A start of a new week. The autumn is all around us here in this part of the world. An invitation to take some time to go within to find a quite place. To breath, to stand still and surrender to what is there.
This morning I went to a yoga class in the neighbourhood. A yoga school that I am trying out, a nice and friendly place close to my house. Joining a yoga lesson together with other people feels like a good way to start the week. To go out of the house and connect to a community. A safe place to challenge myself to go out of my comfort zone and be in my comfort zone. The breathing and movement helps me to unlock and connect to myself. To go beyond fear and emotions and just see what is showing up. To let tears come when they feel like. I am thankful for the fact that I have found this practise. The past years, I have been doing a lot of kundalini yoga, the ‘yoga of awareness’. A beautiful and intense journey of (re)discovery and finding my own voice, rhythme and pace. To build trust in following that (yet) unknown path. Now it is good to open up to other yoga styles again. To give attention to my physical body, to feel my muscles and to get strong to be able to carry myself through the winter.
Being more and more aware that the longing to connect takes place within me. It is asking my effort and focus, in stead of finding the imput from the outside only. It all sounds so easy and logic. Ofcourse, we need to be connected to ourselves. But what does it really mean? In this world that gives us the feeling that we are all so interconnected. The world as a village, with phones and apps to connect to everybody and everything at any moment. We are never alone, aren’t we? I believe we can all be so incredibly lonely in our longing to belong. I experience myself how I can be too attached to my phone and notice it is not bringing me much. I enjoy and appreciate to be in touch with friends, far away or nearby. Though I become more aware that really I first need to connect to myself before I can fully connect to the world outside of me. Through there I can truly and truthfully step into this world.
It is funny how this autumn weather is a sort of new to me, after having spend the last years in the Asia. I love the changing colours. I have enjoyed it so much these last weeks. It can take my breath away. When cycling around on my bike, I sometimes need to stop to look at things I did not notice before. The leaves in all their colours. The bushes with their purple berries. The East Indian Cherry, still blossoming its eatable flowers. The sun of the past weeks was a blessing. Now, in this cold and wet day it is more challenging. I intensely miss the warm and beautiful weather of the Philippines. I feel homesick. I realize it is more easy to feel content when you are carried by the beauty of things. When the sun brings warmth and great colours, when waking up in tropical temperatures every day.
In the Philippines I enjoyed walking in nature and felt so much carried by the green and lush of the jungle. What a luxury it was! Here, this wet wintery windy weather can be challenging. It makes me feel naked and is asking me to get the strength and trust from the inside. I will get there, step by step, with kindness and patience. There are things that need time to settle and I cannot just walk over them. I don’t think any of us can….on the long run.
But also here there is beautiful nature to discover. Today, I went to get some vegetables at ‘the Landmarkt’, the local market store just outside of town…the beginning of Waterland. A flat and relatively empty land with lots of wind and water. I spent a little bit of time near the water…just to get some fresh air and breath. It was not long enough and not wild enough to be outside of the city and feel the nature. I do prefer the forest since it is more protected. Unfortunately there is not a big forest nearby my house but will find some nice places to go soon. I will throw myself into this weather, despite the cold and rain:)
‘When the mind is festering with trouble or the heart torn, we can find healing among the silence of mountains or fields, or listen to the simple, steadying rhythm of waves. The slowness and stillness gradually takes us over. Our breathing deepens and our hearts calm and our hungers relent. When serenity is restored, new perspectives open to us and difficulty can begin to seem like an invitation to new growth.
This invitation to friendship with nature does of course entail a willingness to be alone out there. Yet this aloneness is anything but lonely. Solitude gradually clarifies the heart until a true tranquility is reached. The irony is that at the heart of that aloneness you feel intimately connected with the world. Indeed, the beauty of nature is often the wisest balm for it gently relieves and releases the caged mind.’
Excerpt from BEAUTY
Now it is time for a hot soup. Miso soup with ginger and vegetables.