I had such a sweet time contemplating life, doing yoga and surfing at Balian Beach. Massive thank yous to all the nice people at Pondok Pitaya Surf & Yoga especially for putting me in the Beach House Surfer Suite! Here are some pics of the beautiful place- it seemed a perfect place to me for hosting a yoga and surf camp retreat- only the waters are too choppy and the waves are too big for beginners, it would have to be intermediate to advanced surfers. It was really a meditation to watch the pros take on the big swells. I found it pretty scary when I ventured out there myself and it’s amazing how much bigger and scarier the waves look when you are out in the water. Also unusually there is a big river that feeds into the water causing these perfect regular swells, though the downside is that it causes some strange strong current action in one area only as well as attracting hungry bullsharks to the river mouth when it rains!
I’m so happy to skip the winter in grey and rainy London…but travelling solo definitely has it’s ups and downs. I was a good meditator before and I feel like I am becoming a great meditator now.
Until I started writing this blog, I was always a very private person, some would say enigmatic or a closed booked. I am someone who values confidentiality massively and who is also a professional secret keeper. Life coaching work requires me to hold space for secrets, for dreams and for shadows; then to help dispel what no longer serves someone and to keep the rest safely wrapped up and enclosed in the session.
I do a lot of referrals as a coach- when I feel that someone would benefit from a particular form of therapy I often recommend it; anything from singing in a choir to dancing 5 rhythms to meditation to psychotherapy to silence or acupuncture. I do a lot of referrals.
Anyway, I said I wasn’t going to blog so much and here I am doing it again. I think it’s because I feel kind of lonely and I am trying to figure out what to do about those feelings when they come along.
I have given up smoking, this was my crutch.
You may be shocked that a conscious healthy type and yoga teacher would smoke. It’s been my dirty little secret for years. I use to joke and say it was the final remnant of my heady party days- but that was kind of true and not really a joke. I used to blame it on my high-stress lifestyle juggling careers as a Film Producer, Record Label Director, Creative Consultant and Life Coach– I blamed it on the fact that I was doing too much and always stressed. My family nickname was even The Smoking Yogi.
Then I left that London, the parties, the juggling of multiple creative ventures, the euro jetset lifestyle behind to chill out, to find and get to know my best self in the Tropics and with that I also left the ciggies behind.
It has been over one month now since I last had a cigarette and I truly hope I’ll never smoke another cigarette again. The thought of tobacco and all the disgusting things it did to my body and my skin is grossing me out- and I have been going through a cold turkey detox process out here. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had waves of cravings and instead of rolling up and lighting up, I just try to sit with the wave, as if a mini earthquake of emotion is passing through me. I listen to those feelings now instead of diving in for a quick fix of numbing the feelings with a smoke. I brace myself and really feel the loneliness, anxiety, anger, fear. Whatever feeling is coming up I try to welcome it and really FEEL it. Then it passes and I mentally pat myself on the back for surviving yet another craving wave. I really hope these waves will completely disappear.
I did it with the help of one hypnotherapy session in London the day before I left and it’s working for me so far. It has just reminded me and given some power to the concept that I have a choice- to smoke or not to smoke. Before there was only ever one option for me when I felt stressed, anxious or afraid or even if I felt anyone was getting too close to me… I would roll up and light up.
Now instead of puffing my pain away, I have to own my emotions, understand what they are trying to tell me, speak up if I need to and set healthy boundaries.
Wow major life shifts g’wan when I eliminated cigarettes!
Anyway, that’s enough about cigarettes. I am out here stepping into the new, more conscious and frankly better me.
Here’s what I am currently listening to
I’m also compiling a very unusual and inspiring playlist for the Yoga Class I’ll be teaching on Friday 13th. On the theme of “Shadows & Light”, it will be a yoga class that allows us to bring awareness to and breathe through the dark/negative and the light/positive energies we hold in our bodies. Releasing the negativity and increasing the positivity. I’m compiling an awesome soundtrack to steer us through that yoga experience too as an experiment.
And here are some articles to share that I have found insightful/helpful/inspiring
I am also loving everything written by this man Jeff Foster
And as holidays and festivities are upon us….so many people get severely depressed at this time of year too. It can be down to family dynamics or the winding down of one year and pressure to do great things in the next or a ton of reaons really. So if you or anyone you know is feeling depressed, do not be afraid to speak to someone you trust and ask for help. this video might help too
Stay Conscious Cuz You’re Cool
And when in doubt… Try Satisficing