I am feeling overwhelmed and exhausted at the moment. And in pain. Yes, I feel pain.
It feels like I have been spending most of my time “explaining” why I don’t eat or wear animals, don’t drink alcohol, don’t wear shoes… isn’t it obvious?!
It makes me feel so sad that this is the case… that I am so-called “radical” (not the ninja turtles kind!) and “extreme” and I am patronized daily. This is not a nourishing space for me to be exposed to over long periods. Or even short ones. It’s not “safe”. Energizing. Reinforcing. Loving. And it’s only time when I will either totally hate the world or myself or both! Or in order to not “hate” which is completely self-destructive, I will start to numb my pain and suppress my feelings to fit in with the “norm”.
I wrote a blog recently “Love is the way” – and I believe what I said in there. But I also don’t believe in “false love” and “false positivity” which right now I feel I am in distinct danger of falling prey to. The exact “I am ok” “I am strong” “look at me I am so happy and so successful” bullshit that got me sick in the first place. The “insta profile” stuff. False spirituality. Spiritual bypassing I think it’s referred to as. Some shit like that. Some yoga teachers are experts at this. Insta influencers. It’s so hard not to be! I mean who wants to follow someone in pain and in turmoil, right ? Someone who tells the truth?! So rather keep that shit away! What do YOU think is the cost of this?
I have even seen it with people reading my book. They don’t know what to say or do with someone expressing so much pain. It would be far easier and more comfortable not to. It’s almost as if someone expressing this pain becomes undesirable. We have been programmed to avoid pain and not really listen to it. I got this message last night:
“John great to see you too.. yes found your book very hard to read as could feel the pain and turmoil you must have been going through..well done though..what an amazing achievement to get the book written and published..safe travels, best of luck in the future and be happy x 😄”
I have decided to stop using Facebook and Twitter. Not for the first time! I got sucked back in after a couple year hiatus during which was my most creative and inspiring period of my life. I made myself believe again that I had to use social media in order to have a voice. In order to reach people. Sell books. Get yoga students. Followers. To change the world. For now I am going to use instagram sparingly and see how this goes. It just doesn’t feel right. It feels like it’s so hard to express exactly what I am feeling on social media. And if I don’t express what’s inside it will amplify and manifest in dis-ease. It feels like social media makes us feel that we are changing the world, but somehow it feels to me that we are just adding to the noise, making ourselves feel good and merely losing ourselves along the way.
Be. Here. Now.
Jeepers social media has ripped me away from here so often!
I remind myself of the incredible moment back in 2013 when I was cycling across South Africa part of the annual Unogwaja journey (applications to join the 2019 Unogwaja team are open click here: http://unogwaja.com/applications-process/unogwaja-challenge-applications ). It was late one evening outside Lady Frere, a rural Eastern Cape Town, it was getting dark, it was cold. And suddenly to my right I catch a glimpse of a young boy in the distance running towards the road with his hand aloft. As he came closer I heard the words “Unogwaja! Unogwaja!” coming out of his mouth. I had goosebumps all over back then. I have goosebumps now. Social media didn’t deliver this message to this young boy. True light will reach, somehow, it will find a way, it always has and always will, just keep shining it. Stories, movements, change-makers have been “viral” long before the advent of social media. We don’t need social media’s for our stories to reach.
“Necessity is the mother of all creation”
If we pretend all is fine we will not be stimulated to create new ways. Have YOU ever thought why we keep repeating history?
Butterfly Man is living proof of how pain leads to creativity. This is an excerpt from the book:-
“Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Don’t be afraid of birth. I promise you, and this is me, John, telling you.
It’s the known bru, that we should be afraid of. That’s another thing Cristina said. Remember her?
“Just look” she said.
– climate change is real
– half the world’s people live on less than $2.50 per day
– 16,000 children under the age of 5 years die every day
– more than 100 million people are homeless
– 5 men own half the world’s wealth
– they are all white
– each year, nations generate 1.3 billion tons of waste
– 8 million tons of plastic goes into the ocean every year, for a total of 5.25 trillion pieces as of now, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean
– you eat them
– 21 million people are trapped in one form of slavery or another
– 48 football fields of forest are cut down every minute
– women still earn half as much as men
– do you get my point?
– do you understand why we are suffering?”
We need realness.
“Write what you’re feeling. Tell the truth. Write like nobody’s reading.” Susan David, TED talk “The gift and power of emotional courage
Like write down for real how you are feeling in this moment.
Do it for yourself. Do it for me too. Do it for us all. If you deny your feelings you will be doing harm to the relationship you have with your own body. And this very relationship determines how you treat everyone around you. This is not just about you.
I can’t pretend to be happy when I’m not. I think people’s idea of happy is a state of “forgetting” or “pretending” – “fake it until you make it”. This isn’t working. Hence why so much alcohol (and other substances) is consumed around the world in order to take us out of a state of feeling. People are scared to feel.
I want to feel. I am desperate to feel. I spent too long pretending I was ok when I wasn’t. Not feeling as it was too painful to even consider. Hiding my pain. Ignoring it. Not listening to what it was trying to say. As if in expressing pain there was “something wrong” with me. This made the pain inside grow not go. My book is uncomfortable for some people because it confronts this pain in us all. Pain is our greatest teacher, our way to creation, to new life. To bring to life what has never been seen before.
We can’t carry on in this state of false positivity or numbed pain, but we need to surround ourselves with love, gentleness and acceptance in order to have the courage, strength and energy to face the pain together, really feel it and allow it to guide us to a new way of being, to birth the unknown and not to kill us.
How do YOU feel? How do YOU really feel?
I feel better for sharing how I really feel with you. Thank you for listening. Each word is like pain being released. Better out than in. Believe me!