1.the time at which something is most powerful or successful.“in 1977, punk was at its zenith”
synonyms: highest point, high point, crowning point, height, top, acme, peak, pinnacle, apex, apogee, vertex, tip, crown, crest, summit, climax, culmination, maximum, optimum, prime, meridian, flower; Moreinformal high noon“the king was at the zenith of his power” antonyms: nadir, bottom
2.Astronomythe point in the sky or celestial sphere directly above an observer.
the highest point reached by a given celestial object.“the sun was well past the zenith”
Before I started my yoga teacher training, we were asked to respond to a series of questions in our application form (this may sound familiar…I’ve quoted others in a previous post). The section titled ‘YOU AS A HUMAN BEING’ was (unsurprisingly) probably the most thought provoking. These questions were about who we are as a whole, about how we present ourselves, how we interact with others and how we lead. ‘Being a yoga teacher is to be fully yourself and to have awareness of who you are’ they told us, before they launched this on us:
What are your strengths? What are the areas of your life where you feel like you are fully and powerfully expressing yourself?
Bloody hell, I thought. I hate this question. I’m going to sound like an absolute, DISempowered tosser. But off I went waxing lyrical with sound bites about ‘collaborating well with others’ and ‘captivating audiences on stage by inhabiting anothers’ vulnerabilities’ (but not my own, you might note) as though that gives me a free ticket to ‘understanding my students and their needs’. Blah, blah, blah. Tosser. Wanker. Vomit. Vomit. Shuuuuut uuup!
That was then…
And what is interesting now about this response is that while parts of it are absolutely valid and true, I realised – today, actually – that my meaning of ‘powerful’ and ‘strong’ is actually much simpler than that.
This morning, for example, I went through that internal anguish of debating whether or not to pick up the phone and cancel my work appointment. It’s not a big deal, but in old at making it one. Watch: I really need the money – Yeah but, I really need to rest – You shouldn’t let people down – But my body is about to fall apart – You’ll fuck up your relationships if you don’t – But I’ll fuck up the new ones in that audition if I do – Ok…Ha! They didn’t answer – Call again – No, it’s a sign – No, you’re being lazy – But my eyes are swimming through led – You shouldn’t have gotten behind on your blog – You haven’t learnt lines for next week – YOU – I – BUT – ARRGH!
I think it was around this point that my intuition stepped in and boxed my mind around the ears. It shot one surprised glare back before whimpering in retreat into its’ corner. We acutally inherently know what we – and our body – needs. We are empowered when we trust it and go with what it is telling us. The line between knowing and over-thinking is constantly shifting, going between the two, like the tide coming in to shore. It’s a given – a constant – a certainty. It’s allowing for both intuition and ego and trusting that it will balance itself out without you needing to resist it or to try too hard make anything happen one way or the other.
So once I’d managed to get my ego out of the way, rather than venturing out into the pouring rain, struggling through a day at work, postponing and thereby adding to the stress that was being brought on by my other commitments, I did exactly what my body asked.
My bliss, my power came from allowing myself to care for me in the moment. And that meant lying in, listening to the gentle rain patter on my window, tucked up with a purring furry one, drifting in and out of sleep when my body drew me down into it, reading and prepping for my audition when I had the mental energy. This was much closer to my truth today. Other days it looks very different, but today flowing in and out of little peaks and delights – carefully grinding my coffee beans and letting the aroma fill my senses; taking a moment to feel my heart skip and reverberate through my tired limbs upon receiving a sweet, simple message from a loved one; gazing into the gentle, purring eyes of a strangers cat, stretched carelessly across my body; registering the depth of connection to my work when I recognise my characters’ feelings in my own life; the moment an idea dawns in my mind and a blog post begins… – this is when I have reached my zenith.
When I am aligned with my truth, that is when I am most powerful.