I used to hate that phrase ‘we teach what we most need to learn’. But I’m starting to really get it.
More and more it’s happening that I get the sense that there is a gentle spirit in me, that is me, but a quiet, hidden part, that is teaching me and leading me to where I need to go.
One of the biggest lessons I learnt out in Goa, which was a full on life changer for me, was taught to me, unwittingly and unintentionally, by myself.
I didn’t realise it at the time. It wasn’t until I looked back on those two weeks and started to piece together what had happened out there, that I suddenly saw how I had played the biggest part in my own transformation.
I came back from Goa feeling, for the first time in my life, like I belonged.
And the person that had finally coaxed me in from standing on the outside and got me fully participating in life and realising that I did belong, that I had belonged all along…was me.
It began in the very first session where I opened up the space and invited people to step into it…
“Close your eyes and breathe in deep. Listen to all the sounds around you, feel your body, all the sensations running through it. Feel yourself rooted into the ground and connected with the sky above you. Feel your core reaching out from the sides and connecting with life around you, with the people here today. Feel where you are and know this. That you belong here. You belong in this life, in this world, among these people today. You belong.
Bring ALL of you into this space, the whole lot. Don’t leave any of you out. We want ALL of you here. It is all welcome. You belong completely. Just as you are and just as you’re not”.
What I didn’t realise at the time was that In that welcome meditation I was whispering the words that I needed to hear. As I created a space of openness, honesty and love for everyone else to step into, whole and complete, exactly as they are and exactly as they are not, it never occurred to me that I was guiding myself back in. Back into a space shared with others, back into the world. Where I belong.
Why was this such a big deal? Because for as long as I can remember, I have never felt that I belonged.
Not anywhere. Not fully.
It has been the driver behind most of my moves in life. The force that has propelled me forever onwards, to new places, new experiences, new people. Always looking for that place that felt like home. But never finding it. Always having to move on.
I could never just be, I always needed a role. I had to be helpful, fun, useful, positive.
This need to offer a useful role, never being enough just being me, never feeling like there was anywhere I simply belonged, was at the source of a lot of lonliness and anxiety.
Easy to see now, but I had never realised this about myself before. I had been resigned to not belonging for such a huge part of my life that I never questioned it. Just unconsciously compensated for it.
So when I opened up that circle at the retreat I had no idea what a big deal it was for me to step into that circle with them.To give myself permission to belong and to bring all of me into that space.When I took that step, everything changed.It was like a piece of the puzzle finally fell into place and suddenly made sense of the whole big picture.
I feel like I’ve popped into a whole new space.
In finally feeling like I belong again, I now get to simply be.
I am enough.
I can’t tell you the relief to feel that the search is over. The search to find a place where I belong. The search to find a home.
It was here all along.
Exactly where I’d left it.
The door had always been open.
I just needed to see it and choose to step through it.
As T.S.Eliot put it (thank you for sending me this quote last week Tara): “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
I do feel like I’ve come to the end of a long and winding story. Like I’m writing the very last page. The very last line.
Maybe now it’s time for something new…
One of the my greatest heroes is Brene Brown.
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time” — T.S. Elliot… Continue reading
I’m writing to you today from London.
I’m not supposed to be here. This wasn’t the plan.
This time last week I was supposed to get on a plane to Canada. I’d had the farewell party, told my friends I wouldn’t be back until the end of the year. I was ready, set and raring to go.
And then everything changed.
So much so that I never caught that flight to Canada. Continue reading