What a great analogy for our time as well.
Exactly yeah. For me Durga is the sacred activist. A lot of the story speaks to right timing. To being prepared on a spiritual level. She doesn’t just rush into the fight. She actually goes first to her cave and she does her practices. And then the sun starts to shine around her cave. And that’s how the king notices her. And there’s a whole other part where he then decides he wants to marry her. Own her. And when she says no, you’re not really my type, then he says, “well then I’ll kill you,” which, unfortunately is also a story of something that’s very present in this world as well. And so what’s beautiful about this battle is that Durga doesn’t just slay him right away. She wants him to understand where he’s got sick. Where that love of power has taken over and distorted him. And so the moment that she actually kills him is the moment that he looks into her eyes and he says, “Ma,” like, “great mother,” he realises what she is. And he realises what he’s done. So by also waiting for that moment it changes the karma of the future. That means that he realises. There’s that essence of this time that we’re in now where, we want behaviour to be different, we want to live in a world that is more inclusive and loving and respectful and community orientated, but there’s a shift in consciousness and understanding that we need in order for that to be possible.
And also what I’m hearing is that that which needs to be destroyed also has to understand what it’s done. So that consciousness shifts and the mistakes are never repeated.
Yeah because it comes back to these cycles of death and rebirth. And the more consciously you can die the more consciously something else can be birthed. That was very much in my experience in walking my father home. I was seeing him clear his karma, so that he could go as liberated as possible. And then feeling energetically the power of that. How beautiful that was. But in those deaths and rebirths that we’re all going through continually, individually and collectively, if we can understand what’s dying and let it die consciously then that energy is so much freer to be rebirthed into what we want it to be. And when I say, “what we want it to be,” I mean, from that place of soul essence rather than ego.
And it’s such a big change in the way we think about death as well. You’re talking about death as transference, not as the end.
Yeah, we’re always changing form. Even in that I’m different to how I was yesterday and I had to let something die to let that something else open up in me. We’re constantly in that process. But especially around actual death and obviously with a pandemic death is really brought to the surface. What we’re seeing on the news is how many people have died and that’s the metric the impact of this pandemic is being measured by. Whereas of course there are so many ways that this pandemic has affected people that aren’t about actual death. I think our grief is always collective. Because even when we’re grieving something very personal, it is part of our collective. We had a Zoom memorial for my father with relatives in India and in the US and friends and all around the UK. And to be together and to share in that ritual and ceremony is so healing. When we have those rituals taken away from us, which many of us have, like in India you would have friends and family come to the house every day for the first 15 days to just be together. Then of course there’s an understanding that it doesn’t stop then. We still have our lives to live and people are still adjusting. I feel like there’s a lot around our understanding of death. And for me it was actually very beautiful. You know, I miss my father and I’m going to miss him a lot at different moments in my life. But I really felt his liberation. And it was beautiful and I am happy for him. I was able to really allow him to change forms. To not try and hold him back from that or make it different to how it was.
Yeah. I’m really intrigued by the idea of letting go in order to change forms, especially in the context of our collective right now. I think what we have to do is really live into the uncertainty of what comes after. I think that’s so important. And actually moving in that direction without knowing what it exactly looks like.
I do feel like we do know what the world is that we want to live in. I feel like that that has been talked about and experienced in waves. And even during this time period one of the things that I’ve heard a lot is that as governments and systems have been failing, community has been rising. So we’ve had all of these mutual aid groups pop up all over the world in local community where people have been taking care of the elderly, sharing food around and looking out for each other. And all of these acts of kindness and care where people would often rely on the system and the system wasn’t there, others showed up. I feel like that is a big story of this pandemic as well. That a lot of people have rallied together. And of course a lot of people have fended for themselves and, you know, we’ve seen the scarcity that has arisen as well. But I also feel like that was a story at the beginning when something really unknown came in. That most of the stories I’ve heard throughout the pandemic are ones of connection and a reassessing of values. People experiencing what it’s like to be at home. I heard that there’s a statistic that the number of premature babies being born has dramatically decreased and although no one can exactly say it’s because of this, but the understanding is that it very much could be that families have been home together. And so having that presence of both parents around during the pregnancy in the same house, not going to work for 10 hours a day, has effected the baby’s development. We still have no idea how it’s transforming us. And also how it’s shifting what we’ll be prepared to welcome back from the system.
So what was incredible about the treehouse was being in this space in nature and I had no curtains in my treehouse. So I was very much with the light as the light was. And I was climbing up a little ladder into a little loft bed with a nice triangular window that I could often see the moon through. And I was on private land so I was really safe. And as a woman on my own it meant that I could really be outside as much as I wanted at whatever time of day or night. And that was a really wonderful experience for me. What often happened was I would get into bed and I’d be tired. Then as soon as I laid down I would be wide awake. And I understood that that meant “go outside.” So I would walk out into the darkness. One night I saw a comet. Other nights I was just there under the stars or under the full moon. It was like I’d walk around under the night sky and it would just settle everything in me. And I would sit and I would meditate or pray or chant mantras. And then I would go back to bed and sleep like a baby.
Your body was in that cycle. Your nervous system was regulated.
Absolutely. And there was a lake so I was swimming in a cold fresh lake. Laying in the grass and being with the trees. I’ve never really been a big forager in the UK. So to be in this space of deep connection with the land learning to forage. And learning really about what’s there. One of the things that I found was that the way that our culture is, there is always so much beauty hiding in plain sight. That really came to me through the foraging. So being in a space like that for such a long period of time without commitments, I had a book to write and I have podcasts and Future is Beautiful live events I was doing on Zoom. But nowhere to go. I found that time with myself to be deeply, deeply healing. I really set an intention with it to go very deep with some ancestral trauma and some other aspects of healing. And I felt that I emerged out in a completely different way of being. Then I went straight from that into my parents’ house and my father died within three weeks. So it was very fast. But I felt like whatever had happened for me in the treehouse had prepared me to be there. And now I’ve offered to just live with my mum for as long as feels good for both of us. So a lot has shifted around worldly ambition. I love how it feels to be in India, how it feels to be in Bali and the community that I have there. And yet I actually feel like I have all of it inside of myself right now. Like I don’t feel that I need to be anywhere. In fact I feel I can be in my mum’s house for a while. I felt a real shift in addictions. I haven’t had like, “Oh, I just can’t wait ’til I can go and do that again! Go and do that again!” Not to say that I won’t enjoy them when I do if I do. The only thing that I had a slight kind of, “Ooh, I want to do that again” is I watched a movie that had a dance troupe in it. And it reminded me of this thing that I was part of for three years called The Spiritual Playground which was at a festival in the UK. We all dressed up as different deities or belief systems. It was an adventure of the relationship between the sacred and the profane. We had these dance routines and it was full on physical kind of togetherness. So for sure that’s one thing that has been missing during this time that people have been isolated. That real sense of community togetherness and celebration that humans are so good at and have always been doing. Gathering and telling stories and dancing. Singing.
That’s what I felt like after that first period of lockdown when we were out and allowed to come out of our homes for that week that I mentioned earlier. And we were having people around the house again and fires going and wood fire pizzas and all of that beautiful kind of connection that we experienced. And I was like, oh, you know, this is really beautiful. These connections are really special. You know. I’ve been saying how wonderful it was to be in the home and the domestic space and to kind of be going more local and just with my immediate surroundings. And then there was this glorious reminder of, oh, connection. Friendship. And then to have that kind of leave again, that was really mentally challenging. So it’s been a great reminder of what’s important. Community, as you said. And speaking to the loving, courageous parts of one another.
Yeah, we affect each other so much. And if we can speak to that part in each other that is fearless, that is courageous, that is visionary, that is love then I believe so much is possible from here and we have no idea. And so much of our culture, our global culture, is around actually speaking to the part of us that is insecure, that is fearful, that is traumatised. That is addictive. And so for me that’s a big part of how I have chosen to be in the world, having at different times been quite affected, as a sensitive person, by the way that culture wants to pry on your insecurities and what’s not possible. For me that’s really what I want to offer with everything that I do, whether that’s just having a cup of tea with a friend or the podcast or my private sessions or writing a book, I want to be a liberating current in this world that reflects back the possibility that we all carry inside of ourselves. That we all have all of this incredible information. And with it honours the challenges of the journey. For me a lot of courage comes from being able to grieve, being able to be angry, being able to be frustrated. Being okay with admitting that sometimes life can feel a bit vacuous. Especially if you’re doing what you’re being told to do. Like, Netflix and chill! Oh, I did it! And now I feel really like spaced out and disconnected! So it’s how can we keep reminding each other that we’re so much more than that? And igniting those parts of each other where our soul guides us and that beauty of our soul is really present. And through that kind of nurturing and that attentiveness to the processes and the challenges. Because we do live in a time where there is so much depression, suicide and addiction. And we need everybody here. We need everyone present in order to be able to create the kinds of changes that we would like for our future generations. I feel like one way of making space for presence is to be very real about the difficulties of this time. And they can feel very personal. But they are collective. And to really listen to that beauty that we all have from our souls, from our intuition, from that sense of possibility. And not dismiss it as idealistic or unrealistic as culture has done.