The birth experience between my son and I was the incentive for me to pause, take stock and step outside of the herd mentality. It wasn’t out of personal philosophy, rather inquiry and wanting to make the best choices versus following along just because it was what everyone did. It may not have been the most obvious daring action I ever took, but it was the most inwardly daring thing I ever did. I didn’t seek support through mom’s and babe groups due to being to open energetically after the birth, it would have been over stimulating. Instead, I sought out different practices that could help bring balance and have calming influences. It came down to two choices that strongly resonated with me. These choices were the traditional Iyengar Hatha Yoga being offered through the downtown YMCA and the Mindfulness Meditation being offered at the Shambhala Centre in Market Square.
Having a toddler and expecting a second I could only manage one of those two at that time. I chose mindful meditation practice as it had an inward focus of attention to expand connection in time and space. I experienced an inner disconnect in the yoga practice as my experience of it was that it was outwardly focused through how it was directed. At that time one practice had less focus on self-image, and right and wrong ways of doing things which meant one was inquiry and personal observation. What it triggered though was a longing for a structured retreat to experience deeper inner connection. I chose my children.
My devotion to my kids brought about teachings far greater than any other pursuit I may have longer for. I wasn’t sure why at the time, but I kept telling the universe that I needed the teacher to come to me, I needed the teaching in a language I understand, I needed the teacher to have years of integration in what they offer, and I needed the teaching in a way that can include my care for my kids. In checking back into this experience, it is with recognition that the universe manifested exactly what I declared I needed.
Two educational methods presented themselves, one after the other that were stripped of all dogma and focused upon the practical steps to achieve and tap into the glimpse of life connection that was first identified in mindful meditation. Both these methods came via people immersed in the practices since the 1940’s or earlier. For me, right or wrong, they were the western version of the oral history presented earlier of another culture’s philosophy. The difference for me is that they presented as living actions I could take to navigate life in real time events yet develop the bridge for connecting from the inside out. How? Through steps that bypass attachments to outside influences. The practice is on the inside of what is happening and less on outside ego stimulus. Don’t get me wrong, my belief is we need ego and that it is being used to misguide society. These two educational models, of course, are Nonviolent Communication and Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education. I practiced these two methods in the same structure I would have practiced the mediation that led me to them. The difference is that the practice is included in day-to-day life needs and wasn’t a separation from life. It was a practical daily practice.
Big obstacles were purposely put in my way, yet it was meaningful enough to fight for. For example, the first segment of the Feldenkrais training was on Salts Spring. Instead of staying on the island I travelled each day after getting little ones ready for school and returning to pick them up to make dinner. Luckily the remaining four years were presented eight blocks from our home. More ease greater challenges. We walked to school together and they could come and be apart of the training after school. It was the same with NVC, the intensives were local where I was able to manage both needs, participation, and children. I realize I have learned that if something is meaningful enough it’s worth it and I am recognizing the power of manifestation. The teacher came to my doorstep with deep roots to model the behaviour. They were who they said they were. Ha, I no longer want to go into the immersive experience of self connection as I believe that has occurred, I am inspired though to expand this concept of manifestation. One of the areas that I hope to explore this in is the arena of personal relationships. Of course, it is not something I would share as my commitment would be to the other party in this equation. I do believe it would radiate outwardly though in each of our lives in a way that demonstrates manifestation. It would be evident. I no longer have the distraction of children as I have left home! They left first and forced me to leave. However, manifestation in other life areas will be a focus for conversing on.
I cannot emphasize enough the art of personal committed practice that deepens inner connection. It’s a game changer. It could just change what’s going on in the world as we see it now.
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