It’s Summer solstice, a BEAUTIFUL day, and I guess I should be out living it up, partying with friends, adventuring into nature…anything really that marks the occasion, but truth be told – I’m perfectly happy just sitting here.  Curled up in my bed napping, and crawling out of my window onto the roof terrace for a stint of outdoors air and sounds.

The past week, the past few weeks has been intensely emotional.  I’ve been spontaneously weeping over acts of kindness, acts of cruelty, acts of banality.  Just anything really.  Like a clogged up pipe that’s broken under the pressure.  The release is as ecstatic as it is exhausting, and it feels good to just have that space to let it happen.

I’m coming to the end of yet another very important and profound chapter.  I look back, and look forwards.  Feelings of contentment, pride, love, fear, excitement, trepidation, hope, tiredness, depletion, did I say love…all shaking up against each other.  Friends are leaving, jobs ending, infatuations played out – escaping into the ether.  Babies are being born.  I’ve seen it!  I’ve actually seen it.  Been a part of it….felt and experienced the exceptional and traumatic joy of life awakening.  It’s the opposite of the grief and bereavement I’ve felt in past years, yet surprisingly similar, in that it jolts you back to the very centre and core of who you are and why you are.  Face the unbearable questions…look them right in the eye.  You have to.

I’m clearer now, than I’ve ever been, of what my future holds, and still coming to terms with the sacrifices that entails.  A conventional life, an orderly life.  I have to let that ideal go.  It’s never really been my ideal, if I’m perfectly honest with myself, but it feels, and always has done, like the easier option.  And sometimes, when you’re so so tired of always seemingly fighting against the stream of social conditioning, you just want to let go of the branch you’ve been clinging onto for so long….and just go.  Get swept up, lose yourself.  Drown.

It takes a lot of work, a lot of practice, and some great friends and teachers to spur you on and keep that flicker of determination burning.

I pack up my things, and head off to Bali in five and a half weeks.  Three months to check back in with a teacher who opened up a whole new world to me.

I feel a little scared, like you do in the weeks preceding a Vipassana retreat – because you know that despite all the joy and exhilaration you’ll be feeling at the end, you have to contend with a whole lot of work, pain and raw emotion to get there.

The last extended retreat I did with Matthew was two and a half years ago now, and when I see what’s happened, what’s changed in that time, I guess it’s understandable to feel a little intimidated by what lies ahead.  Yeah, I’m excited by the prospect of having a whole three months to focus primarily on my yoga practice, reuniting with dear yoga friends, and meeting new, incredible people to share our life-changing experiences with.  But crikey – what else is there to change, to face, to let go?????

I dread to think.  But, I’m ready for it too.  I can feel I’m ready to take a break from the rollercoaster, and mounting momentum of making inroads into this new life I’ve started.  It’s time to reflect, to sweat, breathe and sit through the stagnation and demons to reconnect on that deepest level.  It is in that place that I find the source, the strength to accept the effervescence of our existence, and to welcome transformation.

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