On Beauty

For long decades I have known that the central core of who I am and what I breathe, is Beauty. It is, in fact, the central organizing principal of my 'business'.

Which raises a conundrum within me.

Beauty just is. Beauty is what the Soul knows as native language and tone, and what it longs for. When we are in the presence of Beauty, we are uplifted, expanded and ignited, and we are undeniably reminded of our grace, our inherent dignity. We are, in fact, reminded of the full truth of our grandeur and magnificence. Beauty, is a direct experience and an encounter with the Oneness that, of course, we are. We all know this, as resonance.

It arcs like smoke through our DNA.


Beauty is my creed. My 'mission'.

And, you cannot 'sell' Beauty.

Yet, this is a large thread-through of how I commune with you, my beloveds. In Beauty. Through Beauty. Through images and through words. Through exquisite presence in teaching. (hint, although I am very good, you do not simply come to me for your back, you come for the something else. I know this).

Resting for awhile over this past weekend, in between a rock and a seeming hard place, a radical thought occurred to me. 'You don't have a business, you have a hobby'. This sounds mad. Yet, perhaps it is truth.

Our current physical reality, in a society where it costs money for shelter from the elements, where one needs coins and pieces of waxed paper to eat or to transport oneself anywhere where it is too far to walk, (visiting my precious Dad, or sharing  time with my 'girls'), fluid exchange  for self care (visiting the osteopath, lapping in the aqua waters of the local pool), for Professional development, for travels to places to take country into my tissues and attenuate images.....requires money. In this society, on this planet, in this time. Money, flow. In and out, like breath. Both of which we need. It is about support and provision. And yes, this can take many forms. I know this.


My conundrum. The edge I dance upon. With curiosity, wonder, adventure. Sometimes with frustration and confusion, occasionally with despair.

How has experimentally, (ie the play of 'what happens when I....'), shifting my lens of perception to 'hobby', rather than 'business' assisted me here? What has changed?

A great deal, of course. Something has freed and loosed up within me - kelp liberated! Over this same last-weekend, I purchased two wishlisted hungry-for Apps for my iPad. Yes, I bought an iPad, last December. It's like a gift from God! Among the many things it offers me, is play. Fun. Yes, that!

A couple of years ago, as I lay unravelled and too-much-flowing on the table, my Acupuncturist in NYC asked me gently, 'what do you do for fun, sweet Narelle?'. I was somewhat paralysed, throat-caught. Fun? Hmmm. Hadn't thought of that one in a loooong while. Too long. Make-me-sick-long.


And smile. I've been having some indoor fun these past months. With said new iPad. Watching movies, (including the deeply moving Healing,  and more recently, Bjork's Biophilia performance and her interview with David Attenborough), steeping in textured articulate naturesounds, (as many of you already know!),  heart chamber opening at galleries, (including the superlative images of my new friends Ignacio Palacios and Peter Carroll as a few examples,  listening to and downloading  old favourite music. Re-turning to twirling around the room.

And discovering Apps! From that first weekend, I discovered these two Apps: Silk, and Frax. And now I'm addicted to them!
Click on the images below for a larger view of each:

When I was little I was sick in bed, (or hospital), a lot. My parents bought me lots of books (don't even think about getting me started!), Lego (I had tons and built intricate labyrinthine cities on my bed), and every edgy educational thing they could source. Deep bow of thanks, Mum and Dad. I loved Spirograph (remember that!?). And Etch-a-Sketch. SILK is like both. (This link is to the computer version that enables more articulate refined control, but I often use the App for its immediacy and for its liquid-fire traces).

The gasp that exhaled from my lungs as I opened this App and beheld what my fingers were whispering. Awe, delight and sheer joy! This morning I swim my laps; and see the luminous fluid arcs of water-fingertrails on the bottom of the pool. Silk has colonized my neural corridors.


FRAX is something else altogether. My Mum was a dress maker. She adored beautiful fabric, particularly rich, textured brocades. Her sense of design and finish was as elegant as it was impeccable. She should have started her own label, but that's another story. Frax is like my Mum's sense of beautiful fabric on a screen. It's my inheritance, etched in my code. This morning I see it in the shifting cloudscape and new lush tree growth from recent wet-season rains as I backstroke. Frax too, stalks my neural net.



Beauty. No agenda.



Beside the need to eat.


....then, another emergence.

I used to direct a yoga studio. Each of the six-days-a-week I entered the studio, my cells effulged thanks. Practice. Privilege. Then, two and a half years later, movement runnelled through me, as it always will, and change opened out. I let go of my studio....and travelled. Teaching and learning  - at my 'sister institution' in NYC dream come true - and making images. Europe, the UK, San Fran and the East Coast. Walking right on my own leading edge. During this time a vision began to gestate; Studio Scoliosis. A place where people could come from around the world and immerse in the study and practice of yoga with scoliosis. A Retreat Centre, in a way. My legacy.


This is daunting. In many arenas.

And, sometimes it feels too big, as much as it tissue tugs my internal songlines.

THEN, it unfolds....and I'm grinning...

What would it look like if this space was a digital sanctum?

An archive of Audio, of Video, of Online Trainings, augmented of course, with pearls of live events.

Easier to build, less intensive to maintain, less carbon footprint; accessible to all.

'I don't have a business, I have a hobby.'

Freedom to create at will. Movement of Spirit flowing though. Beauty.


So here's my invitation to you. Are you still here?

I'm inviting your images (photos, sketches, collages...), of what such a space would look like to you. What would it feel like, this sanctum? Is it an igloo in the great silence of the North? A shushing-wind treescape cathedral? A vast expanse of mountains tendril-ing mist and lichen? An arcaded shell?

Send them to me via narelle@embodiedterrain.com . I'll collate and share them. Possibly via a Pinterest board - who knows!

And I'll share mine... (grinning!). Here's a little peek...


Yesterday I've been re-listening to the words of John O'Donohue: Beauty - the Invisible Embrace. John O'Donohue was a one-of-a-kind force of nature: a genius with words, a brilliant thinker, and a professional excavator of the soul. In the course of his extraordinary life, this Irish poet and teacher touched the hearts of millions with his unique blend of philosophy, instruction, and spiritual insight. Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, helps us illuminate the beauty we long for. It is an odyssey into our common yearning for the magnificence of nature, for compassion, serenity, and hope, and for the “soul friends” who walk with us along the way. Sounds True. [Nope, not an Affiliate link]

And, this week, wending its way to via the magic of a dear friend on Facebook (whom I have never met by the way), comes this;

BEAUTY - David Whyte

Beauty is the harvest of presence, the evanescent moment of seeing or hearing on the outside what already lives far inside us; the eyes, the ears or the imagination suddenly become a bridge between the here and the there, between then and now, between the inside and the outside; beauty is the conversation between what we think is happening outside in the world and what is just about to occur far inside.

Beauty is an achieved state of both deep attention and self-forgetting; the self forgetting of seeing, hearing, smelling or touching that erases our separation, our distance, our fear of the other. Beauty invites us, through entrancement, to that fearful, frontier between what we think makes us; and what we think makes the world. Beauty is almost always found in symmetries and intriguing asymmetries: the symmetries and asymmetries seen out in creation, the wings of the moth, the airy sky and the solid earth, the restful, focused eyes of a loving face in which we see our own self reflected: the symmetry also, therefore, of bringing together inner and outer recognitions, the far horizon of otherness seen in that face joined to the deep inner horizon of our own being. Beauty is an inner and an outer complexion living in one face.

Beauty especially occurs in the meeting of time with the timeless; the passing moment framed by what has happened and what is about to occur, the scattering of the first spring apple blossom, the turning, spiraling flight of a curled leaf in the falling light; the smoothing of white sun-filled sheets by careful hands setting them to air on a line, the broad expanse of cotton filled by the breeze only for a moment, the sheets sailing on into dryness, billowing toward a future that is always beckoning, always just beyond us. Beauty is the harvest of presence.

‘BEAUTY’ From CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.  2015 © David Whyte & Many Rivers Press



so much Beauty,

Narelle xo