Life: What Does it Mean to You?

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.

All my love,
Elise.

Featured Image art by Tomasz Alen Kopera

Live. Live. Live. (reflection and poetry)

I was contemplating after having my first night out with the girls dancing ‘just because’ and having fun for over fifteen years, what happened? Where did that time go? How did I wind up taking myself so god damned seriously? Oh, oh… responsibility. Kids. Marriage. Sleepless nights. Money woes…. oh, yes. I forgot…. But I did realise what inhibits me from being more present in my life now. I realised what I think about like a hamster in a wheel, constantly returning to set patterned thoughts within my mind. It revolves around still putting pressure on myself for things to look a certain way or wishing things could be different. Then I go into fix it mode. I spend more energy on trying to handle the situation so no one gets hurt. No one is put out. No one thinks little of me….What a waste of energy! When I was out, dancing to a dodgy band in a club with my old school friends from a ‘short’ time ago, I could feel my body come alive. Like CPR paddles jolting me alive with every beat the drummer played. The sweat forming, my muscles working to move me in whatever way my body felt called to be moved, and me pliable to every beat, note and chord felt. Letting the music move and writhe and sway my body which was slowly coming back to life…. The words: ‘Live, Live, LIVE’ echoed through me and reverberated like an endless thunderstorm deeply within as it pulsed through my body- the earth. Oh, to let go of control and let my body become the music…. sweet, sweet surrender…..

Here is a message for me that I got as an undercurrent when I was out. If it is for you, too then great!
‘It doesn’t have to be a quick snap- a quick change. Just step one step closer and when you know it’s time to step then do so. Do not force yourself to step based on others opinions, wait for that drum, that thunder inside to tell you. And that pressure you put on yourself on how things ‘should’ look, or how you wished things could be different….
This is it. This is your life.
So LIVE it
Whatever situation you find yourself in.
Live. Live. LIVE.
In the mud. In the heart break.
Live. Live. LIVE.
In the mourning. In the turmoil.
Live. Live. LIVE.
There is more to you.
So much more…..
Go inside. Feel that more.
Let go of control.
BE IN YOUR LIFE.
FEEL YOUR LIFE.
RADIATE YOUR LIFE.’

Wherever you are at with your soul path, it can be hard. But LIVE anyway. There is gold even in the shitty bits. Well, I’m reminding myself of that so I thought I’d remind you too.
To being real. To being authentic. To being here for ourselves in our precious life.
I’m here. Turning up. Who’s with me?

Art by Vanessa Lemon
Written by Elise Heyward

Surrender, Open, Merge, Allow (poem)

Let go…. let go into the night sky
No different from the expanse of the ocean….
Somewhere between the two,
In the space where the ocean and sky meet
Is where we rebirth- you and me…
Floating with both above and below
The invitation on the swell of the ocean
And the touch of the gentle breeze
Both praying for the same thing:
They whisper in unison,
From above, and from below
Poised in timeless, weightless space:-

“surrender, open, merge, allow…

surrender, open, merge, allow…

surrender, open, merge, allow….”

For there is more than what you see
More than just making money,
Or upholding the norm….
More than the friends you have
or the family you’re from…
The sacred mysteries come,
Come knocking and inviting,
Patiently inquiring and merging
within the depths of your soul.
“Is there more?” You’ve asked yourself before
And to this the answer you shall have
when opened to explore…
Courage is to open, to feel to trust
In the path not revealed,
but rather constantly unravelling…
But oh, what an exciting life awaits
On the other side of fear and restrictions.
More than a mere temptation,
And more than you’ve been told exists….
It beckons and becomes too loud to ignore
It’s down to choice and a willingness to see
At how passionate, and full, and sweet life can really be…

Written by Elise Heyward
Art by Nari

A Note to My Boys

My boys, I want you to explore all of yourselves.
The wild, the free, the amazing, the ugly side, the parts of you that not even you will see…
I wish you to be free of them in open acceptance of your imperfectly perfect humanity.
I pray that my parenting up to this point and in the future doesn’t set you back too much
From knowing the truth of who you really are. The mystical truth of who you really are.
That you are more than this body. More than the job you choose. More than your marital status.
You are a miracle.
May you stand up for yourself, your voice be heard, and know yourself enough to know your values
May you honour and love yourself enough to say ‘no’ or leave circumstances that hurt you.
May you stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves if and when you come across it
May you be fair and just to yourself, and to others
May you feel the truth that there is more than just the physical, may you feel, feel, feel!!!
May you have the courage, my dear boys, to feel emotions and allow their genuine expression
May you not restrict yourself to fit into the stereotype- know I will love you no matter what.
May you have the courage to love openly, to have so much compassion for yourself and others
May you feel connection
May you feel my support gently at your back as you step more into your own life-
Edging further away from me into the world. Know I will never stop being here for you to return to.
For a soft landing, nurturing and a springboard to jump back into life with.

Remember, you’re never too old for hugs, to cry, or to feel scared. That’s part of being human… Please don’t deprive yourself of receiving beautiful hugs in life. It’s a gift.
Please know you are helping to change the world, my boys.
Have courage to be a little different at times- or all of the time…
Step gently and respectfully on the earth, my sons. Open your hearts and feel connection.
Do your best. I’m here when you fall. I’m here when you rise. And whilst I am here doing that, I will be in my own rising and falling- living my life as fully as I can. I will lead by example, my boys. Let’s live!

I promise I will do the best damn job I can to raise you boys to give you the fertile soil from which to grow.
Love Mum

Featured art by Timothy Easton

Sacred Union For Radical Change

On my knees- heart open and spinning, tears in my eyes
Feeling so much….

I ask the energy I feel within and surrounding me:-
How can I serve from this place?
When all I have are my eyes, my hands, my voice, my body…
Something has to change!
I feel this is beyond me…
I surrender……

Infuse me with your grace….
Let me serve from this place.

So my ego cannot fathom the work that comes of our unity

Oh, let me surrender to this.

Let me birth this into the world…

Let me be humbled and reminded of my power in service

Let me serve from the highest place, from the deepest space of wisdom

Let divinity flow through and remove me from this:
Let my eyes be the eyes of divinity…..
Let my voice be the voice of divinity…
Let my hands be the hands of divinity….
Let my body be the body of divine love and grace….

I surrender this over. I open my channel- may you swirl your ancient wisdom

I ask for the courage to stand in truth.
Courage to Act on the inner knowings that tell me to ‘let go’.
Courage to allow sacredness to move how it wishes.
Courage to trust, stay open, supple and loving,
And serve from this place.  

For to stay in this world witnessing the lack of sacredness
And NOT step out of the way for the divine to flow through
Deeply hurts and is not living in my own truth-

To create space for a wave of radical change….

Author: Elise Heyward
Artist: Brenda Burke