Day 147 – secret sages

It is my first yoga class since I have been back and I am so excited to teach. I am teaching at Yogatime, in Bondi and it is a bright and beautiful morning as I drive down past Coogee beach. I have mastered my short cuts and through a series of turns can manage to get there in twenty minutes. Pretty impressive, really, since I remember this drive used to take me 45 minutes. I guess I still know my way around Sydney after all! Although I got to teach a friend in Rishikesh very briefly, there is nothing like being in a room full of people and sharing my passion. I am a little bit nervous that I will confuse hips with shoulders or arms with legs but I know most of the students and they are forgiving anyway. Even though I have nothing prepared, none of that happens and as soon as I open my mouth the words just flow. It is like I am merely a channel for something higher that knows exactly what to say. The class goes through at a steady pace and I neither stumble on my words or go too quickly. I feel the prana moving around the room, through me and through the students. It is a beautiful feeling and I am so grateful to be a part of this.

After yoga, I catch up with a close friend, who is one of those wise sages disguised as a football player. We drink coffee from my favourite cafe in Coogee, Morning Glory (I have to hold back from taking a picture of my mocha- it is a work of art!) and we talk about life, in particular a book I gave him to read a long time ago called Living in the Light by Shakti Gawain. It is one of my favourites for spiritual guidance. The most important lesson I gained from that book is the idea that every person you meet is a reflection of a part of you and are there to show you something of yourself. So even the people we may not like or agree with are there to show us what needs to change in our lives.

We then walk to the top of the magical hill. It isn’t really magical, it’s just that when I used to work at the Palace, which is the pub next to this cafe, from the Aquarium bar on the top level we would watch happy people walking to the top of this hill in the sunshine of their blissful weekends while we worked hard through into the late night/early morning. So we started to call it the magical hill. It took a whole year of working there for me to eventually walk up to this hill. Today I am the one enjoying the sunshine of a blissful Sunday. The enormous sculpture of the three rings is a memorial for the Bali Bombings. It was only a couple of months ago that I was at the memorial in Kuta, looking at the same names, remembering the same horrific tragedy. Another older couple stand before the sculpture and offer their silent prayer and then walk away. Like the holiest of temples in India, I believe this has actually become a magical place.

By evening, it is cold and dark by 5.30pm and with good intentions, one of my good friends tells me something I don’t want to hear. It is funny when people talk about ‘going through a break-up’ like it is a long tunnel and the actual separation is only the entrance. How long does it really take to come out of the other side? How long until the darkness and solitude of this tunnel stops affecting my emotions? It was easy to let go and move on in India, but coming back to Sydney, there are so many people I need to talk to, so many people asking questions. So many times I have to try and come up with some kind of funny euphemism to hide the hurt. At first I am angry to be told something that is really none of my business anymore, but eventually I understand that it is good to hear it. Maybe the end of the break-up tunnel isn’t a light, but a steep drop. Maybe you have to fall one more time to make sure that you never go back and make the same mistakes. I wipe away the tears and look in the mirror. What is this showing me about myself? It hurts, but at least it is closure. I can close that chapter of my life now and move on. These tears will be the last.

I have a hot shower and get ready. Red lipstick and red pumps. I even put on earrings (something I never do). Actually I never even wear high heels anymore but despite feeling like I am wobbling around on my tip-toes, it feels good to look good for no other reason than myself. At a pub, I hear that some old work colleagues own a bar over in Bondi so we decide to go there so my friend, Chels, can have a hot chocolate and I can finally have some Australian wine. I was told this bar is ‘sexy’ and when we walk in to Bondi Hardware, I can definitely agree. It is dimly lit and filled with casually dressed beautiful staff and customers. Andrew used to joke that “the people are better in Bondi” though better than what, I am not sure. There is definitely a touch of understated glamour in the rustic feel of this restaurant bar. (Ugh, did I just say rustic? Well there is cacti on the tables and bare brick-work) The house sparkling is a little sweet, but delicious. We consider the squid but Chels wants to know if the tentacles are still attached. This could be a deal breaker for her. It turns out they are; this is a new trend in food fashion, to serve the squid with the tentacles still attached. I guess it gives it that freshly caught feeling. We decide to get the pumpkin and goats cheese pizza. It is so simple and yet the slivers of basil keep it full of flavour and the texture of the creamy goats cheese perfectly compliments the crunch of the wood fired freshly-made base. As we eat, talk, sip wine (everything that is so Sydney and yet so the opposite of how I was eating a month ago in the ashram), Chels surprises me with her wisdom. At only 19, she offers me the maturity and insight of an old sage who has just stepped out of deep meditation. Where are all these secret sages coming from? I travelled around the whole world searching for wisdom and all this time it was right beside me.

It turns out, it doesn’t matter where or what or with who or with which glass of wine, the mirrors will turn up for reflection whenever they are needed. Sages will walk into our lives and give us a peanut or a pearl to teach us something valuable and bless us on our journey. They will always come when they are needed most, whether climbing to a glacier at 3800 metres or walking alone in a dark tunnel. If I ever feel like I need guidance, it seems to turn up. I just have to know when to listen.

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