Inner silence

Silence is a state where things do happen, but it is subtle. It appears in a natural order and flow of external and internal. It is not the absence of things, it is a different experience and a feeling of everything around.

Most of us know how pleasant silence can feel on outside. It is relaxing, soothing and spacious. We notice the silence around us especially when we seek it and our bodies welcome it. But external silence is useless if there’s an absence of silence within. To become silent from within is a real skill. It requires practice. When one masters internal silence and, by mastering I mean being able to come back to it over and over, not just experiencing it once, that’s where true pleasure and bliss is. Something I have been discovering over the years. When I am silent on the inside everything on outside slows down and softens. Triggers, hooks and reactions get muted somehow. They still happen but there is no noise or longevity to any of it. That state is truly and genuinely blissful. Body is relaxed in a real sense through the physical, not through mental visualisation of relaxation.

One of the first things I practiced when started exploring inner silence was to remain silent when on outside there was a situation that would ordinarily provoke a reaction or had a potential to trigger an emotion. I practiced not reacting and remaining silent and there it began to happen, the softening, the flow, the non-attachment. It felt freeing and like something new was entering my experience. It felt healing, delicate and utterly compassionate to myself and others. Inner silence is neutralising to any outside turmoil, external wars that we are presented with all the time in life. Furthermore, it appeared to neutralise my own historical wounds that would normally open and start to hurt. Instead it felt balm-like, a gentle stroke or a silky, most delicate feeling of pacifying everything. It didn’t feel false or forced, avoidant or resistant. Everything just was as it was only with the inner silence I remained intact and so did the world around me.

I have been on a life-long journey towards inner peace. Since I was a small child I knew that’s what was missing not just in me but in everyone around me. It’s no surprise for anyone with this physical reality and all we go through and finding peace amidst it all felt important. Remaining silent, taking a sacred pause was something that worked compared to all other methods that I now know came from a mental-state involvement. We simply can’t think ourselves peaceful. It has to be on a feeling level, on a physical body level, on a level that allows a different space to open up. We all have that space within but finding it takes a long time and it is so worth it when one does.

I am looking to further my experience and practice of inner silence and wonder what else can lead there. It needs and wants to be practiced on a collective level almost due to how it feels and effect it has on everything. I invite you to try finding your way of finding inner silence and truly feel it.

Go ‘outside’ to come back ‘within’

By going outside one goes deeper within whether it is outside in nature or outside of your comfort zone or out out into a company of people that you might never do.

Sometimes we have to challenge ourselves to ‘step out’ to come back to the core of things that matter. I took a trip recently that reaffirmed me further into myself, what I am, what I want and don’t want and most importantly what my soul needs. Solitude and quiet have become essential parts to my everyday everything. I almost feel I will not be able to survive and certainly won’t thrive in conditions other than what my soul needs. My body talks loudly to me now as over the years through a lot of work we have finally made friends and my body and soul are good pals too these days. Mind is a useful companion but it also knows when not to interfere with a voice that is always louder being it my body or my soul.

I feel I am becoming more and more inward-looking and my preferences are always away from noise, crowds and rush that happens everywhere. I feel my whole body constricts to a point I can no longer tolerate and before I could but at a high price. Switching off amidst chaos is a tough gig as everything in me absorbs things instantly and getting rid of it takes time, so I aim for minimum exposure.

Being on this trip I felt like I froze and now understand it as a defence that drowns the noise and protects my shell from being penetrated. It is protective. There’s a lot of energy and vitality on the inside yet i found this time it didn’t get affected and I became more of an observer than a participatory partner in it all. I don’t mind observer, it is my other state that somewhat helps me keep calm within, but curious on the outside. Observer state can teach us so much about ourselves, others and how we all fit. I noticed things I never had before and that’s been wonderful.

It has been a year of settling back into yourself but on a much deeper level or one might say yet another spiral downwards got revealed and reaffirmed. There are many cycles or spirals on our journeys towards what we seek. It has not been without challenges but one thing for sure is that it is much harder to know what’s really desired without it being challenged. I find the work interesting as once you know what you don’t like you immediately know what you do like very often.

I enjoyed spring this year immensely and through the years of building a relationship with the seasons I can now say it is my favourite season starting from very early spring to the end of May and beginning of heat. Now as we are building up towards Summer Solstice my retrieval into myself (more than usual) feels like an intentional preparation for my seclusion for summer, which is my least favourite season. It makes sense. I go into hiding, so to speak when the sun rises high and peaks at Litha. I learnt not to rage against it, which I had done for years but to soften instead and focus within giving myself exactly what is needed. I concentrate on early mornings and watering my plants. Enjoying bike rides in the cool evening air when the sun goes to rest. I learn to use water element when fire rises just like in nature. Nurture and compassion instead of rage and harshness, coolness instead of heat. Rather than ‘instead’, perhaps we go for ‘in addition to’ or ‘in compliment to’, as we always aim to balance elements out rather than dominate one over another. I have created a set routine for myself, it seems that neither judges or forces, but flows instead and here I am staying for now watching the year unfold further.

Embrace your pace

A vibe of steady pace manifested on this beautiful and gentle Beltain morning. The air was still and fresh and very present through my body. Something landed in me this morning. How interesting the timing yet so divine. I felt something has arrived finally to say ‘this is it’, ‘the time is now’. It was like a door opened into the light of green and as I dug my hands into fresh soil I felt the heart softening and breathing steady itself.

In the society and through centuries for women it has been all about go go go and do do do, the more tasks the better, the more organised and achieving the more valuable you will be perceived. Such a false human race for time, more jobs and tasks, more activities, etc. No wonder maidens coming out of attachment are exhausted and feeling low in self-worth.

This morning the triple goddess stood strong in her message. Being free and spacious is vital for manifestation of the whole within a being. Slower is not lazy, slower is wiser. It is intuitive, flowing, knowing. Rest and reflection are necessary for manifesting true identity and purpose. I felt it jolt and slot in my body this morning like a piece that’s not always acknowledged or allowed. I have been awareness of my self-created freedom for some years now and consciously been practicing my gratitude for all that it represents, for all that it’s given me. The most sacred thing I always wanted.

Freedom is so desirable and often seen as unachievable and a dream and when it arrives we resist it, putting ourselves in prison, overloading ourselves with more to do to contradict it, as it is not something we are used to. The sadness hovers over it within, as we know we truly desire to be free, but can’t allow it.

It takes a lot of practice to feel completely free and in a slow pace of life. It is the most precious gift, it seems, we all seek and now is the time to say yes to it and recognise as truly ours for the taking.

Winter, anxiety, death…

It has all been rather grey and moody this month as if life stopped at this place of no particular interest, a downward mood yet not particularly depressive. Confusion, uncertainty and anxiety have been at the centre of the feeling of it all although with a clear awareness of everything actually being all right. There has been motion yet it felt dragging. There has been laughter and warmth with odd moments of grief flying in from nowhere. Most peculiar presentation of the season I’d say, however thinking about it there is nothing really surprising about it. Winter and grief go hand and hand and death and anxiety are good old friends.

I have experienced it all it seems in just one month and something in me can’t help but wonder what the next month could possibly bring.

My body has thrown up another mysterious ailment. Usually these happen in spring for me, but this time it came in winter and I believe it is linked to both grief and anxiety. Those two human issues have been present in my life always and I have come to take it for granted and somewhat my body, the wise old vessel that it is, decided to remind me or rather slap me in the face with asking me to revisit what both of those mean to me. Is it actually good for me to be exposed to it all the time or is it time to admit it is not always the best? I realised that I abandon myself over and over again when faced with grief and anxiety and not only that both signatures go right through my body and always manifest in curious things. I am completely disarmed by them, it seems.

This time I was faced with not being able to breathe. That tapped into my death anxiety and having to face that and look underneath of what that presentation meant, not to mention lung being directly linked to grief and death. How vulnerable I am to it all and how clever my body is to jolt me into considering the consequences.

I don’t want to die gasping to air and I don’t want to live my life waiting for the moment when I can’t take another breath and die. I can’t placate my anxiety or avoid it with doing the exact thing that takes my breath away in a sense of killing me. There is so much connection and meaning to it all. All quite sad, dark and paralysing.

What I am trying to say here and learn from is that our body is so wise and knowing if only we listened to it and for sure there will be consequences if we don’t. That much is clear. I know my body for being friendly and always on my side despite a life-long abuse thrown at it. How much it had to put up with yet never left me and when the ultimate function of air in my lungs became compromised suddenly death stepped in with a possibility of taking me. Truly awakening.

What a month it has been so far. Scary, up and down and everything in between yet nothing at all. In the stillness of winter, indeed, we are often faced with the darkest faces of existence. It is stark in my mind the true meaning of the season this year. There’s a certain old and murky wisdom taste to it this year. Perhaps this will only amplify with myself getting old, who knows, but one just never knows what awaits us.

Naked ‘truths’

  • No one thinks about you as half as you think they do (everyone is pre-occupied with working out their ways around life)
  • Emotions are not the same as thoughts (emotions are more primal and instinctual, therefore more valuable in many respects)
  • Life is not about you (nature is not concerned if you are here or not, it just is)

    If something you desire doesn’t happen it is not meant to be (something better will come long meant just for you)

    Dreams do come true (both dreaming and action are required)

    Worry is a waste of energy (things that not happened yet and mostly unlikely to happen)

    You can do it all. Just need to work out what that ALL is for you (it might be less than you think if you really zoom in on essentials)

    Giving to yourself is far from being selfish (we are all here steering our own boat in search of a meaning, which does include helping and caring for others, but it is not everyone’s purpose)

    Kids are wiser than adults (yet untouched by absurdities of life and living the magic of what life is)

    Nature is the source of all life, all divinity, mystery, science and majesty!

    Have a lovely weekend

    Addiction is a way of holding on

    autumn and addiction

    We are in autumn, a season perfectly aligned with the energies of taking stock, harvesting our gifts, desires, throwing away what is no longer needed and releasing through letting things go. It is reflected through trees unrobing their delicate bodies off foliage and exposing to the elements for better or for worse. It is a state of surrender and an act of acceptance in nature that always touches me deeply. What a perfect example of vulnerability and strength – a combination I admire so much.

    Addiction, as a condition, is a way of holding on, keeping ourselves safe and hidden, partaking in activities that fill the void we feel inside, but scared to expose. It is a safe place and a defensive position against overwhelming feelings, life, connection to ourselves and others. It is an escape into seemingly blissful abyss, yet temporary. The pay-off is often high for that hiding that we adapt as a way to survive, a way to cope with what otherwise would feel unbearable. The price we pay for this way of trying to keep ourselves safe is always high and we pay with our bodies, minds and lives. Recovery requires tremendous courage. It asks us to wake up not just to becoming aware of our patterns of behaviour, but to our wounds that we are protecting with an addiction of our choice.

    When is that time to wake up?

    This year’s signature, as a goal for our growth, includes facing and dealing with our addictions. The year began with a clear sense that old ways no longer work. Our comfort zone is no longer comfortable, things don’t fit as they used to and patterns that we adopted started to show cracks in how we executed them. On one hand, one could panic and despair and begin searching for new replacements. On the other hand, it felt like an opportunity, a ‘no choice, but’ to start thinking of a potential change. What would that look like and feel like? The year progressed with addictions’ patterns and behaviour manifesting not just within us, but around us through people we care about, our loved ones. It began to open old wounds. Those behaviours that we had been in denial of in ourselves and others came in and slapped many into a full view of not just how ugly and unconscious it had become, but a fear of a potential outcome also hit hard.

    Now, as autumn is at our door, I feel there is a chance to look at it again and become curious and open to the opportunity of release. I find vibrations of early autumn is similar to those in early spring, as with the new planting there is hope for potential, with dropping the old there is also a potential for something new coming. Purification (another signature for this year) is deeper in autumn though, because as we throw off our protective layers, surrender to the elements in our own way we are challenged to go through the ‘cold’ of winter and the bare state of the earth. We are challenged to withstand hardships to come out stronger on the other side.

    Addiction recovery is no easy matter and very often a life-long process. What we are faced with this season is an opportunity to begin and this year’s signature for dropping the old, as something that no longer works. To give an example of that manifestation I would like to use the body. With addiction often it is the body that would have taken on years of abuse. The sign that addiction is, perhaps, has gone into dangerous territory and it is time to wake up would be body not coping with it, e.g. with smoking lungs become affected in a way of developing severe difficulties with breathing and your cough becoming chronic with discharge. The body begins to bark at us literary to stop. With food addiction a point to wake up would be when there is a degree of awareness that one can no longer ‘eat themselves better’, as the body has grown so much in size it is no longer functioning. We become hidden under flesh so much we no longer feel in touch with ourselves. We might as well be dead.

    I feel deeply saddened writing about this, but I feel it is necessary to make that call to be brave, to be present and conscious and I understand that it is no easy task to ‘stand in the cold of winter with no clothes on’, just as we no longer rely on drugs or food for comfort. Exposing, painful and a lonely place to be, yet one must not forget that there is a fire that burns within each of us. That fire is called spirit. We are stronger than we think most of the time and trying to save yourself is an honourable task. Loving ourselves the way that we are, broken, is an act of heroism and immense growth. Imagine if you can do this, you can do anything. Imagine the potential life you can have if only we decide to stop hiding, escaping and facing that wintery wind with your bare skin, vulnerable yet so heroic.

    What lies on the other side is freedom and it is always worth fighting for.

    girl_branches_leaves_field_autumn_wind_68835_3840x2160

    Reasons we reach for food and nature’s wisdom

    psychology of eating

    1. Genuine hunger – instinctual us, animal us
    2. Meeting an emotional need. Using food as something pleasurable to get away from something painful we are feeling
    3. Being stuck in a pattern, a habit, automatic behaviour associated with certain activities

    This week is all about the body and I felt it would be useful to summarise some information on our relationship with food. I am reinforcing these messages for myself as much as for everyone else and I hope you will find it useful.

    We all heard of binge eating, emotional eating, overeating, over-consuming on calories, mindless eating, etc. These are unhealthy patterns of behaviour, which we either do consciously with a purpose or unconsciously.

    There is one way of eating, which is natural and the most helpful is to eat when you are hungry. When we are consciously aware and mindful of clues sent to us by the body, NOT our mind, indicating it is time to eat. When we know we are ready for intake of food, we need calories and there is a genuine need for nourishment on a physical level. It is when we know that if we don’t eat we might not ‘survive’, it is instinctual function for our body to sustain life through taking in some food.

    The other two ways of relating to food are the ones to watch for. One is us using food as a way of making us feel ‘better’, that pleasure trap when we seek a relief from a difficult emotional state and wanting to feel pleasure and we do it through food. This is emotional eating. I know, e.g. in the past my emotional eating had been connected closely to grief. It works similarly with other habits, like smoking, e.g., which for me, again used to be a way to gain relief when I felt unsafe. Very specific emotions that I would need to release through using something else. Once you identify what it is that you are ‘running away’ from through inducing pleasure using food, then it is time to FEEL that emotion, allow it to be, having courage to be with that, as it is part of you.

    One other reason we eat is through habit. Something that we keep on doing automatically to a point that we are not always conscious of, we simply do it when engaging with a certain activity. A good example is watching TV in the evening. Many would reach for food when watching movies, favourite programmes, because this is something that they have done over and over again for a long time, hence a habit is formed and the brain knows it is food time once you are on that sofa switching on your television. The first thing to do is to become aware of where you might be using food, in what situations and circumstances that you might have not realised. The only way to break that pattern is to learn to interrupt that behaviour consciously. Once you are aware, conscious then you can begin to stop it in its tracks. It is like changing a cycle, interrupting something repeatedly should rewire our habitual thinking or automatic actions into doing something else. This needs to be practiced again and again and there will be time when you will be able to watch television without overloading on calories. This would happen overtime through interruption of the cycle and engaging with activities that take you away from that pattern and from food. Do something instead for a period of time to give your brain a different message. Remove your association between watching a film and eating.

    Now think of nature in all its presentations and with all its inhabitants and species. What stands out to you when you look to nature? With me it is balance, it is a beginning, a middle and the end. It is time for everything where nothing is rushed or delayed, where everything has its place. Summer doesn’t come before spring, flowers do not bloom in winter and the earth is not producing food when the ground is frozen. Nature teaches us that there is a system of elements that constantly working together to achieve an overall balance. Sometimes challenges are thrown in its way in a way of adverse weather conditions like floods and droughts, yet it recovers, it catches up and it continues to live. There is a force of survival and thriving for that equilibrium state where everything is just as it should be.

    Now think of your body in the same way. Evaluate when it is the right time for you to eat, e.g. are you a morning eater? Are you more of a snacker or a bigger, more regular meal eater? What is your body’s preference and schedule for calorie intake? What feels most natural and nourishing? Do you follow your body’s natural rhythms or are you even aware of it? The goal is to bring your body into balance with your mind, your spirit and your emotional world. Is it in balance? What foods bring you joy not when you use it to avoid something else, but when you seek to give your body nourishment and enhancement in order to feel better?

    My connection to nature and the earth has helped me balance out my physical and emotional enormously. Eating produce that comes from earth gives my brain a message that it is fresh, it is filled with water and sunshine and it is full of nutrients. It is good for me. Remember doing something enough times repeatedly can rewire your brain into knowing it is working and good for you. Start small with changing one or two things a week in order to increase your potential for balance in the body, add something beneficial or take away something that is not good for you. Small, steady and continuous steps.

    Remember to get sunshine and rain water on your face, as well as feeling the earth with your bare feet whenever you can. Connect to the wisdom of the intelligent system that is nature, the earth and let its wisdom go into all areas of your life, your relationship with your body and food included.

    Many blessings!