You know that feeling when you have that first sip (ok, gulp) of wine after a long, stressful day? That blood red (if you’re a Vino fan like me; urine coloured if you’re into whites) remedy that glides down your throat, instantly warming you to the tips of your toes and relieving those tiresome worries? 

I thought wine was my vice for being carefree. I’m a bit of a lightweight, so half a glass and I’m beaming. Full glass and I’m merry. Two glasses and I’m well on the way to being Sloppy Poppy. And three glasses – well, I could be anyone’s. 

But that sense of contentment, of worries being washed away, I’ve never found in anything else than becoming slightly tipsy. Until now.
Christ, I’d take the rush of nailing a headstand (yes yes, I did do so today; nailed it!) over a big glass of merlot anyday. The joy that fills me after a fantastically strenuously stretching hour and a half of full on yoga is something else. Today I was absolutely ecstatic during class and wanted it to keep going and going. (Tthough this may have been beause I was all limber and Rajeesh remarked a few times on how “perfect, very nice” some of my backbends were. And also, he stretched each of us in butterfly as we lay on our backs; I could get my thighs right down to the floor so he was pretty much in my groin. Yoga or tantric? Line is being blurred. Was fantastic!)

Meditation has been my biggest hurdle. Keeping my mind focused and not off on a tangent proves quite the task. I was getting frustrated as I felt I wasn’t making any progress, until I read in a book:

Meditation is also finding that thing that  brings great joy, and is going deep, deep into it. Anything that gives you peace, anything that recharges you. That you can one pointedly concentrate on for a sustained period.”

Mate, I meditate all the time. Writing. When I write, I’m oblivious to the the world. A cockroach could be crawling up my arm, a dog could be crapping on my leg, hell, a bird could be roosting in my armpit and I would have no idea. I get completely and utterly sucked into the world of words, with nothing in my mind but the next step in the sentence. 

Case in point. On Sunday, Eva and I were in a rickashaw heading back from town. It was jam packed with about a zillion BO-ed Indian men all eating ice blocks. I was pressed up against the bars of the side, gridlocked against the metal. And I was practising absolute pratyahara – withdrawal of the senses. Suddenly I looked up; the men had gone, four new passengers had climbed aboard and we were in the middle of a jungle. Eva laughed at my perplexed expression and just said, “You were so deeply meditating”. And I truly was.

I’m not a peaceful person. There’s armies of nerves swarming through my system at any given time. They used to be drowned with a good downpour of wine every so often or a good dowsing of Rescue Remedy, but now I’m unearthing ways to quell the battles inside. It’s so relieving, uplifting and exciting. 

:Is Ultra Pop finding ways to shine through? I really think so. 


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