CULTIVATING FREEDOM WITHIN

I was in the 3rd day of a 5 day juice cleanse in these photos. Within the context of a cleanse, you’re bound to be experiencing some emotional unravelling. If the discomfort in the absence of solid food wasn’t enough, I was made starkly aware of all that I needed to move through, and like a lotus from the mud, grow upwards, skyward. Suffice to say, in these photos I was not having my desired “lotus” moment, between the shutter clicks, my emotions were dotted with discomfort, unease, upset and shock! horror!  the inevitable, oft shunned lack of self-confidence. Like bitchy pellets of doom, my sister bore the brunt of this fun, emotional experience.

I don’t claim my so-called confidence of lack thereof to be founded in reason or reality for that matter. I’m very conscious of the discord, within this experience. Whilst part of me fearlessly exudes a confidence I wear (and always have) with pride, there is another, more fragile, fearful part of me which pops up from time to time. She sides with the perpetrator, the people in grade school who bullied me on account of my willingness to be seen, instead praying that I stayed small, and the result being the apprehension of stepping out for fear of repercussions.
It’s all steeped in fear. A shitty teabag of fear, over-brewing in a cup of murky, unfiltered, fluoridated water. Gross.  

It’s the stubborn Capricornian side of me that would rather dig my heels in and justify why my life won’t move or shift. It buttressed my ability to say “told-you-so” all those around me if that malevolent made-up prophecy of inevitable smallness did indeed come to fruition. That’s all bullshit. We’re playing a game of Whack a’ (Self-Deprecating, Emotional, Maybe Hormonal, Lack Consciousness) Mole, and it’s not easy to win, when the person who’s closest and most aware of your flaws and achilles’ heel is actually YOU. Internally you’re fighting a mirror of yourself who will check mate you at every corner. She knows every corner of your being. She is ready to predict your move and outsmart you.

This barrage of emotion is much to the dismay of all those close around me who frustratedly attempt at reasoning in these moments. There’s no real logic behind it, but in those instances even the most intelligent part of me is not able to reason with this discord in myself.

In the real world, perhaps I would have stayed inside that day. Maybe listened to music a few decibels louder than the norm, or gone for lunch with a friend. All of this In hopes that this external noise would drown out the internal. It doesn’t work like that though, because this day forced me to confront this part of me and work with it. Not push it away but harmoniously operate with it. “So don’t take photos in a bikini if you’re feeling shit” you say. I get it…and I nearly walked away multiple times that day, giving up on myself and the person I want to be. Not a girl in a bikini, but a woman who is content enough in herself, willing to expose every corner of herself with no fear.
The necessity to take these images in return for the stellar benevolence of brands who so generously offer me their heartfelt creations made me persist and resist. I had to sit with all my emotions, I had to sip upon my juice and pull this string of shitty shit upward. A shitty shitty, fucked up string.

I did end up walking away from my sister, initially with an seemingly irreparable attitude problem. In that moment, I laid my towel on the sand, in solitude and I shifted my gaze to the expanse that lay before me. I listened to the children play, I saw the simple joy that everyone around me was marinating in. I smelled the salt, mixed with the grassy notes of seaweed that reminded me of my childhood in the whitewash. I closed my eyes and heard the birds and felt the sun so effortlessly beam down upon me. I breathed. I just kept breathing, deep, low. My belly swelling with the ambrosia. I imagined if all that joy that was bouncing around me filled my lungs to the brim, cleansing and restoring my body. I drank my juice and imagined pure light, filling my cells, supporting my physical and spiritual wellbeing. I just sat there and as if by some magic, the frame in which I saw myself and the world was gilded.

That third day symbolically cleansing negative thought patterns away, as my liver and kidneys were working their damnedest to sweep away any toxic remnants (I don’t think there’s too much!), my gratitude for this emotional flux was almost more welcome than the physical cleanse benefits.  When we create a physical shift in our bodies, sometimes we notice an externalised emotional projection, bubble to the surface. This is part of the magic of a cleanse, it gives you the time to create a renewed sense of vigour and allows for deep introspection. When that sort of discomfort appears for me, I've been practicing acknowledging it, thanking it and gently moving on.

Swimmers: She Made Me, Juice Cleanse: Orchard St

MEDITATION TO CONQUER YOURSELF

- Sit comfortably, whether it be outside in a park, in your backyard, at a cafe, on a sheepskin, or á la me, on the sand. 
- Firstly, breathe. Start with filling your lungs, truly feel what this fullness in your body feels like. Most of us forget to truly, deeply breathe.
- Attune yourself. See couples holding hands, children playing, people laughing, birds singing, the sounds of nature. Embrace all the beauty of everything around you as valuable. Breathe it in. Imagine your lungs filling with specks of this beauty and joyousness.
- Visualise yourself as radiant, confident, exuding happiness, powerful, wise, valuable. Breathe it in. Hold onto this image of yourself.
- If possible, listen to Eka Mai Mantra by White Sun - expanding your mind and reverberating powerful sound energy through your body. This assists in cutting through scarcity mindset, lack consciousness, fear, keeping us stuck in our ways. Instead supporting our expansion and attuning ourselves to Divine Wisdom.