Today I board a magnificent bird on my way to a New Land of Zeal, also known as the land of the long white cloud, eventually to arrive in the town of masters, aka Masterson in the North Island. A long, long time ago I heard a whisper in my ear. I put it aside, ignored it, didn't believe it was true. I am now accepting my new 'job description' - that of writer/author
With a few magazine articles under my belt, and a blog just over a year old, it's scary to leap off the cliff into the void. Maybe I'll fly, maybe I'll fall into the abyss and maybe, just maybe I'll feel safe enough to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and remember to breathe. The remembering to breathe will come easy as twenty-one years of teaching yoga full time with thousands of students and leading retreats in Australia, Bali and Nepal means that being aware of my breath, and associated emotions, has become second nature. At times my breath is short, shallow and fast informing me I'm somewhere between anxious and excited. When I feel confident, relaxed and at ease my breath is slow, long and even. When I'm holding my breath I know I'm in fear, fright and distrust.
The last three years I've dedicated to working with my partner and taking his Melbourrne meditation seat making business from the garage into a fully fledged manufacturing/office facility designing and manufacturing one the world's best meditation bench. The Black Dragon meditation bench is uniquely versatile and very comfortable, offering three sitting heights all in the one bench. As we now have numerous online purchase channels for Black Dragon, including the Amazon marketplace in the USA, my job is mostly done. I'll still be behind the scenes managing the website and digital marketing and playing with social media. I have the sense that even though I'm leaving the physical location of Black Dragon Seats that, as one of my teachers would say, 'I'm leaving without leaving.
Two thousand and seventeen is shaping up to become a year to tap into inner creative juices and carve out space and time to dedicate to full-time writing. Why New Zealand you may ask! The opportunity to return to my country of birth is pulling me to write about seven generations of females on my mother's side. To follow the matrilineal stories of hardship and joy is one I want to write about. Also, my lived experience of creating and teaching the Wishing Well 'n' Happy practice is my legacy this lifetime and one I want to share with others. All over the world the Well 'n' Happy flags are waving in the wind and sending out the message of love and compassion for oneself, for those close to us, the whole human family and all sentient beings sharing this precious planet we call home.
In the New Land of Zeal I plan to spend time with uncles and cousins. I've also been offered a five month pet/house sit opportunity. In giving myself quiet time and a lack of distraction to foster writing, I hope to gestate an inner cauldron which is filling with ideas, whisperings, dreams and silliness. If you would like to journey with me you can follow my Well 'n' Happy blog.
My wish for you is that you are well and happy. That you have love in your life and be free of suffering and the causes of suffering. May all beings be well and happy. Oh, and one more thing. My wish for you to be well and happy is not Pollyanna, pie-in-the-sky sugar coated candy. I forgot to mention that in wishing you well and happy I also wish, in the words of Ken Wilber that you 'Wake Up' to who you truly are and that you 'Grow Up' in the many types of intelligence to include emotional, psychological, somatic, musical, cognitive and more. And, to 'Clean Up', the shadow and unconscious aspect of ourselves and finally to 'Show Up' in your authenticity, vulnerability and glory.
Karen M. Bell taught yoga and meditation for decades in Australia, Bali and Nepal. As a former somatic therapist and Buddhist psychotherapist she brings body awareness, psychological training and practice in the wisdom traditions of meditation and mindfulness to her writing. Karen is the creator of the Well 'n' Happy practices and the Tibetan style Well 'n' Happy prayer flags. Karen is the Director of Black Dragon Seats and Somatics Australia.