Now that the studio is open again, it is lovely to see some of you again in person, to feel your presence and hear your experiences.
For many of you it was a challenging time at home during the lockdown. I hear my students talking about how difficult it was to be confined at home. Many of you dropped your practice, and you were overwhelmed with home schooling, work, and having difficulties with finding time for yourself. You may have experienced a lot of out of balance emotions like sadness, irritation, loneliness and worry. Some of you did continue practice via live-stream, and despite all the challenges we have experienced you were able to find quietness and a slower pace, joyful and inspiring and supportive.
In fact I discovered in listening to your personal experiences that many of you who continued your practice, and stayed close to your bodily sensations, inner feelings and thoughts were much happier and more at ease during the lockdown than those who let their practice drop. This is not to shame or blame anyone who found it too difficult to practice! It is merely an observation.
Start with yourself to help others
Personally I experience lockdown as a wonderful process of change, growth and self-care. I experienced the power of daily practice. My practice helped me to prioritise. I started with taking care of myself (physical, mental and emotional care) so that I could then serve others – and being of service to others is one of my lifetime priorities.
To start with yourself is not an act of egoism, it is an act of deep care and understanding. Recognising what’s going on inside, and consciously shifting your energy and purifying it before sending it to others is very important. This is exactly the practice I would like to invite you to join in – and not only during this summer.
”Think well. Speak well. Do well…” St. Camillus de Lellis
“To think well” demands that we “learn to think and to think well”. We must become consciously aware of “how we think” Our physical brain does not ”think!”. Before we are conscious of how to think, our ego creates thoughts – and thinking is then just an involuntary action which is not under our control. To use our thoughts to ‘think well” we must go beyond fleeting bood or bad memories or outcomes. ‘Think well’ literally means to make our brains think in a positive and
“Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?” ― Sufi Saying
If our words pass through these gates we can be assured that we are aligned with our Highest Self. If our words pass through this simple test we will be an inspiration to everyone we encounter. We need only be the gatekeeper to the words we speak, allowing only the most loving and kindest of our words to be heard throughout the world.
Do well (to yourself and the world):
To compete, to achieve, to conquer, to fight – to be a hard and armoured person focused on the external – is what our
culture rewards and demands. It is far more difficult to be soft. It is difficult to be ourselves, difficult to surrender, difficult to let go of who we think we are supposed to be. As we strive to meet society’s demands, the one person we reject and neglect is ourselves. We stop knowing how to be alone, how to be enough, how to simply be ourselves and love ourselves. Lockdown gave us time for a wake up call: become gentle to yourself, others and the world.
****this section is inspired by Pauline Schiappa which is on my bedside table now