A Martyr at Work: perfection serves no purpose 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been in competition with myself: do more, be more, do better, be better.  

Be the best you can be.  

What’s wrong with that one might ask? 

While it felt good for a while and I got a lot of recognition for it – being the reliable one who could always do anything I was asked to do and to a high quality, I’ve come to realise that it’s just not it. It is like a beast that is always hungry for more, no matter how many times a day I feed it, it keeps coming to the feeding station. It has got to a point where it is becoming not worth the trade-off of sacrificing my body and my connection to something I know is much bigger and far grander than the physical me and something that is in truth my greatest ‘craving’. For what? Just to get something done, tick things off a list and feel safe.  

What is this ‘safety’ that does anything but keep us ‘safe’? I have a PhD in learning that perfection is a hefty wall of protection that is very easy to hide behind. When we make everything that we do ‘perfect’ (whatever that looks like) and get attached to the picture perfect, we leave no gaps for anyone to offer their observations and even to criticise or disagree with us. And by doing that we build artificial borders around us with “no entry” signs and we cut ourselves off even more from people: people whose reflections we need and who also need our reflection to evolve and grow.  We simply cannot be or do without others. 

Yet, this is how most of the world lives. So many of us are lost in work, shopping, netflix, gossip, other people’s lives, complaining… it’s a long list. Waiting for the high of the next fleeting holiday to get us through to the next 6 months, or cup of tea and piece of cake, or task to tick off a list to get us through the day.. all are the same drug of reward, just different flavours.  

I might convince myself that I am reflecting some kind of superwoman to my team and the office with my can-do work ethic, but if I am driven and my body is hard, for being in drive is not our body’s natural modus operandi and it puts the body in a state of hardness much like when we are standing out in the freezing cold with inadequate clothing, and if I’m exhausted and silently resentful, they can still feel it. There is nothing that cannot be felt by another, there is only a choice to feel what’s going on under the physicality or not. And no matter how long I might believe I am staying under the radar – which includes my thoughts and the inner state of my body – no one is inspired by a lie, no matter how artfully and beautifully I might dress it up.  

I reached a crunch point the other day where I got to feel the drive and hardness of how I’d been working and pushing my body. When I overload myself with work and tasks and leave no space for these things let alone anything else, my body feels compressed and I feel joyless and disconnected. I feel out of sync and rhythm with myself, and irritated. There is a feeling of far greater density in my body with no space left for God to work alongside me while I’m doing what I’m doing, and no matter how hard I might try I can’t feel the depth of the magnificence of what we are all intrinsically connected to. Life feels very one dimensional and there is nothing to write about, or say. Rather than stop and allow myself to feel all of that, so that I can offer myself an opportunity to change the unpleasant state, often I will want to bury myself further into the numbness by working more, eating more … finding anything I can to distract myself.  No wonder the saying: we are our own worst enemy. 

But yesterday was different.  

I just allowed myself to accept where I was at and how I felt in my body, to feel how this cuts me off from that deeper knowing of myself and connecting with others, and to move differently. To pay attention to every single movement and bring focus to making it gentle. This super simple process instantly made me feel lighter and more inspired by what’s possible, and mostly that I wasn’t a bad person for having lost myself in overdrive. 

What I also got to feel was that as we refine our choices for how we are and how we move, the choices that aren’t aligned to that same gentle, tender and delicate quality really stand out and feel so much worse than what we  might have previously considered to be abusive.  

And there again is another choice: to react and judge the choice as ‘bad’, or to see it as an opportunity to learn and come out the other end much wiser and to treasure ourselves more. This is precisely how we continuously raise our standards in relationships with others across the board for what is and what is not allowed so that ultimately one day we all treat ourselves and our bodies as the sacred temples that they truly are. 

“Women must rekindle their own rhythms within society and not let society demand of them what is not natural to their body.”

Serge Benhayon, Esoteric Teachings & Revelations,  p526 

By B, UK  

For further inspiration.. 

Choosing function or true focus: how does this support us as we go about our day? The profoundness of self-care at all times.

What happens when we connect to our qualities and commit to making them our foundation for how we live in every moment of our day?

Repose: taking a back seat in the front row

I have recently completed a program called Stillness and Cycles with Sara Harris from Follow Your Flow. It was 6 weeks of finding out everything and more about our cycles. Each week we attended a presentation, discussion and an Esoteric Yoga session, charted our cycle every day, learned about the cycle on a physical and energetic level, and kept a daily journal of body awareness and observations of each phase.  

The program has taught me about repose, and I have had a physical taste of what that really means.  

If for a moment we consider the human body to be like any motor engine (which in truth it is – a magnificent engine that makes so much possible for us), then we know that the two basic components which make a motor engine are stator – the part that does not move but plays an equally important role as the part that it supports to move, which is rotor. In the case of the human body, we have all the moving mechanisms which form the moving, motion (rotor) part and, not necessarily in physical parts but more so in the quality of the movements, we have a repose (stator) part. What and how we move, always begins from repose and the quality of it. The greater the repose i.e. the quality of our being in stillness, the greater the movements.  

Previously, I couldn’t get my head around repose – how could we be doing things and participating in normal everyday and very busy life, but be in repose? It seemed a bit unattainable. I thought it meant lying down and not being very productive. I didn’t see how life could be lived like this – always lying down??  

During this program I experienced and understood the magic of repose, the wonder of its dual dynamic – of feeling settled and still, yet participating and expressing in all aspects of life – taking a back seat in the front row. Why a back seat? The back seat stands for settlement. Because we are at the performance (life); we are fully present to the performance, yet we are settled in ourselves. From this place; our ability to simply observe without getting entangled in what is playing out in front of us is far greater and as a result we are enriched but detached.  

Why the front row? Because we are participating, active and involved. We are seen and not hidden in the shadows of the back row. And because of the front seat view – we see more than we have ever seen.  

Taking a back seat in the front row relates to a distinct sense of being able to sit back into myself. As I had this feeling of sitting back, I felt the support like that of a chair where I could let my physical body go and be held. I settled back and was held…by my cycle.  

In a sense I am on the edge of my seat and wanting more, whilst being completely rested and sat back in my seat. What a combination! To be at the ready and participating in all aspects of life, but to be settled and at ease. To have experienced this feeling of settlement has been incredible. I have been a highly anxious person pretty much all my life and I can still push that anxious button. However, through this program of Esoteric Yoga and understanding our cycles, understanding my cycles, I have had a taste of something entirely different and out of this world.  

My cycle guides me in this; supporting me to see the depths that are on offer energetically and physically. For example, if I take the menstrual phase where I currently am, then my body has moved into depths of tenderness, delicateness and sensitivity. I can take that seat and participate in life from this point, sitting back, enriched by the depth of what I can feel and surrender to. Or I can fight and miss the fact that there is a chair there with my name on it and with the depths it offers. There are two sides to the coin; I choose which. 

What is also amazing is that I am aware that we are part of many cycles, at any one time, whether of day and night, our sleep cycle, the weekly cycles, the cycles of the season, the decades cycles etc – everything comes back around. By being connected to my menstrual cycle, I have had the feeling of being somehow connected to them all.  

Repose is our home and it’s inside of us. It is a quality of rhythm that is integral to our being. Through Esoteric yoga, stillness, and bringing out the greater levels of innate tenderness and sensitivity, I have been able to feel that repose; that natural way of being where my body settles and greater awareness of life switches on. From here I could experience the performance that played out in front of me, but not become lost in its narrative.   

With much due appreciation and thanks to the Benhayon family for blazing the trail with their livingness, and Sara Harris for her dedication to women’s health and all things cycles at Follow your Flow

By Simone G, London, UK 

For further inspiration..  

From an inconvenience to a blessing.. more from Simone on her relationship with her periods 

Ovulation and periods.. a sacred time to treasure

Unfolding Sacredness

Long before becoming a student of Universal Medicine, when I was in my early 30’s, I embarked on what I called at the time my ‘healing journey’. Abuse had featured heavily in my younger life and I longed to understand WHY (?)  

It was not that I set out with these intentions exactly, but I had a deep inner knowing that the abuse was somehow still running my life, that even though I had moved thousands of miles away and started a new life in another country, the abuse continued to be the leading character in my life and I had had enough of sharing centre stage with this life experience that I couldn’t seem to shake even when being far from the scene of the abuse.  

I saw three therapists. The first was a woman who came recommended by a friend and when she felt she could take me no further she put me in touch with a second therapist, a man who I was in therapy with off and on for a number of years. He helped me identify sufficient layers of hurt, anger and pain to enable me to get to a place where I was able to accept what had ‘happened to me’ and I was feeling less angry and in somewhat less pain which allowed me to function at a higher level than before.  

Eventually I stopped seeing him. I felt I needed a break. Life was pretty full on and I just wanted to make life about other things, and so I did. For a while. 

During these years of therapy, I clung to the belief that I was a victim. Being a victim answered the limited questions I was willing to ask at the time and made it possible for me to not look any further or dig any deeper. I became comfortable with the victim belief and I wore the cloak of victimhood well.  

In my 40’s I saw a third therapist for about a year. She helped me identify a few more layers but I still felt I wasn’t moving on. I felt stuck. Perhaps less stuck but stuck none-the-less. At the same time, the life that I had been choosing to live was beginning to feel distinctly…. uncomfortable. I had a deep knowing that there had to be more to life than the way I was living.  

It wasn’t until becoming a student of Universal Medicine that I finally started becoming un-stuck. The teachings of the Ageless Wisdom offered me the tools and support to not only peel back the crippling layers of hurt, pain and anger I had been living under for so long, but to address, understand and get to the root cause.  

It was miraculous to finally address and be free of the debilitating energy I had been living in. However, Universal Medicine and the teachings of the Ageless Wisdom didn’t just stop there…. I was willing and open to continue to support myself in evolving further and because I was willing and open, the Ageless Wisdom was able to offer more. And then more and still some more…  

As I gradually return to living in the exquisite new level of harmony I had been keeping myself disconnected from for lifetimes, I am continually bringing long held beliefs to the fore to be pondered on, examined and released if I find they aren’t serving me or anyone else for that matter.  

And so, the unfiltered questioning of what role being a victim was playing in my life.  

In the process of considering this question I reached an understanding that the belief that I was a victim was exactly that – a belief. A belief I chose to sign up to at the time to keep me on the carousel of victimhood.  

What??? 

I was like a horse ready to bolt, feeling horrendously exposed and wanting to crawl back under the blanket of comfort I’d wrapped myself up in to keep me in and the world out. I could feel a part of me saying and then shouting, “I do not want to go there!!!”  

Which helped me to understand that this was exactly where I was going. I have come to know that when I am feeling exposed it means there is something I have been hiding behind to keep me in disconnection from the Divine love within and to keep me from evolving. It is at that point that I have a choice: to either keep hiding under the blanket of comfort OR gently and tenderly hold myself in such a way that I can fully embrace my next evolutionary steps.   

The more I started letting go of the belief that I was a victim, the more space became available for the Truth to reveal itself in the form of a few questions:  In the very moment I chose to disconnect from and deny my own sacredness, was this not first and foremost an abuse of myself in the most profound, even if at first not the most obvious, sense of the word?  

In choosing to walk away from what I know is my innate sacredness have I not forsaken myself as the beautifully tender and nurturing woman I naturally am?  

And in choosing to disconnect from my sacredness, what have I been choosing to connect to instead? 

Any disconnection from my inner most being opens me up to destructive and debilitating energies that leave no space for the beauty of sacredness and, in fact, keeps me in an energy that is as far removed from sacredness as one can get. These destructive and debilitating energies are what kept me contracted, disconnected and in avoidance of the true love I naturally am and that we all come from.  

By contrast, in my ever-deepening connection to my inner self I am discovering a sweet, sentient and sacred part of me I had long been oblivious to. It is only in the peeling away of all the layers I had carefully and strategically put in place in my misguided attempt to protect myself and keep myself ‘safe’ that I have been able to connect to the courage and willingness within to reclaim centre stage and reconnect and return to my inner heart, my inner most…..the ultimate sacred space so worthy of cherishing.

In returning and reconnecting to my untouched, Divine essence, there has been a beautifully loving allowing to feel the consequence of the crushing depth of denial of the same, and the effect it has had not only on myself, but on all those around me.  

As I reclaim that which is at the core of every woman’s being, I bring myself back into alignment with the Divinely gracious being I naturally am, therefore offering this reflection for every woman. In so doing it brings the balance of outwardly-looking power back to where it truly belongs – within. The unfolding of this magical and majestic process then creates the space for men to return and re-align to their natural tenderness, sensitivity and yes, sacredness too.  

Reclaiming our sacredness brings us all back to who we naturally, tenderly and innately are, and once we do so the honouring of the sacredness within, honours and holds all others equally so.  

By Brigette Evans, UK

For further inspiration… 

Do we learn to mask a lack of self-worth as we grow older, or take the steps to address it? Natalie Benhayon writes.. 

What does it mean to have a sacred relationship with yourself? 

Sixty (four), sassy & sexy (last one took a while)

I was born a woman, yet I had no idea what it truly meant to be a woman.  

I never even questioned it.  

Honouring myself was not ever considered, and with no reflection in my life from the family or school friends that there could be another way to be and live, I merrily walked a path of general disregard.  

As far as I was concerned, words like precious, tender, delicate and cherishing were for women who were weak and lacked drive. 

In fact, what was reflected to me was the opposite: that having drive and pushing my body was the acceptable norm. The hardness in my body was palpable and showed in everything I did. 

Through Universal Medicine I started to really consider and become more aware of my body. I could actually feel the things I was doing that were causing me pain. A lot of physical work with horses, and caring more about horses than I did about myself, had a detrimental impact on my delicate and sensitive body.  

As things changed within me, and I took greater care of myself, I recognised that my relationship with the horses had to change.  

I had to stop putting horses before myself.  

The horses went to a retirement home and that gave me a moment to stop and feel what I was doing to my body and how unsupportive horses first, I second, was. This had a knock-on effect on everything that I did, as well as on all life’s chambers; my relationships, my work and my family. 

It was a progressive thing: the more I let go of the hardness, the more aware I became of how I was living and the effects this had in every part of my life. It gave me the space to be more caring of myself, and to start to let go of the hardness and protection that I had used to get through life.  

The change in me enabled me to come to an even bigger realization, which is that over the years, and I mean thousands of years, we women have lost our way with regard to knowing who we are and what it actually means to be a woman.  

I registered how much we have let go of the principles and innate understanding of our true purpose in life. This purpose has always been about honouring our deep knowing of life in every way, living this innate knowing with understanding and respect for everything around us.  

Women also knew what the word Sacredness meant: a level of standard in every area of their lives that were commanded by the purity of their bodies, an inborn knowing from which they would live their lives and hold themselves in, unreservedly, unapologetically and unwaveringly so. They had an innate knowing of what was true for them. 

This is a far cry from how many women live today; dishonouring their body, pushing it to extremes and not listening to the messages that are naturally within. Qualities such as being fragile, sensitive, gentle, caring and loving, that should be our norm, are sadly not so frequently exhibited. Instead… 

  • we have made the ‘to-do list’ more important than how we treasure and look after our bodies. 
  • we care for everyone around us, but can be in total disregard to our body and to the detriment of our own health and wellbeing.  
  • we are all too accepting of what we know is not true, and rather than going within, we try to figure out who we are by looking outside ourselves through books or magazines, TV, social media and a whole myriad of advertising and external sources.  

We have moved so far away from what we are meant to be reflecting to the world – a woman in her livingness is a woman who lives from her inner heart, knows what is true for her and does not compromise her body or her health to please others. A woman living in this way inspires both men and women that there is a way to be that is loving, caring and true to oneself.  

When a woman is in her livingness, in other words, living who she truly is, there is a beauty, radiance and acceptance, that can’t be bought or shown to us by any media publication. It is something that is felt deep within and awakes every cell in another womanly body that says you too know this, you have this in you too.  

Accepting myself as a woman and learning what this means, has been a long journey and is a constant learning. It never stops because there is always another level to learn about myself, to connect more deeply to my innate tenderness and fragility and to re-learn to live from who I truly am: a delicate and precious woman which allows others to feel this too. 

There is true power, wisdom and purpose when we connect to our qualities and commit to making these the foundation for how we live in every moment of our day. 

Alison Valentine: a woman in her livingness

By Alison Valentine, UK; A super caring woman with a cheeky smile and a radar for truth, a wanna be Aston Martin driver on a shoe string budget and a countryside connoisseur of nature with the sky and the stars deeply in her heart.

For further inspiration… 

If you are rarely satisfied with how you look, you are one of many. But one woman shares her account on reversing that trend.

What happens when you meet a true female role model & you learn how amazing it is to return to the woman you always knew you were..

Well-Being for Women Melbourne – the Impact of Anxiety and Stress 

Every woman wants to feel safe to be themselves within a group of women; we secretly crave to have a deeper level of intimacy with each other. The Esoteric Women’s Health Well-being for Women group in Melbourne on Sunday 17th March offered just that – the topic discussed was anxiety and stress.   Continue reading “Well-Being for Women Melbourne – the Impact of Anxiety and Stress “

A Successful Woman

Attending a women’s group has been a great support and valuable learning for me; it is something I cherish and look forward to. Just before the last women’s group, I came across some old notes that I had written from a women’s group a few years back. On the top of the page I had written a question: what does it feel like to be a successful woman?  Continue reading “A Successful Woman”

A Frozen Shoulder: Thawing my Resistance to my Inner Quality

Three days ago, I woke up with a frozen shoulder; I was unable to sleep the prior night or get out of bed. This has happened before, but this time, with the help of my amazing practitioner, Jenny Ellis, I really listened to the message being offered up. I came to understand the message along with fixing the actual physical pain. And this is what I discovered… Continue reading “A Frozen Shoulder: Thawing my Resistance to my Inner Quality”

Women, Ageing and ‘the shelf’

What does the shelf mean to you?

For us it is the thing that has us in its grip from an early age as women. There is an unspoken contract that says that by a certain age we need to be partnered up and having babies.

It is so embedded in our societies that when we choose not to abide by these rules we are required to explain ourselves.

So who made the shelf and what keeps it on the wall? Continue reading “Women, Ageing and ‘the shelf’”

Going with or Resisting our Natural Cycles

‘I am in a 60+ year old body and yes, it is starting to show signs of ageing, but the me inside this body feels sparklier and more vital than it ever has; regardless of what is going on physically – the connection to my inner self is deepening and expanding exponentially – I put this down to acceptance and appreciation of the innate qualities I have and express.~ Judy

We have created such a weird construct in society in which we impose stops, negativity and ‘no gos’ on our natural cycles (ageing, menstruation, menopause, dying … to name a few) and this leaves us in a quandary and no man’s land in terms of our relationship with, and acceptance of, ourselves, our bodies and life.

Continue reading “Going with or Resisting our Natural Cycles”