The Liminal Space

Liminal

I’ve never been a particularly patient person, I prefer more of a “carpe diem” kind of approiach to life, and as useful as that is in some contexts, I’m learning that slowing down and waiting for the right time holds much power in it’s potential.

Allowing the space for the magic to happen, and just sitting tight until the moment we are clear enough to decide on our next course of action, this is important.

Apparently there is a word for it, it’s called “the liminal space”, which is the border or threshold between possibilities. There could be more than one path to take, each hold different outcomes, or it could just be deciding if that one potential route is the one for us.

It’s the “sliding doors” moment, but with a pregnant pause.

The time before we make a decision, or take the plunge, when all is still unclear and uncertain tends to make us feel uncomfortable. The mind, or the “ego” rather, hates uncertainty. We’d much rather take action and make a mistake than wait around not knowing.

Think of how time seems to drag when we are waiting for results to come in, whether it’s been for medical tests or academic exams. We feel uneasy in those times, the waiting feels like torture.

But what if that liminal space was to teach us something, to help us see more clearly before acting?

There is an old I Ching saying:

“Waiting is not mere empty hoping. It has the inner certainty of reaching a goal”.

The sun doesn’t rise in the morning in an instant, it’s a gradual awakening of the next new day, but it’s going to happen. We are not sitting thinking,” I wonder of the sun is going to come up today”, it just will at some point, it doesn’t have to be ”right now”.

We live in a world of “instant gratification”, we want it and we want it now, and what’s the point in waiting?

Well there is a big point.

When we slow down, our senses are sharper, we are more likely to make good decisions in that moment, and there is a lot of pleasure to be had in the anticipation.

The problem is that we all want to have some great big flashing sign saying “this way”, some guidance from the Universe to tell us which way to go, the lightbulb moment in that exact moment when we decide we want to act.

Sometimes this doesn’t happen and that’s possible because we aren’t quite ready.

I remember when I was recovering from my surgery in the summer. I would get out of bed in the morning in the same way I usually did, jumping up, getting ready in a flash, ready to “seize the day” and get stuff done. I had all this space and time, after all, I was going to make sure I made the most of it. My body had other ideas.

“Oh no you don’t”, it said, “you, young lady are meant to be resting, and healing”. So instead, I would get myself a hot water and lemon and go back to bed, and ease my way into the day, getting up when it felt right.

The waiting, the liminal space, is to prepare us for the next step, but we have to take that time and space. Life can’t be all forward movement. Sometimes we need to sit back, be patient, and when the time is right, we will know it. There will be a sense of inevitability about it, divine timing if you like, as if it was always meant to be that way.

Timing is everything, and everything in time. Trust the journey.

 

Grounded Magic!

 

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“When the student is ready, the teacher appears” – these are the words in my head today.

I’ve had many teachers throughout my life, many great ones, and a few that were, quite frankly, a pain in the ass, but brought a lesson.

The teacher that appeared for me this week was of the former, thankfully. I was ready, and then some.

Many years back my friend Adam and I were out for a drink, and I became aware that he wasn’t listening to me, just craning his neck to look at the beauty walking behind me. It was one of those magic moments where he knew he had to “risk it to get the biscuit”, and they are now married with a pair of adorable twins.

Of course, I take all the credit for it, wouldn’t you? I always tease Adam about how he “landed on his feet” with Laura. She is an incredibly gifted healer.

So when Laura contacted me the other day offering me a session, I jumped at the chance. She intuitively knew what I needed. Although we chatted for quite a while before I even got on the couch, she knew without my saying just what I needed.

My heart chakra was like a big brass door! Not surprising really. Those of you in the hippy world will know what I’m talking about here; for the rest of you, you can probably guess.

I think the healing started even before I lay down for the treatment. The room was warm, welcoming, with a homely Zen-like feel. Adam had built it, and Laura just fitted so naturally into her environment. It was built for her and it showed.

Anyway, the whole thing was such divine timing. I’d been preparing for a retreat this weekend, but it had felt like something was missing. My head knew what it was about, and what the day was going to entail, but I hadn’t quite figured out the key message. It had been rumbling in my head, but it hadn’t quite formulated.

After some transformational breathwork, bodywork, sound therapy, and a touch of what I can only describe as magic, I knew something had shifted, but I didn’t quite know what.

As Laura advised, I was gentle with myself afterwards, I drank plenty of water, and I slept like a baby.

The next morning I woke to inspiration – “an open heart lets the light in”.

That was the missing bit of the jigsaw, the key message.

The context also came to me, inspired not just my treatment, but by Laura and the space created by Adam and her.

“Grounded Magic”. The perfect balance.

I’m a great believer in the presence of magic, and angels, but I also believe we are inhabiting this physical plane for the length of this lifetime, so we need to keep our feet on the ground too.

I think of Adam and Laura’s life, and the simple beauty in her studio built by him, and it warms my heart, and I think, after my session, this was the perfect teacher for this moment. I believe in love again, my heart chakra is wide open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grace Under Pressure

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Grace Under Pressure

I just left the R D and E hospital in Exeter with a spring in my step and a lightness of being.

As fantastic as my surgeon was, leaving barely any visible trace of the injuries I sustained less than three months ago, I was ecstatic to get the news I didn’t need to see him again.

I feel free, not just physically but mentally.

This year taught me a lot of things but most of all how to have courage in the face of adversity, and that sometimes the bravest thing we can do is surrender.

There was so much I could have said, yet chose not to. There were times I wanted to fight back, to seek revenge, but I chose to do nothing. Except get on with my life.

I found a purpose. That purpose was my own healing journey and by fully immersing myself in it, I have found I had no time, energy or inclination to deal with the attacks that were still coming my way.

For those that had no compassion but still found pleasure in beating someone when they were down, I did not need that in my life. I chose to walk away from the drama and it was like taking a heavy rucksack off my back after carrying it around for far too long.

In this process, of letting it wash over me, I found the true meaning of courage – as Hemingway put it, “grace under pressure”.

Luckily I’ve got a strong backbone, and I’ve learned that I’ve got a thicker skin than I realised. It’s so liberating to let go of the opinions of others and just get on with what you’re meant to be doing.

“And still I rise”.

These words from Maya Angelou kept me going in the toughest times and when I was faced with some pretty dark forces trying to keep me scared.

My courage is quiet, it’s from a place of non-violence – no matter what you throw at me, I will not hurt you back. But I will stand strong in knowing who I am. I think that’s what Gandhi would have done, so I’m fairly pleased with how I’ve responded. There’s no doubt in my mind that this has helped me heal.

Sometimes life sends us tests in order for us to grow. I feel taller, stronger, and even with a titanium plate in my face now, I can look at myself in the mirror and be proud of what I’ve achieved.

There are enough people trying to pull us down in the world, and I’m not going to let myself be one of them.

Slivers of Light at Powderham

 

 RETREATS AT POWDERHAM CASTLE

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The days are getting darker, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find the slivers of light…

Join me and other like-minded souls for a day at the magical Powderham Castle, trying to keep our faces to the sunshine, enjoying the beauty of nature, yoga, mindfulness and breaking bread together.

 

Sunday 6th January 2019 8.30am – 5pm

Sunday 3rd February 2019 8.30am – 5pm

I’ll be introducing you to the techniques I have used in Slivers of Light, as well as the concepts in the book, to help you devise your own plan for getting through the darker days, whether you’ve been in a hole yourself, or you’re just wanting to stay well through the winter.

This is the ideal kickstart to the “Slivers of Light 21-day Shift”, an online programme to help you build in new healthy habits, like a mindfulness practise or new way of managing your energy levels.

Here’s what the day will look like….but don’t worry about the schedule…the magic will unfold as it’s meant to…

  • “Coming Home” – mindful movement to ground you and bring you into you into your body and feel at home at the Castle
  • “Chi Yoga” – part the clouds, paint a rainbow and get the energy flowing
  • “Space To Be” – Refreshment Breaks to enjoy the grounds and tour the Castle
  • “Feel-good Flow” – Vinyasa Flow Yoga class to celebrate the energy of the sun
  • “Breaking Bread” – lunch will be community-kitchen style, where we all bring a dish (doesn’t have to be home-made, just whatever makes you happy), practising mindful eating and savouring every moment and mouthful!
  • “Walk On The Wild Side” – breathing in the Estuary air, walking the grounds of the Powderham Estate , meeting the deer, and celebrating all the natural wonders of the season.
  • “The Magic 21 Day Shift” – a workshop to help you make steady yet sustainable progress in coming back into the light, based on the work from “Slivers of Light”.
  • “Let It Go. Let It Flow” – a moving meditation session, set to music, to help you integrate everything you’ve done, be free of everything you want to leave behind, and leave feeling light and uplifted.
  • “Carpe Cocoa – seize the Cacao!” – a sweet treat at the end of the day, as we embrace the hygge of the season and go on our merry way, with a little more joy in our hearts!

SPECIAL OFFER:

BOOK BY 31st December 2018 AND GET THE E-BOOK “SLIVERS OF LIGHT” FOR FREE!

£65 PER PERSON

NB These retreats are now available to be booked exclusively for businesses, and companies, or groups. Rates on enquiry.

Secure your place by emailing gilliesutherland@me.com, book online at http://bookeo.com/behappyfit or make your payment by BACS (don’t forget to include your name as a reference!)

Email me for Accommodation requests

Account Details for Payment:

Account Name: Miss G L Sutherland

Sort Code: 560049

Account Number: 32241348

Also do feel free to email or call me on 07530 012490 if you have any questions

Looking forward to seeing you

Love and Light,

 

Gillie xx

 

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Coming Home…

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It’s been a crazy month, in that it feels as if my feet haven’t touched the ground.

I’ve spent around eight days at home in the past four weeks, and I have to say it’s a huge relief to be back on terra firma, and cosying up with my cat again.

It can seem oh-so-glamorous when I’m working abroad, and running yoga holidays in stunning holiday locations, but there’s really “no place like home”. Especially when it comes to feeling grounded.

I’ve always been a bit flighty, I’ve travelled a lot, I’ve moved house more times than I can remember, and I’ve never really felt like I had firm roots.

So it has been pretty exciting to finally feel as if I’m “coming home”, albeit to my modest little flat in Exmouth with Lucky Boots the cat.

Its got me thinking about what it means to feel “at home”. In classes, I often refer to our first home as being our physical body, in that as long as we feel comfortable in ourselves and can go within, we can feel at home anywhere.

It seems to be more than that. Yoga has enabled me to really feel and appreciate my body, yet I know that my surroundings have a massive effect on my state of wellbeing.

In the wrong place, with the wrong people, doing things that don’t nourish me, I feel unwell, disconnected and a sense of insecurity, not feeling safe.

Yet when I surround myself with those people, places and circumstances that feed my soul, it’s like I come alive.

In the past few years, I feel I’ve kept myself small, I’ve denied my true self, because I’ve been trying to fit in where I didn’t belong. Things just felt “off”, and I often felt like a round peg in a square hole.

I thought it was me.

I had even thought that perhaps I was better off on my own, doing my own thing, and having minimal social connection, except in my work. Isolating myself seemed to be more attractive than being in toxic environments.

Then I realised what the problem was – it was the environment I was in which would dictate whether I flourished or floundered.

In recent months, during a time of deep healing and transformation, I feel more sensitive than ever to where I am thriving.

Having just spent four nights on a boat with six empowered, amazing women, I realise I can be around others and be my wild and weird self without judgement. In fact, when I do that, it seems it opens the door for others to do the same.

I don’t need to dim my light in order for others to feel more comfortable. I’m not “too much” when I’m around people who support my growth and respect my unique spirit.

For when we are comfortable in ourselves, we feel no need to shoot others down.

We thrive in the right environment.

What struck me most over this past week spending time in a nourishing and nurturing environment was the lack of competition and comparison in this particular group of divine females.

It sat so well with my own values of not competing with anyone else.

Life can be hard enough as it is, I have no desire to compete. I hope we all make it.

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