Last look at London. Sunset from Gatwick airport yesterday.
Nine months. The length of time it takes to create a life, to animate and birth a whole new being into the world.
It’s been nine months since I began this particular and peculiarly long journey, since I packed up my bags in Manila, and boarded a plane to London, England. I had a return ticket to Asia in December, but even then I had a feeling that this trip would go different directions, that it would have its own sense of time and timing, that it would grow beyond my imaginings.
For me, it has been nine months of traveling and teaching, of self-practice, of healing and self-process. Nine months of living spread out in different parts of the world, two to three months at a time. Nine months of yoga practice like no other. Nine months of getting to know a new place, a new culture, falling in love with a new group of friends, falling in love all over again with old friends too, and through these new experiences getting to know myself a good deal better.
All this, largely unplanned. I did have one. But when do thing ever go according to plan?
What was supposed to be a great coming together turned out to be quite a massive falling apart; a great adventure of two turned into a journey of one --and what a great journey it has been for me, in truth, the greatest of my life.
I was also supposed to study with my teacher in India. India didn’t happen this season, but instead I have been attending a living classroom spread across two continents and one island nation, my teacher’s teachings coming to life in the varied environments and landscapes, different cultures and numerous yoga communities and spaces where I have taught or visited.
It has not been entirely easy. Closing a relationship whilst teaching in an isolated village with my ex-partner in close proximity was a little like emotional carnage. Tearing myself away from my own co-dependencies was worse. And letting go of my expectations as I moved further and further away was like pulling teeth.
But mostly it’s been beautiful and easy, with some incredible opportunities: the call to work in Osaka, Cairo and Barcelona; the friends who appeared quite like magic, just at the right moment, to share my struggles, to facilitate healing, and to celebrate the victories; the lessons from teaching; the blessings of students.
This week, I returned to England, where this trip began nine expansive months ago, not as a different person but more myself than perhaps that I’ve ever been. More aware of my fears but also a great deal braver about confronting them; still trying to figure out how to take care of myself (on the road and in life) but also more attuned to the needs of my body, my mind and heart; more self-confident while being more informed of the issues that continue to need attention and work.
It’s interesting to observe the ninth month now, at the starting point, a good place to end things and finalize resolutions, and a good place to launch into a new adventure. The cycle of endings and new beginnings continues; the journey goes on and on…
But for now I feel the feeling of the new. I look at my life now like a mother looking at her newborn child. I am in awe of it, totally in love and totally freaked out. Kind of amazed that this crazy, wee but very alive thing has come from me, from my experience, work, dreams, and efforts. I want to protect it, to safeguard it from danger, from negativity, but I also know that that would be counter-productive. Because, really, I want to continue to grow, and that means a certain amount of vulnerability and a willingness to bravely meet the ever-changing, ever-surprising crazy world.