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

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”

Sewing ‘The Rhythm of Life’ – One Stitch at a Time

Can it be possible that sewing stitches on a piece of material allows us to see and observe the kind of day we’ve had, and how we’ve felt in it? Growing up I took the art of sewing into my teenager daily life, remembering with joy the invaluable lessons this craft taught me as an adult about the rhythm of life and the importance of taking one stitch at a time… Continue reading “Sewing ‘The Rhythm of Life’ – One Stitch at a Time”

‘To Do’ Lists: Drive and Distraction

By Leonne, Brisbane

Today I have been feeling incredibly distracted. I have been beginning task after task and feeling as though I am not getting anywhere at all. I have been able to feel that what I really want to do is write this blog but until this moment I have found a way to distract myself by doing everything but blog writing!

Distraction has been a theme throughout my life.

When I was in primary school (aged about 7 or 8) I received a report card that stated ‘Leonne is easily distracted and distracts others’. I remember feeling quite pleased about this; I did not like this particular teacher very much and I was glad she could tell that I did not find her particularly engaging. I was doubly happy that my ability to influence the behaviour of others had been confirmed by a grownup. I equated being a distraction with being entertaining, fun, influential and popular. Up until this point I had been a model student and I watched my parents closely for any reaction to this news about my behaviour, but there was no negative reaction and they seemed to think the comment was rather amusing. It is not surprising that the words ‘easily distracted’ and ‘distracts others’ appeared on many of my report cards over the next eight years! Continue reading “‘To Do’ Lists: Drive and Distraction”

Mothering and Motherhood

by Anne Malatt, Australia

I have always been ‘good’ at anything I put effort into. If I wasn’t ‘good’ at it (riding a bicycle, for example) I would stop trying and refuse to do it any more. This way, I stayed good at everything I did!

I never thought I would be a ‘good’ mother. My own mother was a professional woman who worked hard all day, then came home and cooked all the meals and did all the household and garden chores. This was not a job I wanted for myself!

The only time I saw her sitting down was in the evenings, with a drink. I never saw her doing anything just for herself and remember her telling me that her own mother always called her ‘selfish’ if she tried to read a book or do anything just for her. Continue reading “Mothering and Motherhood”

My To-Do List

by Rebekah Muntelwit, Sales Consultant / Interior Designer, Mackay, Australia

I have always been a woman of many to-do lists, checklists and tracking events etc. I have a goals list on my wall, a white board with things to be done, email notifications from myself, endless sticky note reminders and last but not least, two to-do lists on my phone – that I have with me constantly. As well as this I have things continually going through my head of what to do next (shopping list, count downs ‘till events and certain dates etc.).

And well, up until yesterday at the first Esoteric Women’s Group talk in Mackay, I didn’t really think that this could be contributing to the exhaustion and tiredness I frequently, if not always, feel! Continue reading “My To-Do List”

Being ‘Good’ or Being ‘True’

by Sara Harris, BHSc, Melbourne, Australia

For the most part of my life I have been very conscious of looking after myself. In fact, I used to pride myself on how healthy I was, even as a teenager. I went to the gym, played all sorts of sports, didn’t eat sugar and was careful about the amount of food I was eating. I was also one to do very well at school. Always on top of everything, producing quality and quantity and getting marks to confirm me as being a ‘good’ student. I was also involved in fund-raisers and the 40 hour famine each year… out to save the world!

Looking back now, it would be fair to say that I was living in a bit of a ‘drive’ – a drive to do well, to be good, to succeed and to be the best. It may seem as though there is nothing wrong with all of this, however my body was telling me that there definitely was. I would push myself through anything, constantly, at the expense of my body. Here I was thinking that I was looking after myself by doing all the right things, but I hadn’t considered that simply listening to my body ‘first’ was actually what was needed. I see now how I kept going to the gym when my body was tired, or how I was eating food because of what I had read or what I was told was good for me, without listening to what my body really wanted. And I would work until all hours of the morning to get things done, thinking that the work would be better the more time I gave it. But why did I not give the same consideration and dedication to my body, when it is the one actually doing all of the work? Continue reading “Being ‘Good’ or Being ‘True’”