Libby Rose Retreat

There’s something very special about waking up early in the morning, even before the sun has risen to give thanks for another beautiful day to come, and start a daily practice, just for you. There are many other factors that can take precedence in our lives,  and often before you know it, you turn around and think: ‘when did I last do something purely for myself?’ It’s certainly not being selfish,  it’s honouring and nurturing you, because hey, if you don’t look after yourself, how will you ever be able to look after anyone else?   

Over the last 8 days, I have immersed myself into a practice of self care and self love. This has involved carrying on with Kundalini in a new environment and deepening my level of awareness of this, while also learning some new gorgeous practices. 

So, why eight days?    In numerology (I am no expert, I just love to look at these things!) I worked out my number for 2019, which is a number 8.  If you want to work out your Numerology Number for this year, there’s loads of websites to help you do it, but here’s a little low-down Add your birth date + birth month + 3 (3 is the universal number for the year 2019)  ~ Then create that into a single figure between 1 and 9   ~   Mine is 20th March, 20+03+3 = 26 so I add together 2+6 to get that single figure = 8   

And that number seemed to stick and work! So every morning for the past 8 days, I have risen at 5am (ok they started a little later on Sat & Sun, but still early!)  and cycled my way over to Kundalini House in Melbourne’s Fitzroy North District.

After getting a little flight from Adelaide to Melbourne on Tuesday late afternoon, I finally got to my AirBnB in the evening, and after sleeping in an unknown environment, busy area (that I haven’t been used to since living in London proper) I had a bit of a roughs night sleep and really struggled with the thought of going in on the first day, excuses can come from everywhere… Ohhh I have a headache, I haven’t hired my bike yet, my public transport card needs to be topped up and post office doesn’t open till 9… then something came over me, before I knew it I was in my whites and in an Uber to Kundalini House… NO MORE EXCUSES! 

Day 1: I did stumble in a little late after the warm up was finished, I felt very raw, like first day at school, but I had this, I have been going to Kundalini classes & practicing for 8 months now, and I can do it (just take it easy and go with the flow) I was able to slip into class and before I knew it fell into the rhythm. So glad I made it, and so glad I stayed. One Kundalini class down I then decided to stay for the next few classes too. I didn’t want to be overloaded with classes, but knew in myself that anything i tried I could keep to my own pace. Everyone was so welcoming, both teachers and students alike that day I ended up doing: Kundalini (1hr) QiGong (1 Hr) Yin Flow Yoga (1hr) & Yoga Nidra ( 45 mins bliss meditation)

Wow! what a day that was, and how well I slept, the dreams started to flow and for once in such a long time I started to feel ‘connected to my body again. Like an old friend that’s been waiting for me. I thought I had done the work, and done the work ,a dan agin, done the work(!!) but there is always so much further we can progress and learn about ourselves, and in amongst all of this we are always changing. So taking some time for yourself on a daily / weekly / monthly basis can be full of surprises, there are things going on, moving, changing and energies shifting. If you have look inside you may be surprised that you never knew you had in you!

As the days progressed, it was easier to bounce out of bed, be in my whites or half whites and out on the bike cycle path before i knew it, some mornings were beautiful sunrises and some were dark till i got there, no matter what I made it to those 8 days, and pushed through any boundaries. I wasn’t pushing my body, no way, I don’t believe in that, and not now I am over 40! I was just listening and working through the resistance of mind chatter that of course carried on in some form over the 8 days, but we made friends and politely asked my mind chatter to keep it down while I was immersed in my practice, and we could chat later, I think she was ok with that because she certainly settled herself down and I was able to have some amazing experiences… 

I was brand new to the QiGong practice, and was able to go to 3 classes to learn the very basics, and i did indeed get to feel the heat of Qi energy between my hands!

So then we look at the Hatha yoga, this was my most resistant one to try, but as with everything, go to 1 class and the ‘showing up – on the mat’ can only be ‘easier’ from there. I have such a block with traditional yoga and all the poses. I practiced Iyenger for a long time in my 20’s and loved it, these days my body moves differently and i find it very challenging to turn up! BUT happily  not anymore! I was able to explain my nervousness to a few of the teachers and I was on a roll at my own pace in no time!

So each day, I practiced between 2 and 4 classes a day, blissful meditations, some hardcore Kundalini, Hatha with lots of gentleness in between. SO my question to you now is – what would you do if you made time? Or have you made time? Maybe you’ve done this tenfold? Id love to hear your experiences. Theres always a way, no matter what, theres a way. 

I was looking for a retreat, for someone to lay out everything I wanted on a plate and say ‘here you go’ but with a bit of research i managed to find my own style of retreat, and have found a wonderful community of teachers, facilitators, and fellow ‘journeyers’ on the way, all in 8 days. This will always stay in my heart. Even though I am moving on to Sydney tomorrow I don’t think this is goodbye to KH yet, theres more for me there, so time will tell!

For now I wish you lots of love, and do get in touch on Facebook or Insta with your thoughts or insights. I have so much more to say, but I will sign off for now xx SAT NAM xx    

 

Home…

HOME...

How do you know when you’re home, and what exactly is home to you?

Often we will go home (or not go home) for Christmas, New Years or for a family occassion, this has made me ponder lately,  what exactly is home, what does it mean to you anyway? and does it matter and why does it or not?  

As you probably know from this blog and my social media pages, on December the 4th 2018,I made a journey across the seas from England to Australia (London to Adelaide to be specific!) after spending almost 21 years in each country. SO what exactly is home after you spend so much time building a ‘home’ in both countries?   

I felt really drawn to write this blog post after receiving two text messages in one day, one from a friend stating ‘It’s so lovely to have you ‘home”’ and then by a relative-in-law stating “‘We must meet up again before you go back ‘home’..” This is so interesting and I wonder if you have ever felt to ponder on this topic?

On the definition of ‘HOME’ The Oxford Dictionary says:

The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.”

Wikipedia says:

“A home, or domicile, is a living space used as a permanent or semi-permanent residence for an individual, familyhousehold or several families in a tribe. It is often a houseapartment, or other building, or alternatively a mobile homehouseboatyurt or any other portable shelter. A principle of constitutional law in many countries, related to the right to privacy enshrined in article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights[1] is the inviolability of the home as an individual’s place of shelter and refuge.”

Then we can look to popular culture for some advice.. Paul Young states: 

“Wherever I lay my hat that’s my home” 

The gorgeously fun toe tapping song by Edward Sharp & The Magnetic Zeros states 

“Ahh Home. Let me go home. Home is wherever I’m with you. Ahh Home. Let me go ho-oh-ome. Home is where I’m alone with you.”

Now I am back in Adelaide with family and friends and certainly a different person than I was back then I am a mix with emotions and those can take you over. 

When I arrived in Australia, I had an overwhelming sensation of memories as the aroma wafting through the air coming from the heat and eucalyptus off the gum trees. Walking through the wilderness with gum nuts on the ground and of course the pain of (like the lego pain but this is gum nut pain) of walking around with no shoes on. The leaves on the trees were swaying my memories in time of being a child in Australia. The angst of walking to the school bus stop with my sister, happier days running through the forests & hills on sunny days,  even the days of sitting with mates in later teenage years drinking tea and pondering on the many wonders of life and what we wanted from our futures….

And then there are the birds. I love birds and as I’ve got older I appreciate these little guys so much, from all over the world, birds bring you a fondness to where you are. From starlings to storks, kingfishers to kookaburra‘s  I am sure that wherever you are in the world you have a bird that takes you back to ‘home’  

Being woken up with bird song has got to be one of the best ways to wake in the morning.  Ok, so maybe not this one to wake you up, but Gala is a love / hate bird over here. They are very noisy and are dotted about everywhere, but I love them! Pinks and greys and the big bellowing sound of  “Chet Chet” when flying around in the wild, such a clever bird which can learn to talk and imitate people’s voices.

Galah” is also Aussie slang, meaning to be a fool or a clown.  The phrase: ‘flaming Galah’ has become known worldwide thanks to ‘Alf Stewart’ of Home and Away whilst he over-uses the term when someone has wound him up or done something silly in the show. 

Then my story blog comes to an end as it has to, otherwise I would never publish this! 

Meeting up with dear friends and then taking a sunset stroll along the beach in Semaphore with a mutual ‘thinker & ponderer’ such as I, and I put the question to her..

What exactly is home, and the thought came up that does it really matter? and I guess it really doesnt, and really all home is, is what works for you now.

So home is where you create a nest, home is where you and your love are, or your cat, dog, pet is. Home is where your Mum or Dad is, home is where the birds sing, in fact Home is wherever you feel home to be right now and hey this could change tomorrow, next week or never..

In love and light, I share with you this beautiful sunset and a memory of a sunset beach stroll.. See you next time!   

5/5

Feel The Fear & Do It Anyway

As time goes on we start to see and perceive life with different eyes. What was once easy is now a struggle and what was once a struggle is now actually quite easy.
We grow, we love, we have new experiences and slowly we make new judgements on things. 

To quote a Talk Talk song…

‘Life’s what we make it:    Celebrate it,  Anticipate it,   Yesterday’s faded,  Nothing can change it,  Life’s what you make it

So, with these thoughts in mind, I threw caution to the wind and agreed to spend the day on a ‘treetop walk’ with my Mum, at first it seemed like a fun idea. We were harnessed up and shown a video on safety and how to use the Caberra and clips that are all linked into our harnesses. So with helmets on we started the walk up some stairs and into the course….

High trees and swooping birds surrounded us as we limbered our way onto the course. The first part (above) was reasonably easy as we were surrounded by a net and although it felt quite high being swung between trees, taking it step by step was quite fun, and even better when you can encourage each other along the way..

As the course goes on my heart started racing and it felt so high between these trees, that is when it’s time to believe in a force higher than you, to trust that many have done the course before and many will do so after you. To trust that they have built the course safely, these ancient gum trees are there to support you and just let go (well don’t let go, but you know what I mean!) you can start to release yourself to the universe. 

 

Life’s is indeed what you make it. You can choose to climb the tree, walk through the door, or say hello to the stranger. Whatever it is you do today, I ask you to feel the fear and do it anyway. Trust your gut, trust your instinct and do something today that scares you. Hey, what’s the worst that could happen? 

Ok, so maybe we could have fallen, but we didn’t, and after we had finished, we both were on such a buzz at doing the very best we could and will look at the next adventure with ease and grace.
 

I called todays post ‘ Feel the fear (and do it anyway)’ This was a book that I always remember being on the bookshelf as a child. I guess I may have picked it up from time to time, and later in life I remember reading it. I will always remember it as being the first ‘self help’ book I picked up and even just the title is great theme to have in your head… I would love to hear your story of ‘feeling the fear’ no matter how hardcore or not it is. We take life one step at a time, and it’d be fab to share our journeys together.

You can follow me on Facebook or Instagram @libbyrosewellbeing

Meditate wherever you are

How do you get out of a clunky situation? Or reset your brain from the inevitable ‘brain fog’ that seems to creep in?  Or maybe you don’t have any of that in your life, but if you’re intrigued at all in a peaceful and undemanding daily practice or daily check in with yourself, then do read on, I’d love to share with you some insights and tips!

I guess I have always meditated in some form within my life, when I was younger, I wasn’t really sure what it was, just a daily practice of dabbling in ‘hippy stuff’ whether that be a tape of some dolphins singing, waves crashing etc (it was the late 80’s so… you know!) 

Then later in life I started to investigate further – read so much more and discover a sort of practice (although usually this was to get me out of a tricky situation, or when I’ve hit rock bottom and nothing else was working or even just trying to get back to sleep!) 

Books such as ‘The Celestine Prophecy’, The Artists Way by Julia Cameron, anything by Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Mike Dooley,  and so on (I will do a reading list at some point if you’re interested in mine and friends reading lists that have inspired me) I then discovered the Chopra Centre daily meditation challenges and of course the magical Ted talks, Oprah meditations and discussions (the list could go on)

At the end of 2017 and the start of 2018 I lived with one of my soul sisters: Karen Gilbert in her forest home, which happened to coincide with her training to becoming an accredited meditation teacher with the final part of her training on the beach in America ‘the sweet spot’ with DavidJi.

It was inevitable that there would be many in depth discussions between us on the subject of meditation and beyond and as part of her final retreat (in one of the most gorgeous places in the world!) there was a lot of ‘kundalini’ yoga practice involved.

I first discovered the Kundalini way many years ago at Surrey Docks Farm when I had a little sewing wooden hut there and was involved with the gorgeous city farm (again that’s a whole other story!) but every week this amazing almost angelic lady would arrive on her bicycle, dressed in white ready to teach fully booked yoga classes in a gorgeous ‘river room’ overlooking the river thames. We would often stop to chat and I was in awe of how ‘at peace’ she always seemed and spoke. Of course Karen and I had to attend and then, as it goes, life gets in the way and I left it there.   

This year (2018) I have rediscovered the practice, finding my own teachers in the New Forest in England and Now in Adelaide, Australia.  I am now feeling ‘hooked.’ The practice pushes you sometimes a little and sometimes a LOT out of your comfort zone by chanting, and practicing every day, whether it’s in a class environment, using the app on my phone or taking some time outdoors to sit in nature and in bliss. It is by no stretch an ‘easy practice’ although you do feel ‘at ease’ within it. There is so much to learn and I plan on pacing myself into this learning as often as I possibly can.

To those that don’t know it at all, or perhaps have only dabbled, scroll down for a short description, video and a little ‘Kriya’  that you could try.

 In the video above of me practicing, I was out on a walk in Cornwall and felt to practice some chanting and meditation on top of a cliff, looking over at the sea…  (This was at Kynance Cove shortly after it had hailed- was an amazing energy out there!!!)

The Kundalini Yoga practice is made up of yoga stretches & postures, chanting and meditation. I am by no means an expert on the subject at all (yet) but I know it works! 

And practicing this Sa Ta Na Ma daily can work miracles.. If you fancy it, listen to the gorgeous Maya Fiennes song, and this will help with rhythm and getting in the flow of it!

Here are some pages from the experts if you’d like to learn more: 

https://www.3ho.org/3ho-lifestyle/health-and-healing/kirtan-kriya-sa-ta-na-ma-meditation

http://www.kundaliniyoga.org/lesson_15

Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation

 

If you would like more information on this, do delve deeper and check out 3HO Foundation, a wealth of knowledge on Kundalini. But of course you don’t have to and I know that time is so precious. So i’ve popped a quick overview Posture: Sit straight in Easy Pose. (legs crossed)

Eyes: Meditate at the Brow Point.

Mantra: Produce the five primal sounds (panj shabd): S, T, N, M, A, in the original word form:

SAA: Infinity, cosmos, beginning

TAA: Life, existence

NAA: Death, change, transformation

MAA: Rebirth

Each repetition of the entire mantra takes 3 to 4 seconds. This is the cycle of Creation. From the Infinite comes life and individual existence. From life comes death or change. From death comes the rebirth of consciousnes to the joy of the Infinite through which compassion leads back to life.

Mudra: This mantra can be done in many different mudras. Most common is to begin in Gyan Mudra. The elbows are straight while chanting, and the mudra changes as each fingertip touches in turn the tip of the thumb with firm pressure.

Mantra and Mudra: Chant Saa, Taa, Naa, Maa. With each sound, alternate through four mudras:

  • On Saa, touch the first (Jupiter) finger; Gyan Mudra (knowledge)
  • On Taa, touch the second (Saturn) finger; Shuni Mudra (wisdom, intelligence, patience)
  • On Naa, touch the third (Sun) finger; Surya Mudra (vitality, energy of life)
  • On Maa, touch the fourth (Mercury) finger; Buddhi Mudra (ability to communicate)

Chant in three languages of consciousness:

Human: normal or loud voice (the world)

Lovers: strong whisper (longing to belong)

Divine: mentally; silent (Infinity)

Time: Begin the kriya in a normal voice for 5 minutes; then whisper for 5 minutes; then go deep into the sound, vibrating silently for 10 minutes. Then come back to a whisper for 5 minutes, then aloud for 5 minutes. The duration of the meditation may vary, as long as the proportion of loud, whisper, silent, whisper, loud is maintained.

To End: This sequence will take 30 minutes. Follow with one 1 minute of silent prayer. Then inhale, exhale. Stretch the spine, with hands up as far as possible; spread the fingers wide, taking several deep breaths. Relax.

Comments: Each time the mudra is closed by joining the thumb with a finger, the ego “seals” the effect of that mudra in the consciousness. The effects are as follows:

©The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan

If you meditate or practice Kundalini, I’d love to hear your process and where and when you find the time to practice – is it daily? Weekly? or when works for you?