I hope everyone is going as well as can be for you. I wanted to share here that I had this overwhelming need to create a video today, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a talk, or guided meditation, or something else (who knows, I just get creative)! I do believe that as much as I share what feels so good in my body to share via recording (or in an in person group when lock down isn’t on), I somehow get something from it as well. Sometimes I get an energy boost from doing what I love. Or I get the creative ‘bug’, and start writing after the video where it’s like my fingers tap to some invisible rhythm and the words become the melody, or I become calm and open and spacious within. The latter occurred today. I so enjoyed sharing a meditation that I apparently needed to do myself! I love how things work, beyond what my little mind can ever imagine!! If you consider that we are all some how connected in this soup of energy, then hopefully this recorded meditation will help you, too.
Sometimes it can feel like you would like someone else to just step up and make really hard life decisions for you. Sometimes, the truth underneath it all feels like a fear to take the wrong step, the wrong decision, the wrong path…. And so, it can seem like an eternity standing in one place, hearing the potent whispers of what is on the other side, but knowing there is a mountain to cross first.
What if there is no wrong step in life, and we’ve been fed a lie to strive for perfection, to figure out what we want and ‘go for it’, to ‘settle down’…..
But life…. life doesn’t run according to the rules in our own mind of how it should look. Perhaps life is meant to be humbling, meant to break us to feel our core, to let the light in, to allow love into every part of us, to have deeper relationships with ourselves and others…..
It’s all okay. To be still and not step is okay. To step in a direction is okay. To run in a direction is okay. It’s all going to be that mountain. Breathe. Stay with it, be in it, learn from it.
Each path you choose, whether stationary, slowly moving, or sprinting, will give the opportunities for the lessons your life will bring.
Be in the present….. Practice being in the present….. Allow the exploration and living to come. Trust yourself and your path. Enjoy your life. Change the things you can change, let go of the rest. Don’t waste time worrying. Practice being in the moment. The future really is the unknown. So live… Taste more, touch more, smell more, feel more, allow yourself to feel joy and happiness in the midst of chaos. This is your life.
I surrender, Oh I can no longer put up the walls before truth
Of love, of the ultimate connection
Of passionate embodiment, of laying alone,
Of being touched by that which cannot be explained
Of that which flows through my body,
Of that which I denied for lifetimes
Of that which no longer harbours denial.
No, take me beyond-
So far beyond that I am deeply, oh so deeply embedded within myself.
So that there is no separation
Oh, use these hands to do your will,
Use my eyes to dwell upon what I must,
Use my heart as a doorway to you
Use my body for deep connection
Take me beyond the smallness
I may wish to keep or my own egotistical reasons
Take me beyond, far beyond.
Let my soul touch and be touched by you
Let me serve you within me and without me.
Let there be a sacred connection, a bond, a knowing
That can never be spoken, such is the truth.
Let me serve the unknown, rich and potent.
I am yours…..
Featured Art by Jeffrey Lohrius
Written by Elise Heyward
Floating yet grounded, Being touched deeply within Yet not at all Beauty caresses and engulfs me As I stand exactly where I am In a time warp of entangled time Tapping into desires unmet Truth stabbing into my being Like a long lost lover From a long lost dream…. Twisting and turning, Haunting me like a solo violin Cutting through the thick air- Of excitement, anticipation and fear…. A whisper echoes, traces of something A scent left lingering The energy felt An inner stirring of a life once known A deep remembering, a knowing Rising to the surface Wisdom speaks and says ‘be patient’ And so, I sit. I breathe this fire Up and down and around my body Igniting and fuelling every crevice I am alone- yet intimately connected Truth lies in timelessness- In the gentle reminder All will be revealed in time Or perhaps not at all- Let go:- Be still, and feel…. Be still and feel….. Be still and feel…..
Here is my video outlining a simple mini meditation when we are dealing with our children, and needing to stay calm! Meditation doesn’t have to be done in a cave completely still! It is something to apply in every moment of our lives to be present, embodied and aware. But it starts in small practices first. Give it a try! It’s worked for many clients, and it works for me!
It is the pause between the notes played where the music is most felt and experienced…. It is the pause between the in breath and the out breath where the unknown and peace dwells…. It is in the pause of the open, connected, courageously vulnerable naked gaze into another’s eyes where true intimacy is experienced and explored….. The pause…. oh, the pause…. so delicately balanced, holding the opposites of emotional drama with stillness and silence… of unwavering witness with quivering anticipation of the next ‘note’…. This silence, oh sweet delectable silence that highlights the energy within the most potently intimate crevices of our beings and interactions. May we never lose an opportunity to experience the simple delights that life has to offer. May our lives become a beautiful symphony.
Life. Love. Your world…. What does it mean to you? If you knew you had only a short period of time to live, how would you live life differently?- Would you live it differently? Would you be so concerned by what others thought of you? Would you somehow find a way to be more truthful? Would you alleviate those feelings of regret that lie deeply beneath the numbing, the busyness, the need to make more money, or have the perfect house/ boat/ or car? Would you possibly be more open to those things that scared you before, knowing your end is looming?
Seeing myself within my deathbed, as a reflection (as a meditation practice), looking over my life as it plays over in my mind, I can see all of the places which were not in truth so far. Things where I tried to ‘fit in’, or ‘belong’…. where I tried to impress others instead of being how I really wanted to be. Where I was running from myself and my own many truths I wouldn’t dare tell anyone else about in case I would not be accepted within my own family, friends and extended circles… so afraid of being the centre of gossip. Since doing this practice I have been able to see clearly my truths I once ran from- the powerful life exploding ones (that I’m in the middle of now) and the small seemingly inconsequential ones. I can open and share these things with my closest of friends. No one judged. They listened with openness. They helped me, wrapped me up in a warm blanket of support and supported me to be myself wherever I am, whatever the situation.
We all have something, no matter how minor it is, there are secrets within. Perhaps this path we call our life is to learn to accept our imperfection and little idiosyncrasies that make up our gorgeous authenticity, not to mention the energetic blueprints we all come in with as well (but that’s another blog). Oh, I have a vision of how each person who accepts themselves, ALL of themselves- is their own beacon of light, slightly different shape, or vibrancy or colour- but there it is, the acceptance of the wholeness, beautiful messiness of the human imperfect life within each of us. The bits we don’t like or wish to change, the parts of us that deny and judge others, wanting us to simply reclaim those parts that exists within us which were suppressed and we resist the rising of the surface of. If we look at things this way, perhaps the concept that we are all connected isn’t so difficult to comprehend?
“Doing this deathbed practice has helped me to no longer run from the judgements I feared from others. I realised that I was the one leading this within my own head. I needed to accept all of me as it arose, whether it fitted in within societal norms or not.“
Doing this deathbed practice has helped me to no longer run from the judgements I feared from others. I realised that I was the one leading this within my own head. I needed to accept all of me as it arose, whether it fitted in within societal norms or not. Whether things I chose to do with my life fitted in with my mentorship and previous training. Whether it aligned with the spiritual community’s expectations of me by even becoming a mainstream meditation teacher….There were so many things that needed to be let go, dissolved, seen and accepted by myself. It is divine timing now, that it is my turn to let go and step into what I am most aligned to do with my soul right now. And that’s letting everything go in my life that no longer resonates, that is no longer my truth. Letting go, despite others opinions. Letting go even though I can not see the road ahead clearly. Trusting and stepping. Trusting ands stepping. I don’t know about you, but I need to live aligned to what is most truthful for me. That is living and directs me which way to turn and when to step.
If you have things come to mind for you, this practice of visualising yourself close to death may help you, too. Now I see things that I ran from as trivial, as things that do not matter in the scheme of things. Add it to my life lessons so that I may share this with whomever. Who knows if this may help another?
The concept of time fascinates me…. do any of us truly know how much time we have left? That is the beauty of life- the unknown. No matter the money or job you have- death is the great equaliser and one that we run from. How do we know it isn’t a great release, beautiful and serene? We don’t. Imagine getting to the inevitable knowing with a soft, sweet smile, with the thought echoing within your mind you truly LIVED! You gave it a shot. You learnt heaps. You loved courageously. You surrendered to life and let it have its way with you. You allowed the energy within to tantalise you, to inspire you, to connect you more than you thought could have ever been possible. What an adventure…. Now it’s time to rest, brave one, rest in love and connection….
NB: this practice is intended to empower the individual rather than create anxiety. If facing the ultimate fear- death before physically dying, it can create the willingness to face things in life that pale in comparison.
Keeping meditation teaching real, bringing vulnerability and truth to the moment is so vital to keep in alignment to be of service whilst teaching an important life skill. Perfectionism will go by the wayside if we can just relax and be our authentic selves giving permission for others to do the same.
I have been contemplating what meditation is and isn’t, to me. I have had extensive training in the more esoteric background and have now come into the actual learning of different meditation techniques and gaining the qualification to teach meditation to others. What I realise I do when I guide and teach meditation is merge the two teachings together. The pearls of wisdom from my previous esoteric teachers, gathered in chaotic circumstances to uncover truth in every moment and to live from this place, with that inner connection and embodiment is gorgeous and amazing. The stillness that came with some, or most of the techniques in meditation helped me to sink roots deeper and allow higher vibrations to more consciously flow through me in the delicious, deep and patient meditation methods. So that I could really steep in my own essence, witness myself with passionate intimacy and open my mind and body into a suppleness I haven’t experienced before in my life. From studying these seemingly opposite modalities, I can see how they both are a part of a continuum of ONEness. It is creating a beautiful merging of two opposite worlds and is simply enhancing my absolute respect for both modalities.
The more feminine approach is of letting go of restrictions, of embodiment, movement, to allow chaos, flow, rawness, beauty, power, grace, and love be a part of your life. Truly embody it and allow its expression to be present. To experience the plethora of different feminine expressions within each one of us there is a need to be willing to journey into a space of letting go of control for a period of time whilst being guided by the facilitator (at the start). This is opposite of what many western cultures, and in fact many cultures teach- which is control, balance, restrict, silence, not make a scene, don’t express the full range of emotions- truth in the moment. This is often seen as ‘uncivilised’ and archaic, as if we have evolved from this type of behaviour…. but have we really evolved?The basis of these teachings I previously spoke about revolve around the fact that it is energetic- the feminine. It is called shakti in the yogic tradition as the energy that moves form- the masculine. But, over thousands of years traditions have opted to serve only that which could be seen- the masculine physical world. So the feelings, emotions, energy within and around was ignored.
The teachings taught in the Occult traditions kept the flame of the relationship between the feminine and masculine energy alive. Focused on Oneness, in these teachings, both the energy (feminine) and the physical (masculine) were equally worked with. It was known that if energy is suppressed it doesn’t go anywhere, it is stored in the body. Furthermore, this can cause disease and illness in the body. The feminine practices work to release stored energy which presents itself as pain, tension, or perhaps it hasn’t become represented in the physical form yet. So the energy clearing occurs by allowing the body to simply release what it needs to release, by moving the way it needs to move could prevent the physical expression of this, and act as a preventative or a stress release of pent up energy, kind of like pressing ‘re-boot’.
Ancient Egyptian Cults played a huge role in continuing the energetic thread of this ancient wisdom. It is in the balance of these two extreme energies that we can gain balance- not from stifling them, or restricting them with how we perceive ‘awakening’ should look. Relate this to today, even meditation teachers fall under the pressure and culture of how they themselves should be. Now that I am adorned with this mysterious piece of paper giving me the authority to actually teach meditation to others, I have felt the energetics of the need to behave calm all of the time, or be perceived to be calm all of the time. That isn’t me. In this environment? During a pandemic? In lockdown with my two children? I have my personal practices which help me better parent and handle emergencies when called upon, but I do slip from time to time. I am human. I am perceiving in some circles some ‘acting’ other than what is true in the moment. My devotion is to stay real in the moment.
One thing to keep in mind is that there is no perfection in meditation. It’s a practice. Sometimes you go deep, sometimes you don’t. Honouring what arises wherever you are at in practice or in life is the perfection in it. Meditation teachers, or in fact even esoteric facilitators can get caught up on how they ‘should’ be perceived. What I feel is more important is truth. Is to show the humanness, as well as the amazing essence and divinity of someone. I can chat and even be telling a story before a meditation in my own authentic voice and expression that is relatable and HUMAN (sometimes I get excited and swear a little)- my point is, the sense of belonging can be shared. When it’s time for teaching and guiding meditation that ‘HUMAN ME’ slowly drains away and the depth of the practice comes in and service of the divinity or light, within a person and within the room is surrendered to in the moment, based on the energy of the room and who is present, we flow into a meditation aligned with this. Then after the meditation when everyone who wishes to share has shared, then I’ll chat and laugh and tell stories again. It’s a sacred union of humanness, ego and personality WITH connecting to something more than that…. just sublime….
Show me a meditation teacher who has done the work on themselves and I will see his or her authenticity. Being OK in their own methods, and styles, with life experience to have the maturity to hold space and willingness to learn from whatever is presented when it is presented is a must to gain the trust of those who are willing to enter the unknown with you. Humble to know it is the teachings, not themselves the people gather for. Devoted to getting their own ego out of the way to serve with sincerity, and devotion something higher than themselves within the room and within each person gathered. Leading by example only to reveal the truth that meditation is a tool to aid in the path of life- essentially entering the unknown and getting to know and connect to oneself in this amazing and often difficult process. It doesn’t matter which method you choose- masculine or feminine or bridging the gap between them, all can if taught in an intentional way, take you deep into connection and knowing thyself.
There are times when this is not always the case, for example some inherited diseases and illnesses, however doing a regular practice of what feels good for the body the soul has taken unique to each person, will help to reduce the ailments of the body in this instance. It is not simply a matter of moving the body and allowing it to subconsciously take care of things for you in the feminine. At least that hasn’t been the case for me, with two children to stay present for. I feel that we have evolved the masculine parts of us in this culture for a reason. Yes, there are distortions and the creation of patriarchy which has its faults, but we have the opportunity to bring consciousness or clarity to our lives. So, doing meditation under the more masculine method of witnessing, stillness, quietness is a perfect companion to the uncontrollable sometimes wild expression of the feminine.
For me, in my own practice, I cannot do one without the other, it feels like something is missing. The masculine helps us to live in this world, to be present to ourselves, to hold space for ourselves when things get difficult, to be witness with love, to act on plans and get things done out in the world. We need a healthy dose of this. But, in my teachings, there’s a gorgeous sacred union of diving equally into both, a cohesion. What one lacks, the other provides…. and vice versa. Oh, it’s such a beautiful path to walk on.
So often I have heard the words ‘let go’ and ‘surrender’…. but how often, I contemplated, do I truly, sincerely do this? How often do I stop searching, stop reaching for, and find myself ‘here’. Exactly where I need to be at the correct time. I have realised in my life, that there is a learning of letting go. A learning of stepping into the unknown without a map of how I am going to get on. Without being able to see. When I am in fear, and contracting so far away from the excitement of what may be around the corner and trusting that I have learnt the skills to be able to deal with it, then everything stands still. My openness to live life and enjoy the twists and turns reduces or becomes numb. And there it is I wallow in despair until I feel that soul essence within me once more. Until I feel the gorgeous alignments playing out. Until I feel the faith instil in me again, feeling truth and being courageous to step. This, this is the time to step, step into life fully. My mother keeps saying to me when she sees me, “I gave you life to LIVE, Elise.” I love that. There isn’t much advice I swallow from her anymore, but this cracks my heart open every time I hear it. And, heck, I’m going to back myself and do it. How about you?
I can feel the breeze at my back, the warmth in my heart and a thousand dreams ready to be plucked from the spaces in between and embodied. I know I am not alone in this. If I am in this wave of energy, then I know others are too. So many are stepping out into the unknown. Trusting in themselves. Ready to learn what needs to be learnt. Courageously open and supple in this world we find ourselves in. It is you I salute. It is you that I honour and in you I am connected.