By Kristine Kaoverii Weber | January 23, 2021
I regularly practice a version of Bhūtaśuddhi meditation, and for a part of it, you imagine yourself floating away from the earth and experiencing the vastness of the universe. And although I’ve been practicing this for several decades, I’ve always had a hard time with it. A long silver tether comes into my mind, connecting me back to the earth and as much as I try to sever it, I usually can’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love floating out in space, but something is always there calling me and keeping me grounded.
Maybe I’m a bad yogi.
Or maybe I’d prefer to stay grounded.
I moved to Christchurch, New Zealand on Monday (read more about my journey here ) and interestingly, now when I sit to pracitice Bhūtaśuddhi the tether is gone and I’m falling as free as Tom Petty.
This morning at 3 am, seemed to be an excellent time to do a thorough bed review of the things I need to do and figure out in order to have a life in this new country – the metric system for starters, it will be about 24 today. That is a relatively useless piece of information for my Fahrenheit habituated brain. Then there’s driving on the left side of the road (for which I have one word…terrifying), and also getting used to people saying things to me like “Yes, lovely” without blushing.
Despite the miracles of technology – I’m feeling galaxies away.
Some days this week I felt way too ungrounded to approach my mat – even though I knew it would make me feel much better.
When practice fails, my default is relationship – I text my sister in California and we gush about how much we love The OA on Netflix (Brit Marling is a genius!), my son massages my shoulders, my husband takes me for a hike. Then I can breathe. Also, the trees, rocks and dust all seem to conspire to bring me back down.
People I love + nature is a good combo – then I can get back to my mat and let the alchemy of practice do its thing.
Mindfulness is proving to be key. Sometimes I have extreme and uncomfortable emotions. But, ultimately, they are not me, they are emotions I’m having. I watch myself have them. I wouldn’t be human without them. My job is applying patience and tolerance and ask them to guide me to what I need in the moment.
Moving is a stressful experience, moving to another country is like stress on steroids. So, I am finding my way – navigating through with the support of relationships, nature and practice (plus self-care, humor, optimism, and gratitude). It’s kinda simple – and I have lived with myself long enough to know that it works for me.
I hope this doesn’t come across as complaining, or asking for pity, advice, or encouragement – god knows that the situation in the states is so challenging and so many people are suffering terribly. My intention isn’t to compare, it’s to describe the rawness of an inner landscape and the practices that help me find peace.
When I look down from my vista, down on what I have left and where I am now, I am awed, sad, homesick, thrilled, happy, and grateful. I know that the silver tether will always coil me back down to earth – but somehow, the wind has blown me a little further away.
Join me online February 20-21 – Pranayama and Asanas to Thrive during Challenging Times – check it out here!
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Your email reminded me of the feeling I had when my Mom (and Dad) first visiting Europe for two weeks. It was crazy, but I never wanted to talk to my Mom more than when I could.
Hang in there. Transitions are never easy.
And please know we love you and want only your best💗
Ohhh, such a wonderful read…thank you for your open-hearted sharing of your extraordinary journey. Im glad you were/are my teacher. Lona
Thank you Lona! xoxo
Thank you Christy!
This is a really sweet share, Kristine. It’s nice to learn how others incorporate practice into their lives!
Kristine I just love your authenticity.
Do you ever feel that you over think things , rather than just let be …
Hi So glad you are all safely there. I love how you observe your life and your emotional responses. I love your use of the yoga limbs as your companions. I also appreciate your choice of words and the way you write. I enjoy your comfort with sharing your concerns and how you seem to anticipate and welcome the support of the universe. I appreciate your curiosity and connection to the everyday repetitions and then say “what else”. Reading your blog makes me feel connected. Thank you for sharing and thank you for this sharing and community. I revisited Gary Kraftsow material and have retaken your session on Yoga U called Change your Life. Actually this time of trauma in the States had caused me to maintain and increase my yoga practices. Thank you for being such a great role model. Carry on!
Aw thank you so much Carol! I hope you are doing well and I look forward to chatting again soon! xoxo
Well, in a culture that tends to underthink, ignore, deny, and minimize – I think being thoughtful and contemplative is rather a necessary anomaly. In other words, not really.
Thank you Amy!
Hi – Kia Ora!!! I had to laugh – I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard a Kiwi say the word “Hike” before – we only “Walk” or if its a serious bush one (I think the definition would be if its requiring a back pack and boots) its called a “tramp”. I’ve never noticed this before – even the big walks I think are always referred to as Walking Tracks (e.g Milford, Routeburn etc)… Always downplaying it…
But anyhoo – welcome and I hope you enjoy yourself in this little slice of heaven…
Kristine, having uprooted myself at a young age from India and doing it 2 more times to live in other countries..I did not have the words or the practices to ground myself..it was a rough patch. As I get ready to move once again to Norway(may be in Feb) your beautiful authentic words are helping me to prepare myself. I just so love your authenticity, your beautiful writings…you are a beautiful soul..sending prayers for you to find your footing in the new place just like you provide for us..
I hope your move to Norway goes well for you Padma.
Thanks Christine for sharing your experiences, very interesting. When I moved to the Isle of Skye in Scotland from Birmingham UK, I struggled with the culture change and the Scottish accent and different words for things, but ultimately would not have changed that experience and look back on it with fondness.
yes me too Padma! Lots of love to you on your jouranl. And thanks Diana – I have lived abroad before too – the tradition says that traveling helps you to burn your samskaras – I’m feeling that right now!
Yes you really do understand moving around Padmaji! I hope to “see” you again soon!
You sure keep things real and relatable, love that, but feel for you with transitioning.
Beautiful photo and if any time to leave North America this would be the year.
Thank you Danalee!
Thank you for such an honest and open blog. Yoga is always there, wherever, whenever and you don’t even need a mat!!!
Oh, how can you think of your sharing as complaining? You have a great ability to express your inner thoughts and feeling so completely. Your experience is similar to mine regarding moving but yours most certainly has been magnified by living in another country and culture. Keep your thoughts flowing onto the page I am very grateful to know you snd read of your experiences. Ups snd down show your wisdom and helps me be more tolerant of myself. If you ever want to start a zoom woman’s discussion group please be sure that I have signed up!
Aw thanks Barbara! I hope you are doing well and enjoying your beautiful home! xo
Thank you for sharing your humanity. It is a reminder that even we teachers are learners in this life time. We work just as hard as our students, to “keep it together”. Feelings are not a sign of weakness or failure. They bring us back to our hearts.
My first yoga teacher was extremely private. I totally respected that, but it took years for me to see that she struggled, too. That we all have our moments of suffering, but the pause in yoga and meditation allows us to breathe through it all.
Thank you Marie – I used to be a lot more private, until I realized it didn’t help me OR my students. People used to put me on a pedestal and then I’d disappoint them by being human. So, I realized the only way to stop that nonsense was to be very open about my own struggles. sometimes exposing your Achilles heel gives predatory types an opening to attack – but in general, most people simply feel disarmed and relatable – and so it’s worth the risk.
Beautiful transitioning Kristine. Love the pictures! Thank you for sharing your story as always. Inspiring and motivating to keep moving on forward and to breathe in and out with gratitude, awareness and peace. Much love to you and family. Namaskar.
Thank you Radhika!
This in no way comes across as complaining, on the contrary, it’s just real emotions and feelings, thank you for putting it into words and sharing. I can strongly relate to being unable to get on the yoga mat!
This is wonderful, absolutely lovely and inspiring:
……….“ I used to be a lot more private, until I realized it didn’t help me OR my students. People used to put me on a pedestal and then I’d disappoint them by being human. So, I realized the only way to stop that nonsense was to be very open about my own struggles. sometimes exposing your Achilles heel gives predatory types an opening to attack – but in general, most people simply feel disarmed and relatable – and so it’s worth the risk.”
Thanks so much Karen. Brene Brown helped me to understand how authenticity and vulnerability are assets rather than deficits. I really do believe it’s work the risk!
I love when you share your stories Kristine! Your writing is beautiful and makes me want to know more… I have moved within the US many times and I understand. Thank your for being so open and sharing your new life adventures. I wish you peace and much joy as you navigate your new life.
Aw, thanks so much Elaine! I’m sure you can understand my disorientation. But it’s also beautiful to feel like a child, asking lots of questions, feeling a little lost, knowing that there are people caring for me and that the world is big and exciting.