I Vote John Lennon

It’s been a week of massive change. On the day of the referendum, I was moving into my new flat in Brixton. I was on top of the world, or actually I was on top of the roof looking out over the world… A world which feels, to me, like it’s gone totally mad. I spent the weekend with some mates, letting go and laughing hard, and as we randomly took to chanting at our lawyer-come-comedy-actress friend in the making – ‘Alice! Alice! Who the f**k is Alice!’, it occurred to me that we are all Alice. And we’re all following a load of rabbits down a black hole to a wonderland gone wrong.

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I’m just gonna say it: we need better leaders.

People only ever act out of love or fear, and it’s my belief that the majority of the leaders of this world do not act out of love. That’s where we’re going so, so off key. Power, greed and money take preference over peace, empathy, compassion. We’re governed by people who march forward with their egos, not their souls, and use their status to convince everyone that their way is the right way. We’re programmed to believe that our soldiers are brave and honourable for fighting the enemy. As they charge towards one another, don’t their shields resemble mirrors?

The brave are not fighters. The brave are those who put their armour at their feet, stare their enemy in the face, and shake hands. No one wants to fight. No one wants to hurt. Ultimately, we all want peace… But currently, fear is in the lead.

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Not only do we need better leaders, we need better THINKERS – thinkers who don’t need followers to walk behind them, but want the whole world to walk beside them as one, because they GET it. Get that we’re all just energy, all made of the same stuff, all connected in this matrix field, and all, at the very depth of it, made of love. LOVE IS THE ANSWER. I’m aware that I sound like a weed-smoking hippy in the 60s with flowers in her hair. But I believe it’s the deepest truth that’s just washed over as if it’s only a fairytale, and we need to find our way back to it. Just listen to all the greatest songs ever written. There are so many clues, and the goosebumps you get when you listen is that truth coming to the surface.

 

Imagine there’s no countries,

It isn’t hard to do.

Nothing to kill or die for,

And no religion, too.

Imagine all the people,

Living life in peace…

 

You may say I’m a dreamer,

But I’m not the only one.

I hope someday you’ll join us,

And the world will be as one.

 

I don’t profess to know anything about politics, and I have no idea how to change the world. Admittedly, I feel scared to post this! But I’m staying true to what I’m writing about, going for love over fear, hoping it makes even a small shift somewhere. Now, as I sit here again on my roof, looking out over this mad world with all its grey clouds in the distance, I’m thinking, maybe for now, all this rain isn’t so bad… The planet needs rain in order to grow and nourish, just as we need tears and pain to release and start over. Maybe the storm the evening before the referendum marked a cry for growth, a plea for change. Maybe things need to get worse before they get better. Life’s a circle, and I’ve got faith the sun’s coming back round to give us a wonderland back on earth some day… We all just need to do our bit to move it in the right direction, choose to act with love, and not chase rabbits down holes.

I’d vote John Lennon any day.

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Not Everything You Lose Is Bound To Be A Loss

Without fail, on a weekly basis I always have someone shuffle up to me at the beginning of a class telling me, in some form, that they’re going to be shit. ‘I have no co-ordination!’ ‘I’m so unflexible!’ ‘My face goes like a tomato!’ I always wonder why they feel the need to tell me this, as if not saying anything would result in me stopping the class so everyone could point and laugh. Guys, I ain’t here to judge. We’re all in this together.

So last week, I themed the first few of my outdoor summer yoga classes around the subject of letting go. I set a group intention at the start for everyone to let go of something they were holding on to that wasn’t serving them – be it physical, emotional, psychological – an injury they were guarding, a judgment they were making, an ex they were hung up on, guilt over leaving, frustration over staying… Whatever the thing was (and we all have a thing), I asked them to imagine it as a ball in their stomach (where we store emotions), to feel it, then take it out and throw it away. At least for the next hour on the mat.

On Wednesday evening in Battersea by the breezy river, with a red-orange sun dipping below the bridge, a row of downward dogs streaking the skyline and the soul-stroking tones of Passenger singing out, ‘you only need the light when it’s burning low, only miss the sun when it starts to snow, only know you love her when you let her go’, life felt really rather special.

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The evening before was a different story. I’d been on my phone scrolling through photos of the #yogisofinstagram. DANGER ZONE. Ten minutes in, and I felt like shit. I’m nervous to share this, but I’m going to because I’m pretty sure every girl reading this will have had similar thoughts, and it might help to know we’re all just as insane as each other. ‘She’s so much better than me!’ ‘She has way more followers – I’m obviously not as popular.’ ‘People don’t like what I’m putting up.’ ‘Everyone is racing ahead of me!’ Why did this picture not get many likes? Do people think I’m full of it putting that one up?’ ‘What if this doesn’t work?’ ‘What if I fail?’ Oh my GOD! Breathe, woman! Sometimes yoga – yes YOGA – stresses me out!

Staying true to its magical self, the universe once again blew my mind and delivered me a huge helping hand the following morning, first class via my daily affirmation calendar:

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Clearly, I needed to take my own advice. After having a little logic stamped back into my overloaded brain, I reassessed. Here’s what I reminded myself of:

  • Life is not a competition or a race. In fact, I’d rather stay clear of the finish line for as long as I can.
  • My intention. I’m here to help others become healthier, happier versions of themselves, from the inside out, and if people like what I have to offer, then I am spreading good vibes, contributing positivity to the ripple effect and helping to shift the world in the right direction. And if there are others doing the same, well, even better!
  • What we see in others, we already have in ourselves. What we do to help others, helps us too. Our external world is a reflection of our internal world, so if it’s beautiful out there, it’s beautiful inside. Life is just one big old mirror!
  • We’re all connected in this giant field of energy. There’s just no point in comparing. Sing it – we’re all in this together!

As a result of putting myself in a better vibration and letting my shit go, my class that evening really couldn’t have gone any better. There we were, upside down, inside out, and letting go… A group of people who were different but the same, holding on but with a loosening grip, some disconnected but reconnecting.

Why do we hold on to things that don’t serve us? Guilt, resentment, pain, denial, anger… All of these toxic emotions that invade and pollute our naturally functioning systems. By holding on, we don’t allow ourselves permission to move forward. It’s as if we feel that by letting go, something worse might happen. To let go is to lose control. But maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. Life will happen anyway, and probably in a way that we prefer. You know the saying ‘go with the flow’? Yeah, exactly that. Be fluid, be water, let go and go with the FLOW. Why struggle to paddle upstream when you can release the oars and float peacefully downstream?

For me, it all comes back to trusting our deep inner selves to know the way. We breathe thousands of breaths a day, without ever stopping to question whether the next one will begin as the last one stops. Our bodies and our souls hold infinite intelligence that we, as a society, neglect to acknowledge. Instead, the mind seems to steal the top trump card. Our body and our soul are always on our side, but the mind can be our best friend or our worst enemy. In losing our minds, maybe we can finally come to our senses. To let go is to let in. To let go is to return home to our true selves.

I’m not saying I’m completely free of resistance – far from it. There are things I still hold on to… Some things I haven’t figured out how to let go of, or even if I want to. I’m still working on that one. I believe some difficult emotions are there for a time to teach us lessons or help us grow, and we’ll know when the time is right to release them. I think it’s all about learning to listen deeper than your thoughts and feel your way forward.

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If you resonate with any of the above, please feel free to join me for Sunset Riverside Flow yoga, which is back on again tomorrow (Wednesday) evening, 8-9pm in Battersea. Same place, same time, every week. Book on via this link: https://goteamup.com/p/710865-holly-lois-inside-out/ If it’s your first class, use discount code TASTER5 to receive half off (£5). I’ll also be at Trinity Gardens Square in Brixton on Thursdays, 7-8pm, Clapham Common on Saturdays, 10:45-11:45am, and Clapham Common again on Mondays, 7-8pm. See my website for exact locations and other info: https://hollyloisinsideout.com/class-schedule/

One rule: Don’t come and tell me you’re rubbish at the start because 1) you’re not and 2) you’re not. Let that shit go, just come and flow.

To conclude, I leave you with a little poem I shared with my students at the end of my classes last week:

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Peace and love,

Holly x