Returning to our Selkie-Self

Returning home to ourselves through our practice


"How can one learn to live through the ebb tides of one's existence?"
Anne Morrow Lindbergh


Many of you are aware, I recently visited the Isle of Iona for a much-needed break. It was in fact a writing retreat, but included silence from breakfast through to late morning each day. For me, it also allowed a re-investment in other aspects of my personal practice.


This manifested in breath-work on solitary walks and whilst sitting on beaches - really feeling the embodiment of breath whilst watching the movement of each wave. As in the quote above, through the ebb tides of the environment I was fortunate to be in.


Mindful walking and gentle movement was also very welcome against a backdrop of not being hurried or mentally judggling other aspects of everyday life.


As Clarissa Pinkola Estes says in Women Who Run With The Wolves:

"We can be too intense about something. We can be too worn down by something. We can be overloved, underloved, overworked, underworked [...]
[w]e gradually become dry, our hearts get tired, our energies begin to become spare, and a mysterious longing for - we almost never have a name for it, other than 'a something' - rises up in us more and more." (page 277)


Our lives are eternally busy, so much so, that our focus and energy becomes more fractured each day it seems.
The question is then, how do we 'live through the ebb tides' in our everyday life?


A starting point is appreciating that we are enough. This was the word I chose as my focus for the year and it's been interesting to see synchronicity arise each time I return my awareness to how it is playing out in my life.


Patricia Arah Ann Taylor writes in 'Seeing In The Dark' of the origin of the word enough, to the German and Sanskrit (genug / ge'noh) - which means "together reaching".


Instead of seeing it as something else we have to achieve, Patricia Arah Ann Taylor invites us to consider it as a reaching together with our soul.


Here's her 'meditation' on 'The Legacy of Enough'...

"Enough is enough when we dance to the rhythm of the soul. My internal rhythms are not optional.They are me. They are my contribution. They are my legacy. I move with my own personal rhythm that moves within me and around me. You and the team need my rhythm: the bounce beat in my step, the double beat when I am excited, the quiet rumble when I am angry, and the soft breath when I am concerned for another. Your world needs me in it as I am. I cannot be in your world as it exists in your mind. The world you privilege is too one-beat-one-note for me. I am not welcome in the team you imagine. You cannot hear who I am. You cannot see gifts I bare at your threshold. I will have to dance outside your door to the jazz in my soul, listen to my cacophonous heart song and say to you, you do not know it but you and the team you speak of, need my sounds. This work will not be enough without me. This is my legacy. It is what I was given before time and it is what I will leave. I am meant to shout through your key hole, listen to me, I am here, I am valuable and I am not leaving without making a joyous sound that will ring in your memory forever."


Enough was also shared by Kate in Saturday's meditation group, when she mentioned an image she had seen on Instagram, from a mother, an artist, who had 'made her mark' given the time and demands made upon her. The image is below.



So where does this leave us with our personal practice of yoga and / or meditation?


Accepting that neither require grand gestures of time - simply the ability to get really quiet for 5-10 minutes, to tune in and listen. How we respond to what's heard will be unique. One thing's for sure, it will be enough.


[Main image by Claire Murphy / Iona April 2018]

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