The day of Nyepi was upon us in Bali yesterday. The one day of the year where the airport shuts down, we use no electricity, no one leaves the house or uses transport, the internet is fully offline, and we all rest in contemplative silence.The whole island takes part in this - even hotels and all visitors. The extent to which these visitors - expats and tourists - take this as a real silent day differs from person to person.
For my partner and me, we decided to turn phones off, and be with each other to connect and flow in silence.
It was magical. I had a plan to not have a plan for the day.
I'm good at plans. I made plans my entire life. I can remember when I was like 8 or 9, spending time with my Oma (grandmother) most weekends. I'd always ask her "what are we doing tomorrow? What shall I wear?" wanting the certainty of something. I did also spend a great deal of my childhood floating about and making it up as I went along.
Though more and more, especially when I moved out and started university, living on my own, I loved to have a set system of times, activities and work. If plans changed, that's ok. But I needed the framework. Just in case. I had too many surprises and uncertainties growing up. So I got very good at creating it for myself.
This is not a bad thing by no means - I love that I'm an organised person. Especially as a yoga teacher now - respecting time and people's flow is something I am very happy that I do... (yep - I'm one of those people who get pretty frustrated at teachers running ALOT over time. I'm talking like 30mins. I just always think to myself - 'what if someone has a plane to catch?!')
Anyway, I know that the planning and organising me is my masculine energy surfacing. Which is not something I would try and quell by any means. We all have these two energies, and they are needed to be drawn from and to come out in different moments of our lives.
Consciously, is the key.
I have very much gone down the route of unconsciously feeding my masculine to a point where my feminine (and my body for that matter) starved. That's for another post. I know what happens when I live from masculine, out of my feminine core.
I become hard in the mind. Boxed in. Black and white thinking. I see the world as 'good' and 'bad' and 'right' and 'wrong' - and I set myself up for failure from the start, aiming to always be 'good' and always do 'right.' This isn't a healthy expression of masculine, by the way. This is unconscious masculine mixed with starved feminine.
I stop my creative pursuits when this overtakes me. I eat less. I become very VERY fussy about what I eat. I exercise with a sense of 'must'. I am snappy at people around me. I have less desire and softness for myself, and my partner. I am walking with tightness held in many places in my body - tight throat, jaw, belly, and hands usually. And it is NOT where I want to live.
I'm blessed with the experience of living in this place - in an extreme manifestation - in the past. So I catch it when it comes. Sometimes not straight away. Sometimes it takes a few days (or weeks if something dramatic happens in my life), but I catch myself - I understand it now. I see it.
I see you, scared Shae. I see you wanting to close. Wanting to hide. Wanting to make an idea of 'good' so you don't have to feel so 'bad.' Wanting to always do 'right' so you don't have to feel so 'wrong.' I see you pattern of contraction. I see that you are just trying to protect yourself.
But you know what? You are safe, Shae. You are not only safe, but you are yearning to feel and flow. I see that too.
This is what I remind myself of in those moments of slipping back into the hardness. In most of my moments throughout the day, my work is reminding myself to stay open. Soft. Loving. Tender. Flowing. I will still finish my classes on time. I will still plan and organise.But I will choose to. And then I will choose to feed my feminine heart. With dance, painting, movement, silly sounds, connection, nurturing.
So yesterday, my Nyepi plan was to wake up, and see where my intuition took me. I had already prepared paints, as I suspected she would want to be creative.
When I felt called to, after eating, moving, and swimming - I sat myself down to paint. As I sat, I asked my womb - my feminine core - 'show me who you are... show me what you love.'
This is what she expressed. I love her like I have just met her. This one came through me - from her.