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October 14, 2019

Is this the Real Life? A reflection on how hard it is to ‘come back’ …

I returned to Real Life so open,

so free, so filled up.

Felt like I could merge with anyone and anything.

Renewed, reset, realigned.

Whole, and healed.


I’d shaken off so much.

Exhaled layers of shame and guilt,

fear and pain,

disgust, doubt and disappointment.

Raged against it, resented it all.

Then burned it up and dropped into it,

softening, surrendering, letting it be.


And when I reached that tipping point …

was that it?


My years and decades of being scared of it.

Was that it?!


And it was. It just was.

Exquisitely beautiful and utterly mundane all at the same time.

It just was. It just is.


And so I returned to Real Life,

and bit by bit,

I can feel and see and recognise

the hardening, the armour, the defence.

Doing the necessary to survive in this reality of high-tech, high-stress, packed-bus, busy-road, deadlined, emailed, processed, politicised, regulated, disassociated, numbed-out, triggered, illusionary, masked ‘freedom’.


Just what is it that you want to do?


“This must be what happens after we’re born”

was my waking thought a couple of weeks ago,

a couple of weeks after my return.

It’s been tough, taken me a long time to adapt and conform to what feels so very unnatural.


Are we born that open?

In ideal circumstances, I’d reckon we are.

Open-hearted and full of wonder, curiosity, deep in our knowing and faithful by default.

Totally in our bodies, but not of them.

And soft, so soft, and light.


Is this what we do after every deep experience?

Every retreat and training, ceremony and yoga class?

Every holiday, every weekend?

Living for our Fridays and out-of-office messages?!

Pendulating from the rigidity and regulation to rest and relaxation.

Shielding ourselves, compromising.

Then, letting ourselves breathe again.


How to stay open, to live in the magic and bliss ~

the mundanely exquisite ‘is-ness’ of being fully present.


They danced and chanted,

sweatlodged and firewalked.

They ritualised the seasons and rites of passage.

Ceremonies and prayers,

medicine and healing.

Storytellers and soothsayers.


They did all that and more.

Without the hormone draining depletion of screen slavery,

hundreds of passwords and user names,

the complicated convenience of doing so much more yet being so much less.


What would they think of what we do.

What we don’t do.

I’m reluctant to say it, to think about it even.

What we don’t do. What we don’t see.


The sunsets. The steam rising in swirls from our hot coffee.

The leaves changing colour.

The people around us, the aching within us, in need of connection and comfort.


Put your fucking phone down.

Be here now.


But I get it, I’ve done it.

I do it.

Checking out. Being busy,

Avoiding, coping, surviving.


Did they survive ice and war,

famine and migration,

despair and hardship,

for us to exist like this?


No wonder we’re spinning out,

anxious, depressed and stressed.

It’s not an individual failing.

It’s not you, it’s us.


Go easy with yourself ~

this is tough.


You’re doing great.

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Paula Pratt  |  3 Follower