Passing through crazy to come home to wholesome and wholehearted

In my classes and retreats, I often speak to ‘coming home’ to yourself. This is the first essential step in experiencing joy and freedom. To truly live from that place of ‘home’, however, deeply rooted in your authentic self, means to fully embrace all of you, to be wholesome and wholehearted.

We all know the phrase, “Home is where the heart is”. It can certainly mean the time or place where, or the people with whom, we feel a deep, heartfelt connection. It can also mean literally wherever we currently find ourselves, alive and heart beating, conscious and present to all that we are feeling and experiencing. As Jon Kabat-Zinn says, “Wherever you go, there you are”.

But have you ever found yourself feeling torn between two or more possibilities, two decisions, two points of view? If I walk out this door right now my life will be completely different than if I stay put.

Every moment, with every thought, word and action, we are influencing and creating our reality.

We all have the capacity to imagine and experience multiple realities. We can ‘put ourselves in their shoes’ as we say, to get a sense of someone else’s perspective. Even beyond sharing life experiences with another, we have the capacity to empathise with any other human or even animal. That’s awesome (and a bit more of it is generally needed!)

We are many things all at once. In me is child, mother, priestess, seductress, warrior, human, animal, goddess. I am masculine and feminine. I am witch and bitch. I am a lover and hater. I am physical muscles, bones and organs, and I hold the elements of the entire universe within me. I am forty years old and I have lived many lifetimes. I am ignorant and I am wise beyond all knowledge.

To be wholesome, we must remain truthful to our vulnerable complexity. In order to keep our balance, we need to hold the interior and exterior, visible and invisible, known and unknown, temporal and eternal, ancient and new, together. No-one else can undertake this task for you. You are the one and only threshold of an inner world. This wholesomeness is holiness. To be holy is to be natural; to befriend the worlds that come to balance in you.

John O’Donohue, Anam Cara

John O’Donohue continues to write, “Each one of us is doomed and privileged to be an inner artist who carries and shapes a unique world“.

Our ability to shape-shift and imagine and create is extraordinary, confusing and terrifying at the same time. Perhaps it is this that creates so much stress, fear, neurotic behaviour, and, dare I say it, willingness to be strongly conditioned by societal norms. We struggle to make sense and peace with our own complexity. We are terrified that some of that inner madness might make us unloveable or do something bad that would have us rejected.

So when we sit with ourselves and notice and hear and feel our inner world, that can feel kind of crazy at first! As we sit more and more, it can feel even more crazy!

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Taking to time to sit and contemplate the inner landscape. Georgina Peard by CarlosGonzalez Photographie

So I am here to say, it’s ok. It’s even ‘normal’.

Alongside the downright crazy is the imaginative potential to create a new paradigm on earth.

Many of us skim the surface or simply avoid this inner space though. Many of us nourish the parts that we like, and attempt to diminish other parts that appear a bit dark and ugly.

Brené Brown refers to the whole messy process of being human, and that it takes a whole lot of vulnerability and courage and compassion to own all that we are, to show up and be seen, and to live life wholeheartedly.

Wholehearted living, as Brené calls it, is about loving ourselves and embracing all that we are. It’s a process and a choice in each moment.

So first we must dare to come home to ourselves and embrace the magnificent, wild and wonderful inner world with honesty, curiosity and love, as well as a certain lighthearted sense of humour.

Gradually then, we begin to truly rest within ourselves, to feel deeply rooted in our own being, at home in our own soul essence.

From this wholesome and wholehearted place, we may then be truly surprised and delighted by the unique and authentic expression that is born, again and again.

Let’s not fear or shy away from ALL that we are, but rather, as O’Donohue explains it from the Celtic understanding of inner friendship, let’s embrace our “nature, divinity, underworld and human world as one”.

Allow the child in you to delight in such fanciful imagination and limitless possibility.

From a place of wholeness, enjoy creating yourself anew in each moment.

“When we rediscover our childlike nature, we enter into a world of gentle possibility. Consequently, we will find ourselves more frequently at the place of ease, delight and celebration”

John O’Donohue, Anam Cara

Toes in the Grass gentle sunrise yoga (Video)

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Start your day as nature planned it…. rising with the sun; honouring and saluting the sun and this brand new day.

The sun that is reflecting back to you the life force within you; the energy that moves you; the light in your heart; the fire in your belly.

This new day that brings in new opportunity, new awareness, new life.

Honouring your body and in gratitude for this life that you get to experience through it.

Remembering your god-(ess)-ness. Raising your vibrations. Expanding your joy.

Here is a gentle 5-minute sunrise yoga practice I filmed for you to help you create a sacred moment and get into the flow of the new day.

Get earthing friends – toes, nose, body in the grass – and soak in the good energy! Mmmmmmm. Enjoy!

Let me know how it feels and if you enjoy it please share with friends.

Love

 

In honour of the Sacred Feminine

There is a place, not far from here
Sign-posted from all directions
Visited by many, enjoyed by many

But I wonder, do they really see
Do they really feel
Do they allow themselves to be touched deeply

This place is sacred
This is where SHE resides
This is where SHE expresses all her creative power and love

But I wonder, do they really see HER
Do they really feel HER
Do they allow themselves to be touched deeply by HER

For in truth, one must ask permission
And one must wait to receive the invitation
To enter this Sacred Temple of the divine Goddess

Though many may enter, few truly enter
Since to go beyond the surface requires humility, sensitivity, surrender
SHE must be acknowledged, honoured, worshipped

For those willing, respectful and truly humble
Be ready to get completely lost in HER magnificence
Be willing to die to HER vast limitless love

Know that you will be ravaged by HER power
You will be overwhelmed by HER abundance
You  will have no choice but to be opened and transformed

You will fall in love, SHE will open you to love
But do not try to own HER, Do not try to tame HER
Do not claim you understand HER

Be aware of what SHE awakens in you
For SHE has many sacred faces, SHE has many voices
SHE is calling you into greater presence to experience HER all

For SHE is loving you, all of you, deeply
SHE is guiding you every step, through whispers and cries
SHE is in you. SHE is you.

May we remember, acknowledge and honour
HER abundant love, creative force and transforming power

May we listen carefully, may we feel deeply, may we act consciously
For SHE is awakening, SHE is calling

The Sacred Feminine in all her forms

In benevolent gratitude,
Georgina

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Photo: Georgina Peard

 

Toes in the grass Yoga flow (video)

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In my last post I shared some of the Remarkable Health Benefits of Yoga in the grass.

To help you out with some inspiration to get you off the mat and onto the grass this summer, I filmed a short video of my own practice. It’s a gentle yet dynamic flow sequence, combining a modified sun salutation and my warrior goddess dance. It’s just 7 minutes long and includes some of my favourite music by the magnificent Peruquois.

So enjoy and tell me how it feels to practice this sequence and have that fresh green grass between your toes!

With love.

 

The remarkable health benefits of Yoga in the grass

One of my favourite things about summer is that I take my yoga and meditation practice outside and I leave the mat at home. Mmmmmm, fresh green grass between my fingers and toes. When I drop down on to my belly I put my whole face in the grass and breathe in the delicious earthy smell. I complete my practice lying on my back, arms and legs spread wide, surrendering fully into the support of the great Mother. I soak in her loving energy. Ah, bliss!

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Breathing in her goodness…. Yoga in the grass. Photo: Georgina Peard

The cool thing is, that there are also heaps of remarkable health benefits to getting our feet and hands and bodies directly into the grass.

Earthing‘ is the scientific term for connecting the human body to the earth, including walking barefoot in the grass, earth or sand. I love this word!

If you think about it, we spend most of our time disconnected from the earth by the soles of our shoes and other general habits, like sleeping on beds. (Time for some camping?!)

The earth’s surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free or mobile electrons. When we are in contact with the earth we receive a direct flow of this natural charge of energy, and it is this that produces some amazing health benefits, including:

  • improved sleep
  • reduced inflammation
  • improved regulation of endocrine and nervous systems
  • moderated heart rate variability
  • improved glucose regulation
  • reduced stress
  • reduced anxiety and depression
  • boosted immunity
  • decreased blood viscosity for improved heart health
  • improved wound healing

Multi-disciplinary research has revealed the practice of earthing can be used for the “prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.” Since chronic inflammation is now considered to be the culprit behind almost every modern chronic illness, this is really big!! Its HUGE!

So folks. Its summer! The grass is green! Toss off those shoes as often as you can and get your toes and bodies into the grass. Forget the yoga mat.

If you don’t have the energy for anything else, just practice ‘savasana’ – corpse pose! Do nothing. Just lie there and consciously soak up the natural energy boosting electrons. Let her heal you.

The more you surrender, the more you will feel this divine loving support of Mother Earth.

Relaxing in the grass

The more I let go, the more I feel her loving support. Photo: Georgina Peard

Check out my Toes in the grass Yoga Flow Video to help inspire you to bring your practice off the mat and onto the grass this summer!

Sunrise meditation (Navigating the Shadow – part 2)

In my last post I wrote about navigating the shadow, and this beautiful playful dance between light and dark in ourselves. In this post I want to share a nice simple practice to relax and to let go in those moments that feel sticky or heavy, and to allow yourself fill up with the light again.

Talking to a very special mentor of mine this week, she described so eloquently the ebb and flow between our light and shadow parts, just like day and night. They are such integral parts of who we are. They come and go with the natural flow of life. There are times when we are consumed in the dark night of the shadow and other times filled with bright light. Just like day and night, we cannot and do not need to control them. Every day the sun rises to flood the landscape with its rays of light. Every night the sun sets and the darkness falls. Nothing can hold back this natural cycle.

So it is ok and totally normal to find ourselves going through times where we are in deeper conversation with our shadow, just as it is to sit wide awake on a dark night. In fact, these can be very profound, revealing and intimate moments with ourselves, when we are not in resistance to them and we can trust that the light will naturally reappear again, just as the sun is sure to rise the next morning.

sunrise meditation

Sunrise meditation
You might like to try this simple exercise when you have a moment to just close your eyes, even for just one minute. Ideally you can practice it for real outside in nature at sunrise, but you can do it by just closing your eyes and using your imagination, perhaps in the morning before you start the day, or at any moment that it feels right to allow more light in to your being.

  • Imagine yourself sitting, standing or lying outside, perhaps in nature where you feel safe and comfortable. It is early morning before sunrise. You are turned to face East, with a clear view in front of you of the horizon. Maybe it’s a lake and mountain tops, trees and grassy fields, the open sea, the desert or the rooftops of the city.
  • You settle in your body and get still. Tune-in to your body sensations as you relax more and more. Feel yourself letting go of all holding and tension. Notice the free-flowing rhythm of your breath.
  • Gradually the sun starts to rise over the horizon. Imagine the light starting to flood over the landscape. The sky, your body and all that is around you is gradually being lit up. Imagine the colours emerging. Nothing can stop it or slow it down – that light is coming no matter what. It is like a warm glow. Relax as you feel the warmth touch different parts of your body and notice the changing light and colours in your eyes.
  • Feel the light of the sun filling you up, healing, awakening and re-energising every cell in your body. Fully surrender your mind and body to this flood of light and feel your own light starting to react and radiate outward in reflection. How does it feel?
  • As you let go completely, acknowledge that you do not have to do or be or achieve anything more to receive this light or to be a source of radiant light. This is what you already are.
  • When you feel complete, give gratitude to this amazing sun, source of life and light.  As you move out of this practice into the rest of your day, let the light glow out through you all of your being, through your eyes, your smile, your heart and your whole body, so that simply being in your presence can light up all those around you.

I hope you enjoy this practice. Please let me know how it feels? I feel so radiant just writing it out here!

I'll just be happy

 

Navigating the shadow

Does it feel like you are rehashing old patterns and tossed around with gloomy thoughts or negativity about yourself or the world? Does it feel like more effort to stay in a state of love and light, even though you thought you were done with those old thought patterns? Are you internalising a lot, feeling tired and wanting to withdraw from the world? Are you noticing more conflicts, internal and/or external?

Fantastic! You are being gifted the opportunity to work with shadow. Here it is. Slam bang in your face! Bleh! Ugh!

The question is, do you say “Yes” to this opportunity?! Are you ready to upgrade to the next level of love? Are you ready to meet it all and welcome it all? The universe thinks you are!

Do you chose fear or love?

The shadow is what we fear. That which we keep in the shadows to avoid it being seen. It’s the “what I don’t want you to know about me”, and even more so, the “what I don’t want to accept about myself”. It is what disgusts you. We often have it so well hidden we don’t even realise it ourselves. I am not judgemental. I am not a jealous bitch. I am not evil.

To be that would be to be unlovable, to be rejected and abandoned. And that would feel like being left to die.

We compensate by emphasising the opposite (e.g. being super nice and always accommodating to others) or avoiding situations that awaken this shadow in our own consciousness or that might show it up.

We tend to internalise harsh and negative dialogue with ourselves and compensate with actions that can be self-harming, like addictions or situations not aligned with our truth. Perhaps it comes out all ugly in a passive aggressive way, projected on to others. The internal battlefield is externalised and you are in battle with the world. We also try to ‘purify’ and rid ourselves of these darker parts through all sorts of cleanses and spiritual practices and exercise and doing good. Or maybe we outright deny and suppress them.

Light and shadow

The fear of the shadow being uncovered, however, and all that you do, often unconsciously, to keep the shadow hidden, is a major driving force in your life.

The good news is that in the shadow lie your greatest strengths. Once owned and channelled through the heart that energy leads to powerful transformation. The release and directing of that energy is absolutely phenomenal. Seriously! I have witnessed and experienced this so many times.

Let’s take some very simple examples to illustrate where shadow = strength when the same energy is channeled consciously through the heart:

  • I am jealous = I am inspired to be a greater version of myself and create a better life
  • I am judgemental = I have a great ability of discernment
  • I am arrogant = I am leader
  • I am cold and lack compassion = I am level-headed and can see the big picture

So I beg of you, please, please stop trying to cleanse or meditate away or exercise away or suppress or get rid of your shadows. You can’t anyway, no matter how much you try. This would be like losing your juice!

Instead, shed light and love on your shadows. Tease them out with understanding and compassion. Create safety for them to be seen. Acknowledge their power and potential. Connect with their energy and give it direction for positive impact.

The exploration of my shadow has become an important regular, and even, dare-I-say, joyful practice for me. Not always easy, I would say that is the most empowering path I have ever taken. And I get to witness it again and again happening for others in my work.

To realise that you are still loveable and perhaps loved even more – you WITH all your shadows and fears and strategies to hide them – is the most liberating experience!!! Suddenly you are free to be and express and create all that you are meant to, and I’m pretty sure that you have something unique and important to share.

Hide and Seek – Catch me if you can!
As I reflected on this topic one early morning last week by the lake Geneva, my attention was drawn to a large tree. Two dark red squirrels were playing hide and seek around the trunk. Each one trying to see and catch the other, they were scampering around this tree with such speed and agility and glee, changing directions, left and right, up and down. I burst out laughing. That’s it! That is my light and shadow parts at play, doing this all the time, it is the constant dance.

So is it like this for you?

“You can’t see me! I’m the shadow!”
says the dark to the light, “You can’t catch me but I’m going to catch up on you and get you – run, run!”

Or is it more like this?

“I am going to see you dark one,” says the light to the dark, “and I’m going to shed all my light and love on you – you can’t hide.” 

Can you just enjoy the game? Can you relax in the dance with the dark partner?Which one is leading in your life right now in any particular situation?
Is it holding you back in some way?
Are you ready to direct that same energy through your heart? 

Now this is a big area to discuss, so in my next blogs I’ll write more about how I like to consciously and joyfully navigate the shadow.

I’d love to hear about your own experiences with this. Please do share your comments. And stay tuned for more.