OK, OK i know that i said it was my final blog.
I announced the end of the Chronicles of Clara when i returned from Bali. But guess what? I’m missing my blog A LOT, and add that to the fact that i’m also missing Bali MORE THAN A LOT, i decided to get blogging again. So lets hope that you lot are up for sticking with me on my stories of a quest for peace in my everyday life back here in Glastonbury, UK.
I’d like to share with you how things have been going since i landed back in the UK. At Kuala Lumpa airport i posted a final pic of myself on facebook looking utterly glowing with my shoulders back and Bali love bubble on max setting, and a friend confessed to me that whilst thinking “oh fab doesn’t she look well” they also had that kind of down turned mouth feeling of “omg hope she lands OK and its not too much of a crash back down to earth”. Yep that’s right, unsuspecting 47 year old woman leaves paradise and comes back down to earth with a bump! I have to celebrate the wonderful drama of it really, four days of blissful glory and reuniting hugs, two days of sore-throat, sickness, sobbing and melt down, three days of leveling up under the duvet and eating too many carbs! Whilst i am determined and excited to translate my Bali treasures into my everyday life, i have officially given myself the whole week to be totally crap and do everything i said i wasn’t going to. Think under the duvet with a packet of biscuits yoga asana. It doesn’t go unnoticed by me that when i hit physical and emotional discomfort i retreat to fetal position and eat comfort food, this behaviour seems my faithful friend no matter how much meditation or yoga i do.
I don’t know about you but when i arrive back home after any journey, the first thing i want to do is clean! Really! I just get this urge to scrub the shower within an inch of its life and maybe re-organise the towels and sheets cupboard. I’ve grown to accept this slightly OCD behaviour and recognise it as a re-bonding ritual with my base camp. Anyway upon arrival i managed to body swerve jet lag, by staying awake all day until proper UK sleeping time. This was a success strategy all except the fact that i was delirious for two days, and kept waking up in the night thinking – Where am i? Which Balinese home stay is this? Why is there no ceiling to my bedroom? What are those monkeys doing in here? It was a combination of bliss and delirium. However it’s a really magic window this re-entering your own life after a substantial period away, as it’s an opportunity to see things from the outside like an observer looking in, and get an instant perspective reset on so many things. Its all about perspective, the eyes from which you see, and my eyes are feeling like they just got an upgrade.
I love my bath tub and missed it whilst away, its my favourite place to cry uncontrollably, i know it sounds a bit sad, but actually sobbing in the bath is really good therapy and i highly recommend it. Luckily my bathtub is there to catch me as i fall and support me whilst i immerse in the water element on every level of my being. On the subject of water, i was out in town in a welcome home sideways wind and rain assault, and whilst standing on the side of a small lane to let a car pass, no word of a lie, the car drove straight through a puddle at speed and just like in the sketch i was soaked from head to toe, with water actually splashing in my face. At that point i chose to laugh rather than cry. I know i have zero grounds to complain having just received one whole month of warmth and balmy sunshine, i understand its a complete assault to you and what you’ve just been through, bearing up the bloody winter, but thank you for hearing my silent moaning sob about the shocking change in weather conditions.
You see prior to taking a month out of my life and going to Bali, i was at rock bottom. I just couldn’t do it any more. Any of it. I was burnt out at work and needed a big change to happen, my kids are growing up and don’t need me in the same way any more, and i’d excavated a feeling of deepest grief and loss from god knows where and was really trying not to just push it back down to its familiar suppressed position. I was a woman on the brink for quite a long time and coming back from a month away in Bali, and looking in on my life i’m just aware how long i soldiered on in this state of despair, unable to admit to myself just how burnt out i was. I’m proud that i did eventually get there, admitting to myself the nature of my own true authentic needs. This process of recognising my own broken-ness is infact the heroine’s journey. It starts with admitting to myself, and then to others the TRUE nature of my inner despair. Then finding the courage to actually respond and make changes in my life, this involves taking risks, and in that way reclaiming what i truly want, need, deserve, and require to rebuild and start living the life i came to live again. This is a wonderful map of the stages as documented by Victoria Schmidt, with drawing by Katie Paul – see the articles here
Heroine Journey Arc by Victoria Schmidt, drawing by Katie Paul
This is a common human experience, to wander off the path, to over-give, over-extend, perform life’s duties and run into exhaustion, and i suspect it might be a pattern sewn into the cloth of woman, but not exclusively so. Gender aside its definitely about the feminine nature, the flowing, feeling, dreaming, intuitive self finding this modern world a bit bloody inhospitable. I happen to believe that this state of affairs is at endemic proportions in our society with stress being the number one cause for disease and post traumatic stress disorder being an all too common place diagnosis. We are run ragged by the life that this society demands us to live. So despite all of the colossal demands its a call from the Goddess to take this journey, to be the heroine (or hero) in our own lives and without negotiation RECLAIM that place of self hood that is gentleness, truth, space, healthy boundaries, sanity, and ultimately greater peace.
There is no-one to blame for my loss of self, i don’t blame society, my children, the government, my colleagues, friends or family. We are all submerged in this story, soul loss has been passed down to me by my elders who were subjected to it too. Slowly a capitalist society has vanquished community, connection and service to each other and a higher principle as corner stones to our lives, and given us instead a despicable set of values based on the theory of needing to hustle on every level of our being, to even claim the right to exist. I understand it is my responsibility to wake up from this crap and claim the life i was meant to live, which is basically a life of belonging, spiritual purpose and connection. I’ve been talking about it for years and working hard on waking up but living within society, raising kids, growing a business, paying the morgage, running the embedded patterns of my ancestors, means i miscalculated.
The energy needed to wake up from this living lie is colossal, volcanic, nuclear, supernova, like the birth of a star and the fire of the sun. We don’t just wake up once, we wake up over and over. Its almost like we need to wake up in a hundred and one different scenarios we put ourselves in during our life, in all those different stories, like those escape room experiences you can visit for a birthday treat. Decode and unpick the locking system, problem solve and untangle the illusions.
My illusion was simply that there was not enough time, energy resources for me. Sure there was enough for my beloveds, pets, colleagues, email list, work demands and more, but for me? No i just fundamentally didn’t believe it. Low self-esteem behaviour still running after ALL THESE YEARS of hunting it down, hidden, insidious, sly, under a stone. I remind myself “when i move this stone for me i remove it for all women, all beings” and its true, this epic archetypal proclamation is true. Every little tiny thought i reclaim on this subject of deserving, belonging, existing, connecting, breathing, living, like an unapologetic sun i do for us all. When you put it like this people, that afternoon at the spa, that extra hour in bed, that long slow session of self loving spent doing what makes you feel good is not just a nice treat but is infact ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to the liberation and emancipation and evolution of our future generations. We must do this now, we must do this today! And so we must despite the seeming impossibility of that notion against the cold hard face of it.
So with Spring Equinox and full moon in Libra both coinciding on the same day this year, the energy is shifting into full spring mode in the UK and I’m bubbling with inspiration, change is afoot and has a whole new lease of life. I’m going to be channeling this energy into reshaping my lifestyle both at work and at home. As above so below, as within so without, this is a time of the transmission of perfect equal balance. There is a lovely energy of things dropping into place, and a sense that the conversation between myself and the great big cosmic mother by all her names and faces is on speed dial. So to demonstrate my point here’s a really funny thing that happened which had me laughing out loud. So i spent the week looking for a camper van on ebay, gum tree, auto trader, you know the scene, endless searches and comparisons. My hours of browsing honed my attention in on the rather vintage Renault traffic camper circa 1985 – 1995 with anything less than 75,000 on the millage. This van looked really cute, dinky, vintage, with an attractive cabin lay out and small enough overall vehicle size to manoever about the place, a real old bird for sure but a good runner without too many miles on the clock. Anyway i found a handful of this kind of van up and down the country, and was thinking about enlisting a friend on a huge round trip mission, whilst feeling like this could be a lot of effort only to discover that this wasn’t the van for me. So i finalised with the thought, “if only i could just see one”. Then the very next day what should appear literally outside my front door, no word of a lie, but a Renault Traffic Camper, 1990, 50,000 miles on the clock with a big FOR SALE sticker on the window. Seriously!
So what is really really important right now is to focus my thoughts really clearly on what i’d like to create next in my life for the highest purpose of all beings. It has to be for the highest purpose of all and in my greatest service to God because there is really no way my little ego self has got half a clue about what is really right for me or my place in the bigger scheme of things. I know simple things like: I don’t want to sit behind a computer screen all day (she says sitting behind a computer screen), and i do want deep meaningful life changing connections. But i think its time to get a bit clearer and make myself a vision board. The idea behind this is to get creative and make a collage with pictures and words declaring all the things you’d like to ‘manifest’ in your life. Better to be specific, so go for something like ‘fun adventures in my camper van meeting lovely people and sharing my wisdom and truth’ rather than the broader ‘unconditional love at all times’. I want to keep things free flowing so i want to create opportunity rather than definitive outcome, i don’t want to over control how things unfold but i do want to harness the water flow in a specific direction.
So the journey for peace, fulfillment, purpose, service goes on. As Saraswati reminds us – learning and growing is a lifetime adventure.