This post I've just put the finishing touches on just now before publishing it. It was not easy to write. Re-reading my thoughts noted in my "lockdown notebook" and rethinking everything that happened (or didn't) took me a while. Trying to integrate.
Many people are looking forward to deconfinement. Well, I'm dreading it. I am well in my secure cocoon without external stresses, neither professional nor personal. I know that tomorrow is another day and that there is no reason for it to be like the past. Yet...
What has been going on all these weeks of total confinement? I have the feeling that it was extremely long and started yesterday at the same time.
On the first day of my confinement, Thursday 12 March, a little earlier than others, due to an immuno-supressant I've been taking for a long time, I started putting black-on-white words in a notebook again, pulling out my fountain pen (which I've had since I was a teenager). And I've just reread it all. It's strange to reread. I know that with the "Thought Slot" exercise, normally you don't reread yourself. But here it was more than a stream of thoughts, it was reflections, transformations, triggers, realizations, fears, anxieties, discoveries that I wanted to reread to apply them in my daily life. And here we are! How to keep in my daily life what I learned and what made me feel good during these two months?
To be very honest, I arrived in this confinement in a state of anxiety and on anxiolytics (it was the first time I was taking them) with problems of vertigo and migraine which had not left me since September. The appearance of the virus in Belgium a few days/weeks before didn't help the state I was already in, so I locked myself up at home in total confinement. I vacillated between two feelings: am I living an episode of the "Black mirror" series where we will have to stay locked up at home for months/years and what a good thing to finally find myself alone to deal with these anxieties that come to me regularly. I couldn't hold on to my usual reference points because they weren't really working anymore. That was the basic premise.
GROWING YOUR INSIDE GARDEN
After this phase of stupor, a secure cocoon was put in place. This global confinement led me to believe that this moment was there for us to give even more meaning to our values, our emotions, our feelings, to the human, to revise our mode of consumption, to return to solidarity and empathy, to honour the living, to cultivate our inner garden, to "be" rather than "do", to choose love rather than fear, to return to the essentials, to simply be authentic in all transparency.
I didn't miss the social much. I didn't feel the need to hug someone as soon as the confinement was lifted. But I did feel a deep need to be in touch with nature. I have never blessed my garden so much (I used to do little or nothing with it).
I have been contemplating a lot these last two months! And it feels good! It's as if contemplation only belongs to holidays, to holidays! I decided to keep it in my daily life, even if it's only for a few minutes in my garden! Watching nature grow, what a beautiful sight! I had a lot of fun discovering the nooks and crannies of my garden and learning how to make shoots grow and watching them grow above all else!
This confinement was like a forced call to look inside ourselves to see what is going on, to step back and observe ourselves. How many of us do this regularly? Very few, I think... For me, this more interior vision allowed me to become aware that it was big inside, that the field of possibilities was enormous, that love and warmth are just as big there! Being in direct contact with my emotions made me realise that even though they were heightened during that period (and still are now), I was feeling a lot of them and very different ones! It feels good to feel that your inner world is full and very much alive! (Re)connecting with yourself allows you to reconnect with others as well, to realise that we are all one!
I realised that these aches and pains that had been chasing me for months were in fact just a message from my body. I was not in touch with this rich inner garden, with my feelings. Because once you take time to listen to your body, it takes time and a life adjustment that is not always easy and that can destabilise you. It's easier to keep our heads in the sand.
I was very fortunate to take the online naturopathy courses offered by Odile Chabrillac and to have a private naturo consultation with her. All this in a context where a few weeks before the confinement started and thanks to a Mindfulness exercise (the grape exercise for those who know), I had a click! I was hardly eating at all or very badly. This naturopathy course came at the right time, a beautiful synchronicity! Naturopathy is very broad but a fundamental pillar of this holistic approach is of course food.
I spent a lot of time reviewing the way I was eating. This was already a thought before the confinement as I said but this forced break forced me to dive deeper into it. This was followed by Odile's course, the reading of Clea and Clémence Catz's books which I highly recommend.
Taking time out to cook healthy and alive has given me great pleasure. Thinking about my meals in terms of the different intakes of proteins (one per meal), raw vegetables, omega 3, fatty acids, trace foods, ... Also because I realised that I had totally forgotten myself. I was feeding my mind a lot but my body very little. I started to eat breakfast again and to cook my lunch to eat lighter in the evening. Before, I didn't eat breakfast, I had a little sandwich bought at the corner at noon (often while working) and finally in the evening (sometimes late), I cooked myself a "real" meal. That's decided, it's changed! My forties have allowed me to anchor this new habit in my daily life. I think I have adopted what suits me best. And especially when you integrate that eating healthy becomes a pleasure and not an obligation, it changes the whole perspective!
It is said in kundalini yoga that it takes 40 days to break a habit, 90 days to make a new habit, 120 days and you become that habit and finally 1000 days and you master that habit.
A NEW FORCED BREAK
We are always used to going fast, running around, complaining about the lack of time, ... Is this a human reaction of escape to prevent ourselves from seeing what is going on? Is controlling our days with lists and lots of things to do not a way to escape our anxieties in the end?
I feel like I have already experienced this confinement. I have had polyarthritis since I was 9 years old (I have just turned 37). And my life has been one of crises and therefore of forced immobilisation, sometimes for a very long time. These moments of crisis were often beneficial for me because they were synonymous with introspection, questioning my life, my needs, my lifestyle. And once the crisis was over, I would go back to living a frantic life to the extreme.
I have been practicing kundalini yoga for two years. I used to go to Guillermo Dascal's class once a week and wouldn't miss it for the world because it's such a powerful practice and it feels so amazing. And yet I had to wait for the lockdown to practice it every day.
Routine or Rituals?
Yes, I did have a routine, and perhaps much more than usual. I was reading everywhere that it was important to keep dressing as before, getting ready, wearing jewellery (ha yes? :))). But wait, for what? What a joy to go from pyjamas to jogging all day, not wearing a bra, not wearing shoes. Honestly, I enjoyed spending my days in comfortable, non-tight clothes. It did more good for my morale than dressing differently every day. I'm going to keep this at last for the most part ;)
The 6pm rituals with Lili Barbery and 9:10pm rituals with Odile Chabrillac on Instagram helped me a lot. They gave structure to my day. So did the 9am class with Adrian Parfene (but I knew him much later). As well as the 8pm clap ritual! This routine that structures the day also gives structure to one's mind.
MANAGE YOUR HYPERSENSITIVITY
As Clotilde Dusoulier says so well: "hypersensitive + perfectionist = the explosive cocktail! Anxiety, overwhelm, dissatisfaction, guilt... A constant and unpredictable emotional lift, and the chronic feeling of not doing well enough, of not having said the right thing, of not enjoying enough, of missing out on her life." I think she summed up well what I experienced for years and what I still experience today even though I work on it a lot and have calmed down compared to a few years ago (well a few months :)).
To be a great sensitive is also to be very empathetic. Sometimes too much, even if it means being in the other person's shoes, experiencing their emotions and feelings in their place. I'll tell you an anecdote that I find very funny. A director friend of mine sent me the link to his new documentary on migrants. I watch it on my phone because I had no other media available even though it surely deserved to be seen on the big screen. I find it beautiful and I am very touched by the story of this Afghan teenager who arrived in Belgium a few years ago. I was in his shoes, I experienced his emotions to such an extent that I thought it was great that the director did not subtitle the documentary so that we could feel what he would have felt when he arrived in a country where he did not know the language. I give feedback to my friend who says: "You watched the whole film without subtitles? You should have put them on! I had wondered at the beginning why there were no subtitles, thinking that it was perhaps due to the format of the phone! It made me laugh a lot even if I was a bit embarrassed :) But it turns out that I am so empathetic that I don't need words to understand... I hope this gives him some concept ideas for his next film ;)
The Power of KUNDALINI
"Happiness is everyone's birthright." Yogi Bhajan
For a while I felt alive because of my chaotic (and therefore often harmful) love relationships. Now it is thanks to the kundalini that I feel alive, that I feel I exist. I feel the living in me and that no practice before had allowed me this discovery.
Thanks to this confinement, I felt that this kundalini had become a deep need and not only a practice. Thanks to the confinement it is every day on Monday! Even if I use online videos for guidance, I do it every day. And I am very happy to have crossed the virtual path of Adrian Parfene who reminds me a lot of Guillermo. His courses are so enriching and powerful! Even through a video he manages to activate the 5D, to transmit his energy, his wisdom, his stories, his humour. I even found myself thinking "oh boy, I'm going to have to move to Paris after the lockdown to continue the classes with him" :)
Kundalini allows me to take back the power of my life by developing my intuition. It helps me to feel grounded, to feel that security is inside me and not outside or through secure people. It allows me to experiment without being expectant and to take off the mask I have been wearing for a long time to just be me.
Will I be able to maintain this daily practice in this new reality?
Yogi Bhajan, the man who brought kundalini yoga to the world, said this: "Discipline is your best friend. Transformation is a long road and it starts with regular practice. It doesn't just happen. I thought for a long time that it would fall into my hands without effort. And these two months of confinement have proven to me how much my daily practice saves me.
That's why, in addition to the challenge of practicing Subagh Krya (it's a sequence of postures that works on prosperity and abundance at all levels) for 120 days (I'm on my 27th day), I've committed to myself to practice sadhana every morning at dawn (I'm more of a late-night-late-night kind of person) with Odile Charbillac, Elodie, and Laetitia Debeausse. The Aquarian Sadhana is an invitation to support change for ourselves and others. There are almost 300 of us meeting every morning from a distance. The challenge ends on June 20 if you feel like joining us ;)
BACK TO REALITY?
It's true that loneliness hasn't been the hardest part for me. I didn't miss the social stuff much. And paradoxically, I have the feeling that I have crossed the virtual path of many people. I have made many totally unexpected encounters. New projects are being born thanks to this.
So, yes, I have had some very difficult moments, but what I retain from all of this is a great openness rather than a closure. It made me want to contact a lot of people, to propose collaborations, to open up to writing, to music, to get my guitar out of the wardrobe, to put in place a living and healthy diet and of course to keep a daily kundalini practice. I took the time to refocus, to align myself with my deep values, my buried dreams, to (re)find moments of relaxation and pleasure. While keeping a place for work but much less than before!
This morning I came across the morning post of Marie Robert of Philosophy is sexy: "Beyond fear, beyond vigilance, beyond disagreements, life in society draws our becoming as humans, it is a fundamental condition to be able to realise oneself as an individual, to espouse existence other than in a solitary survival. This back and forth between our interiority and the group shakes us up, hurts us, but also offers us the possibility to clarify our feelings, to refine our opinions, to position ourselves. It's time for me to go outside and see what the world has to offer me and what I have to offer it!
The field of possibilities is open and it feels good! EVERYTHING IS RIGHT!
MY SHOWROOM REVEALS
Because my primary objective is always to distil a little beauty in this world and to make you experience positive emotions, I am delighted to welcome you back to the showroom in Brussels from Tuesday to Saturday and that always by appointment.
I would also like to take this opportunity to (re)highlight the services I offer:
- Try my collections (this goes without saying)
- Discuss your dream jewel project
- Transform your old gold jewellery into a new piece
- Give your jewellery a second life (repair and cleaning)
- Sizing your rings
- Erasing sweet nothings on your jewellery
If you feel like it, you can contact me by email to make an appointment. I am always available by video call if you can't or don't want to come. For your information, hydroalcoholic gel will be at your disposal and I will wear a mask to receive you in the best conditions!
Remember all my yellow gold plated jewellery is still available here? And the sweetened prices are still on ;-) No need for a code. The discount is automatic.
Looking forward to seeing you again, masked but with a smile!
"Be the change you wish to see in the world" Gandhi
© All photographs in this post are by Pixabay and Enora Antoine