These (and many more) questions I have often pondered, and yet at the same time, like you, I’m busy growing little humans and fur babies, keeping them safe, feeding them, teaching them, nurturing them, supporting them. And of course, I’m working hard to make a living because that is what needs to be done, as well as being a sister and a wife and a friend and, well you know, we are all champion jugglers! Yet, in a quiet moment, there is a yearning in me, that grows, do you know that feeling? A yearning to understand what this life is all about, and how to engage in it more deeply, more spiritually. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as my little nest becomes quite insulated and the quiet moments that I usually have to carve out, are there in relative abundance. Life has become simpler. I feel now, more than ever, that while we are apart, we are not alone. From a spiritual perspective, a pandemic is a great leveller! For the first time, there really is a shared sense of ‘we’re all in this together’, despite our many differences from a physical perspective.
Yes, of course, there are the added pressures of being in a shutdown, of work suffering, income stress, health concerns, being at home with the kids 24/7, the very real possibility of people we love dying. At times, this situation is a veritable pressure cooker! But still, I don’t know about you, but I know I feel this yearning to dig deeper into the lessons this brings us as to what life is really all about!
You know sometimes it feels like I’m living two lives, have you experienced that? One where you’re busy appeasing and keeping the fears, illness and stress at bay and showing up in various roles as mum, or friend, or counsellor or volunteer and the other where, for me, I’m floating in solitude in my favourite spot in the garden, meditating and listening to the birds, the ocean, the wind, alone and content with no thoughts, just a sense of joy and freedom and openness.
Can we have zen in the mayhem?
It’s funny, I normally write about finding your zen in the craziness of everyday life, and now, I am writing about finding it in the quietness. But really, it’s probably not that quiet in your mind am I right? I know mine can go into overdrive especially when facing a collective unknown. So it’s really important to take some time to get ourselves back on track. Especially as Mums if we are busy appeasing everyone else's worries.
In my family, I have been busy creating space for us all to exist consciously and one where my spirituality can ooze gently into our lives with its own boundaries in place to protect it. In many ways right now, we are in a kind of survival mode. We are preoccupied with the basics we need to live, such as food, water, shelter, emotional needs, combat skills and ‘hanging in there’ required to safely navigate our family through a difficult period. Once we get into a more comfortable groove with this, that's where we can turn to our higher motivations of self-actualising and spiritual awakening, and ironically, there has never been a better opportunity to do this!
Change is inevitable.
As time passes, we change, whether we are conscious of it or not, and whether we are in the middle of a pandemic or not! I’m not the same person I was a month ago, never mind 5 years or 10, and nor are you. I have grown in consciousness exponentially - emotionally, physically, spiritually. I feel that through this acknowledgement that change is inevitable, I’ve awakened and become receptive to the energy around me, and I’ve felt more open to people and surroundings and importantly, the lessons they bring. This strange new normal we find ourselves in is actually the greatest incubator for change and awakening. We are so fortunate! Seeing this as a time to reflect on the things we can change rather than the things we can’t. If we can get hold of those feelings, the understanding that we can only change the things in our own power, we will start to influence those closest to us and help them navigate the choppy waters.
Many women ask, ‘but where do I start?’ Let me reassure you, you don’t need to climb a mountain on day one, baby steps, consistency. That’s it. Here are a few things to look into to help you find your path:
- Unclutter your life. Too busy, too much stress, too much go go go! It’s time to have a look at what needs managing, sharing, reducing and cutting back on. We rush around like crazy, we are ruled by to-do Lists, and people to see, places to go. Where can we do less? And do we need less? Time to look at simplifying where you can. We can start here so easily. Right here! Less is more. We are Human beings not human doings!
- Commit to stillness, space. In my experience once we begin to awaken, we cannot go back to sleep. And when I mean ‘awaken’ I’m talking about that ‘yearning’ and ‘seeking’. We can plateau, but awakening grows. It may take years or it may accelerate during certain periods, Like the flowers in your garden, given the right conditions we can have a growth spurt. The right conditions of looking at our shadows and the support and direction to get through the tough emotional stuff. We may come across people who teach us something or we teach them something and it all seems divine timing. It is really however, our commitment to the journey that will allow us to keep going, keep growing. Allow it to absorb into you.
- Dive in and explore! Check out a sound healing, try a new yoga class online, find meditations that you resonate with, hang out with your woo woo friends, get your oracle deck out, burn some incense, read that spiritual book or walk in nature with your favourite spiritual audio. Bring it in, invite it in to your life, don’t hide or push it away, it’s part of who you are and it’s asking to be integrated – Be a seeker!
- Own the journey! You don’t need permission to be different to anyone else, because you already are! You also don’t need everyone else to want to join in, this is your journey and yours alone. It can be a bit like coming out of the ‘woo woo closet’ - sometimes I feel like making an announcement “Hi I’m Lyndsay and I’m a mystic, spiritual seeker, a meditator, I like spirit animals, and baggy pants, and Buddha quotes and deep conversations and nothing feels better than living in presence’’. I generally don’t do that, but you know, I wouldn’t put it past me!
- Find Your Tribe. You will learn to be discerning and you’ll share what you feel comfortable with, but the more you open up gently to owning that you are a spiritual being, the more you will be able to have deeper conversations as you attract other conscious people who share your yearning for more than the physical and material world. This doesn’t mean that friends not on the same exact path as you fall by the wayside, not at all!
Some of my closest friends don’t know quite how spiritual I am, not because I hide it but it’s the same as if they had a hobby that didn’t really interest me, it doesn’t stop us having other things in common. And as with family, they eventually might become -even subconsciously- curious about what makes you tick and start to learn from you!
- Have Boundaries. This will mean that you and your family will take your spirituality seriously. If you say you will be meditating at a set time and require quietness they will respect your wishes, or if you say you will be taking 30 minutes to yourself each day to go for a walk, they will follow your lead. You set the boundaries of your own spiritual practice and lovingly make it clear that it’s a priority and it’s ok for you to have this time. It takes time to adjust but eventually it just becomes habit, and a non negotiable one at that! You’ll find yourself craving your stillness so it’s not a difficult habit to keep. The unfolding spiritual path to awakening pulls you away from stress and overstimulation, toxic relationships and codependency and into more and more stillness where you’ll hear the whispers of your inner voice, your soul, and know that you are complete as you are, all on your own. You’re not going to disappear into a woo woo vortex! By having boundaries to protect your practice, you are ultimately becoming a better partner, mother and friend. Day to day life still carries on, you will just be able to manage it so much better!