Sophie Leone spent 15 years as a detective for Suffolk Constabulary, exploring the depths of human behaviour. The French-born writer and mother talks about what being a detective sergeant taught her and how this year has been a turning point for all us to take it easier
My journey to leaving the police wasn’t as clear cut as one day I was there, the next I was gone. I left to go on my maternity leave, already having set up a yoga business on the side and intending to keep serving women with rest and encouragement towards the path of inner knowing.
So, to answer the question, I guess my life in the police was one of service, with a team and a number of ‘jobs’ to do. I served within an ordered, hierarchical structure which was/is fairly antiquated in parts (like many of our public services). It was a busy life, where you never finished what you had to do, as there was always more. A life of serving others, as opposed to yourself.
As much as I loved my job, as I tapped into the energy of it and mine, it felt like a number of doors were closing off, and I came to a point of making a choice. I could squeeze my life back into a system which was not as flexible as I had become, and therefore restrict my abilities, talents and ambitions or…I could leap into full hearted expansion towards the unknown; the untested; the instinct. I knew I had more than a nose for morality, integrity and doing what’s right for people, and now, it was time to put those to the test without the solid structure of consistent pay and ‘kudos’ accompanying the status of ‘police officer’.
I ‘met’ the potency of Yoga Nidra whilst still in the police and six months pregnant with my second child. I worked part time and invested in further yoga training. I travelled abroad to learn to teach pregnancy yoga. It was there that my whole being was blown away with the exposure, the immersion and remembering of who WE are as women with wombs (or not) – our suppressed energies and innate power through our life cycles, which are not revered or made sacred by our systems. Yoga Nidra was the laying down meditation which held me while I consolidated these new ways of being and nurturing.
Rest is such a huge subject. Prior to making the decision to ‘rest’ from anything in our lives, WE are the ones who have to make a conscious choice to make a change. Taking a rest from whatever it is in our lives that is draining us and producing the force of a whirlpool circling around the drain time and time again.
So, on the one hand, active rest can simply be the conscious decision to take a walk in nature for 15 minutes a day, to breathe in possibility with no expectation or demands, or, quite literally, laying yourself down with no phone in your hand, even, no meditation to listen to and to be here. This is the most radical of practices in a world which loves to promote PRODUCING and CONSUMING and DOING and ACHIEVING. Those practices are valid, valuable, essential parts of us as human beings. They are the hot to the cold, the light to the dark. We cannot keep ignoring these fundamental parts of ourselves – they are our nature…and they will claim us eventually and FORCE a stop in a way that won’t necessarily be our first choice.
Active rest is getting off the merry go round. It’s not necessarily about leaving your job or your partner – it’s creating enough space for you to explore the possibility that there may be different ways for you to enjoy life.
These are practices which have not been given any credit, because they are not deemed ‘profitable’, however, those spaces are the juiciest and most nourishing, and worth everything. They open you up deep within. These can be spaces of maternity leave, when we can feel so discombobulated and torn away from the person we thought we were. Those spaces so uncomfortable that all we want to do is rush back to our conditioning, aka getting back on the treadmill.
Active rest is about getting beneath the layers of the superficial, and it isn’t easy work. It brings up deep seated emotions that we have been keeping a lid on to keep it together for a long time, hence why I get that to create that space can be scary – however, we are entering an era full of angels who have been training and doing the inner work to HOLD you while you feel through this.
Like no time before, there are people who know to stay quiet while you walk together and listen while bit by bit, as you unravel the words coming up, you get to the nugget, and then you start to get the ah ha moments, when it starts to make sense, when the fog clears, when you reunite with who you are.
It is those benefits which are priceless, potent in their ‘inactivity’, where all the ‘work’ happens without you having to even think. And it is those benefits, reuniting with your magic, which changes not only your world, but the world around you, and the world itself. You are communing and harmonising with mother earth herself.
I don’t think anyone hasn’t found our past year challenging in one sense or another. The endlessness of it has added to this sense of really reaching deeply inside of ourselves to find who we are, what we stand for, who we listen to, how much we question what we are told and how we want to live our lives.
When it all kicked off, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the universe was giving us the ultimate kick up the backside. We have been going too fast, wanting everything NOW, consuming the temptations from external sources to validate or escape from our lives. The world stopped and it felt like all humans were going cold turkey on their lives, on so many levels, notwithstanding the fear which has been circulating through the air and sound waves.
From the conversations I’ve been having, people have slowed down, taken up new projects, walked more and spent more time at home. Many lessons will be learned from this moment in time, for the better I hope, for a thirst and joy for living and enjoying the simple things which cost nothing – like listening to someone who is hurting or happy! Spending time with another human being and discovering what we are capable of when we don’t have the usual distractions around us.
I hope this is a turning point for the valuing in the practice of taking it easier. We are so worth this.
Being a detective sergeant taught me to never assume. To listen to the information. To look beyond the obvious. To always question everything. To be curious in the situations you find yourself in. That the three letters WHY, which three-year-olds bombard us with, are important, and if you don’t ask it, you make assumptions based on what someone else is telling you. Know for yourself, ask the questions of others and of yourself, to be sure that in your heart you have investigated whatever it is you are concerned with at that particular moment to the best of your ability.
I am writing a book! It is yet unnamed, and a very exciting project I’m finally bringing to fruition. I have it written already, it’s a matter of re-ordering and weaving the magic thread through it which will entice the reader to keep turning the pages.
I’m here living my life fully and in doing so, inspiring people to believe that they are capable of going for their dream.
It’s a story about having the courage to go to the edge and leap, to question the conventional in search of other worlds, the truth of embodying the majesty of being a soul in a human body and all the different realms we have the power to dive/delve into in this one Earthly lifetime.
Part memoir, diary, short story, hyper sigils and infused with spells, my unnamed book is an intimate, complex and major investigation into the essence of our purpose.
A treasure trove of the unpicking of a mother’s mind which will remind, comfort, confront and console you. Each page reveals a fresh treasure from the under belly of shame and vulnerability, an excavation of ancient hidden clues to heal, bringing out our universal ‘classified’ demons out of the closet. The timing of the words is as potent as the prophecies held within. The core themes explore exposing deep truths and taking radical self-responsibility. It captivates hope and feeling and activates your energetic expression. It inspires you to go to the edge, leap and go for it. Any of it.
One of my future projects is the The Oxygen Tank: a podcast for women ready to breathe and speak freely around change and life transitions. These are conversations that we seem to have ‘underground’, if at all, but that we all want to hear about. So, it’s about bringing out the darkness into the light, and exposing those hidden parts of us we can be ashamed of or that we have suppressed and hearing that they are not just ours, and that by hearing someone else speak it, we alchemise them into a force for change.
Accompanying the podcast will be 1:1 Oxygen Tank sessions with me, to release and make space for who we were meant to be when we came here. Joyful, liberating and nurturing sessions where you gift yourself your life back. Launch to be announced.
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