So, sometimes it dawns on you that your not in Kansas anymore.
The dawning can creep up on you slowly. A gnawing feeling inside that you’re kinda different from the people you’re surrounded by. Or that you’re getting in the way as your crew are trying to get things done. Maybe your style has shifted. Or maybe it has dated.
Or maybe the goalposts of your Kansas team have moved away so far, you can’t see which direction you’re meant to kick at all.
Sometimes, you can realise you’re not in Kansas anymore with a thud. This is because your house is picked up by a cyclone, swirls around in a life-flash hallucination for a bit and is then dropped on a wicked witch. You open your smashed-house door to a different coloured land. A place where everyone is very short, wears excess stage make-up and sings constantly to you about where you could be going and what you could be doing.
The positive is that you get a kick-arse new pair of shoes out of the gig. The bad bit is, in realising you’re not in Kansas anymore -you wonder where the hell you are.
And how you arrived there in the first place.
It was last Tuesday at my rental letterbox that I realised I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. The deal with renting is that you give the house back exactly as you receive it. This means no nails in the walls, no blue-tack on the doors and no stickers on the letterbox stating “please, no junk mail”. Meaning for the first time since about 2002, I’ve been receiving shopping catalogues. I remember scanning through the glossy adverts when I was in my 20’s. Searching for Brunswick’s cheapest slab of Vic and to see if Coles had ice-cream on sale. Last Tuesday – many moons past my late twenties – I found myself standing at my rental letterbox. Rummaging with glee through the glossy adverts in the assortment of end of season sales. It was as I was pouring over the latest E&S kitchen appliances and spec-savers deals not only did it dawn on me that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore,
but that I hadn’t been there for a very, very long time.
Think standing balance, seated twists and inversion.
Today marks our autumn equinox. It is when the day and the night both exactly 12 hours long and therefore are of equal length in time. It means that from here on in, the sun – our primal source of light and life – will start to recede and in doing so, taking the colour, the fertility and the warmth of Mother Earth with it. Leaving us falling into a darker, colder and quieter space as we transition towards the contemplative months of Autumn and Winter. At this time we may question our relationship with life and death; with hope and regret; and with desire and fear.
It’s a time when we may feel that we’re out of step with those around us. That we feel misunderstood, or unseen or unheard. That despite our sparkly shoes and the great soundtrack we are sung, the stage leaves us feeling like it’s all too make-believe. It may mean that where we are just isn’t our truth. That what we are putting out is too removed from what we hold within. And even though we’re not sure why, it just doesn’t feel right to do it anymore.
The recognition of the cycle of the sun asks of us to consider our part within the cyclic nature of creation. To consider the balance between our outer expression of our personality and our inner knowing of ourself. The annual journey of the sun reminds us that that there is a time to put ourselves out there, to live bold and to work hard. Just as there is a time to draw ourselves inwards, to reside quietly and to rest deep. In this way, we feel where we are fully. We experience what have freely. And we come to know ourselves more deeply.
Last Tuesday, I realised abruptly once again that 2002 is gone and has left me here as a middle age woman. A woman who has a hankering for old school style kitchen appliances and who now needs prescription reading glasses. It’s an age where it now takes me the better half of a year to get through a slab of beer and now ice-cream is a “sometimes food.” Life has shifted through me and with me. Giving me the love of my life and my 3 small ones to learn more from. Giving me the strength to say that I’m different but that I stand by what I believe. Giving me the gift of knowing that I am one with more than just what I do.
And that what I do doesn’t define who I am.
I know am supported in my journey. That I don’t have to compromise myself with noise. That I can dance when I want to and to a completely different age-appropriate song.
In 2002, I began the journey as a yoga teacher. I hungrily grabbed all the teaching and practice I could find and morphed it into a style of my own. I started teaching classes in Clifton Hill. I charged my students 12 dollars a class and couldn’t believe that people kinda liked it. That they continued to come back for more. Everything I earned I would then spend on yoga workshops, weekend intensives and long-term retreats. Back then, the average cost of a slab of VB was 30 dollars. You could get 4 litres of ice-cream for 5.
In term 2 2016, for the first time in 14 years of teaching, I will put the prices up for my classes. Not only because beer and ice-cream is more expensive, but because now, I’m worth it too. My classes ask of you to feel that you are supported and that you are too are connected to more than yourself. That your inner voice holds potent power and that you deserve for that voice to be heard. That you can rest as hard as you work and that you can walk through your wildest fears.
Because none of us are in Kansas anymore. We are all here under the 2016 Autumn Equinox sky. Shaped by our surrounding landscapes. Coloured by the receding sunlight. Opening to a richer space of love.
Where no matter where we find ourselves, we can celebrate our true selves.
(Check www.barwonheadsyoga.com for full timetable and prices.)