(Photo above is of the recent aurora australis viewed from Kingston Beach and taken by Paul Hoelen)
The winter solstice (from the Latin meaning ‘sun stands still’) is coming up on June 21. The longest night of the year, and also the threshold at which the light lengthens in our days toward summer. For me this winter solstice is truly a threshold for me.
Saturday 3 July will be my last session teaching at the Yoga from the Heart studio. YFTH is the home for practice I began almost 20 years ago and sold to Emma 2 ½ years back. Now, from a place a deep listening I am called to focus my energies and offerings in different forms and spaces.
I’ll be heading to the Kimberley for a couple of weeks in the lead-up to this change and hope to steep in fresh perspectives and new, expansive experiences.
When I first began the conversation with Emma about handing over the studio almost 4 years ago, I never imagined we’d find ourselves in a global pandemic, a time which had us all recalibrate, a time which catapulted me into online delivery of classes and a whole new website platform. I’ve been so happy to be able to support Emma and the YFTH studio through last years lockdown by giving 30% of my income from Aligned Living Tasmania online offerings from April – October to help keep the doors open. I have been back to a limited teaching schedule since studio doors re-opened and now is the time to lovingly say goodbye.
The spaciousness of post studio ownership has allowed room for new possibilities for me. I have been appointed as a UTAS Associate at Menzies Institute. I work with a woman who is simultaneously for me a mentor, co-collaborator, and co-facilitator. We are offering a new and innovative Master’s program in Transformational Leadership for Healthcare Leaders and Managers from all over Australia. I am learning about leadership (UTAS), coaching (Marvin Oka), and navigating the process of change (Steve Barlow, Change Fitness). I am exploring the ‘deep heart’ under the guidance of John Prendergast. I never imagined my meditation practice would pull me so strongly into the depths of the ‘great heart’ and remind me again and again that what we are seeking is right here and requires no effort.
“We find ourselves crossing some new threshold we had never anticipated.”
Thresholds are not easy places to be. Thresholds simultaneously ask us to acknowledge our fears and be with the tenderness of change and loss, while also inviting us to see the light in all, and to courageously imagine ourselves into the coming season.
“Like spring secretly at work within the heart of winter, below the surface of our lives huge changes are in fermentation. Within the grip of winter … colours are beginning to imagine how they will return …. From the black heart of winter a miraculous, breathing plenitude of colour emerges.” John O’Donohue
What the coming season holds is still somewhat uncertain though I do know a few things for sure …
- I am committed to staying connected with you (should you wish) and serving you through practices that reveal ‘the light that is blazing inside your presence’ (if you know of anyone who might also like to hear from me periodically, please share this newsletter or click this link to receive the newsletters into the future)
- Once a month, at least between June and December, and hopefully beyond, I will offer in person opportunities for us to connect in the Middleton Room at the Kingston Community Hub. The first of these gatherings is June 19, the Winter Solstice Threshold . You can find a list of other dates on the Aligned Living Tasmania website.
- I continue to offer you practices with the online Yoga Journey at alignedlivingtasmania.com and a growing library of both courses and ‘supportive elements’ (meditation, restoratives, poetry, breath practices).
- I will continue to bring heart based themes to practice. It is, for me, what brings meaning to action and supports living ‘on the mobius’ where inner and outer worlds are coherent and mutually supportive.
- As I have done for the last decades, I will share what I am currently exploring, and what is ‘alive’ for me in my personal practice. Now, with almost 57 laps around the sun and 40 years of practice behind me, I am finding strength cultivation with appropriate mobility, and breath and meaning infused, sensitive, nervous system aware practice is essential. This is what I will continue to offer you, should you choose to engage
At this time in your life I am curious, are you experiencing a threshold in one way or another?
John O’Donohue says “At any time you can ask yourself:
- At which threshold am I now standing?
- At this time in my life, what am I leaving?
- Where am I about to enter?
- What is preventing me from crossing my next threshold?
- What gift would enable me to do it?
A threshold is not a simple boundary; it is a frontier that divides two different territories, rhythms and atmospheres. Indeed, it is a lovely testimony to the fullness and integrity of an experience or a stage of life that it intensifies toward the end into a real frontier that cannot be crossed without the heart being passionately engaged and woken up.”