Amidst all of the obvious fear, pain and trauma of this pandemic I would like to bring awareness to the Love that can be found in action and the opportunities that lay within the chaos.

Having been in Lockdown for four weeks now it has come to my attention that there could be a better term to describe it! One that I’ve heard and is much less severe in delivery is the Maori word Rahui meaning restricted access or reserved. It suggests a ritual of protection and conservation. It has a much more loving feel to it right? 

Protection of our people has been the ultimate aim of Lockdown. We have all made personal sacrifices for the greater good of all New Zealanders. We have come together in a united effort born out of love for each other and our country protecting and conserving our population.

I feel that this immense expression of Love is worth noting and embracing.

If we can orientate our perception to love and courage in these times of crisis, however challenging, it will drastically alter the way we experience Rahui and our futures to come.

Crisis strips us of our comfort zones and usually always has embedded chaos. People tend to see crisis and chaos  as negative and destructive. Destruction however is not always negative, it can be a force of creation if we let it. The way I see it is we have two choices, either recoil and grasp out of fear for what was, or we rise up and meet the challenge to face our new blank slate and start painting! 

As much as I wanted to see through the eyes of love, at the beginning of Rahui I was consumed by fear.

For 10 days I was in a state of shock and confusion reacting emotionally to the smallest upsets. Out of fear my mind and ego tried to make sense of things and eradicate the uncertainty around the future. The life I had built was slipping through my fingers and all I could do was watch.

Straight away my mind went into ‘story’, all of the possible negative ways my life could end up flooded my awareness. The strongest story being that with complete certainty I would run out of money, have no food  and become homeless within weeks! 

I also questioned my right to be free. 

No swimming, bush walking or moving between suburbs. At which point do we say this is now encroaching on my right to freedom?  My mind again went into a story of impending doom – martial law and how I would need to start training to lead the freedom fighters! Again – story, the mind taking me out of reality and into the worst possible outcomes.

Another feeling also present, a deep dark heavy grief. It was possibly for the life that had just dissolved before my eyes? Or maybe for the projected story of impending martial law and lost freedom? 

An alternative perspective is that the grief was that of the collective consciousness. The heavy vibration of everybody’s fear, trepidation, uncertainty and coming loss.

Defeated and ungrounded, I was lost. Actively I had been resisting the yoga and self inquiry practices that could lead me out of this suffering. A turbulent chaos stormed around inside of me and I knew that the only way out is through.

No more running and resisting, it was time to turn my awareness inwards. 

I reached out to a dear friend who I recently trained with, I needed help to kickstart my internal journey of processing all of this emotion.

She held a strong space for me through a practitioner guided process of Self Inquiry. I was lead through the contents of my consciousness and invited to feel what was there. She assured me that it was safe and that I was strong enough to hold whatever came up. 

Feeling supported, I dove in, taking a deep breath of courage I began to allow everything to be acknowledged and felt. Emotion after emotion being witnessed, seen and digested.

I ended up in a resource state of Safety. An unwavering deep and grounded sense of safety permeated my awareness,. It was emanating from my very being -not from an external source creating the illusion of safety but a sense that at the core of my being, I am safety! 

Immense gratitude washed over me, for my courage to feel what was there.

Tears of joy and elation streamed from eyes, I felt powerful again.

After this I began to practice again daily my physical asana, my chanting and meditation and continued to look inwards. My life’s vow is to seek the truth of who I am, to be love and to help others do the same.

Perception determines your experience of reality. You are always able to choose your perception. Are you choosing to see the love within the crisis, the opportunity within the chaos? 

Rahui, I have decided, is a perfect opportunity for self inquiry and to focus on my personal evolution. 

We constantly use distractions to avoid feeling what is present for us emotionally. However there comes a time when they no longer work, their power waines and you are left only with yourself. 

Do you like who you are? Can you sit with yourself? Can you curiously look within and identify what might be blocking you from existing as the highest version of yourself? 

I see this time as similar to that of the caterpillar being in its cocoon surrendering all that it is to know itself differently. 

Trusting life itself implicitly. 

I am curiously excited at the prospect of the world as we knew it never being the same again. It terrifies my mind but a much deeper place within me is joyfully excited!

I realise this joy arises because i understand that when nothing is certain, everything is possible. With this realisation all of the confines of my minds projections of what I could be or achieve suddenly lifted.

A feeling of such freedom now runs through me. 

This gave rise to another profound realisation that control is just an illusion we create for ourselves to feel safe. The truth however is that everything is in flux and flow moving through cycles of life and death and rebirth. The biggest illusion is that we are safe when resisting and fighting against the flow of life.

Can we let go of our need to control, stop the fight that tires us out so deeply and surrender to the unfolding of life? Trust the process, the natural flow and rhythm of the innate intelligence that permeates everything in our reality?

What I see unfolding within the confines of Rahui is exactly that, we have had to surrender, accept what is even though at first we didn’t like it. In doing so we allowed ourselves to move with the flow of our current reality and as a result we are seeing love in action. Families are spending quality time together again, walking, biking,eating together and seeing the value in it.

Young people have also been reaching out to support the elderly who are on their own and the people who have enough food have been offering support for those of us who don’t. The effect of physical distancing seems to have brought us into a stronger sense of community..

What would it look like if we decided we no longer accepted a society rooted in fear, scarcity and separation? Instead choosing to see our common unity, to love each other unconditionally and create a society from that place?

The machine has all but stopped.

Within this rare opportunity can we ask ourselves what in our lives before Rahui was causing stress and disharmony? ‘What old ways can we let go, to know ourselves differently? What is actually important? What do we actually need from this life?

Ultimately, can we choose Love over Fear? 

I ask of myself to have the courage to surrender my mind to the uncertainty of the future. Trusting completely in life itself, to allow my soul to merge with the soul of the world allowing for growth and evolution.

Humanities evolution starts with you, are you coming?