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The Native American Cherokee legend of the 2 wolves is not new to me but it came up again in a book I am currently reading by Sharon Salzberg called the power of Meditation.

For those of you not familiar with this powerful story I will tell you.



An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me ," he said to the boy. " It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf is evil, he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed,


arrogance, self pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego."



He continued , " The other is good-he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The same fight is going on inside of you-and inside every other person too."

The grandson thought for a minute and then asked his Grandfather , "which one will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied " The one you feed."



Sharon Salzberg goes on to elaborate " But that's only part of the picture. "True whatever gets our attention flourishes, so if we lavish attention on the negative and inconsequential , they can overwhelm the positive . But if we do the opposite , refusing to deal or acknowledge what's difficult and painful pretending it doesn't exist , then our world is out of whack. Whatever doesn't get our attention withers -or retreats below conscious awareness , where it may still affect our lives. In a perverse way , ignoring the painful and difficult is just another way of feeding the wolf."


As we are entering a time of so much change all around us these words have felt very important to me and this week I have had to sit and look at which wolf I have been feeding during my time in lock-down. During a difficult and stressful times ( and this one is unprecedented for us all )where do my thoughts go, which behaviors do I feed to feel safe and secure and how does that manifest and play-out in my life and with those around me? This has been hard work taking this time to really observe myself and my behavior using my yoga and meditation practice to support me in this and look at those difficult aspects I don't like to see. Fear, control, anger have all reared up this week to give me lessons and growth, I invite you to do the same gently and with compassion for yourself take a little look in the mirror and ask yourself which wolf am I feeding?

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Summer which is traditionally a time for joy, action and expression. However this June I feel it is as if we are waking up from a horrible nightmare that has encompassed us all. The world that we knew back in the winter time has disappeared and it is almost as though we are entering a different part of the same dream.

Business are beginning to reopen, some children are returning to school. Some people are returning to work and other are taking their first footsteps out of their home to see loved ones they have not seen for months. There maybe fear of returning to work, of new rules, legislation put in place or just fear of going outside at all.

How do we give ourselves time to really feel into the effects of this for ourselves and for our children? Some of us might like to put the last few months behind them grateful for the new, others might feel completely devastated and broken and they feel that this is not something they can do. This experience is different for each of us and a one size fits all approach will not work to allow for the reflecting of that. M

y Forrest teacher is always speaking to us about the need for space within our difference and I feel this time more than ever that is so very true. Showing each other compassion and giving each other room for our difference at this time.

So I guess my question for June is what now? How can we move through this change and still feel grounded so that we are not just moving in a dream like state through this but are present in our bodies to this experience. For me this has been about connecting with my root chakra,my base chakra. Connecting with the Earth, Active feet. Yoga and meditation practice. " Our ground is our root -for which which this chakra is named. Though our roots we gain nourishment , power, stability and growth. Without this connection we are separated from nature, from our source. Cut off, we are easily manipulated. When we are grounded we are low, humble and close to the Earth. Resting on the ground we have a sense of inner security because we cannot fall. "Judith Anodea Wheels of life.



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In the last 7 weeks it is safe to say that our world has been completely turned upside down. We find ourselves both living, working and educating our children from home. In this unprecedented situation, life as we know it has changed and we have adapted as best as we can in a time of extreme crisis. As time moves on and lock-down continues however the toll of that stress, worry and fear can start to have a negative impact on the body. I have created this short 20 minute video which can be done sat on a chair as way offer a bit of time for you even if its just a short break away from your work. Giving ourselves time to reconnect with the body and breathe particularity during times of stress in essential. Deep breathing helps move us from fight for flight response into rest and digest ( sympathetic to parasympathetic nervous system.) gentle release of neck and shoulders can relieve tensions in the neck which can aid deeper more effective breathing. Active feet and feeling the ground , taking our shoes off to connect has a very powerful effect.

"When we get fearful, we get caught up in our chests, neck, and jaw. Keeping your feet active makes the energy travel down to some of the biggest bones and muscles and makes you grounded and rooted. When your feet are active you cant space out- it takes conscious volition to keep them that way" Ana T Forrest Fierce Medicine.

As none of us know how long we will have to continue to live this way it is important that we look after ourselves our physical and mental well-being as much as we can, I hope this video will help support you.

Love

Sarah


One life is all we have and live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.

JOAN OF ARC

Gentle Warrior offers Forrest Yoga classes, one-to-one sessions, private classes and holistic treatments in the Lancaster, Caton and Lune Valley area.

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