• justineljanssen

Living outside of yourself will kill you

It wouldn't be the first time I've used honesty to engage you. If you've ever been in a yoga class with me, this might feel familiar - and whether you're 'into' my leading statement or not, you can't help but want to watch what's going happen next. Will it be an Utktasana that we maddeningly pulse in and out of? Or a long hold in crescent lunge? Please don't let it be the 'goddess shuffle'...

Without the yoga pose, let's try something else. Drop everything else you're doing right now and take really long deep breath. In...and out... Repeat twice more.

Now that you're in your body with more awareness, how do you feel? Start with how it feels physically...are you in pain or discomfort at all? Do you feel tired, or awake? Hungry, or thirsty? These are really important things to know, so spend a few moments, and take one or a few things you've noticed and become really aware of them. Give them a sentence as a way of acknowledging them "My left knee is really painful right now" "I'm so awake and focused I am noticing the pulse of my heart beating" "I need a glass of water, I'm so thirsty"

Relate this practice to the element of Earth for a few moments. These are solid, palpable physical feelings. Just like the earth, we can reach out and feel it. Under our feet it supports us, holding clumps of it in our palms it nurtures whatever we plant, or in its densest form, as rock it reminds us of strength.

What about your breath right now? Are you holding it, or noticing it coming and going with ease? What are the qualities of your mind in direct comparison to the breath? Are you feeling agile and interested mentally? Or dull, unresponsive and robotic? Relate these observations to the element of Air. It moves in ways that cause us a response. The sharp sting of a cold winter wind on our cheeks wakes us, or, makes us tense up in reaction to the change. These shifting sensations challenge our status quo, open us up to possibility and encourage us toward the direction we choose to take.

How are you experiencing your emotions today? Those messengers that alert us to whats going on with us internally. Like the Water element, the currents and tides that change can be so subtle that only we notice them, at other times, they rise like a tsunami inside and leave us at the mercy of their wake unless we learn to ride them. Their rhythms affected by the moon, we notice patterns in the way they manifest within us and our relationships. Water is powerful, if we don't think that to be true, just look at the coves and rock walls at the beach...water washes away stone. It is powerful to be aware of your emotions and what effect they are sculpting and shaping within your life.

I have used three elemental focuses here to make my point. Living outside of yourself will kill you. As I visit this bold statement again, please consider your own experience, as it would be a bit crazy just to take my word for it...If you aren't inside yourself - living, feeling, breathing and thinking, then pretty soon - you will come up gasping for air.

There's only so long we can live outside of ourselves. Anyone who has put others wisdom over their own, or suppressed the way they feel, or played small when their emotions resulted in them feeling out of their depth will know. If you doubt this, then perhaps 'more of the same' is enough of an example for you to realise that if it doesn't change - it will end up costing you your life. Don't dim your light. Make the decisions this week that will point you toward the elemental qualities that need fortifying within you, for you...

Big Love, Justine

Blog cover image courtesy of Hello Ro Photography

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