We’ve had a few misty and rainy days here in the mountains since New Year, which has inspired some quiet and reflective time – time to muse over Life and her Magic.
A few days back, the sun offered a welcome reprieve from the damp and cold drizzle, and I chose to tackle the task of debarking the grapevine pergola we had erected some months back. Now, ideally, the de-barking should have been done straight away – as soon as the trees had been cut down, as the longer you delay, the more the sap in the wood dries out, making it more and more difficult to de-bark. After days of rain however, the bark came off easily, which was very fortunate for me.
As the labels are gradually (or suddenly) discarded, we allow our authentic self to be seen and to shine. We peel off the layers, to reveal what is there, at our core – who we really are.
As I peeled off layer upon layer of bark, I began to experience a feeling of lightness and of being somehow cleaner; I began to see things with greater clarity – much like a retreat experience. It was indeed a cathartic exercise.
I then thought about how much of our lives are spent building and accumulating, adding and acquiring - in a constant endeavour to be better, to prove oneself, to impress, to feel successful… We do course after course to be more qualified; we buy more and more possessions in fear of not having enough; we work longer and longer hours to make more money so that others (and ourselves) can see that we are worthy…
Instead of building and adding and increasing, we needed to be peeling off, reducing, simplifying and un-cluttering – in every way, on every level. We need to trust that we are already enough. Instead of doing more courses, let's look at how much we already know, and work with that – from the inside, breaking it down, looking at it as if through a microscope, to discover all that there is. The answers are all within.
Looking at this from the perspective of my Yoga practice, I have done so many classes, courses and workshops over the years – and now is the time to simply discover the truth of what is there - of each posture, of each breath, of each moment – to work with that which already is.
Another way of ‘de-barking’ is to de-clutter. Everyday, I throw something out – an item of clothing I haven’t worn for a while, a book that I’ve read and probably won’t read again, or some other ‘dust collector’ sitting on a shelf - gradually reducing the chaos and making space for simplicity.
Out on the land, now is the time of year for pruning. We’re busy cutting back the branches of the fruit and olive trees - creating space for the trees to express themselves more authentically in the spring.
Globe-trotting nomad, yogini, holistic therapist, cat lover who, after 20 years of traveling the world, has finally laid down roots in the magical mountains of Monchique - Portugal's 'upper Algarve'.