I am sure that most of us have experienced the past

 6 weeks of lockdown as an intense rollercoaster of change.

 

Change is the only constant, nothing ever remains the same

of course. Yet this time, this extreme situation provides us

with an opportunity to stand back and look afresh at life as

we knew it.

 

We are all at different stages of reflection and I appreciate

 that some of us are still in the eye of the storm. Many

questions are thrown up in the air as we may wonder how

 things shall unfold. Many of us also grieving and experiencing

various other personal losses.

 

On a global scale, those I speak with have a deep longing

 for humanity to awake to new ways of being and wish it

were without the loss of so many sacred and precious lives.

Each and every one being a relative, a friend, a neighbour,

leaving behind a wave of immense grief.

 

Therefore, I feel so fortunate to be able to reflect upon the

new canvas that remains, for those of us who still have the

 gift of life and the insight to sew new seeds of hope for

 our beautiful planet.

 

For me, it has been an incredibly tough journey, for personal

 reasons yet also due to the enormous threat to The Unity

Centre’s future.  After spending so many years designing and

establishing this not-for-profit CIC we have been affected so

intensely by the secondary economic wave.

 

As always, I shall put every thing that I have into this dream,

which our community kindly appreciate’s as a hub for people

of all ages and needs. Now, more than ever, we as humans need

 places to congregate and support each other as we put our

world back together as we wish it to be in our hearts.

 

So, we shall continue to do all that we can to be sustainable,

hoping that the tender roots of having just opened before

the pandemic, can – hopefully – continue to strengthen somehow.

 

Creating the online platform within 10 days was quite a task!

I am so grateful and proud of the wonderful Unity team who

helped channel their passion into a wonderful service.

Technology is helping us all to stay connected, it is something

 I feel so grateful for and I wonder how our ancestors long ago

experienced global pandemics without this incredible tool that

 we have.

 

We are able to reach out to our near and far community, who

 can meet us on the screen and practice yoga, meditation, dance

 and music in their own home. This is not new of course, but in

 these times it is a lifeline to so many to be able to practice a

 pre-recorded session, filmed with love from our wonderful

teachers. Or to connect in real time with fellow community

members in a virtual class, restoring our unified need for

 connection.

 

Outside, we witness our small communities coming together

 in ways that have not been seen for so long/ before.

 

Rainbows in windows to honour and thank the incredible key

workers and front line health care workers. My cousin is a

Nurse on the covid ward in Brighton and to me, she symbolizes

 this kind of super-human who steps forward with courage and

compassion to help our fellow neighbours to battle, wherever

possible, through the virus. These care-givers can teach us all

so much about unconditional love and hope.

 

Our little pockets of neighbours may come together through

 doorstep chats, support over the fence and friendly connections

 in the essential shops that remain open for us. Call centre

 phonecalls  feel different, chatting with warmth and gratitude to

 an unknown person who is juggling work with their children at

home in the background.

 

Some have work, some don’t, some receive pay or support,

\ some do not. We are all experiencing this situation so differently.

 

Recently inspired by a poem I read, perhaps we are all in the

same storm yet in very different boats.  With these differences,

 it seems that we can still come together, through empathy and

 recognition to support each other.

 

We see the suffering in strangers and loved ones, perhaps

s passing by in our daily exercise, or on a screen far away.

We realize the importance of contact and long to be able to

hug those we love in future days.

 

We can observe this as an opportunity for humility and

 gratitude for the sweetness of life. To meet each stranger

with kindness, as we never know what difficult reality they

are privately facing.

 

Nature is blossoming, we see local and global miracles

as wildlife celebrates the quieter and less violent world.

Perhaps others like me, long for life not to go back to

‘normal’ and to tread with more care and sensitivity to the

 beauty on our doorsteps.   Nature seems to be able to breathe again,

 it is beautiful to see the instant potential recovery of our planet.

Perhaps it gives us hope that we can repair some of the damage

 humanity has inflicted through lack of awareness and connection.

 

Connection is what this is all about for me. Connection with

 ourselves. connections with others and connection with the

 world around us.  This is the way that I have always explained

the meaning of Yoga. Yoga means ‘Union’ and in the needs of today

it is the unity in the word Community.

 

We have been forced into a simpler, smaller world. We have been

faced with a choice of how to respond, to fight or to surrender.

Perhaps I like others have done a little of both.

 

As we have a tiny glimpse of exiting our lockdown in the coming

weeks, part of me longs to extend this opportunity for reflection.

 

Initially across the globe (in some areas more than others) there

was a sense of shock, survival, busy-ness, and great adjustment.

For some of us we are bailing out water in the hope that our

 established dreams may stay afloat. Many of us have been busy,

yet are experiencing glimpses of joy through nature, family

(if we are fortunate to be in lockdown with someone we love)

and this precious time alone to go within. Like a pendulum,

 perhaps we swing between fear and love.

 

Where can we seek solace?

Our inner world is our refuge. Through meditation, breathwork,

movement, music, art and other practices we can connect with

 our inner peace and sense of deep knowing. We can drop into

a place of calm and centre, a sanctuary of inner trust.

 

This is, perhaps is a unique opportunity for us to re-connect

 with the person that we wish to be in this life.

 

I am so grateful to walk this path of yoga and to experience

this unprecedented pause in time (I had to use that word of course!)

 

I really don’t wish to negate the pain, suffering, loss and grief in

 any way at all, in fact the shadow of grief is something to deeply

 acknowledge and I find sometimes missing. Our recognition

of others’ pain brings us together and highlights what remains.

We can recognize each other not only through our shared

experiences but also we can open our hearts more to appreciate

 their unique pain.

 

With support, love and a heightened sense of awareness and

 respect to the various paths that we all tread, we can all walk

 gently together into a new realm of kindness and connection.

 

It is up to us as individuals to make an inner choice of how

we want to re-create a world to be loved and cherished by

 generations to come.

 

Namaste

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IMPORTANT UPDATERE-OPENING OF THE UNITY CENTRE

The Unity team have begun to prepare for the reopening of The Unity Centre!

We'd like to hear from you to help us create a safe and relaxing space, click HERE to complete this simple survey.

We can't wait to see all of you, but our set-up of the centre will be different from before. We'll be implementing new guidelines to ensure that our staff and guests are safe as we ease out of lockdown. Once we have our final plan we'll be in touch about how we move forward towards opening our doors again, and we'll publish our plans on the website.

Thank you again for all of your support!

The Unity Team x