Bring on the Light


coconut wallah It’s a Thursday morning here in Ubud, Bali, and it’s all very beautiful. Coconut palms reflect the light and shadows of a rising sun, swaying gently in the cool, morning breeze. The soundscape too is gentle – insects, birds, an occasional distant rooster and the ever-present hum of our ceiling fan.

But what is even more beautiful, is this man doing Yoga just in front of me on our verandah. The fact that less than a year ago he had done just a sprinkling of fast, sweaty Hot Yoga classes in his then home of Singapore, was 10kg heavier despite working several times a week with an expensive personal trainer, and had little to no experience of meditation.

Today (though not every day) he was first out of bed, and is now there on his mat, working calmly and mindfully through his self-practice sequence of asana, pranayama, and meditation. It’s inspiring to say the least, and so very precious to witness the light coming in.

I’ve seen it again and again on our Teacher Training courses, on retreats, in friends, and in my own eyes after meditation when I look in the mirror. That light. The original light. The light that was always there, but that gets so easily obscured by the business of living a 21st century life in Kali Yuga (the current age of darkness and ignorance according to Vedic scriptures).

Yoga, meditation, chanting, and clean whole foods prepared with love and joy… all these things are like cleaning the windows so that the light of the Soul can shine on through. It wasn’t that the light itself was ever dimmed, just obscured by the heaviness of living out-of-sync… unconscious, unaware of the treasures waiting within.

So as a person wakes up to this force of love within them, there is simply and quite obviously, much more light. Not just in the eyes, but through the pores of the skin – a subtle sheen or radiant glow. The voice can change too… getting lower and slower, more responsive than reactive, from belly or heart. Words of wisdom arise to the surprise of even the speaker sometimes, as though the heart has articulated something known to it, but until that moment not yet cognised by the ordinary thinking mind.

The process of en-light-enment is basically all of this. It is visible and visceral – it can be seen and felt.

In essence it’s all about Choosing Love. Or maybe being chosen by Love as She donks you on the head (we call it the ‘Durga slap’), until you get the message to wake up and change… to let something go.

It’s a moment by moment response to life – a choice. And the biggest and most beautiful shift I am witnessing in my guy, is that. He is choosing love and life in all sorts of new ways, and so naturally, love and life are choosing him right back.

Weight is falling away at its own healthy speed, although there’s been no dieting whatsoever. Instead, lots of shared food – shopping, chopping, steaming and blending of colourful, juicy, real food, with almost ecstatic fervour. There’s been drinks, sure, but 1 or 2 instead of 15. Most of all a new-found awareness of cause and effect, that is more about feeling the joy that comes with wise choices, than avoiding punishment for eating or doing something ‘bad’.

While there’s no doubt that grace is playing the hugest part in all of this (Om Namo Narayani!), he’s cooperating with that force by trusting it’s directives.

When we’ve suffered enough to now choose something different – to change the tack of our lives in big ways or small, it’s as though Joy suddenly starts running towards us, arms outstretched for Her wayward child! She blesses us with clarity, calm and abundance – providing whatever we need to support the shift.

Like the tight buds of flowers in the morning sunlight, we too I believe are programmed to unfold. To open our petals one by one, to yawn and stretch and bask in Her warmth.

So this here little blog is an ode to the light. The light that radiates from the plants here in our garden, and in the movements of my beloved out there on his mat. The light that guides, the light that heals, and the light that soothes our weary hearts. I hope these words reflect the wonder and awe I feel upon witnessing it, as well the peace and faith that trusting in it provide.

I bow humbly to the intelligence of that light-force within each of us, may it slowly but surely guide us all Home.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”  ~ Martin Luther King

Om Namo Narayani