A little bird told me: Lessons in lockdown.

Updated: Jul 19, 2020

Weeks have turned into months and we made it through the first part of this most surprising challenge called lockdown. I never imagined I would be living, homeschooling and working through a pandemic in 2020, did you? Now we are into our second phase of stage 3 lockdown and we're trying to adapt quickly, wearing a mask everywhere and staying home mostly. Yet, there's a lot of struggle in the world right now, a lot of not knowing what to do but doing it anyway. Everywhere you look on social media there is unrest, risk taking and suffering bubbling up from the depths of an ecosystem stretched beyond its limits. At home I've been spending longer hours staring out of the window at nature and wondering about these complicated times we live and how to live into it with authenticity, simplicity and reason. Life seems smaller and there's something settling about that.

I notice a creative impulse in me that wants to leap into action to help counsel this wounded world in the healing arts; making plans to keep busy and get on with things before it's too late. At the same time I continue to breathe into my body, quieten the noise of the outside world and orient my attention to accepting this present moment just as it is with an attitude of what they call mindfulness and compassion. It's completely imperfect practice but at the same time magical and wondrous in its simplicity and organicity. Somehow I am learning to modulate this energy into things that matter at home and in my community and there is so much to be done here in proximity.

These days are more about being fully in the world and with the people I share it with. If I can be fully in these times maybe I can be more responsible and might that be enough. Like the many seekers that have come before me they have been speaking of a silence since ancient times. Instead of planning the next move I am just listening more deeply and letting things be as they are; not adding more. I've experienced this way on mindfulness retreat but now I am bringing this pathway home and to the people I love where it makes the most sense. Ensuring these days are appreciating the little moments and the struggles I can still have while I am alive to experience this work of being human. The sky feels closer and the ground higher and the birds sing messages inviting me to listen. I'm noticing things I have never noticed before on my walks and in my home and family. Delightful things that nourish my soul.

I've been exploring the body energetically and without language and concepts hijacking my moment to moment experience and there's a real sense of agency evolving in my awareness. There is shadow work too and discovering some of aspects of myself I was not conscious and the resistance to uncovering the shadows is now resolving. Without a strong defence mechanism being triggered the unconscious is being made conscious and there's more freedom in that. Feeling into this spark of life that arises, allowing it burn bright throughout, letting it smoulder down to embers until the remaining ash blows away in the wind. It's less about action and more about being fully in my own birth and death cycle of self. Jon Kabat-Zinn talks about an attitude of non-judgement in mindfulness-based stress reduction but maybe its about non-concept because right now I am discovering how driven we are by concepts, language and ideas that are not self-generated and we often don't even give ourselves space to wonder where they came from or question their truth. I am curious about what it's like to just notice the hard work of the thinking mind with spaciousness, watch the ego at play and notice what happens when we soften the resistance and open the other doors of perception in our heart body mind.

Meditation is a practice that can help you listen more deeply and perhaps doing it with the pure intention of just listening to the wisdom of the body mind we may become whole naturally and remember things we've known intuitively since the dawn of our time. If we felt more whole to begin with perhaps we'd be free from needing more stuff to fill us up in attempts to make us feel better than we actually do. We'd begin to organise our lives in a more organic fashion around the local ecosystems we live and be able to develop reciprocal relationships with our community; not organise value in a hierarchy of human capital. The wisdom of the body mind helps me make choices in the material world that are reflected in my wholeness and connection with nature and that's the pathway of learning how to adult that I am on now.

If you want to learn something new about your essential nature and find your way home to yourself in a way that can help you belong to yourself and these complicated times we live just go within. Working with someone who is gifted in guiding you through is always going to be better than going it alone. But you're never truly alone in nature, I grew up with a secure attachment to mother nature and she's never let me down yet. Being in the natural world, wondering in awe, moving the body, finding moments of joy in my own garden of eden and expressing gratitude for these simple things is helping me open up and blossom. Being able to support and serve others means the world to me too. May we emerge from this awake to ourselves and one another, find a deeper meaning in the embodiment of our lives and time that serves to sustain and nourish us, our connection to land and our in person communities. May we carry this spark forward in harmony and let it illuminate everything we do together. If our ecosystem is within hands reach and we can appreciate the care it's offering us, may we be able to attend to it with a sense of our intrinsic value, belonging and duty, like gardeners of the human sprit we can attend to our small worlds together.

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