Lifestyle: Giving thanks for the love that surrounds me…

Anyone who has been following me over the past year or so will be aware that my ultimate dream is to live in a way that is humble and sustainable. Nature can only nurture us if we allow her to and that means living in harmony with her. Some of the most beautiful dwellings I have ever seen are the most eco friendly, low impact and built with natural materials.

In a bit to live with the ahimsa limb of ashtanga yoga, I try to buy items that no one else needs so vintage and second hand and recycle as much possible. Often this means that I come across things that are very beautiful and stupid prices or even free.

So I have recently moved into a studio flat of my own which is the next step toward being independent. It is the first time I have had my own front door and though I am still struggling to make the rent each month as I attempt to get my yoga teaching off the ground, I am grateful for a place to which I can retreat in a village where I feel safe. I am surrounded by love and I was able to move in here in the first place thanks to this.

When I returned from Iceland to find I had no more care work and I was faced with finding somewhere to live within two weeks with no money, no furniture and no deposit to speak of and found that the guy I loaned all of my savings to was refusing to return any of it to me, I took up the gauntlet. When I mentioned to the one of the girls who come to my yoga class that I was in a bit of a pickle, when I bumped into her in the supermarket, she put her hand on my arm reassuringly, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Nicola… we have savings and a spare room. Whatever you decide, you will not be homeless.”

By midday on the day before I was due to move, I was still short £130 but I discovered that an invoice hadn’t been paid and the father of the girl I used to care for immediately drove down to draw out the cash I needed. I got the kitchen stuff I needed from the charity shop and I found an entire set of beautiful vintage crockery for £4, saucepans for £4, a gorgeous dualit toaster, chopping board, cafetiere, baking dish and other bits and pieces all came via a lovely couple of guys on freecycle. I found a lovely Ikea malm bed for £25 and when they heard about my situation, they gave me a mattress and delivered it too.

When I realised I wouldn’t be able to afford the connection fee etc. never mind the contract for a phone line and the internet, my neighbour upstairs helped me. I bought him a router and he lets me contribute to his line rental to use the connection from my flat underneath him. I often hear him strumming away on his acoustic guitar upstairs with friends. It’s lovely to hear floating down through the ceiling as I can picture his little grinning face under his woolly hat concentrating on getting the right chords.

I’ve also had umpteen meals from friends and coffees and drinks whilst I’ve been using the internet and warming myself by the open fire in the local pub. On top of that, my boyfriend has been awesome in helping me out when I’ve gone over my overdraft limit, putting me on the coach to London to see him and looking after me whilst I’ve stayed with him so we’ve been able to see each other and I find myself living between Somerset and his canal boat on the Regent Canal in London. Living across such distances is hard and can sometimes make living in the present tricky but at times that I feel a desperate call to be with him, I try and get my yoga mat out or take my attention to my breath. Even as I write these lines I notice tension in my abdominals restricting my breath and as I take my awareness there, I release it.

I’ve even had an offer of healing from my shaman friend to help me welcome more abundance into my life.

All in all, with all this love and yoga, I have a lot to be thankful for and with the power of community, for the moment, my basic needs are being met.