“Eventually we realize that not knowing what to do is just as real and just as useful as knowing what to do. Not knowing stops us from taking false directions. Not knowing what to do, we start to pay real attention. Just as people lost in the wilderness, on a cliff face or in a blizzard pay attention with a kind of acuity that they would not have if they thought they knew where they were. Why? Because for those who are really lost, their life depends on paying real attention. If you think you know where you are, you stop looking.” – David Whyte
It was March the 16th when I realised everything will change. One by one the clubs and studios I teach at were shutting down, along with all small business. Less and less people were on the streets, London was becoming desolate. I was surprised at my initial reaction which was pretty calm, in fact, I felt a little relieved that I was not needing to get up early every morning to head into the busyness of the city and return home late, at times exhausted from travelling to studios across the tube map. I felt, as I am sure most of us did, that the brakes were slammed on! It may sound selfish and I am not intending to be, but I didn’t panic, I wasn’t scared maybe because it happened suddenly that it never felt real? Maybe because I knew it was temporary, I was ok with it. But as the days elapsed, the reality began to sink in as I started to hear and understand the devastation this will cause to many around the world. I became sad. I prayed and meditated daily, extending my energy out and helping those around me who needed healing. A few days went by and slowly a part of me began to feel pushed into the corner. I could not find any inspiration at all. I became blocked, no longer in flow. I gave myself unnecessary pressure to be creative, to come up with a plan to find ways of earning an income but it didn’t sit well with me and so I stopped. Why force it I thought, if it’s not there then leave it alone, maybe something will come up, maybe it won’t. I think it’s important to give ourselves permission to slow down. Instead, every morning I dedicated my time in meditation, enjoying the new slow pace of life, and I would head out for a walk and discover a new place. This place was Brockwell Park. On my way there I would stop at a Deli by the station in Herne Hill, that I had never been to before, owned by a lovely man who I eventually became friends with. Every morning he would have my usual hot chocolate and cinnamon roll ready for me. I had a lot of joy in this simple yet nourishing ritual. I felt a new sense of aliveness!
A couple of weeks went by and eventually needed to find a way to make an income so I made use of the skills and knowledge I have rather than try to think of crazy, innovative ideas that just were not there and accepted the offer to teach Yoga online. I was resistant to teaching Yoga online because the one thing I love about teaching, is being in the presence of people, the eye contact, the gentle adjusts, the smiles and hugs. I thought teaching online would be soulless. But either I took this opportunity or face financial challenges. I was grateful for the classes that I was able to teach and learned to adjust to the digital way of life. I guess because I knew this wouldn’t be forever but in the same breath, I thought this would be a great way to continue my teachings if I wished to work remotely in the future. It was also refreshing and comforting to know I no longer needed to set my alarm for 6 a.m, organise my things to set me up for a long day of travelling from place to place. Instead I was in the comfort of my own home and I now had my favorite time of the day to myself, sunrise. It is a transcendent time, the quiet and calmness of the day is my nourishing moment, meditating, walking through nature, journaling, this is my bliss along with the long walks, blessed with the air of spring.
One morning whilst walking through the park I came across a lake, there I saw two swans. The male swan gliding on the water while the female swan sat resolutely on her nest at the fringe of the lake visible for the by standers to watch in awe. She had recently laid her eggs and sat elegantly on them, patiently waiting. I thought this would be a great journey to follow. As I watched these beautiful creatures, I would think how we could be more like them, in sync with nature, relish in the art of just being and knowing, nobody telling them where to be , what to do, how to think, they just knew, trusting the process, I envied their freedom. Mother swan wasn’t bored or fed up, she was lovingly there in every single moment of the day, intuitive and peaceful, whilst around the lake there were signs warning people not to sit down, sunbathe, play balls games, have picnics or be near anyone within 2 meters (take your pick!) or risk a fine. Benches and children’s areas taped or fenced off, people living in fear and uncertainty. For a moment I wished I were a swan. Then I paused and remembered what a healer had told me in January this year. She saw a vison of a swan coming forward, like a spirit animal or an energy of medicine and healing. Swans are symbol of transformation and so I wonder if this is synchronicity? I personally do not believe in coincidences, I really do believe that things do happen for a reason, whether it’s a sign, a message or something symbolic, it depends on one’s perspective. Therefore, I wondered could this be the daily medicine, the healer spoke of? Is this a transformation we are going through? Not just our planet but ourselves, both individually and collectively? I would like to believe so. I have concluded that I do not wish to continue as I were prior to this lockdown, living a fast and rushed life.
The morning of April 24th the delightful cygnets began to hatch, with one more to go, it was the highlight of my month! The following day I watched as these adorable little grey furry birds took to the water, with mother and father alongside them, showing them the ropes. I really was in awe; this whole experience had brought me so much peace and joy.Visiting the lake and following the journey of the swans has been an important observation in these times, purely because they reminded me that nature is home and questioned whether we do we pay enough attention to the cycle and simplicity of life? We should get to know her more or reconnect if we feel we may have lost touch somehow, learn to be more intuitive, trust the process and live in the rhythm of life. After all, our energy or spirit, is simultaneously that which infuses all and everything – the land, the animals, all peoples, our human creation, and our very being. There are many things we cannot control but the one thing we can control is our inner world. I was encouraged to choose not to live in fear, to face the challenges that arise with the inner knowing and wisdom and be more in tune with our true nature, with each other, and the wilderness.