There is no more a more beautiful time for light than in the Autumn, the way she plays on the ever-changing greens, splays a peachy hue throughout the crisp clear blue and seems to be making gold crested jewels of all the fallen.
I appreciate the majesty of such change with full awareness that soon the stripped bare trees sleep naked, nourished only at the roots under the deepening winter grey.
What is Shakti ?
Derived from the root 'shak,' which means the potential to produce – the assertion of the word is a direct nod to the inherent creative prowess of the feminine; Shakti is the earliest term applied to the divine feminine and is used in a multitude of ways all eluding to the one common parameter which is ‘power, force and feminine energy.’
From the Vedas, with the key focus of living light - Yoga & Ayurveda - the guide books for here and beyond, provide sensible and sustainable pathways, simple reminders to honour the forces that shift day to night, in and through all seasonal change.
From where we create
The Tantric teachings of energy, that communicate the complete interconnectedness of all of life, have some darkness, of course. The very meaning of Hatha yoga implies polarity and gives us a direct access point, via body and breath relationship, to find the balance existing between the marriage of the two. Such a practice need not be difficult and unbearably physically contorting, rather it’s a simple embodied exchange between the inhalation, exhalation (strength and receiving) aspect of ourself and possibly extremely healing to all who wish to partake.
Have you ever had the experience of darkness ? Of being overcome ?
Depression, anxiety, fearfulness, abandonment are some.
The shoulders arch like a bow over the heart and our arrow of tender awareness fails to meet its mark. Its a tough place to be and we’ve all had our moment there.
Sit tall. Stand tall. Dandasana. Tadasana.
Carry the arms over head on a steady in-breath and circle them back on the exhale. Pause to feel into the softness of your belly. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
And then there comes the light.
Perhaps the first time, the pain of not seeing your eternal sunshine lasted a long time - a year, more.
And then the next the suffering was less, the light shone a little sooner and when it happened again, the darkened cave was just as deep yet a somewhat easier retreat. There was a beam of sunlight piercing the void, almost as though it was a rope you had placed there before. And that was exactly what you had done. You had garnered tools.
Have you ever experienced your one precious life in these ways ?
Born from the same stuff as Stars, we were made from light and the revelation of that as a living reality is each and every one of our birthrights. But when the darkness is rife, at some point a learning Must arise that there is choice; we can bring in the light and move through that darkness at any time. The darkness need only be a passing lesson and when living light, this is a daily choice.
Be with the body
At a time when myself and my allies were experimenting with varied tapas of the consciousness expansion kind - often misguided at best - I'm talking, rapid ‘kundalini shakti’ rise that couples with taking one to the very edge of the mind; One of the most outstanding pieces of advice I was given was this -
“We have a body to live within. We are here to live. Don’t forsake the body. When there is any mental anguish, splitting-off, anxiety or strain; attend to the body. Learn how to care for, bring routine too and ground the body. And so you will learn about the nature of mind.”
Little did I know it at the time, this was pure Ayurvedic advice - Life Science in its most simple form. Your body is the temple of your soul. Care for it well and you will be rewarded with health that paves the way for deeper dimensions of human-divine contentment.
Caring for the body is a practice of compassionate care. Caring for the body is a practice of showing up daily to experience what is there.
As above so below
At this time of year, in this season of My own life; as I move upon the yoga mat in a daily expression of embodied prayer, I notice the elements of Autumn that make up the cold air, the roughened and dry leaves, also find their way into my body. My joints clack a little more than they did a month ago and it seems like there is less stretch available immediately in my side-body. And yet, as a witness to this micro-cosmic phenomena, I practice to offer the warm awareness of my breath, to melt and smooth out any compiled strain or stress.
It seems as though during the Autumn months (and possibly winter too) this observation can some days be a little uncomfortable to bare.
But I commit to Go there and resurface, each time, like new.
It’s not news
We live in a world that is filled with tension and this tension effects everyone of us on some level of body, mind and soul and it is now more than ever that the guidebooks of the Yogas and Ayurveda, for here and beyond, are given to help. The shared core teachings of which, are to honour each other, the mother - the earth - the five elements, the energies that shift and transform our external and internal worlds, so seemingly too rapidly.
Such processes are easier for some and for this very reason, a tender piece this was for me to write. And perhaps an even more tender piece for you to read. There is much suffering in our communities and the greater world at large, it is so easy to see.
Look then as a start, to the beauty within your neighbouring tree and witness the majesty of her transformations annually. Notice the small plants and animals and then find someone to share your miraculous insight with, joyfully. Be the change.
Start with the breath.
Follow with kindness, in anyway you may.
And continue with deep faith, every single day.
Every word written here is from my own direct experience and I deeply honour the embodied, kind, mutually respectful, accessible, authentic and enlivened teachers that have given me guidance along the way - to live fully and centred within expanded capacity.
I offer these writings to you from my heart. There is no dogma, no religious connotations, no suggesting that you ‘should’ be any other way that you already blessedly are - You are perfect exactly how you are and that’s the point ! - Rather a language is given, one that eludes to a pathway that you might enjoy walking for the miracle of You.
Upon the Yoga mat, we practice to bring strength and flexibility to not only the body, also to witness the nature of the mind. It's enjoyable and it's beautiful. Similarly within the Embody Happy coaching program and the propagation of plant medicine for all. If I can be of service in anyway, please reach out.
Lead photos at The Federal Palace of Switzerland; Bundeshaus Bern
photographer credit - Nicolas Ipina
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Frankincense, Patchouli, Ylang Ylang, Labdanum, Amyris, Sandalwood, Rose, Osmanthus
Console diffused has a resinous sweetness that lands in the lungs like a kindly grandmotherly hug.
I think I love it but maybe more so, I think it loves me.
And that's a wonderful feeling, to be loved, held and seen.
That’s the effect of Console, diffused and topically.
In times of deep grief, release and despondency - when you are ready to be held and willing to settle into the spaciousness of tender peace.
Mix a *3% dilution of Console into a warm Abhyanga (self massage) blend.
After you are bathed, dressed and warm;
Diffuse 3-4 drops and directly inhale the mist.
Sit with a hot tea and be with the grandmotherly presence of Console.
If you can, go to sleep.
Continue to apply Console to pulse points daily until the intensity has abated.
*dilution recommended for a healthy adult
Console is a blend that is good to have on hand.
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