Tuesday, 4 September 2018

life, lately


its been months since i've shown up in this space. i feel as though i haven't had a lot to say these days. both in an online sense and within face-to-face conversations. i've just been wanting to listen more than talk in a lot of situations. to soak things up more. 

it may sound silly but i've always felt i struggle with talking. with speaking my truth and eloquently getting across what i want to say. this often really frustrates me because i leave conversations with a sense of discontentedness with the way in which i've perhaps come across. i hate feeling a disconnect between my inner world and that which i try to express. maybe that just stems from a place of anxiety or paranoia, or maybe i'm just yet to truly learn to speak my truth with full freedom. regardless, that's when writing comes in for me in shining armour. it gives me a space to pour out that with which i feel i actually align and connect to. 


on some level i've always been a storyteller of sorts. or had the desire to be at least. i think that's where my love for photography and writing stems from. a want to share both the beauty and pain i find around corners. and in doing so, hopefully cultivate connections with others that we all so deeply crave. craving connection is such an innately human desire. to crack open our hearts in the hope that someone else can relate in the same way. that's really why i have such a deep desire to share. not because i think i'm any wiser than the person next door or that my stories are any more worthy of sharing, but because its the way i know how to relate to others. all of our stories are inherently worth sharing. i think each time someone opens their heart up a bit more and speaks or writes from a pure place of honesty or vulnerability, the world becomes a better place. a more human place. we're all walking around with these wounds, some deeper than others, and i think true connection is one of the main medicines that we're seeking. our mess is our message. if you can speak from your heart and share your wounds or your medicine and a single person gains something from it, you've made the world a better place. when we heal ourselves we collectively heal the world. 


maybe this post should be titled "why i overshare and blog and write long instagram captions". i'd be lying if i said i don't have a lot of anxiety about posting the things i do sometimes. i don't like that i feel the need to have to explain or justify myself, but like i said before, i just don't want anyone to be under the impression that i think i have any more answers or have anything any more figured out than they do. because the truth is i feel lost more times than not these days. i think that's normal though. 


sometimes it feels as though i take one step forward only to take two back. i'm in a constant state of evolution. of growth. of shedding old skin over and over again and stepping into new truths and new beliefs. i'm not the same person i was five minutes ago, last week, a year ago. what i say or believe today might not align with what i believe tomorrow. we can only try to open our hearts and speak our truths at that given moment, and then the next. to tie it into a broader picture, that's just indicative of all we truly have being the present moment. that's why its so important i think to just follow what feels right and base your life on chasing that feeling. making continuous choices over and over again that align with that. so our whole lives can play out in a way that reflects our inner truth.


man as i always say, this journey of self certainly isn't a simple one. each time i dive deeper something comes up to remind me that this path is both not easy and never ending. there is no destination. i learn to come home to myself every day. some days i feel like the person i'm supposed to be and some days i feel like an empty shell of that. i'm forever learning to cultivate peace in the divide between who i feel like i am and who i long to be. to have my outer reality reflect my inner beliefs and intentions. its one thing to know the truths and answers and preach the wisdom, but its a whole other thing to authentically live from that place. i can be incredibly hard on myself and catch myself feeling really down on myself if i know an action or reaction doesn't align with what i believe or strive for. i get really caught up in wanting to be the best version of myself possible, but i have to remind myself that i have the rest of my life to evolve into that idea. i don't think its necessarily hypocritical to preach our truths but struggle to fully embody them at all times. for the most part, i think we're all trying our best with what we have in that moment. its almost comforting to realise that things like our upbringing and brain chemistry have a big impact on the way we are and react. it makes me feel better about maybe not always being as aligned and high-vibe as i'd like to be.


for example, i speak about always trying to reach for love over fear but i still catch myself thinking or acting from a place of fear at times. i’ve actually been thinking a lot about fear recently and how it so easily has the ability to control or paralyse us. i'm going to india by myself for 7 weeks and to be completely honest, the thought of it terrifies me to the point of feeling ill. i can't even pinpoint exactly what it is that is bringing me such terror. i think its a combination of having never been away from home for that long and the knowing that the country is probably going to leave me feeling pretty shell-shocked. i think for a minute my ego liked to believe i was somewhat of an experienced traveller, but i hardly think my time in bali or hawaii will compare to almost two months in india. from all i've heard, india is the type of place that crawls under your skin and leaves a lasting impression on you both in a positive and negative way. to say the least i have a feeling its going to be an incredibly eye-opening experience in a whole lot of ways. 


i'm actually heading over there to do my 200 hour yoga teacher training course, which is something i remember manifesting while eating breakfast at the yoga barn in bali earlier this year. doing yoga in bali was such a powerful reminder of how deeply i love this practice. that time really cemented in me the desire to keep diving deeper into my learning. i thought i'd return back to bali for my training but started getting a real pull to venture to india. which makes sense as india is where yoga all began. i'm doing my course in rishikesh, a little town that sits under the himalayan mountains along the holy ganges river, and is considered the yoga capital of the world. after the month-long course i'll be travelling around the north of the country and heading up into nepal too.


while the fear keeps bubbling under the surface the closer i get to leaving (now under three weeks), i've been trying to remind myself that most of my favourite memories and experiences have all been just on the other side of fear. courage starts with fear and strength and freedom come from pushing past this place. not necessarily being fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire, but having huge fears and doing it anyway. untangling our self doubts and limiting beliefs so we can live in alignment with our wildest dreams. though my fears about the trip are very real and very big, the thought of deepening my knowledge and connection to yoga fills me with excitement on a soul level. i come to love this practice more and more and have endless gratitude for everything it brings me.


one of my favourite things about yoga is the ability to find wisdom on the mat that translates to life off the mat. your whole life can become an expression of your yoga practice. i could write a hundred things that yoga teaches me over and over again and how this practice means so much more to me than just physical poses. how it inspires me to live a life of kindness, grace and humility. to find balance, strength, peace and stillness. compassion and courage. i find lessons of learning to let go of my ego, learning to laugh at myself when i fall. yoga can be both a humbling and empowering practice. it’s learning when to push and find strength and power, then learning how to release and soften. how to honour my body and spirit and unravel layers to keep coming back to myself. every time i step on my mat is an opportunity to cultivate deep self love. to connect to my higher self and the universe and nurture those relationships. to learn to flow and surrender, to learn to listen to my intuition. to strip away all the unnecessary bullshit and simply exist in the present moment. yoga teaches me how to find both my roots and my wings. 


i'm learning to find my wings in other ways too. i moved out of home last week to live with two of my closest friends for the month before i leave. while at this point its only temporary, for little old me its still a pretty big step. we have the cutest little home filled with sunlight and flowers and kindness. (the photos in this post are from my first ever roll of film and show little pieces of that). its nice to feel a real sense of independence, but also support from the girls. learning how to be strong within myself but also when to ask for and accept help from others. right now that help looks like sitting on the kitchen counter and having vulnerably scary conversations with my best friend, and our other housemate coming home with vegan icecream. i've always had the tendency to put a lot of emphasis on romantic relationships, but so much beauty lies in the hearts of friendships. and so much healing can begin to happen when we're vulnerable and honest with both ourselves and those closest to us. i've been struggling quite a bit lately with some internal stuff and starting to have conversations with people i love about this is bringing glimmers of insight and hope. i think there's a lot we can work through ourselves, but its a beautiful thing to have people around you to support and nurture you. giving and receiving love from others, but mostly working on my relationship with myself. there will always be blue and black days, but i'm learning to love the woman i'm growing into.




thanks for being here. i know how heavy the weight of everything can be at times, but we've got this. for us sensitive little beings this path we walk is tough but beautiful. 

sending love. i'll be back with indian stories a plenty.




Tuesday, 10 April 2018

THE ISLAND OF GODS - BALI PHOTO DIARY


still trying to process my trip last week. although i only spent a very short five days in bali, this time feels so profound. from the moment i stepped off the airplane into the humid air, i fell in love with the island of gods.

bali was everything all at once. immense beauty and eye opening chaos. my time passed in a blur of heat and colours, incense and flowers and a richness of spirit i’ve never felt before. long conversations in broken english about religion and the universe and human connection. lessons in duality, being present, surrendering, gratitude, community and balance. trips to waterfalls and temples and holy water bathing rituals. incredible yoga classes and cheap vegan food and riding on the back of motorbikes through tiny streets littered with flowers and stray dogs.

the biggest lesson i was gifted was learning to find peace in the midst of chaos. there is a natural flow to bali, in which all the chaos appears so normal. when we let go of control and surrender, we can tap into this flow state. i really felt as though i could just sink into my own internal peace and power, despite whatever external reality i was surrounded by. i think that's one of the most powerful skills we can learn to develop.

to quote a teacher from one of the amazing yoga classes i took - “we all came here to feel connected to something”. and boy did i feel that, whatever it was. i think no matter what you believe in, there is a special energy that permeates the island. whether that's 'god', 'the universe' or 'source', there's a sense of something bigger that you can't help but feel.

i was welcomed with the kindest hospitality everywhere i went. you could just see the humanity in the eyes of the local balinese people. on my last day i was invited to a traditional hindu ceremony at the local temple. the community shared their traditions, space, laughter and flowers with me. i was invited to participate in the offerings to the gods, holding my hands in prayer above my head, flowers and gifts between my fingers. although i wasn't praying to the same god as they were, or even entirely sure who i was praying to, this was such a special moment to have been able to be immersed in.

i can’t explain it but i felt as though i was brought back to my core and essence a little more with each day spent in this foreign country. travelling solo really does put me in my element. it's when i feel most in tune with myself, and connected to others and the universe. travelling has made me fall in love with the feeling of uncertainty, of diving into the unknown without any clear direction or set-in-stone plans. giving up control to the universe and putting my trust in its hands.

so grateful and happy to be on this journey. india next, fingers crossed.




© Miss Tasmin. Design by FCD.