Love in the Dark Times
“So my job here is to anchor something and I don’t know what it is, and if I did know, then it wouldn’t be that anymore. I don’t know how to do that. Except maybe, perhaps, the only important thing is to do it with love.”
Many of us got stuck for a bit there; in the insecurity of unknowing.
Lockdown really did do a good job of stopping us all. The planets went retrograde, and we all sunk into a place of introspection.
I didn’t find it easy, and I’m good at introspection; it’s part of my natural habitat.
Although I have to admit it was valuable. I got to look at a lot of my fears. And I resisted doing so as hard as I could.
After six months immersed in the introspective work of writing a novel and of hibernating at Bodhi Khaya near Stanford, last week I moved to Noordhoek and now find myself ready to play again. Play. Or flow. Or chat. Or swim in the sea. Having been disengaged, it feels like it is time to be out in the world once more.
The other day they opened the river mouth at De Mond. It’s an estuary where my brothers and I share an old family holiday cottage. The river exit into the sea closed during the big drought four years ago and since then the fish haven’t able to get out to sea, the mud prawns all died, the river became stagnant. I was reminded of the movie Aluna, about the Kogi tribe in Columbia, who say that blocked rivers are like blocked arteries in the body of the earth.
It took enormous bureaucratic work for farmers to get the necessary permissions to open the river mouth with an excavator. The river could not open by itself because we humans have interfered with its natural flow, through drawing water off the river for irrigation.
The opening felt enormously symbolic to me. I felt as though energy had started flowing again, both through the earth and through myself.
And I feel different. Stopping and going inwards slammed me into my body. Now the flow of energy through this physical body, anchors deep into the earth, and anchors mother earth into my heart. Anchoring feels like the work of our time.
I want to have conversations about this; how do we change the world by anchoring our hearts? It feels like a most important question.
About the course
It can sometimes seem difficult or even irresponsible to play in a world filled with uncertainty, doubt and fear.
In this course we look at how to lift ourselves above the despair and challenges of a world filled with hardship.
Re-encountering the joie de vivre that we might have known in childhood can inspire us to find meaning and love in even the most trying of circumstances. Changing how we feel about ourselves can uplift others and change all of our circumstances for the better.
When we take care of our physical health and our emotional well-being we develop our capacity to meet the challenges with more resourcefulness.
However in order to develop courage and to love our lives in the midst of the dark times we need to add meaning to the mix.
Dr Victor Frankl, a Jewish Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist wrote Man’s Search for Meaning after surviving Auschwitz. He described how he and other prisoners managed to maintain hope, decency and reasons to live in the face of unimaginable horror. “Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart:…The salvation of the human is through love and in love.” The course process includes looking deeply at our patterns of behaviour, and looking lightly at how we can hold ourselves and our circumstances with care and love.
We have designed an enjoyable approach to re-kindling our love of life. Firing up our energy systems gives us the vitality to change our stressful circumstances.
Stoking the fire sometimes requires that we identify and remove accumulated debris.
We have created this course for anyone dealing with the everyday stresses of life in 2020.
Vital ingredients for implementing change are warmth and open-hearted listening. The major benefit of being seen, heard and appreciated is that we begin to care more deeply for ourselves.
This in turn gives us more energy and capacity for taking care of others.
These other people are likely to respond in kind.
When we are supported by caring individuals around us, we find ways for managing time constraints, work and daily life stresses and challenging experiences.
Real transformation happens when we take responsibility for ourselves and our reactions to the things that are happening in our lives.
We provide an atmosphere of trust, confidentiality and enjoyment within which participants can explore what is working well in their lives, what they would like to work on to repair and what they are ready to release.
We do best in life when we are given the chance to rediscover the beauty, love and magnificence within ourselves. As important as clearing away what no longer serves us is the wonderful and pleasurable work of anchoring love back into our lives.
- Change our own ability to receive love through:
- breath practice
- Access love using focused intention, and creative imagination
- Send love into our immediate environment including the challenging bits (loving fully has the capacity to say ‘No’ like a mountain)
- Consider how to bring more heart into the work we are doing
- Begin to change our environment through changing our mindsets
- Reflect on what would be likely to make us most satisfied if we turned and looked back at the end of our lives towards our own life review
- Consider our own most appropriate (and very personal) responses to the global crisis
- 3 days of in depth personal exploration guided by Robyn Sheldon
- Delicious, nourishing, lacto-ovo vegetarian lunch each day, created by a Relais Chateaux chef.
- A course manual.
- A copy of Robyn’s spiritual memoir, The Liminal Lands, one woman’s journey in search of soul
Cost of the course: R2900
3 days: 27th – 29th November 2020
9.30 – 4.30 each day
Noordhoek. Cape Town.