May 10, 2012

Made in Africa.

Nature nurtures, loves and heals.

Appreciate, instead of abandon

Faith dissolves fear

Resilience replaces resistance

Intuition cleanses ignorance

Compassion washes away criticism

Awareness erases apprehension

Emerging from the Central African forest last Sunday morning, upon completion of my sacred walk, where I bonded with nature, the vibrations of the pregnancy of the recent supermoon hung in the air, present, powerful, yet unoppressive.

A thunderstorm, typical of these parts, with howling winds that form dervishes, collecting anything in their path, roaring thunder and hot, electric bolts of lightning blocked our ability to bear witness to the moon on its fullest night. Like a mother mourning the loss of her child, the rains poured, unapologetically.

As I entered the forest in the silence of the early Sunday morning, fear kept niggling at me whispering,

“You really shouldn’t be in here alone at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning.”

Intuition would then chime in with a mantra, reminding me that I’m safe and protected.

Faith guided me just a bit further still, at least until fear chose to show up again, whispering a little louder each time.

Being keenly aware of my emotions, I decided to engage in a bit of a game with myself, reminiscent of my only childhood where I could easily absorb and entertain myself in my own world for endless hours.

An easy game that’s always available to us, I played,

How do I feel?

Each time fear showed up, I checked in with my heart as a gauge to see to what extent I was being dominated by things that had not yet taken shape. My heart felt calm as it beat gently within my chest, inviting me to explore deeper into the arms of nature.

Whenever a tree beckoned me, I’d walk over and place my hands upon it in humble appreciation of its love. One of my favorite trees, its trunk spread like open arms, I entered and placed my back up against it and allowed myself to be completely enveloped by its presence and its wisdom.

In spite of the storm that it had endured throughout the night, still, she stood firm, strong and dignified, willing to give as well as to receive.

It is moments like these where I fall in love with this deeply rich and complex continent, like two lovers at first sight, where time ceases to exist or matter.

As I make my way back home, this song is playing in my heart:

Thank you Africa, for being intrinsic in [re]shaping me into the person that I already am,

Made in Africa.


Editor: Brianna Bemel


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Dawn Davis Jun 5, 2012 9:11am

Nadine, I feel the warmth and power of your words… and your journey! Bless, Dawn

Suzette May 11, 2012 4:30am

Thanks Nadine,
I loved this … a great guide to follow through moments when sometimes irrational fear sets in.
Beautifully written.

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Nadine McNeil

Nadine McNeil, aka Universal Empress, is a full-time yoga teacher, transformation life coach, Women’s Circle facilitator, public speaker and non-fiction writer.  Integrating the wisdom and teachings of yoga into her work, she is committed to changing lives, one breath at a time.  When not traveling the world offering her bespoke workshops and teachings, she may be found at the Yoga Barn, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia; the largest health, wellness and transformation entity in South East Asia.  Be sure to visit and check out her signature brand, The BadAsana Series: Yoga with Free Weights.  To join her mailing list and to learn more about her work and receive special offers, please click here.