Just outside our front porch is a rose bush with one resplendent rose. Over the last week it’s slowly opened, blossomed and dropped its petals. The slow unfolding of the rose, its delicacy and fragrance reminds me to take things slowly. I’d like to rush the process of healing but I have only been taking insulin for the last 5 months and my BG levels are only adjusting now. Starting Insulin was a big decision for me, not just because it meant going with allopathic medicine, but in taking it I had to admit to myself that I couldn’t cure myself or my condition. For years I told myself it was a parasite, an allergy or some such thing. It never occurred to me that I actually might have a genetic incurable disease and that no amount of herbs, homeopathics or Yoga exercises could fix me. I was so busy rushing to find a cure that I didn’t bother to actually find out what was going on.
Just a few days after starting Insulin I had lunch with a friend who is an Ayurvedic practitioner, Naturopath and Nurse , “ I’m glad you started Insulin, it’s going to be a whole new start for you. It will slow you down quite a bit, but you need that.” She couldn’t have been more right. Now that my energy has returned I have no desire to run around solving the worlds problems, it feels quite natural to take my time with things, to relish in a daily practice, to plan and prepare nourishing low carb meals and to think about what’s next without having to constantly consider my stress levels. It’s taken 6 years to admit I have a disease, I am not the disease.
Just today my partner shared with me a beautiful thought, “The whole creation, including thoughts, emotions, ideas, beliefs, worries, joys all rise and fall in the presence of never-ending, eternal stillness. The stillness, peace, consciousness is unaffected by the thoughts, beliefs and comings and goings of creation. Just as the ocean is unaffected by the wave. Only we human beings with the ability to identify and name our experiences, take on the experiences, beliefs, thoughts etc, thinking we must resolve a situation to come to peace. The question to ask is; does peace need a resolution to exist?
Sitting quietly, watching the breath, practicing slow mindfulness we experience ourselves as the peace itself. We think it’s the practice thats enabling the peace, but in reality we are never not peace. The body is peace, the thoughts are peace and all of nature, all that has come before and all that will ever be is peace.
Even a body riddled with illness is peace. When I was younger I wondered how people could overcome physical pain, trauma or extreme suffering. I always thought that either trying to ignore the pain or distracting myself would be the best strategy. It wasn’t until I gave birth that I experienced something different. In giving birth I couldn’t deny that the body had its own intelligence, the contractions were happening, the baby was coming and there was nothing I could do to rush the process. No matter where I put my mind the pain and the intensity kept increasing. It was in between contractions that I experienced powerful moments of stillness and peace. Eventually the feeling of peace predominated over the pain, its ever present nature became the focus and then before I knew it the baby was there, in my arms.
In any moment whether peaceful or not peace is there. The question to ask yourself is what is preventing me from recognising this? Slowing down and taking time to “smell the roses” is the perfect way to stop and reflect.
Here’s a simple visualisation you can take into your daily asana practice or when ever you feel the need to slow down.
If you’d like an audio version of the meditation here it is
Come into pose of the child, if it’s uncomfortable separate your knees a little and let your torso rest between your thighs on the floor, you may want to rest your belly on a bolster
Become aware of your breath, feel the breath filling the belly, ribs and upper chest, now become aware of your heartbeat
Visualise a rose in your right hand, twirl the stem of the rose between your forefinger and thumb
As you twirl the rose imagine you are close enough to see the coloured petals of the rose laced in delicate dew drops, and imagine its fragrance rich and sweet
Become so focussed on the rose that you almost feel yourself becoming the rose
Once again become aware of your heart beat, come back to your breath, feeling it filling your belly, ribs and upper chest
Slowly come up, feel your body adjust and move into your day