After several years of training in yoga and meditation, I started to believe that I could do it on my own. When we moved back to South Africa, various factors (money, time, mothering) prevented me from seeking out a spiritual community. I thought I was fine. I was covering my bases physically and spiritually. Farm living would of course get me out and keep me active. Experience would suffice the rest. I knew the chants and breath counts. Of course I would put together my own sort of practice.
But I didn’t. I’ve began to realize that in some areas of my life, no matter how much I learn, I will always need help. I will always avoid the hard bits. And I need someone to gently steer me back to look at what I’d rather not. Along this journey of life the most sacred path we are tasked with walking is to know ourselves. Three years later and I’ve finally accepted that I’m a head girl. It’s my first port of understanding; it’s my comfort and my refuge. In my house, at the window, in my mind – these places draw me in and wrap around me like a cocoon. As an introvert I would like nothing more than the chance to be alone pretty much always. But life is not made to be comfortable. Good health (mental, physical and spiritual) is not free from pain. I know I will never neglect or fail to stimulate my mind. My body and heart on the other hand, scuttle into the shadows at the first sign of conflict. And I, standing alone, have no bait with which to lure them back into the light. I need help. I need ritual. And I need community.
Community and connection are two of the greatest deficiencies of our age. We must do what we can to fight for them in our lives. Now I drive half an hour to join a yoga class twice a week, and I drive over an hour once a month to visit my massage and energy therapist. These experiences are amongst my all-time favorites of the week/month, and yet, and yet. Each time I have to move past a kind of reluctance. Because these practices bring me into balance. And being in balance is painful. Because when we are in balance we must see the truth. There is nothing behind which to hide, only fully conscious exquisite presence in the moment.
Whatever you suffer from, whatever your drug of choice, wherever you choose to run, there are those who head to the same, and those who can draw you back. Colleen, my therapist*, and more recently my yoga teacher Margot, are my gurus. They are not mystical beings. There is nothing exalted about them, except their humanness. But they have talents where I have none, and they are willing to share them. Life is magical because there are gurus all about us, in every thing, and in ourselves. As your friendship with yourself grows, you can begin to engage in the rituals, and surround yourself with the community that helps you see and know that. Find your way to the light.
*This post was sponsored. Colleen at Midlands House of Healing is a shaman of the spirit who offers succor no matter your path. Her ministrations are gentle and loving, and most of all guided by intuition, which means she sees you, as you really are, not an idea of who you pretend to be, and she treats you as you require, not according to a rote procedure of steps pre-determined by someone who’s never met you. Namaste my fellow walkers.