rough and tumble

I’m out of my routine – and out of the country – this week and it seems to be messing with me on a number of levels. It’s kind of amazing how a change of scenery can be so profoundly affecting. I’m spending nine days in Dusseldorf for a presenting gig which, while there’s plenty of goodness around it, for some reason it very quickly became clear just how unintelligent and distracting the mind can be when change is in the air.
An actors job is to take on an ‘otherness’, which, after so much in depth focus on ‘self’ during my yoga teacher training, suddenly felt entirely alien to me.
‘You’re name is Diana and you are a brand manager at a consumer products company: GO!’
I’m who?
‘Tell me about your SKU’s and the HDR quality of that press: NOW!’
The S-K-what?’
‘Erin, why are you still holding the script?! You’re giving me a heart attack!’
Wait…’Erin’…what? Where are we?
‘Germany! Don’t you understand English?’
Hang on, was that Hebrew or…?
‘You’re on!!’
But I don’t know my lines?! Why are you looking at me like that?
‘Here drink this, you’ll be right.’
No! No more wine, I’ll lose my mind.

Truth is, my mind was very much present. It was me who was lost.

It had managed to convince me to retreat so far inside myself that I disappeared. Stress is probably it’s favourite game. And what’s more, it has all the strategies it needs so that no amount of breathing (or booze) will get me any closer to winning. Not only does it play on the immediate stressors – like learning lines or meeting new people – but it manages to dig it’s way into the more deeply rooted places of my being. Suddenly I start questioning who I am and why aren’t I talking? What’s with all the suits or are we all in costume now? Why can’t I write anything? Why would he be interested in me? Do I really have any friends? Why am I even here? Maybe all that self discovery was just a dream, a fantasy, after all.

I left the building entirely. And I was pretty sure I wasn’t coming back.

Welcome back to the real world, Erin.
Go back to sleep, back to black.

But then – without my asking, and without their knowing – those people turn up, just when you need them. You know the ones…They break down the fortress you – or rather, your mind – has cleverly built up, wrap a warm blanket around your heart, hold up a mirror and say, ‘I remember you. Now, enough of this – it’s time to come home.’

And goodness knows where they came from. Or how they found you. But somewhere in the distance a light glimmers. And breath rushes into your lungs….and you can write, and practice yoga, and laugh and walk through the world with honesty and acceptance.

It seems there’s actually no way of avoiding these things. As I am constantly reminded lately: wherever you go, there you are. And if you do lose yourself amongst the tumbling illusions of the mind, you can be sure someone or something will show up just when you need or want it, hurl a lifeline out into the abyss and pull you back to shore…

And so, in this new light, I took myself through a yoga practice this morning – and wondered why on earth I hadn’t thought of it earlier!? – and found myself writing over breakfast, and giggling all the way to work. So of course I would stumble across this whilst kicking my heels up between shows today. Just another reminder popping up to take me home…

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Source: The House of Yoga

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