You have to ride the downs as well as the ups – more so then, as they are tougher, but also your best teacher. No matter how “down” something seems, try to keep some humour and perspective… The down is just an experience, and not your ultimate nature…

Wise words, as always, from Jedi Matthew.  A sense of humour seems to be the first thing to go when you’re suffering.  At least that’s how it feels when you meet your friends for a cup of coffee, swallow back the tears as you share your news.  Avoiding eye contact, paying meticulous attention to the angle at which your china tea-cup, rests on the baby saucer, sympathetic words and heartfelt compassion both needed and reviled in equal measure…. “can’t cry in public….mustn’t cry in public….won’t let the waiters and passers-by see my tears…”  But, a couple of fat, salty droplets tip over the edge nevertheless, and you can’t help but notice the fire of those red blotchy patches expanding across your neck and cheeks…the breaks in your voice masked oh-so-unconvincingly by declarations of positive thinking and a whole host of chipper plans you can’t wait to get on with now you have so much free time on your hands….

But, that act doesn’t last long.  Once the pressure has been let out by that initial drainage of liquid, you relax into yourself, and your situation and say how you really feel.  The depths of your crapness, paranoias, and self-degradation…the wretched state of that slither of confidence dragging across the floor, tangled around the table-leg…and before you know it, your shoulders are shaking, and the corners of your mouth tilt upwards, and you’re laughing….laughing because the lower you go, the more debase your descriptions, the friend on either side can take it one step lower with a nod of their head and echoed renditions, finishing each others’ sentences….we’ve all been there!  You’re not alone!  And ahhhhhh….the relief of sharing and letting go.

This morning I practised in the garden shed.  In there by 6 am.  Freshly showered, incense trailing its scent across the room.  Squirrel dancing on the roof, lazy sun sleeping in.  I was breathing deeply, steadily, even counts on the inhale and exhale (so glad my hayfever’s gone!)  Moon sequence.  I’d been up most of the night.  Students coming back to town.  Made it through the surynamaskaras and standing poses….calm and focused.  Everything is still – inside and out.  Get to the seated postures…first couple of stretches deep and satisfying….and then the hips begin to open….

Convulsive tears, an absolute onslaught of emotion.  I continued through the sequence, collapsing on myself, head on the mat…sobbing and sobbing…and letting go of god knows what.  When this type of thing happens the trigger becomes inconsequential.  You’re tapping into something much, much deeper.  In the silence and the space of the shed, isolated at the end of the garden, I could let myself go…And it was in that moment of absolute surrender that I could feel my shoulders begin to shake and bubbling up beneath the snot and the tears….this incredible sensation of uncontrollable laughter.  Over coffee the other morning, one of my friends described a scene such as this, as sounding like a “birthing cow”, and as I lie there sobbing and gasping, and writhing through my practice, that was all I could think of, and suddenly all that pain I felt and all the bleakness was superseded by a bit of perspective and a sense of humour.

How ridiculous we are when it comes to love and heart-break.  How easily overpowered by emotion.  It doesn’t seem to matter how far along you are on your journey, you never seem to get any closer to finding the answers.

I’m smiling to myself right now, as I write this post.  Because, whatever happened in that shed, and however ridiculous it may seem, I feel a great sense of inner-peace at last….and however far away I am from finding the answers, I have come a long way….because all I feel right now is gratitude and love to the person I shared some wonderful moments with.

Thank you.  xx

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