflecting all around me. It seems as though the outer reality is reflecting within me. We are one. The beauty. The vibrancy. The stillness. The peace. The grandeur. The humility. The presence. This I AM.

I sit a while, acknowledging the felt sense of I AM in my body. Time stands still.

i-am enoughAs I begin to move into the rest of my day, I am awake, open and happily inviting in the next Here and Now moment, yet with the remembered knowing that I AM, and that in every new moment I can access this deep well of resourcefulness and truth.

This is the one of the powerful benefits of Yoga Nidra.

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra literally means ‘yogic sleep’ or ‘awakened sleep’. It is a process of awakening to an embodied knowing of your true nature. It describes a state of being or awareness that is completely effortless.

As you let go of conditioning, attachment and resistance, you induce deep physical, emotional and mental rest, thus allowing your body to regenerate. By cultivating an embodied sense of safety and effortlessness, you tune in to your innate wisdom, your heart’s desire and your interconnectedness with all life – the I AM.

The practice of Yoga Nidra is accessible to everyone, anywhere. Lying or sitting comfortably you simply follow the voice of a facilitator guiding you into this deep state of relaxed being. Maybe you sleep a moment. That’s ok.

I recommend practicing Yoga Nidra on a regular, ideally daily or weekly basis, taking 15 to 30 minutes with a facilitator or using pre-recorded practices to drop into your heart and a deep state of rest and effortlessness. This regular practice of letting go helps you to remember and feel throughout your being, that all is well.

I facilitate Yoga Nidra sessions during weekly classes, workshops and retreats, as well as one-to-one sessions with your own personal recording for home use. Check out upcoming dates for events at www.resttorise.com.

Join me for Yoga Nidra and Restorative Yoga every Wednesday from 19h30-21h00 at Elaneha in Rolle

For more information and free recordings of Yoga Nidra check out this fantastic resource website: www.yoganidranetwork.org 

I am that I am

 

Do you know your WHY?

“When you know your WHY, your WHAT has more impact because you are walking in or toward your purpose” Michael JR comedian 

I hear it all the time that people are not yet clear on their purpose. They are stuck in focusing on the WHAT and the HOW and the WHEN!

I believe that not knowing your WHY is a key factor leading to boredom, anxiety, depression, stress and burn-out. It can make our Chi or Prana, life-force energy, stagnate. In shamanic terms we can call it ‘soul loss’.

This is my own personal experience. Back in 2009-2010 I was fast burning-out, suffering anaemia and chronic fatigue, and struggling to pick myself up. I knew I needed to rekindle the fire of passion within me. I needed to find my WHY!

We do not need to know “how” or “where”, but there is one question that we should all ask whenever we start anything: “What am I doing this for?” Paolo Coelho, The Valkyries

If you don’t know WHY you are doing something, it’s pretty hard to keep motivated and enthusiastic about it, and its all too easy to go off track (way off track over time), and follow old conditioning or other people’s desires (those who do know their WHY).

  • WHY do you do the job you do?
  • WHY are you passionate about your sport / your pet / …….?
  • WHY do you eat the way you do?
  • WHY are you in the relationship you are in?
  • WHY do you want to have a daily yoga or meditation practice?
  • WHY do you think the way you do about……?
  • WHY do you NOT make your dreams come true?

Are you doing it because it makes you feel great? Are you doing it for someone else? Because it seems to be the right thing to do? Because it just happened like that? Because you are actually afraid of your own happiness, light and power? Maybe it felt right before but is it still right for you now?

If it is not nourishing you, WHY are you still doing it?

Perhaps it doesn’t need a radical change, to leave your family, change jobs and fly off to the Tropics! Perhaps it just needs a reflection and repositioning of the WHY!

In shamanic terms we talk about stalking awareness – going out on the ‘hunt’.

It is time to start STALKING your WHY!!!

Check out this short Michael JR video on Facebook for a fabulously inspiring and uplifting example of the difference between just doing something because you can, and doing it with passion because it’s got meaning for you, and you know WHY!

Michael JR comedian

So what is my big WHY? 

It is to support people to come home to their hearts and remember who they truly are, because I believe that when we remember and drop into our open hearts…..

  • we awaken, together;
  • we act out of love rather than fear, and love heals;
  • we free ourselves of conditioning and explore our limitless joy and potential;
  • we nourish our minds, bodies and souls, and remember vibrant wellness;
  • and we live joyfully on purpose, in service.

What is your WHY…..?  

Please do share as it is inspiring for everyone and helps others get clear on their own WHYs.

The time to work on ourselves is over

One of the ways we often stumble on the path of awakening is that we get a little consumed in ‘working’ on ourselves, improving ourselves, and ‘processing’ life.

With this personal and spiritual development focus, we sometimes forget that there is nothing to fix or eliminate in us. There is nothing broken or wrong in the first place!

In our desire to become a ‘better’ person, we can tire ourselves out and beat ourselves up over not making enough ‘progress’. We forget that we have already made it! We already have access to all that we are.

The conscious spiritual path is not something separate to daily human living. It is right here, in and amongst the heat of relationships, work and play, with the rainbow of crazy thoughts, emotions and physical sensations. It is the path of learning love.

I love all that I am
Since my training with Andrew Barnes this summer, his words of truth echo in my mind:

“The time to work on ourselves is over.

The time to love ourselves is now.

The time for processing is over.

The time for loving is now.” Andrew Barnes

 

And this week, another beautiful anchoring came from a post by Matt Kahn:

be-your-own-best-friend_1“Instead of trying to silence your mind chatter, simply love the one who wants to chat.

Instead of trying to shift your emotions, just love the one who can’t stop feeling.

Instead of trying to resolve each fear, simply love the one who’s always afraid.

Instead of trying to let things go, just love the one who still holds on.

Instead of trying to not take things personally, simply love the one who makes life personal.

Instead of trying to prove your worth, just love the one who feels worthless, lost, and alone.

Instead of trying to leap forward in evolution, simply love the one who feels left behind.

Instead of having something to prove, just love the one who came here to play.

Instead of bossing yourself around and measuring your progress through spiritual obedience, simply love the one who refuses to listen.

Instead of trying to believe, just love the one in doubt.

Instead of trying whatever you attempt, simply love the one needing permission to be.

Whatever arises, love that. This is the way of an awakening heart.”

LoveYourself Dr Seuss

Loving ourselves is the most natural, important, challenging and powerful practice we have been given. Let’s make it enjoyable. Let’s enjoy the ride!

Love yourself as much as you would wish someone to love you. You deserve it!

Auditions for yourself