If you were an 80s child like me, it's most likely you remember the Paula Abdul classic "Opposites Attract". An epic, electro pop beat indeed, but on a deeper level, the lyrics "2 steps forward, 2 steps back" are resonating with me right now. And perhaps with society on a global level.
Its seems in this day and age we have more than we could possibly need in the world in terms of material wealth yet we are still bombarded by news of how fear, terror and violence reigns, basic human rights are still to be met and disrespect for our planet, non human species and indigineous peoples is a daily occurrence.
The macrocosm of our world is often described as a mirror for our internal world in yoga philosophy. In another 80s cultural reference, I always think about Dennis Quaid in the movie "Inner Space", shrinking down into his little spaceship and journeying around the human body as if another galaxy. From his shrunken perspective, he begins to truly understand that we are a complex, intricate and interconnected being, and when one part of us is out of balance, it can lead to trouble further down the line.
There is always turmoil going inside our gut for instance, millions of bacteria within our microflora, some good, some bad, the overall ratio determining our overall health. The digestive system - directly connecting to hormone release and detoxification process - is such an integral part of our functioning wellbeing. And as we begin to learn decipher messages from our body, through awareness - rather than popping pills or numbing our emotions and sensations through toxins - we can begin to honour and respect the systems and processes that are governed by our bodies innate wisdom, including the ability to grow, heal and evolve.
As I have stepped back, first to Sri Lanka, then to Jersey, I have been able to observe and monitior my own behavouirs and reactions, in situations that were once comfortable, familiar and home - that then became unstable and insecure. And as I try to remain non judgemental towards myself and others, the reoccurring theme is that we are all learning and all simply doing our best. It is so easy to spiral into negativity if I think any other way. And its uplifting to see the movements of peace, love and unity that are arising to oppose the threatening and downright scary aspects of our modern world. It's more than uplifting. It's hope.
And I guess that's what 2 steps back allows us to gather. Hindsight, perspective and the feeling that we have been here before, yet now have the opportunity to move forward in a different way.
Together we can move forward, but not with strength and stability. Because, lets face it. Those are just words, and we've tried that before. But with integrity, accountability and vulnerability; living by and upholding our morals and ethics and with a steadfast commitment to hope. After all, revolutions are built on hope.
Strength and stability, if built on disillusion, grandiose or ego, has absolutely no foundation to support potentiality and growth. I have learnt this through relationships, through yoga practice, through spending time in the sea, through natures' cycles, through simply being human. Breakdown serves a tremendous purpose to lead us to the truth.
As I'm joined by students for my final nurture through nature workshop at KaliMukti studio tonight, our mission is to honour the flow of energy within us. Where the flow was once stagnant or blocked, we are able to unleash and stir it up to find creativity and freedom in our movements and I am filled with gratitude I have been able to realise my vision to teach yoga and share my passions as a profession.
As I'm set to join the Permaculture Associations SW Convergence this weekend to explore the connection between yoga and permaculture - and how the root of the people care pillar is self care; I am filled with inspiration for all the people working consciously and tirelessly towards the future of a healthy planet.
As I head back to the UK after 6 years of nomadic travel, living in Jersey and working abroad - searching and adventuring - on the eve of the general election - I am filled with hope that our collective voice can make a difference. I have found strength and stability in my heart, a home in my values and a foundation in my self worth. I am so very grateful to my past, my lessons and my continuing education and evolution.