It’s been a real delight to have lots of feedback about my last post. So many of you have told me that water has a strong effect on you and your moods – so I’m sure you’ll forgive me for another post that’s heavy on water pictures.
In a few days time I will be leaving the beauty of New Zealand behind and travelling back to England to my family, my home, my pets and ‘real life’. I’m leaving New Zealand feeling significantly better than when I arrived. I still have ME/CFS and the symptoms continue to show themselves, but I’m much better at recognising the early warning signs and preventing things from spirallling downwards. I’ve had a wonderful opportunity to take a pause from the busyness of life, to rest deeply, and to feast my senses on the magnificence of Nature. I’ve also had the time and space to reconnect with myself at the deepest level – to ‘come home to myself’.
When I was teaching yoga classes I used to say that yoga gives us the tools to learn how to stop, become still, and reach inwards to that part of us that is unchanging. The part of us that is quiet and peaceful no matter what else is going on in our lives. The part of us that is tranquil. Undisturbed. The part that is always there but is so often hidden by the aches and pains in our body, the worries and fears in our mind, or perhaps just the sheer busyness of our lives. I do believe that yoga does gives us tools to do that. But sometimes – for a whole myriad of reasons – it becomes harder to settle into that quietness and stillness and to drink deeply of the peace that dwells within. When I first arrived in New Zealand I was in that space. I felt depleted. My mind was busy and my body was exhausted. Things that I had once found easy had become intensely difficult – including relaxation and meditation – and of course we can’t “try harder” to relax!
Over the past few weeks I have begun to remember how to let go. How to relax. How to rest deeply. How to enjoy the world around me and the world within. I am incredibly grateful to my family who have given me this opportunity to retreat from the busyness of my life at home and to have time and and space to become internally still and reconnect with myself – with my inner light.
Coming home will bring new challenges, but I return with a sense of optimism and joy as well as a whole host of practices and strategies and a greater understanding of what prompts and exacerbates my fatigue. I’m sure that it won’t all be easy, but I feel in a much better place to address any challenges than I was back in October last year. I’m looking forward to being back with my family, friends, pets and the beautiful countryside of Great Britain. And I’m full of gratitude for the enormous gifts that this time away has given me. I trust that I’ll continue to have musings to share on this blog and that this journey from burnout to bliss will continue. And I hope that I’ll be able to share photographs of beauty much nearer to my home.
I was reminded by Facebook yesterday that a year ago I had shared a poem called “Inner Light”. It was reading this poem again that prompted this post. I have always known in my heart the truth of what Danna Faulds writes about in this poem, but somehow the effects of CFS had meant that I found it increasingly difficult to become sufficiently still in mind and body to experience that truth.
May the year 2017 bring to us all plenty of opportunities to be still and recognise our own light, and to be reminded that we are all “tiny stars, glowing in the dark”.
Inner Light – Danna Faulds
The inner light is always with me.
When I slip beneath the agitated
surface of the mind, I find it,
like a fragment of the Big Bang,
still glowing. This energy doesn’t
depend on health or strength
or even mental peace. It isn’t a
product of belief, nor is it “me” in
any egocentric way of speaking.
The inner light is always there,
waiting to be felt and seen, waiting
for me to release it through my
choice to be still and recognize
its presence. The illumination
grows the more I let it go. Like
radiant heat it flows out of me,
flows from my whole being
without leaving me depleted.
We’re all like this – whether we
know it yet or not – tiny stars,
glowing in the dark.