A few nights ago I lay wide awake at 4am, feeling like something had to change. I couldn’t possibly live in our teeny tiny apartment a moment longer. We were tripping over each other. My testosterone-fuelled, ninja-loving five year old was bouncing off the walls. And so were my nerves.
And so…I spent the week gazing at beautiful houses with space and yards and grass. I fantasized about having a trampoline and veggie garden. I pictured myself sitting and writing at a desk instead of my bed- where I am writing now. I did the figures. I did the dreaming. I turned it upside down and inside out. I thought about how I could work smarter or harder or (somehow impossibly) MORE.
Finally I did what I always do - I talked my Mum.
Now, let me be clear, my Mum is NO YOGI. But she is excellent with real estate and thinking outside the box and brilliant at taking action. And so we looked at it from every angle, then she paused and said -
“You know my biggest concern - is you’ll make it work - you’ll get a bigger, better place, but you still won’t find peace.”
And there it was.
My Mum the (not) yogi.
By craving more physical space, of course I was going to lose some mental space. I would have more pressure on me to work more and have less of the most precious asset we have- HEAD SPACE and TIME.
And at the end of the day, more importantly - it’s that old saying-
Wherever you go, there you are.
We are always caught in the craving of “I’ll be happy when I get a better house/spouse/job/family”…but the reality is, we change those things and then we are stuck with a new house/spouse/job/family with even bigger and more annoying problems. Because at the end of the day, their faces may change, be we are always and ever stuck in the middle… with ourselves.
And this, my friends, is the base (or root) chakra – Muladhara- playing out in all it’s earthy, grounded glory. Muladhara chakra asks you to stop blaming your family, home and work for your unhappiness. Muladhara shows you when you are grounded. The Muladhara has fun watching you on the epic ride of swings and roundabouts between fight and flight. Muladhara keeps you stuck feeling like you’re in survival mode.
Will Smith talks a lot about fault versus responsibility – it may be your parents fault you’re messed up, but it’s sure as hell your responsibility to heal that wound and find your own peace with the world. And this is the work Muladhara is showing us we need to do.
When Muladhara chakra is not balanced, it can result in a feeling of groundlessness or instability. For me it manifests as restlessness.
It’s like the time I tried to convince my very sassy 12-year-old (ok, he was like 22 at the time) hairdresser to chop all my hair off. “I need a change, Reece, pleeeease.” I pleaded. He rolled his eyes (hairdressers must hear that from every friggin’ client) “Change your life, Rachael, not your hair”.
Yoga tells us - “Hey- you are not your family, job, or home. Though you have a family, job and home. You are something richer and deeper and vaster than you can ever imagine. You are eternal. You are peace. And I, my beloved, am going to show you HOW to experience that. So you can enjoy your family, job and home way more. Whoever, and wherever, they are. Get on the mat. Do your practice. Trust me... I will show you who you really are.”
So many of us are just functioning in survival mode. Just making rent. Just (barely) keeping our relationships alive, with stolen moments, amidst a life we (apparently) share together, seeming more like an inconvenient interruption to the intensity of work. Another thing to tick off our to-do list.
This is not how it's supposed to be.
We have to find peace with where we’re at. Now. Whether heartbroken, single or with that annoying spouse that drives us mad. Whether we inhabit a massive house with a mortgage that keeps us in fear, or an overpriced teeny tiny two-bedroom (glorified one-bedroom chopped in two) Sydney shoebox. Whether we hate our job or have to deal with a narcissistic lunatic boss. It’s a matter of urgency…We must inhabit ourselves. We are our HOME. And if home is where the heart is, then we need to move in there real quick. Dive deep. Swim far. Reconnect with who we really are - and ‘baby, you should go and love yourself.’
And so I search for glimpses of this experience- jumping in the ocean, watching an epic sunset, listening to G belly laugh, in meditation, when I get on the mat and start to move and breathe, in savasana. It’s like - I’m coming home. I feel it for a moment- “ah, there you are…”.
And so…thank you for the reminder- my (not) yogi Mum- it is time to find peace.
Exactly where you are.
For you were always home.