Day 180 – moping around

I am sick, there is no denying it now. I wake up with a sore throat so I go to the chemist on the way to work and buy some cough medicine and throat lozenges. I also get an immunity juice and some soup to have for lunch. I try to eat a pastry thing with cheese and spinach but it just tastes bland and kind of like medicine. I have three layers of clothing on and I can’t even unfold my arms because I am so cold. My boss keeps opening the front doors of the pub and as soon as he walks away, I close them. I tell him sorry but I am freezing cold, despite my merino wool jumper, because I am sick. He said he wondered why I was moping around. Moping around? I guess I have been leaning onto things for dear life. Eventually I have to go home early, I can’t even keep my eyes open. I have a couple of hours until my yoga class. I know I can’t get anyone to cover it with such late notice. I get changed and have a short nap but I don’t feel any better until I get to the yoga room. There is something about the energy of a yoga room, like all the om’s, the mass consciousness and the peaceful namaste’s have created a vibration that can heal and comfort. As soon as I step into the room, I feel ok again. I feel like I am prepared to teach. It is a relaxing ‘flow and let go’ class, so we move slowly in a mandala and end the class with seated meditation. When we all come out of the meditation I am pleased to see the students with glazed eyes, looking comfortably yoga-stoned. This is what I aim for when I teach. It is a pleasure to see them looking so rested. As for me, I feel a little better-rested and a little bit more relaxed. Unfortunately, by the time I get home and fall into bed, I am hit by a crazy fever and severe agony grips my throat. I fall in and out of sleep all night as my dear mum makes me soup and ginger tea. I guess now I have finally stopped. I ran myself into the ground and now I am sicker than I have been in years. I need to rest and restore and not allow myself to feel guilty about it. I always say I can handle a running or blocked nose but a sore throat is agony. As I slip into an uncomfortable sleep, the fever raging, it is like a fire burning from within. I hope it burns away whatever it is inside of me that needs to die. Sometimes we need to burn out and down and then come out of it healthier and happier. Maybe I ran myself into the ground because I was trying to run away from my past and my guilt. I was trying to keep so busy that I didn’t have time to think about what I have left behind and who. I didn’t have time to miss my ex, or miss India, or worry about the future. I was just so busy trying to make the most out of the now! But I did get the warning in the dream. It was a clear message to stop and I didn’t listen so now I am in bed, burning from the inside.

Day 179 – PREPARE TO STOP

I had a dream of my yoga teacher from Rishikesh. He was yelling at me to stop. When I didn’t listen, he demanded I come back for detention on Sunday. When I refused, he gave me another Sunday, then 2 more, then 3 more! I just said, “No, I’m not going!” This would be the ego, refusing to listen. When I finish teaching yoga at 7.30am, I go for a run from Bondi to Clovelly and back. The coastal run is beautiful and has plenty of steps to make it interesting. I stop as I get back to my car and suddenly a violent cough springs up from my chest. I don’t usually get sick, but considering how busy I have been lately, I wouldn’t be surprised that I have run myself into the ground. I race to my friend’s house for a quick brekky before she teaches the next yoga class and sit down to a nice relaxing bowl of almond-soaked oats with berries and LSA mix and other various toppings. Her calm energy rubs off on me and when I leave her house I realise I am already late to meet another friend who I was having coffee with. Luckily, these meetings are only one street away and I get there in time. This friend, who the world knows as Doc, is a dream analyst and homeopath, among his other beautiful talents. I stumble in the door, iPod flying out of the handbag, scarf dragging on the ground, a whirlwind of energy, “I’m here, I’m here!” He laughs and tells me to calm down while he orders coffee. I lean back on the plush chairs and we have a chat. When I tell him about the dream, he says I am extremely lucky to be handed such a clear message like that. Not many people get instructions so clear, nor do they know what do with them. He says when the messenger in the dream is yelling, it usually means that if I don’t follow the instructions, I will end up falling quickly. I cough and he says yes, it is Vata overdrive, yes it is run down, yes I am ungrounded and yes I need to do less and let go of the guilt about doing less. I could work less, but I feel like I would be letting someone down. I could train less, but I would beat myself up about it. I could sleep more, drive around less, hang out with friends at home instead of going rock climbing or other crazy things like that. If I don’t stop, I will end up seriously sick.

When I get to work, the street behind the pub has some roadworks and I see two signs on the side of the road in red, with big white letters saying, PREPARE TO STOP. Haha, ok universe, I get the message! I am about to be stopped if I don’t do it myself. I spend the night lazing about but don’t get to bed until around midnight. But sometimes it is nice to just be awake yet relaxed. I am sick of rushing to bed, knowing I need to rest before a big day or before a long shift. Well, I don’t know if I am stopping but it does feel like I am slowing down…

Day 178 – no pause, no rest

I wake up with a start, not sure which job I am supposed to be at or whether I am late or not. When I realise I am not working for another few hours, I go through my training schedule in my head and think I must be running this morning. No, it is a cross training day and I am going indoor rock climbing tonight. I can relax and go back to sleep, but I don’t. I am already awake so I just lay in bed and stare at the ceiling. Eventually I get up for my meditation and realise how tired I am when I can’t keep my back up straight. I know I am doing too much, I know I am pushing myself a little too far, but I can’t see anywhere that I can cut down. At work, I realise how tired I am from lack of sleep. I must have had about four hours of deep sleep, with another 3 of restless, half awake sleep. At the end of the shift, I lean on the bar for dear life while I look up the address I am picking my friend up from. Within five minutes I am changed and gone. No pause, no rest. After rock climbing, we go out for dinner in Newtown and stumble across a place called the BlackSheep. It turns out I have worked with the bartender and the owner previously at other venues. It is a tiny, vintage style bar with velvet filigree wallpaper and dripping candle wax over a faux fireplace. This could be the only place in Sydney that actually has a tofu dog on the menu. By the time I get home, I am exhausted and yet I still get excited when I find a pair of dumbbells in the cupboard. I start to pick them up and then have to reprimand myself. No! I need to sleep, I am exhausted and I have to be up at 5.30am tomorrow. This is Vata in overdrive. I need to just slow down.

Day 177 – La Roue de Fortune

So it is around midnight (last night) when I eventually make it out of the bathtub. Hey, give a girl some bubbles and glitter and a good book and you’ve lost her for hours. The book is The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory, who is my favourite historical fictionist. In it, the young girl Jacquetta is playing with some tarot cards as she sits around on the grass with her buddy Joan of Arc (as you do).

‘Now that’s a good card,’ Joan remarks. ‘La Roue de Fortune..’

I hold it out to show it to her. ‘It is the Wheel of Fortune that can throw you up very high, or bring you down very low. Its message is to be indifferent to victory and defeat, as they both come on the turn of the wheel.’

‘In my country the farmers make a sign for fortune’s wheel,’ Joan remarks. ‘The draw a circle in the air with their forefinger when something very good or something very bad happens. Someone inherits money, or someone loses a prize cow, they do this.’ She points her finger in the air and draws a circle. ‘And they say something… They say merde”.’

I love this idea of just drawing a circle in the air. It explains everything! It explains the wheel of ignorance, the attachments and expectations taking us away from our centre and spinning us around. It explains the endless cycle of reincarnation, constantly turning around the true source at the centre, but not able to get there. When you stand at the centre of the wheel of fortune, then you are indifferent to victory and defeat. Throughout my day, talking to various friends, I use this circle and surprisingly one person just smiles and nods and says, “Yeah, I know the vicious cycle.” Well, if we all know we are in this spinning wheel then how hard can it be to pull yourself back to the centre? It is constantly readjusting and repositioning. Kind of like jeans that always slip down. Everyone has a unique way of pulling their jeans up. Some hold the belt loops, others hold the pockets, others do a twist of the hips. I hold the back of my thighs and bend forward. Yes I know it looks as funny as it sounds but it works. Well, you fall off the wagon, you drop to the bottom of the wheel, or you climb the steep mountain and get to the top. One thing is sure, you never step in the same river twice. My beautiful girlfriend told me today that she doesn’t cope well with change. Well, change is always happening whether we cope with it or not. The idea is to accept everything as just a beautiful turn of the wheel. Put some spokey dokes on the wheel and enjoy the colours. Might as well, cos that wheel will never stop turning. The trick is to stay in the centre, keep pulling up the jeans, draw a circle in the air with your finger and say ‘shit’ in a romance language.

Day 176 – saluting the sun

Ok, so another post about being in my pyjamas. I won’t lie, sometimes I wake up and even before I get out of bed I am scanning through Facebook. I think the News Feed has actually replaced the television and the newspaper in terms of how I access news. I know, how shameful. Today a fellow yogi has thrown out a song form her yoga playlist, Iambic² – Going Home, so I roll out of bed and straight onto the floor where I do sun salutations until the song ends. Warrior 1 is not so easy in pyjamas. I am a little worried the flannelette will tear. It isn’t stretchy at all! But it is a beautiful way to wake up. Like showering the soul with light and love from within. The sun has been up already for a couple of hours but I feel like I have offered it my own personal greeting. Good morning sun, thanks for being here! If the sun could talk, it would definitely say the same thing back.

Day 175 – RESToration

I have run myself into the ground and my body is demanding a rest day. I feel like if I don’t stop now I will end up really sick and I can’t afford to be sick. It would force me to miss out on too much! I feel so lazy and guilty, especially since I got my friend to cover my yoga class and when I wake up half an hour before it starts anyway, my automatic thought is that I could have still taught it! I can’t let go of this feeling like I should be doing more with my day. I haven’t even opened the curtains and it is a sunny day! I should be running or doing yoga, or working or seeing friends but when my friend calls to see if I want to go for a walk with her, I tell her I just need to chill out and be alone for a day and she absolutely encourages me. You know a good friend when they can selflessly tell you to stay home and look after yourself.

It is 2.25pm when I finally get out of my pyjamas, feeling relaxed and grounded and calm. I go for an easy run, feeling like I could go on forever. When I finally turn my phone on, there is a barrage of messages. I feel especially bad to hear that work wanted me to come in five hours early! Well, I think, it would have been impossible. I was still in my pyjamas then! I know it is ok to rest and just simply exist for a day, but I can’t let go of the feeling that I missed out on extra hours, or the idea that I was needed and let someone down. When I get to work, they seem unfazed. Nobody even really noticed. I feel grounded and calm for once and not like a manic monkey, running around all hyped up on coffee. Actually for the first time in a long time, I have no coffee today! I don’t realise this until we are closing up for the night and I realise I don’t feel as exhausted as I usually do at the end of a shift. It is ok to just relax sometimes. It is ok to bail on friends, to leave the phone off and simply exist as a solitary isolated unit. The world continues rolling around me and at the centre, I sit. In my pyjamas.

Day 174 – give a little, get a little… give a lot, get a lot

Bright and sunny, Krystle riding her new bike to work. She veers dangerously toward the trees as we make the coastal walk from Coogee to Clovelly. I have forgotten about all the stairs and James has to carry the bike up for us. I can’t stop laughing because he is carrying a heavy bicycle under one arm, plus my backpack, Krystle’s handbag and a beer. He turns around and shouts incomprehensible Canadian babble at us. Most people think he is Irish because of his rambling accent. It is a mixture of Canadian, South African and pure man-mumble. He is one of those overly generous souls, who want to care for and look after everyone. James talks about as fast as I think so when the three of us are together, it is like this high energy, rapid movement cyclone of words and thoughts and laughter. His sick sense of humour, second only to Krystle’s makes the three of us rebound off each other and a short walk with them feels like a cross-training session; my abs hurt from laughing so much! Krystle put the bike together herself so the handlebars end up sliding around dangerously and the gears don’t seem to want to drop down. We finally get her to work and then go to the end of the cliffs at Clovelly and sit down. James and I decide to walk back to Coogee and get some sushi. I am still super tired, but you wouldn’t guess it. I am still jumping around and talking so quickly. We both stop to compliment a girl on her cool hair-do and another girl on her tights. We are saying how nice it is to give compliments and after we part ways, a stranger says to me that he likes my hot pink running shoes. I smile at the reciprocal nature of love. “You give a little, you get a little!” I write to James and he writes back, “You give a lot, you get a lot!” I can even feel him smiling through his text messages.

Walking in the beautiful sunshine, loving the sight of the bright blue ocean, I say out loud that I am jealous of myself right now. I don’t even know how that works, but it is like I am so enraptured by this moment, I hope it never ends. Well, this moment never really does end! The present has no time limit. At work, everyone expects me to be flat and low energy, so when they see me jumping and dancing about, they all look a little surprised. One of the locals asks what I am so happy about and I say, “I’m alive!” and he says, “Well it sure beats the other option!” The default thought process of this city is to answer ‘How are you?’ with “Not bad’, or ‘Getting there’ or ‘Can’t complain… no-one would listen anyway!’ I feel like people look at me strangely when I answer with ‘Amazing! Fantastic! Thank you for asking!’ Well, happy and vibrant people attract each other and infect each other and share this pulsating energy and love for life. I would like to infect the world with this brightness. Give a little love, get a little love. Give a lotta love, get a lotta love.

Day 173 – a luminous friend has a gravitational pull stronger than the sun

I actually got to sleep before 10pm last night so when my alarm goes off at 6am, I am happy to just lie in bed doing breath regulation. I realise how long it has been since I last did this. Exhale ten seconds. Inhale five seconds. I watch the second hand move on my watch in the darkness. It is so cold outside this bed. At 6.29, a whole half hour of watching my breath, I finally get up and get ready. The sunrise is beautiful as I drive down to Cronulla. There is a beautiful running track that leads to Kurnell. I still feel tired, but the run fills me with energy. I have a long and slow day at work before teaching yoga. My life feels like I am sprinting just to keep up with it. I don’t even have time to go home, so I get ready at my friend Krystle’s house. It is her birthday today so we get pretty together like girlfriends do, sharing makeup with our glasses of wine.

This girl is amazing. I have never met someone so incredibly grounded and self-assured. She is the kind of person that will randomly hug herself tightly and say, “I just love myself so much!” She sees the glass as neither half-full, nor half-empty, but with the knowledge that you can always fill it up again! She is also the kind of independent woman who responds to a meditation CD with the thought, “You can’t tell me what to do!” She is vibrant and energetic. Her energy is infectious and since knowing her, I think I tend to jump around a whole lot more. She curses the hairdryer with her Irish accent and then applies her ‘drag-queen’ makeup. We go out and she spends half the night running around to say hi to all the people she knows. I haven’t eaten dinner, so I rifle through my bag and find some dried strawberries that I brought back from India. I completely forgot I had these. They smell like India and I am taken back to my friend Rupali, who, even with her broken leg, insisted on going out and trudging through bucketing rain just to show me a famous mosque. Krystle reminds me a lot of her, actually. They have the same radiance, the same high energy, and the same strong independent personality. I realise I am also wearing an outfit I bought in India for $8 when I was with Rupali in Pushkar, that same day it rained so heavily. Sitting around talking to some friends, a man tells me he wants to jump across the table and kiss my forehead. I am a little shocked, so I say, “forehead is an interesting choice. It is almost a little fatherly. May I ask why you would kiss my forehead and not my hand or my cheek?” He told me that he believed the forehead had a special quality about it, that it had a strong energy and that he really liked my energy. Where do these people come from? It’s like I am a magnet for spiritually minded strangers who talk to me about energy. It isn’t like I am dressed like a hippy. Although this jumpsuit is from India, it is black and has been carefully matched with bright red pumps and my favourite red lipstick. This is carefully orchestrated fashion. You wouldn’t know I was a yoga teacher looking at me today, especially with a glass of sparkling in my hand. And yet, here I am, talking to a perfect stranger about the power and attraction of the third eye centre in the middle of the forehead. Thankfully, this man stays on his own side of the table, and my forehead remains unkissed.

With Krystle radiating like the sun, her gravitational pull so strong that we all bond around this central person, I have made such close friendships that I am now feeling deeply attached to Sydney. I tell her that for the first time in a long time, I am not looking at flights to Africa or India or Paris. I don’t feel like I am running away anymore. I feel like I am running towards this brighter future. I feel like I am present and enjoying being here now and now here. Thank you, Krystle. Happy Birthday. xx

Day 172 – what is the best thing that happened to you today?

A couple of years ago, working behind a bar I remember it was not the best of days. A customer approached and as I poured his beer, he asked, “What is the best thing that happened to you today?” I was a little surprised but after a moment I told him that I got a really awesome car space when I got to work. He said, “Good on you! That’s great!” I told him how wonderful it was to be asked something so simple, that making me think about that one positive thing has just turned around my day. He said that he loved to ask people that. “It was only once that someone couldn’t give me an answer. This young boy walked away to think about it, but when he came back he told me he still didn’t have an answer but that simple question just changed his whole life.”

It is through a conversation with a friend that I realise how different my thought process is now to how it was at the beginning of this journey. My automatic reaction to life is now set on the positive side and I seem to be attracting more of that around me. Speaking to my friend, I had asked her about a first date. She had a few too many wines and jagerbombs and when the guy kept talking about his ex-girlfriend, she snapped at him. Coming back from the ladies’ room, she looked across the busy bar and decided to just leave without saying a word. The poor guy waited for her and eventually sent a message to say that he enjoyed the afternoon and was sorry she had to leave early. When she told me this story, I said, “Good!” and she said “No, Liz, it isn’t good. You don’t treat people like that. Especially when he was so polite and I really did like him, I just kind of… snapped!” I saw what she meant, but my default reaction had been to say ‘Good!’ and smile about it. Seeing how guilty she was feeling, I told her that she should trust her instincts. Especially when drunk, the higher self often steps in and takes care of us. How else could we explain how we make it home some nights? After a big night partying, I once woke up with socks on. Knowing I didn’t have socks on the night before, I had to say a prayer of thanks to the self who took care of me enough to worry about my feet getting cold while I slept. I assured my friend that she left for a reason and to trust her intuition because if it led her out the door, then maybe she dodged a bullet. She agreed, saying her instincts were usually pretty spot on.

As she left I had to do a double take on my brain. Is this the same mind that once stood in the Mexican desert arguing and on the verge of tears? Is this the same mind that once suffered from chronic anxiety so persistent that she couldn’t eat? Is this the same mind that used to dwell on loss and grief and struggle to smile? In this simple exchange, I look back on 172 days of meditation, of luminous moments that have changed and shaped the person I am becoming. The road to this higher self has been long and rough. Sometimes it feels like an uphill struggle up slippery rocks, but it is these moments that I can feel the internal sun shine in my heart. I realise that if someone asked me what was the best thing that happened to me today, I would say, “Being here right now.”

Day 164 to Day 171 – what am I running away from?

Day 164 – the Third Eye Sandwich

When we imagine the breath, we usually just visualise the in and the out around the nose. In India, we were taught to loop the breath, exhaling down the front of the body to the tips of the toes and then inhaling up the back of the body to the crown of the head. This morning I use this breath to centre myself, to calm down and focus my mind. When I feel ready to bring my attention to the third eye centre, just at the centre of my forehead, the loop continues and creates what my friend, Chantal, calls a ‘yummy third eye sandwich’. But when I remember this after only 10 minutes, I find myself thinking of a real sandwich. It is mid morning and I still haven’t had anything to eat yet. I need to go running and before long my mind is racing with a whole list of things to do before I start work this afternoon. I can’t focus. I give up and decide to get ready. I can tell it is going to be a long week.

Day 165 – time to sleep

I have had less than four hours of sleep and despite the early morning rise, I feel alive and energetic. Waking up early and missing out on sleep can happen for many different reasons; anxiety, insomnia or work… but it is yoga that makes this truly worth it. After I teach, I practice for another hour by myself in the studio. Time moves too fast and I need to race through breakfast in order to get to work. Once again I am chewing as I get dressed. I really miss eating with reverence and peace. I always seem to be chewing while driving or showering. It isn’t until halfway through the afternoon when I hit the wall and need a coffee so desperately, I barely taste it. It is in this brief moment of pause between cleaning beer taps that I realise how quickly my life is moving now. I barely have time to sleep, let alone practice, let alone eat! In between training for races, teaching yoga, working and trying to make sure I get time to practice and then write about it, I feel like I never actually stop to catch my breath. Life is just a never-ending sprint. This is the whirlpool if city life. I recognise it. I have been here before. I can’t wait to sleep in. Then another voice chimes in from deep within my latent habits… “you can sleep when you die.”

Day 166 – feedback

Nobody likes bad feedback, but without a little criticism we can never improve right? Well, the ego still takes a little beating. I try not to look sad about this but I can feel this inner disappointment with myself and I want to just yank it out like a grey hair. I talk to my mother about it as I put on my makeup. I am getting ready and even though I am training for a race in a few weeks and nervous about injuries, I still make the decision to wear my new ridiculously high heeled boots, because let’s face it; high heels can make a girl feel like she rules the world. As my mum listens, she tries to find something wise to tell me from the book she is reading. It is called The Magic and is the sequel to the bestseller, The Secret. I have heard that this book is all about gratefulness. Well, I look at her and tell her thank you for listening and reassure her that everything will be fine. I have so much to be grateful for, but especially grateful for the feedback that will help me move forward as a yoga teacher. Feedback is just like that vegetable you don’t like eating. You learn to love it because it is good for you!

Day 167 – making friends and illuminating people

I am reading an article in Marie Claire about making friends. The writer goes on a month long experiment to find new friends. As an adult who works mostly from home, she finds it difficult to make new friendships and goes about joining running clubs, writing groups, networking and other painful situations in the effort to meet a new best friend. I wonder at this predicament, but looking through my own life I realise how hard it has become to make time for all the friends in my life as it is. I am lucky to have picked up friends from yoga circles, university and pubs I have worked at but it takes serious co-ordination to make time to spend with all these friends. I am sitting in the Globe cafe in Coogee by myself eating the most amazing Haloumi stack and realise that I could easily have a friend beside me right now, but, like the girl at the next table I am extremely happy to be sitting here alone. I have spent the entire night with friends and apparently stayed up until just before the sunrise. I feel young and happy and free. And I am sitting here with my best friend. She is me.

Day 168 – Kundalini shaking

I met this teacher, Galina, only a couple of weeks ago and have not had the time to join her class until now. I want to run but I also feel tired and I am seriously curious about the type of meditation she teaches. After a short talk about energy shifts and the change in planetary vibration brought about by the planetary alignments of this year, she tells us to get up. We stand and move about our joints, circling from ankles to the neck. Then she tells us that we are doing a Kundalini meditation. It is a style of meditation I have heard about through the Osho tradition and I know it is practised at the Ratu Bagus ashram in Bali. It is a shaking meditation. We close our eyes and shake the body, moving with energy. Even as my physical body gets tired, I can feel my subtle body expanding and I start to make bigger movements, feeling like I could keep moving forever. When we finish, I feel light, as though I have raised my energy levels and now I am floating. The heaviness and tired ache in my bones from a late shift at work has disappeared. I leave to go and meet a friend for lunch and the sun seems to be shining brighter. I can even take my jacket off in the sunshine and feel hot. I indulge in oysters and arancini balls at Ravesi’s as we look towards the sparkling blue water. It is said the kundalini shaking meditation acts like ‘an energetic shower. It shakes you free of your day and leaves you feeling relaxed and mellow.’ I definitely feel showered, relaxed and clean. My day has only just begun. My life has only just begun.

Day 169 – what are you running away from?

In racing around this city, I found some time to write to my teacher in India and ask some questions that were arising. In writing the email, I referred to myself three different ways; as Elizabeth, Eliza and as Lizi. He laughs at my Vata tendencies and when I tell him about the constant running and sprinting and failing to find time to honour my practice like I did in India, he asks the simple question: “What is Elizabeth running away from?”

I stare at the computer screen in more stillness than I have felt in a long time. What am I running away from? My past? My ex? My disappointment? My fears? My doubts? Myself? My ego? All of the above? This simple question has made me stand still for the first time in days. I don’t know if I know the answer, but I certainly feel the anxiety of getting stuck with whatever it is that I am running away from.

Day 170 – I used to be a rock

I am taking my friends down the coast. We decide to check out the blowhole at Kiama, but the tide is low and the hole is not blowing. We laugh and climb over rocks to get as far out to sea as we can. The sun is sparkling against the deep blue ocean and the wind is gentle against our warm skin. I keep pointing at the rolling countryside we drive through, saying, “isn’t it beautiful!” Krystle is Irish and James is Canadian, but I feel like the real tourist. I feel like I am seeing this beautiful place for the first time in my life. We stop at a small winery on the way to Berry and taste some chocolate wines as the sky clouds over and the sun disappears. The wind picks up and we are glad we went to the beach early. In a shop we are looking at some crystals when James starts to tell us that he used to be a rock hound. His ADD kicks in mid-sentence and he ends up saying, “I used to be a rock… hey! Tiger’s Eye!” We crack up laughing about his previous life spent as a rock. It is funny, but leaves me wondering about previous lives spent as rocks, or Tiger’s Eye, or tigers, or earthworms, or grapes? Could one have been reincarnated as a vine? They say that we are definitely inhaling the same air that was once inhaled by the Buddha. There is no doubt that the earth recycles and reuses everything and continues to move things through the endless cycle of life, but does this extend to inanimate objects? And if you get reincarnated into plastic, when do you truly die, since you are not biodegradable? My head is spinning and then I remember this fast-talking Canadian’s accent telling us that he used to be rock and suddenly I can’t breathe from laughter again.

Day 171 – just stand still

I am getting ready for work. Time seems to be moving quickly this morning. I don’t know how much time I will get alone, since I have to drive up to Sydney in peak hour. I am already tired. I get out of the shower and tell myself to just stand still. Even if it is only for a moment. I stop and breathe, I feel the loop and despite the mind wanting to just move and keep getting ready, I force myself to just stand still. It is like the eye at the centre of the storm. I know I need to just unplug from the world and wind down. I need a few days off. I need to retreat into silence. I look up into my reflection and I can see myself already moving towards my clothes. Time to get dressed. If time is an illusion, why can’t I just stay here in this stillness? The storm catches up to me and once again I am in the whirlpool, rushing around, trying to do a million things at once. But it is easier after I stand still. That is the secret. Stand still. Every day. Even if it is just for a moment.

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