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News from the heartland

Love Trumps Fear

I’ve just come out of a 21 day retreat in the forested foothills of Southern India exploring the nature of the heart and mind with my beloved teacher and 30 new friends who came to gather from across the planet.

In the divine embrace of Mother Nature, away from all distractions and communication from the outside world, my heart is bursting with gratitude for the incredible 3 weeks that was and for the teachings shared and received.

While I was away I wrote a little about some of the teachings that landed softly in my heart. With the intention to gently remind myself to stay alert, awake and enjoy the precious gift that is this human birth, I hope that these sharing’s may bring you some joy too.


Before I left for the adventure, a friend had given me Marianne Williamson’s book – A Return to Love in which she beautifully shares: “The spiritual journey is the relinquishment or unleashing of fear and acceptance of love that back into our hearts…  It’s not our job to seek for this love, but to seek all the barriers we hold against its coming”.   

One evening early on in the retreat after coming out of 3 days of silence, someone mentioned how it seemed that life often gets worse when we begin to work deeply on ourselves.  We both had a laugh because it was a thought I had also become familiar with over the past few years.

As it was for many, 2016 was a big year feeling the sticky scramble from one challenge to the next.   Off the back of what had been one of the most challenging periods of time personally, with unforeseen changes and hurdles on almost every level of previous security; family, relationships, health, career – we joked about how we’ve both had the grace to find ourselves, wandering around the Indian wilderness, peeling back the layers of what had delicately been stored in the heart and mind.

That same day a story had been shared about how another friend had arrived on retreat having recently been fired his job, his partner had left and when he was to return home he had nowhere to live.  To this our teacher delightfully responded;  “how fantastic!!!  Imagine of all of the possibilities which you have absolutely no idea about!!”  It was the first of many sweetly delivered but powerful simple truths to hit home:  No matter what happens, in any given moment, whatever external situation we may find ourselves in, if we hold on to love as our centre – particularly in times of challenge or hurt we will be protected from the chaos and confusion that fear brings.

In a relatively short amount of time, a lot of internal stirring can happen with many juicy stories popping up when we take time out to sit quietly with ourselves.  Every day, in long sessions of sitting for meditation and pranayama I noticed that many of the stories that kept arising in my mind seemed to share a common theme;  underlying elements of fear.  Whether the fear had been expressed in these stories as self doubt, desire, not wanting to let go, or a fear of judgement or unknowing –  In many areas of my life where I’d previously found myself feeling stuck or gripped by, I realised that fear was often the common experience underlying the contractions.

A big one for me after a lot of change in the past year (with universe giving things a thorough shaking) was the fear of not knowing, or the feeling that I had little control of what was around the next corner.  Some days the thought of having absolutely no idea of how life would look or feel next month, or next year was a big one.   It was after days of witnessing and acknowledging these expressions of fear that I started to understand just how unworkable and unproductive these  personalised patterns of fearful thinking are.

In any situation where we may feel held back by some level of conscious or subconscious fear – however that may look; whether it be daring to open our hearts in full vulnerability in relationships, surrendering to forgive that lingering thing or person we’ve been holding tightly onto, taking a chance and and moving on from that unfulfilling job we’ve felt stuck in, or letting go of any fears about an unknown tomorrow  –  when we respond from a place of love, we are moved in the direction in which we are supposed to go.  As long as we are not in peace, responding with from patterns of fear – our emotions and behaviour will always carry the energy of this conflict.

On one of the last days our beloved teacher shared with the sparkliest of smiles: “With time, everything can be dissolved once acknowledged”  So if love is what we were born with, and fear is what we have learned here – its ultimately through this witnessing, acknowledging and remembering of the personalised stories and thoughts that are banging on in our minds, that our fears can be dissolved and we return to our natural state of love.

As Marianne Williamson writes: “It is not through the darkness we get to the light. It is through the light that we get to the light”.

As I slowly arrive back into the world from the amazing month that was, I’m excited start this new year with the intention of living each day fearlessly and gracefully from the heart.  With great joy knowing there’s no idea about tomorrow. Whatever it brings, it’s a day perfect in its pristine uniqueness.  A day we have never seen before and will never see again.

With love for a beautiful 2017,

Om Namo Narayani

Sophie x


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