When I first got into spirituality, there was a lot of talk of inner healing, especially in women’s groups. At first, I found this hard to relate to.
I remember one girl on my Teacher Training said that, with all the talk of pain and problems, it made her think she should have something wrong with her!
Many of the women were in a process of intense healing after big traumas in their lives which had brought them to this women's course in India. But these are just more obvious experiences which have left women broken and determined to take back their power.
In fact, all of us have healing to do which comes from being honest with ourselves; to look at our shadows as well as our light.
Slowly, slowly I am beginning to understand the journey of inner healing through my own pain and suffering.
They say suffering is an inevitable part of life, but many spiritual traditions disagree. If you live in the present, suffering cannot exist.
After returning to England from India towards the end of July, I have been on an emotional rollercoaster. Exploring myself. Criticising myself. Doubting myself. But also being happy, energised and inspired by what I have learnt since being away.
I find myself facing a lot of pressure in London.
Living with my family.
Yet to find a "real job."
After all, I did study for three years AND got a first from a Russel Group University. Surely that accounts for success in our society! But, like many graduates today, the reality of finishing University is not what you are led to expect.
I also hate doing nothing and this makes me feel stressed and even guilty.
For however many applications and interviews I have surpassed, I am still yet to get a “proper” job. And the more I broaden my horizons to look at different potential roles I could fill in this culture of offices and often pointless jobs, the more distant I feel from them.
The less I desire that kind of life. The more I feel like that is not my true calling.
What do I want? What do I need?
I woke up this morning feeling sad and empty. I checked my email and have not yet heard back from various positions I am waiting on.
I sat in the garden. Then I decided to meditate.
Giving ten minutes to myself is the most precious gift I can give when I feel like this.
Caught in emotions, associations, thoughts, feelings and criticism, I stop.
While I meditate, I try to keep a clear mind and focus on the breath. But through the silence, thoughts do inevitably arise. I try not to judge.
Yet, in not judging or labelling the thoughts which arise, I find they naturally become kinder and more pure. I am filled with more love and am inspired.
I will practice more yoga, I will teach more yoga. I will do another vipassana. I will love myself more. I decide all these things.
And then I realise. This is my inner healing.
In Tantra, we look at both the light and the dark; our shadows are an innate part of us. Through observing, accepting and exploring the darker parts within us, processes of healing take place. Different experiences for different people, it is through giving ourselves the space to be; to not judge but love: this is a universal process of expansion and healing.
I think I need to practice more self love. This includes practices of yoga, meditation and spiritual movement. But also in other parts of my life.
For example, I often feel sad that I do not have a job- I have my pet projects of Flossophy Fashion, Yoga and Philo-flossy, but I do put pressure on myself to be somewhere I am currently not.
The universe has a plan I am sure and time not only allows healing but allows transformation and the inevitability of change. I need to be less harsh on myself but also encourage myself to do more things that I put off, but really want to do. And I do not think I am alone.
So I ask you to reflect on yourself, your true self.
Set a timer for ten minutes and sit with closed eyes. Focus on your breath, inhaling and exhaling through the nose naturally without forcing the breath to deepen intentionally.
When thoughts arise, observe but do not judge.
Allow these thoughts to float to the surface; watch them come and go. Recognise these thoughts, that you so often identify with, are not you.
Then who are you? What is your true identity?
With regular meditation practice and exploration of these deep and profound questions, you can connect deeply with your true, eternal, inner essence.
Seeking knowledge and truth in this way is not done via the intellect, but transcends it. For, as it becomes clearer in our fragmented society today, knowledge grasped by the intellect is limited and never complete. Words, communication and symbols are references to "reality," allowing complex societal systems such as money, labour division and technology to perpetuate. However good for the growth of global capitalism, it is becoming so clear the same can not be said for our planet, or our mental health: human consciousness.
But people are waking up.
The benefits of practices such as yoga, meditation, dance, mindfulness and movement spill into all corners of the practitioner's life.
You become detached from such close associations with material objects, physical and external appearances, and the fragmentation and individualism which is so ingrained into the Capitalist system we live in.
The inner healing is the first step. Going in, to come back out.
These are steps to shifting consciousness, for the benefit of ourselves, our planet and all beings. The shift starts within, but it is only by going in and truly reflecting on ourselves that we can travel outward making a positive difference in this world.
If you have any questions or comments, please let me know!