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Two days before I left for New Zealand to travel nomadically for a year, a fire burned the majority of my belongings, leaving me with grief of the material loss and horrific flashbacks.
It was March 2020, the beginning of the pandemic.
In the aftermath of the fire, I spent the year “stuck” in New Zealand, a time that should have been filled with joy and gratitude from the luck of landing in a COVID-free country, but was often consumed by sadness and recovery.
During this time I practiced yoga nidra daily and immersed myself in nature, using both as healing tools. These words flowed through me, as an expression of my experience with Nidra, my reconnection with Mother Earth, and the symbolic journey of the Phoenix.
In a liminal space between awake and asleep, this mound of mountain turned into the Mother.
The words of a lullaby guided me into rest, to let Her gravity hold what felt like too much for this tiny human frame.
Body sleeping, I floated over the waters and nestled into a velvet tussock.
Supported by Earth, nourished by Earth, beloved by Earth.
The doubts and the fears, the shoulds and should nots, the would’ve beens and could’ve beens, all swept away by the long, white cloud.
Drifting through delta waves, I surrendered to the fullness of nothingness, to the mystery of sleep.
The goddess of sacred sleep, who always wins in the end, offered a map of the cosmos, from the elements to the void. A vision quest as effortless as letting go.
And when I awoke, I knew what it meant.
A fiery crash landing, the past in ashes.
Humbly kneeling at the feet of life.
Incubated and cleansed by this land in the middle of the South Pacific, surrounded by water.
Fully immersed in the sea of rebirth.
There was nowhere to go but in.
Definitions and Credit:
Nidra = yogic sleep, a form of meditation, and the goddess of sleep
The long, white cloud = the translation of the Māori word for the land that is New Zealand, Aotearoa
“shatters the darkness with its calm brilliance” = description of the Phoenix by Claudian (a Roman poet)