I can honestly say, I've never needed a yogic mindset more than in 2023! I've never needed Savasana more, either!
For those of you unfamiliar with what's been going on, let's recap:
Around January last year, I posted a blog write up on feeling grateful. My dad had gone in for an operation and almost not made it through. I was so relieved to have him home safe, so full of gratitude for his well being, so deeply thankful for 'worst case scenario' not coming to fruition. Then, in April, worst case scenario, very sadly - tragically in fact - did just that and, after a gruelling 6 hour op, his body gave up and Dad passed away. I can't describe what that feels like, not really, but suffice to say: it sucked.
I took a few days off work (madness, now I look back!) and then, bravely (stupidly) got back on my mat and back to 'normal'.
Somewhere prior to all this grief and sadness, I had had renovations done at my house: a wall taken out, new doorways put in place, new carpets and so on. It hadn't been a small project! Simultaneously, Mum and Dad had discovered issues with the foundations of their house and were undergoing surveys and so on to ascertain the issue. The symbolism of this isn't lost on me! The very foundations of home life and family were shifting.
My body reflected as much when, a month or two after I lost my father, my back gave way. I remember it very clearly because it was summer solstice and I was running my 'turn of the wheel' retreat day. I battled through the yoga I had planned, the mindfulness walk (not very mindfully, I add, pushing my body on, in anger more than anything) and the 'holding space' for people, assuming no one could tell how much pain I was in. Then, at the end of our last session on the timetable, one of my 'old faithfuls' - a client I've known for many many years - leaned in and whispered 'are you ok? Is it your back?' I'm still not sure how I didn't break down there and then and asked to be woken up in a years' time whilst burying myself under a blanket! But I thanked her and carried on with the Yoga Nidra, breathing deeply through the back spasms and praying this wasn't 'permanent'.
Mother Nature, eh?! Turns out the 'back thing' wasn't permanent, but it was serious and it meant I had to lie very still for over a fortnight whilst it settled and relaxed. Then, when I was up and about, I had to semi retire from my mat so that I protected my back from further pressure. That summer, you see, I also got married. A wonderful, magical day from start to finish, but only so because I finally took the time out I really, really needed, to mend and to heal and to process.
How have YOU found 2023? There's been some mighty big energy shifts for everyone, not just me. Lots and lots of downloads to deal with, raising vibrations, planetary shifts and altered perceptions. If you've lost things this year, like me (doesn't need to be a death to feel grief), or revisited something which felt ok, then suddenly, awfully, wasn't, if you've changed something or been called out on something you thought was dealt with, then you're not alone! It's been quite brutal in its trajectory, 2023, and if you've made it through unscathed, I salute you!
The things its taught me (reminded me) are: when you need to stop, stop - you don't get a medal for breaking yourself. Rest is best. Breath helps everything. Conscious breath helps EVERYTHING. Meditation is for life, not just for extreme stress. Yoga takes many forms, all beneficial, but not all beneficial for YOU: pick your style to suit your mood/lifestyle/age/situation. Reiki is pure love. TBIS is my second home. I have amazing friends. I can say no. I can set my own boundaries and limits and I don't need to explain myself.
She says, explaining herself.
Have a wonderful, wonderful Christmas everyone. Thank you so, so much for the part you've played in seeing me through this helterskelter of a year. TBIS remains a haven not just for our visitors and clients, but for those of us who work here too. We love what we do and we love sharing it with you all, in good times and in bad. Here's to Winter Solstice and the return of the light and 2024 beyond that! May it be happy, healthy and peaceful. On New Year's Eve I will be raising a glass to, of course, my beloved Dad, but also to 2023 and all it taught me. Let's forge ahead with strength, clarity and love.