I have recently returned from a retreat on Palawan, an amazing island in the Philippines. The weather was hot and still, perfect for the adventure retreat which included lots of swimming, snorkelling and generally messing about in boats. Yes, it was quite a holiday and I loved it! Peppered through my holiday story is a selection of snaps. Let your eyes sink into the photos and be infused with the warm, calm, luscious vibes...
(Dawn on White Beach - our home for a week)
We were fortunate to spend a week staying in a stunning, remote location with no cars, no other visitors and no electricity; just simple village life and a wide open vista of sea, islands and rainforest. All around us was the gentle rhythms of Mother Nature in all her best, benevolent splendour. It is easy to let go, relax and settle in such a place, when life is marvelously uncomplicated and the most stressful thing you have to do is get your snorkel and mask on...
(On the way out to the reef for a spot of snorkelling)
And then when you come home? Can you keep your calm and experience everyday life with the same ease? Opportunities to relax and feel the wonder of life are always available to us. Whether on holidays, or in the midst of a busy day, there is always something to delight us and love. These moments of wonder are often fleeting, and perhaps we don't even notice them? Life is thriving and pulsing all around us, all the time. The weather, the creatures, our fellow humans, each miraculous heart beat and breath... It is very simple, but how easily we clutter and blinker this simple appreciation with layers of activity, stress and exhausting effort.
Here's an experiment for you:
As you sit and read you have choice about what you experience and perceive. You can either completely focus on the text and your mind at work, OR, you can allow your awareness to open out. Try it. Include the experience of the touch of your body on the chair, the sounds of the room and the world around you, the quality of light, the feel of the air on your skin, your breath flowing in and out, your energy pulsing around your body... Sit and experience it all... Can you sense in this moment, right now, that all is well and you can relax...?
(Boy & Carabao having a dip)
At the moment in Melbourne we are blessed with some cool, crisp Autumn blue. The autumnal sun and sky is so delicious; perfect to bathe in and enjoy the play of golden light... I receive much of my inspiration and teachings through witnessing and being part of Nature. Perhaps that resonates for you, or perhaps you find your inspiration through different facets of life?
In whatever form she may take, recognise your muse and honour her.
Take the time to settle and listen in for the sparks of inspiration, the aha moments, the little sprinkles of joy and light that decorate your everyday life. And allow yourself to be moved... I hope that participating in yoga may help you towards living with this simple grace of being. In a yoga session I invite you to develop your awareness skills and flex your feeling muscles; feeling your body, breath and mind, and sensing your true divine nature that beats boldly within...
Live life, love life and live love!
(A typical Palawan home)
© Claire Heywood, May 2015