Transitions from one cycle to the next, the Summer changing into Autumn. How do you embrace change? how much do you accept and stay fluid or how much do you fight against it? I struggle moving from the simplicity and openness I feel on retreat in the Alps to coming back here. Even though I live in the forest.
My life here seems more complicated; classes to organise, emails to answer, technology, social media, schedules to keep to….. etc. Although I feel so much gratitude to be able to live where I do and earn a living from teaching what I love, I still struggle with having to do all the “business” side of things and buck against being in a routine.
This Summer was in the Alps was a place of growth for me, of peeling the onion layers back and seeing underneath. A journey of forgiveness to those in my past that encouraged a new softness to appear in me, physically and mentally. Really noticing what happens to my body when I become defensive, how it contracts and hardens and seeing my natural tendency of doubting myself – my inner knowing.
Learning in “the Huntress Retreat” how to let go of my ‘good girl’ and actually asking myself ‘what are my wants and needs’? an awful realisation of how I had never actually contemplated that question, I’ve negated myself for others so much….probably from childhood, being the good girl, that it was such a foreign concept.
The last couple of days in the Alps are tinged with a sweet sadness that I acknowledge and experience. I love having the space just to gaze at the ever changing light on the mountains and be totally present with where I am. Situations that elicit uncomfortable feelings can be a place of learning and exploration. But humans are pain avoiding, pleasure seeking, meaning making machines (brilliant saying from the amazing woman who ran the Huntress Retreat in France this year). It’s easier to stuff the feelings away somewhere and pretend everything is ok.
Usually, I take myself of on a long hike and busy myself cleaning the house and putting it to sleep, in an effort to avoid being sad. I enjoyed the process of feeling sad, feeling the loss of another Summer, the ending of a cycle that started with so much planning and excitement of anticipation, through to the being in the middle of it….and all the tiny endings as each retreat came to a close. For me my yoga practice helps to teach me how to stay present in a place of discomfort, to face it, experience it and learn from it. What does your practice mean to you?
Once the transition is over, I fully embrace and jump whole heartedly into the new cycle with the enthusiasm I had for starting school in the Autumn, I loved having a new school uniform and the smell of a new pencil case, catching up with friends! The thought of open fires, candles, indulging my love of wooly jumpers! I love the Autumnal changes in nature, the melloness of the light, dramatic colours, the softness of nature at this time of the year. Although I do miss the light evenings, feeling the warmth of the sun and eating outside.