What’s it gonna take, love?
Everyone I speak to says the same thing: “life is sooooo busy!”
Even though I live in paradise in Byron Bay, life is full-to-the-brim here too!
Without the simple things I do, and the way I do them each day – to cultivate calm – I would be riding on adrenaline too…
But I’m not, and I feel fantaaaastic. At 45 I feel better in my body than I have since I was in my 20’s. It sounds crazy right? But it’s the truth.
All I know is – that because of the work – I am transformed. That instead of experiencing the typical middle-aged ‘decline’, it just keeps getting better!
In my mid-late 30’s I was holding it all together, at all costs. I was a perfectionist, striving, pushing, working hard, overriding my feminine sensitivity, measuring my own self-worth and success on other peoples metrics… (like people commenting on my athletic yoga-teacher-body and worldly achievements – but secretly I was a mess!)
I certainly wasn’t listening to the signals my body was giving me.
I had other plans.
Trapped inside a story where there wasn’t time to actually stop and give myself what I secretly ached for, and desperately needed. Shaped by my trauma and my masculine. Determined to survive through sheer will and fierce independence. I was slowly, blindly causing my own undoing.
Eventually my whole system went haywire and I burnt out. My adrenals, my psoas, my nervous system, my gut. I went down. Hard. Anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, panic attacks… (I was teaching a workshop and the wave of panic was like a tsunami – and I kept going! I taught whilst IN a panic attack! My heart breaks for who I was then…)
At the time I was angry. At life, at Yoga, at my body. How could this happen?
God, how could it not, Kylian? I’d pushed myself all my life!
But this breakdown was such a gift. Because I got it! I had this ‘light-bulb’ moment where I just knew in my bones I needed to stop.
So I listened. I stopped. That was the last time I taught Yoga.I walked away from everything I’d worked for and moved interstate to a little beach house near Byron. I knew I had to go on a personal pilgrimage. Time to do the real work. The work I’d been avoiding, skirting around. I was terrified. I turned inward. I rested. I let it all go. I grieved. I was even further tested by life – with violent neighbours and the death of my niece. And I hit rock bottom. It was one of the most difficult times of my life.
That light-bulb moment was more than 5 years ago now. And since then I have unravelled deeper layers of trauma, self-loathing, guilt and shame that all those earlier years in therapy didn’t shift. Because I was committed to being in my body – not my head.
I’ve come face-to-face with myself in ways I never imagined. I’ve dissolved huge obstacles to create a magnificent life, where I feel deeply supported.
By life itself.
And this work, that I now teach, was birthed from that. (Just incase you were wondering why i’m telling you all this).
I’ve been doing the real work ever since.
I made a promise to my niece when she died. I made a deal with God too. And I’ve never looked back.
It’s not always easy. The real work I mean. Not always lush and sweet and juicy and pretty: relaxing on bolsters and pillows with warmed lavender scented eye pillows and sweet ambient tunes… (but god it’s gooood!) It’s rarely on schedule or befitting the well-trodden path. There’s little room for accountability and quarterlies.
And it’s sacred.
I’m a work in progress. A living process. Often messy. Pretty fucking real. And the more real I get – the more honest and courageous and tuned-in I am to my body and what I need right-here right-now – the more life rallies with me, has my back. It seems like magic to onlookers. But it’s all happening through me. I’m trusting. I’m expanding. I’m allowing.
Taking back my power. Being a stand. Lighting the path for others. Holding space for my divine becoming, and yours. Knowing what I need. Letting myself have it. Leaning in to life. Receiving support… so I can be a midwife for others. A true leader.
I ‘ m R e s t i n g i n t o l i f e .
T h i s i s w h a t I t e a c h .
The ‘act’ of resting (on a bolster) is simply a door-way, darling. You see?
It sounds easy, huh? Laying on the floor, in all that lushness… Indulgent, a relief, or even a waste of time? Whatever you judge it to be…
Resting isn’t as easy as people think. It’s just not.
Not if we are honest. Not to begin with.
Why? Because you gotta face yourself when you really stop, baby.
And to rest – you gotta stop!
You gotta get real. You gotta open up and welcome ALL of it. All of yourself: the grit, the terror, the aloneness, the hatred, the ego, shame, the pretending, the beauty, the grace, the power….
All of it.
Are you ready for that?
Are you ready to rest?
You’ll need some courage. Right?
You gotta know what you’re made of.
And if you don’t? You’ll find out, I promise you.
And if it’s too much to face? You will keep running. Resisting. Maintaining the status quo. The busy… the self-deception that is the mighty promise of the future.
“When I get this project done, when the school term ends, when I have enough time/money/space…. I will take better care of myself. I will have a holiday. I’ll get that weekly massage…”
Until your body stops you, breaks down, some time in the future. Like mine did.
So what’s it gonna take, sweetheart?
How long are you gonna insist on resisting rest?
Resisting love, pleasure, being here, now…
Resisting your desire and birthright to live a life of your own, sweet making.
And what will it cost you? A stress-filled shadow-of-a-life? A grand total of 7.85 years of this precious life on social media upon your deathbed? A serious health scare? A chronic illness? A trip to the emergency room? A breakdown?
Be honest with yourself, love. And gentle.
W h a t ‘ s i t g o i n g t o t a k e ?
Fierce, yes. But oh-so loving…