Emerging into wholeness
Creating the bonds of deep, heartfelt connection with ourselves. By Lauren Bloxham
Reading time: 5 minutes
The early summer is a great time to look around and notice emergence in nature…from buds on the roses, to vegetable plants flowering with the promise of fruit. The warmth of the early summer invites an emergence not just in nature, but in us too. Perhaps we feel we want to be outside more, maybe we’re tantalisingly close to a holiday and feel the sense of spreading out, of taking up space that time off, or time in the outdoors, invites.
Perhaps this sense of emergence is a slow gentle one, one that’s attuned to the pace of the season and our own innate pace and rhythm for life. If our lives are in balance, then the gradual warming of the early summer is a welcome evolution, a feeling of emerging strength and a fruitfulness that we know is just around the corner.
The subtlety of emergence is within us too. Thoughts, ideas, plans and projects. They all require cultivating, nurturing, and tending in order to emerge, manifest and give fruit. Our gardens and the outdoors are great teachers, and their rules and requirements are just as appropriate when it comes to tending our own inner worlds.
More subtle still is the sense of our own self emerging. When we listen closely to ourselves there is a voice; as Rumi says, “there is a voice that doesn’t use words, listen”. Approaching our innermost self, learning to listen deeply in order that we can fulfil our own needs and desires and ultimately become more of ourselves is a skill. It’s something that requires the same degree of nurture and tending as any of our plans, projects or gardens.
Our deep inner experience guides us with feeling. Whether it’s ‘gut instinct’ or ‘heartfelt desire’, these are the depths within us which, when nurtured, become our greatest sources of strength and nourishment. It follows, then, that if we ignore our gut instinct and heartfelt desires, if we deny them or diminish them, then who or what is it we are in service to? Perhaps the status quo? Maybe we’ve put other people’s needs, or the idea of other people’s needs ahead of our own? It’s possible we’ve subscribed to a way of being that seems socially appropriate or acceptable, and all the while our inner worlds have become neglected. It’s when we’re living with our neglected selves that we feel the greatest desire to escape. It’s then that we so desperately need holidays, time off and time away; it’s the cultivation of a life in service to something outside of us, but is fundamentally disconnected from what it is we so dearly need and desire. The energy it takes to conform, and deny our needs, gut instincts and heartfelt desires will eventually lead us to burnout and to our bodies firmly saying ‘no’.
So how do we navigate the space in-between? How do we gently, lovingly guide ourselves back towards ourselves and find the courage to emerge into our wholeness?
First, we listen...
Taking time to sit in meditation, time alone to walk and take in nature, building time within our days and weeks to rest and tune in to ourselves is vital.
Take a moment now. Find a comfortable seat, take a deep breath, and invite your body to take up space. Give the breath permission to drop into the belly and exhale completely. Drop the shoulders, unfurrow the brow. Close the eyes and place the left hand on the heart and the right hand on the belly.
Say to yourself: “I am here for you, and I am listening.”
Give yourself a moment to absorb this intention, listen for a reply. Sometimes the body responds with the kind of relief which brings a tear to the eyes, a yawn, or maybe the heart or gut leaps with recognition.
Repeat to yourself: “I am here for you, and I am listening.”
It’s in these quiet moments that we can find clarity, a gentle reminder of who we are and what it is we need. At times, clarity might feel elusive, and that’s when we know we need to come back to the practice again. But finding clarity, or simply seeking it through quiet practice offers us the gift of connection. Deep heartfelt connection.
Once we form these bonds it’s much harder to ignore, overlook or deny ourselves. And once we’re connected, the nourishment that connection brings will guide us to seek further nourishment for its strength and growth. The steps towards a life that we no longer need to escape from can be gentle, slow, and sustainable. They don’t have to be wholesale, immediate or insensitive to the status quo we have invested ourselves in.
In his poem, ‘The bud’ Galway Kinnell writes:
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within,
Our inner worlds are like the buds of early summer, and our practice of connecting with ourselves is what it takes to flower. We may need to re-learn and re-teach ourselves along the way but emerging into our own wholeness is a gentle evolution which simply requires our presence, attention, love and permission.
Practice yoga with Lauren Bloxham online at: blackdogliving.com or in person in West Cornwall and at Sandy Acres Cornwall, Yoga, Wellness & Walking Weekends, various dates throughout 2023. Connect on Instagram @blackdogliving