It’s funny – the last time I wrote for Seaside Writing I declared I would focus on the word inmost. Being drawn to the word inmost timed with me having one of the deepest inward dives in my life.

I must have been craving it. I’d spent a long time with things in-between and transient. Thinking of moving, packing for moving, waiting for moving, actually moving, having a temporary home, finding an actual home, moving in, settling, finding and enjoying all the new things in my new world. There must have been so much external change that by the time I finally landed, I was overdue to be still and observe. I needed time to consider all the changes that had gone on within me in the process, and what landscape was now inside of me, given I was feeling happy, comfortable and home, for the first time in over a decade.

I’ve done deep dives “inside” before. They’ve presented a bit more like a major attack of introversion. I haven’t answered the phone, reached out to people or involved myself in much. I’ve done the bare minimum of life, usually just what I’d have to do for work, and no socialising. That was enough. I’d get home and want to be on my own. They were massive reboot processes that other people around me didn’t seem to understand. I presented as not very consistent in these times, and was often not a good friend. Connecting with others was simply beyond me in those periods. It wasn’t a depression per se. But it had the tendency to morph into that if my thoughts became focused on how others may be perceiving me, in my closed, inward hibernation period.

But this inmost period has been different. It has had the tinge of weariness like the other times. But the fact that I love my work, and I love where I’m living and generally feel energised about my future, it was a weariness only due to the need to go within, like I hadn’t for a long time.

Strangely, I met someone roughly at the same time. Usually I would find an excuse to wriggle out of catch ups and dates, but this fellow seemed to, somehow, allow me to explore my inmost parts, recharge me and also connect. At the very beginning this seemed rather curious. He’s studied linguistics and was intrigued by my exploration of the word as well. 

Inmost is from the word, Innermost, a Middle English origin, from Old English innemest, a superlative of inne (Merriam webster). It’s meaning is described as “: deepest within : farthest from the outside.” To me it’s not the within something aspect, it’s the deepest part of something. The furthest you can venture. 

I wanted to explore what was in my inmost quiet parts. I became intrigued about rooms and caves within me that perhaps I’d never ventured to. I imagined myself a brave deep sea diver, holding an underwater torch up to edges of these portions inside me. Scientifically documenting what could be observed there. Looking without judgement. Inside me also, I have found, is a walled garden where the flowers only grow when I am painting. For some reason I am in a lab coat. It’s in the UK and only a 3-4 hour window of sunlight is cast in the circular space. When I’m not painting, I’m running my hand over the edges with a crow and a rabbit following me — vines on old old stone, rose hips that I pull off. In another space, there’s a large ancient tree in a thick forest I can walk inside of and have conversations with an older version of me. She has much darker hair. In another, I can travel to what feels like a birthplace – in what looks like Kashmir. I am a bunny in the valley of a glorious mountainous, lotus lake landscape. 

As I went inside myself to these visualisations, in quiet moments and on walks, over time, I started sleeping deeper than I had in a long time. The sleep was glorious and felt vast and heavy and like I was safely suspended in another world.

My yoga practice was becoming more visual. I would be painting in my mind while practicing. All the colours, all the patterns, all the shapes were expressed in this inner world that only came when I was moving my body to soulful sounds and music. I felt like I was levitating at times. 

Writing happened for a little while but after some time I just stopped. I just had to sit in the sun or on a bench or in bed and just watch things go by. From deep within my person, I was paying attention to what was going on, but not really participating like normal. It felt like a good massage. And lasted more than six months. 

At work, I still felt I was operating from an inmost place. I was on two channels – reality and within – and the within aspect was an anchor to whatever floaty tasks life’s current had me on. I write a lot for work and I feel it made me write from a stronger foundation.

Art gallery outings felt more thoughtful than before. I connected with the visuals and ideas in deeper ways. When eating and cooking I became more present. The dates I was going on felt more meaningful. I was telling more stories about myself as I’d accessed a new vantage point from which to feel, know and understand me.

Ultimately, how did I get to this inmost zone? It was like I had no choice. The idea came to me and I was off. I must have given myself permission to explore and everything else followed. I was ready. Yoga, meditation, walking, painting, pottery, sitting on my verandah with my cat staring at the spiders and birds and sun — all helped. Having done journey work with Robyn Olive previously, this helped too. She showed me how to take off layers in my consciousness and see where each layer landed me. Something in that approach reentered me.

The craziest part about all of this, is that I set the challenge to explore my inmost, about three weeks before I conceived a magical baby. I was never supposed to be able to conceive, the doctors said, but it happened. Almost like a switch.

I posit if this zone made me more connected, more calm, more in tune with who I am, which made me connect with a man on the same current, and our biology met in a happy harmony like never before. This little creature, on the inmost part of me, grows with such conviction. It’s unbelievable to witness through feeling little kicks and somersaults, this life force that’s come in the time of my deepest inmost visit. Perhaps we met in there? Perhaps I opened up a door and invited you in?