Police, Yoga and Sober Monk

Police Yoga and Sober MonkLast night the police were around again.  Three cars with lights - no sounds - and half a dozen uniforms pecking around the front of the house, looking down at their shoes, clicking on their torches. 

Something was going on.  Well it was - and it wasn't.  My three year old daughter had wandered off and we couldn't find her.  Somehow she had gone out of the house and skipped over the fence.

My wife was frantic - her voice lifts a half octave and it shrills as she goes through the list out loud of terrible things that could have happened.

I was sheepish.  Sluggish almost.  Like unfazed to the point of being in slow motion.  What should I do?  Where should I go?  I walked across the road and asked the family if she had called in.  Sometimes Phoebe went across the road independently and let herself in their house.  No sign.  We looked up and down the street with our hands on our hips, suggesting ways to go.  We split and went along the side of the read each.

A police woman called out to me and asked that I stay close to home - sniffer dogs were coming and they could track Phoebe's movements.

Then it started to rain - with a crackle of thunder and a glint of lightning.  Afternoon became ominous twilight.


Police Yoga Sober MonkI stopped biting my nails for nearly a year - and then last week or so I set about stripping the cuticle back so there were little strips of blood and it hurt to touch anything.  It's a form of self-mutilation - and a flag for my anxiety rising.
Right now I am typing with big bald nubs for fingertips where the nail should be.  Three fingers have little band aids around them like Michael Jackson used to wear.

It's part of being an Avoider archetype - I delay and re-frame and reschedule a task to the point it makes me physically sick.  Then I become almost frozen with the idea of the task, like it is a sheer cliff looming in front of me, and there is not even a ladder to begin climbing it.

That's where my head's drifted to in some aspects.  But on another front, I have been working crazily on assembling what is coming up to 47 websites for my blog network.  I've written at least 50 articles, images, videos, social media - everything - all buzzing along quietly in the bottomless pit of the internet.

It's immensely satisfying building online assets - but also uniquely lonely and isolating - it's almost impossible to share what I have done as the whole idea of the strategy is that it is untraceable.  So there's nothing I can show you from all that work.

And that feeling is so alike to my yoga practice.  I have been maintaining a punishing schedule of daily yoga - (yes 75 minutes every single day for weeks on end) that brings me a deep sense of personal accomplishment and inner peace - but not so much in terms of outward rewards, social status or significance.  I work with this every single time I lean into the mat - knowing that if I did or didn't go is something only I really would ever know.

Police Yoga Sober Monk
And that is so much alike my sense of sobriety.  For the most part, whether I drink alcohol or not today tomorrow or ever again is something that only I will know.  It's about a sense of self honour and integrity.  And completeness.

I've struggled with it, for sure.  The latest point of deep reflection was my life coach telling me that I was boring.  (What the fuck?)  And that I had to re-discover a sense of fun in my sober life.  Probably right in many respects.  Being a dedicated yogi leads to a solitary, silent life of inner contemplation.  Not much joking a around going on there.

And - I did another half marathon the other week - my third - hard as ever, as mentally challenging and toe-nail-blackening as ever.  I still finished it without talking a single step - ran the whole 22 kilometres with a mantra of "it's not pain, it's just a warm feeling"

And afterwards, standing in the freezing ocean, water lapping around my hips, my legs melting into the numbness, again that feeling - what did I just do?  Did it really happen?


We walked back to my house where I have created a tropical rainforest experience that borders on more of a garden than a house - if you get my drift.

A police asked how long we had lived here - "Ten years on Valentines day" I say, still trying to find the right sense of angst and grief but knowing, deep down, that everything was going to be alright. Phoebe would be ok.  She has the deliberate air of an old soul, like she has been here before and has everything under control - like she has grand plans.

And sure enough, mumurs through their collar microphones lead us back outside and we watch as Phoebe is passed out of a Police car and someone says she wants her dad.

I go over and she is passed to me and she nestles her forehead into my neck and clamps her legs around my hip.  She is warm and dry and safe and whole and the police begin herding each other out onto the street, into the shower of rain.

Back inside the house we sit down and there is an urge to reprimand but it's swamped with an urge to cuddle her and in stillness and silence that's what we do.  Girl found.

Adventure over. 


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