Coming Home

I'm back in Toronto, and nestled in a new space to call home.

This idea of home has been at the forefront of my mind and heart for the past few years. It began in the summer of 2014, on my first night at my first Burning Man. I had managed to get separated from my group of friends, and was worried about finding my way back to my camp on the other side of this temporary city that felt like another planet. Amidst my uncertainty in this otherworldly place, a strong knowing came to me from the depths of my intuition – “You will find your way home.”

This washed over me with relief. I trusted my inner compass was leading me in the right direction, and that I would indeed find my camp (which of course, I did :).

That said, as I walked, this message seemed to expand and take on a broader context. This wasn’t just about finding my camp. This was a broader affirmation from my intuition. I would always find my way home – to where I was supposed to live, to the people I would share my life with, and to the work I was to share with the world. In the midst of my mid-twenties angst about where I was supposed to be and how, this was a wave of relief. There was no need to worry or doubt, or struggle or fight. Every step I took on this path, one way or another, was leading me home.

The deeper I went, the more I began to realize this sense of home was already inside me. The more I moved from my head and into my heart, the more I would realize that at every moment, I was exactly where I needed to be. During any difficulty, I could drop in and find home – a space of safety and comfort, where any guidance I needed could be found.

This maxim, “you will always find your way home,” guided many of the adventures and lessons of that year’s festival. It also led me to a daily meditation practice, where I truly found that internal space of home I could refuel in every day. It let me deeper into my spiritual explorations, which ultimately led me full-time into this path of the heart.

A year-and-a-half ago, after leaving my job in sales, I moved out of my apartment, moved my stuff back to my family’s home, and packed up my trusty backpack for nearly six months of traveling. Since then, I’ve found home in fifteen countries, across guest houses, hotels, hostels, airports, one tent (it was glamping, to be fair :), shared homes, friends’ couches and spare rooms, my family’s home, and finally now, a little space to call my own – for the next few months, at least ;) With all this movement across countries, cultures and spaces far from my own, it was tough to find the comfort of home in any external spaces. I had to go within. 

I can now see what beautiful training this was, as this work of coming home to one’s self – peeling away the layers that aren’t truly you, and connecting to the peace, ease and light already within you – is the heart of the work I now share with others through yoga, meditation and healing.

With the move on my mind, I explored this idea of coming home with my meditation and yoga groups last week. Spring is upon us, and the beautiful weather often carries a desire to be outside as much as possible, bouncing from backyards to patios to festivals and more. With all this movement, it can be easy to get swayed from our centre and lose our balance. This is the meditation exercise I shared with my students to find calm in the chaos, their centre, and their home within themselves. May it guide you as well:

Meditation // Coming Home to Yourself

Close your eyes. Find a grounded seat, with your palms facing downward on your knees. 

Begin to scan your body, starting from the crown of your head, all the way down to your toes. If you encounter any spaces of tension as you do this scan, gently rest your attention on this area and direct your breath here to help open the space.

After you reach the tips of your toes, move your attention back up to the crown of your head. Begin another body scan, this time with the intention of finding home in yourself. Trust your intuition when you reach this place. You will feel an opening, a sense of peace, and grounding.

Spend the next few minutes resting in this place. If you’d like to use a mantra to help you settle in, you can repeat to yourself the words of one of my favourite poets, Nayyirah Waheed:

Nejma // Nayyirah Waheed

Nejma // Nayyirah Waheed

Spend the next few minutes coming home to yourself.

Gently move your hands to this area on your body that feels like home. As you rest your hands here, send your breath to this area as well. Spend a few minutes connecting deeper to this space.

When you’re ready to come out of your meditation, place your hands back on your lap. Take a few deep breaths, feeling your belly rise as you inhale, and fall as you exhale. Spend about a minute focusing on your breath. Gently open your eyes.

Whenever you feel something pull you out of your centre, come back to this space. Focus your attention and breath in this space. If possible, close your eyes and rest here for a few minutes. In this space, you are protected and grounded. In this space, you are at ease, at peace and connected to your light. In this space, you are home.

May all your explorations and journeys continue to lead you home.

With love,
ayah x