“In any moment you can become the loving witness, loving awareness. It’s why we sit in meditation, why we practice—not to have a particular special amazing experience and hold your breath hoping it will last—but to sit with heartbreak and love.”
As this year comes to an end I’m aware that for most of us beings it has been challenging on various levels as we begin to navigate new ways of being in the world. I’m curious as to how you’re experiencing your world and how you best take care of yourself when feeling challenged? Who or what could support you at this time?
I have experienced a year of what feels like “too many” significant endings and I am grateful that I have the support of my practices, my coaching communities, mother nature and my teachers.
I would particularly like to pay tribute to and express deep gratitude for an inspiring woman, and my Leadership Embodiment Teacher, Wendy Palmer, who left her earthly body on 2 December 2022.
(Wendy is pictured here with my colleague and friend, Amit Prag.)
As Karen White aptly put it, “With all the practices and spiritual work we do, it does not take away from the pain of losing the people we love, respect and care for. This is part of being human.”
Wendy was the founder of Leadership Embodiment, a process that uses principles from the non-violent Japanese martial art of Aikido and Mindfulness to offer simple tools and practices to increase leadership capacity and respond to stress and pressure with greater confidence and integrity. Wendy held a seventh degree black belt in Aikido and has practiced Mindfulness for over 40 years. She worked with executive teams worldwide & authored four books, Dragons and Power, Leadership Embodiment, The Intuitive Body & The Practice of Freedom.
I met Wendy in 2013 and will never forget walking into the room and immediately feeling her presence. She shone brightly and had a touch of grace about her. I sat next to her in circle and could feel her energy radiating out towards me – it was inspiring.
If you have ever been on retreat with me or experienced a coaching session with me you will remember the centring practice and some of the other embodiment practices we explored together.
I am so deeply grateful for the opportunity to have trained with Wendy – to have learnt from her, laughed with her, danced under the moonlight and stars with her & become part of a supportive global community. I feel privileged to honour Wendy’s legacy and share the practices from this powerful work on my retreats and in my coaching practice.
I wonder who or what you are grateful for? Perhaps you’d like to reflect on this question and some other prompts which may help you end the year with a gentle clarity.
I invite you to take time now to explore what nourishes your soul – to do whatever makes your heart sing and takes care of you in a loving, compassionate way. Join us on #theselfcompassionbreak in January 2023 as this may help you on your way.
Gently step into the New Year with courage, curiosity, creativity and compassion. Become clear on what is truly important to you and how you would like to BE in this world. Learn embodied & self-compassion practices that help calm your nervous system; help you cultivate resilience, inclusivity and more capacity for uncertainty. Be guided through various exciting creative processes by Karen.
RECOMMENDED HOLIDAY READING
My friend Gail Schoeman brought my attention to this book. Thanks Gail!
I so resonate with the healing aspects of nature and the wild.
South African wilderness guide Sicelo Mbatha believes that journeys into the wild should be a healing and spiritual experience. In Black Lion: Alive in the Wilderness – co-authored with Bridget Pitt – he traces his own path into the wild.
This lyrical and heartfelt book helps to fill a yawning gap in African natural history prose. The overwhelming majority of such books have been written by white authors, underscoring a wide cultural divide.
READ MORE FROM DAILY MAVERICK
POEM OF THE WEEK
The Sound Of Feathers
I will never forget your care,
how you stared into me the way
a painter might peer into a canyon.
You saw a great vastness in me,
where I felt only a great emptiness.
You taught me how to feel
that emptiness as the
shimmer of being.
This is the quiet gift of love:
to be shown who we truly are by another
who, when you say, “I have nothing left,”
says, “But what of this magnificent sun
rising within you?”
~ Mark Nepo
I wish you peace, love and a deep sense of gratitude as you move through the last few days of this year.
With love and many blessings,
Yours in inspiration,