Bellingen and the ‘Promised Lands’

21st October 2015: Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia

Today, a moment occurred today whereby a thought came upon me, and has since stayed with me till the time of writing. I was at the ‘Promised Lands’, a place known for freshwater swimming pools existing in the area. My intention was to complete yoga on the banks before cooling off in the majestic natural baths. So, a secluded place was located, and in a typical manner I commenced preparing for some yoga, however, a feeling swept across me. A feeling only described as a sense in my body of a reluctance to proceed with the range of planned poses. On other occasions, I usually push through, and always reap the benefits of the practice, however, an overwhelming sense that my intentions were incorrect could not pass from my consciousness. Thankfully, I listened to my body, and ultimately stopped any further attempts. Instead, I simply sat and looked at the scenery. Honestly, it was a moment whereby the natural surroundings evoked total appreciation for my life, and the next two hours were spent interchanging between swimming in the freshwater and sitting on the rocks eating fresh fruit. On reflection, it was a necessary reminder of not always needing to rush or adhere to plans. Rather, the need to be connected with my body to at times have the capacity to just stop. Consequently, I passed on a yoga session on the banks of the water, but experienced complete and utter joy in my surrounding environment whilst returning to a childlike version of myself exploring the water and rocks.

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How best to heal

7th August 2015: Sydney, Australia

The idea of weening myself off pain-medication seems like an achievable goal, however, leave the thought with me for a little longer, and my intentions become skewed. Consequently, the wound starts to throb, and I end up taking pills.

One intriguing point regarding the pain-relief medication occurred at the farm yesterday, adding weight to my position of the place being seen as a retreat. For instance, bearing in mind I have taken three tablets today, the amount consumed yesterday only totalled one. Many factors could contribute to the drop in usage, including the fresh country air, tranquil surroundings, reduced bodily output due to continual support from friends or simply a case of my mind being distracted from the pain due to constant company or the captivating natural environment. The disparity in usage could be categorised as a normal fluctuating phenomenon associated with pain. Alternatively, attention can be directed to the supposed health and healing benefits found in nature, and this very concept has further aroused my interest in spending the period of October and November basked in the far northern NSW sunlight whilst encapsulated by the neighbouring mountain range and ocean. I am unable to think of a better plan conducive to my recovery and healing.

My own retreat!

6th August 2015: Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia

Yesterday, I made reference to my current dwellings resembling a retreat, and on reflection, an avoidance of initially labelling the place a retreat resulted from a modern interpretation of the meaning associated with the term. Namely, an exclusive and expensive place whereby your health is promoted via a range of differing options. Now, if we were to make a comparison from my current dwellings to anywhere else, I do not feel any more benefits could be obtained. In reality, my friends and I are on very our own retreat, and fortunately, the typically exorbitant costs associated with a retreat have been eliminated. We are secluded from the wider community; engrossed within a natural landscape; eating hand picked fruit and vegetables, and living a life operating on a pace whereby there is ample opportunity to safely explore the concept of “self”. In addition, the company of close friends has considerable advantages, especially bearing in mind my current need to have people supporting me.

The significance of having close friends should not be underestimated or categorised simply as a selfish need due to my limited mobility. Of course, it is extremely helpful to have support to ensure I do not over exert myself, however, the company of my friends play a vital role in assuring my family members that I am safe whilst importantly establishing a joyful and positive atmosphere for the entirety of the group. Furthermore, the complete independence and freedom allows the creation of an atmosphere where no time regulations or stress are placed upon us. I completely recognise the biased stance put forth, however, I honestly feel this place is the ultimate environment conducive for my current circumstances, and would most definitely opt for this place above and beyond any alternate available options.

The healing power of the sun

3rd August 2015: Sydney, Australia

Conversations currently circulating within the community give weight to a summary seen in a past blog whereby the author described Australian’s as modern day Aztecs who worship the sun. It seems the short burst of weather has directly contributed to a vibrancy and happiness evident in most people. A fairly special point, bearing in mind we are in the middle of winter.

The advantages of unlimited access to the sun is clear for the majority of the population, and holds greater significance in my life. The healing benefits of natural Vitamin D are widely documented, and the past two days have further reinforced the need I now feel in my life for sunshine to feature on a regular basis. The slight obstacle facing me results from the current travel restrictions placed upon me by the Australian government. A bizarre decision, especially considering the recommendations of the Professor overseeing my care whereby he stated a warmer climate would me more conducive to my healing. As noted, it is a slight obstacle, meaning other alternatives can be sought. Most notably, exploration of places within Australia to seek the warmer weather. Admittedly, not the worst case, however, the finances incurred with the situation result in some options being less accessible. On reflection, possibly I should simply be happy having the capacity to make a decision to give me the best chance at healing.

Here and now

23rd June 2015: Sydney, Australia

I was extremely surprised with the ease of leaving my place in Bali to arrive home in Sydney. Obviously, I would have liked to be jumping off the plane after returning from another month surfing waves in Sumatra. In saying that, current circumstances are what they are, i.e, Current! Thus, unchangeable in the present moment. Moreover, questions of ‘what if’ in the context noted above will not change anything whilst symbolising a sense of loss, regret, and failure. All points not beneficial to my view of the upcoming period as another challenge, and importantly my pathway to greatness.

Why I travel…

19th June 2015: Bali, Indonesia

Yesterday, a moment occurred that will be forever remembered. The location of the moment was at a surfspot I have recently being surfing. The waves at the place break over shallow, sharp reef, and yesterday the size of surf significantly increased. A complexity is associated with the place due to the fear associated with falling into the sharp reef. I should note at this point a pivotal factor coming to surface on reflection. I have had the mentality throughout the trip of solely wanting things from the ocean. The entry will hopefully portray the understanding learned from the experience whilst also showing an overwhelming respect to the ocean.

So, a friend and I were intending on surfing together. Upon arriving at the place we saw the actual size of the larger waves running down the reef. It was an extremely low tide so we had to walk approximately 100 meters on the reef before attempting to challenge the ocean. My fried successfully managed to make his way out to the waves whilst I remained stuck on the reef throwing my board into the sky attempting to litigate the potential risks of the oncoming balls of fury breaking directly in front of me. Three consecutive waves rolled me along the reef, resulting in my sensing a message was being delivered about an imminent dangers should I continue. There definitely would have been a time when I would have reflected on this experience as a moment of weakness, however, my acceptance and submission lead me to respect the ocean whilst also allowing other opportunities to surface.

The outcomes of being rolled along the reef by three waves resulted in me drifting approximately 150 around the cliff. I noticed a patch of sand was exposed by the low tide forming a little bay, and I felt an overwhelming connection with the world around me. It seemed my fate was to submit to the ocean. Therefore, I decided to turn around to commence the journey back to the shore. Whilst paddling, I felt drawn to the exposed bay, and again felt I needed to follow my instincts. Once standing on the bay, I rested my board in some shade, and completed a powerful and emotive yoga session. I was surprised at how deep into the practice I became, and felt the three waves served the purpose of getting me to find strength in accepting my defeat. I fully acknowledge the criticism by some at the content, however, I can honestly say it is an accurate account of what I was experiencing at the time, and still believe the events are to hold some meaning in my life.

Who of us are living Gatorage Day?

17th June 2015: Bali, Indonesia

What if everyday could be Gatorade Day! For those who haven’t already caught on, I am posing the question of whether it is possible for us to live a life whereby feelings are elicited on a daily basis similar to those experienced by team members or coaches after winning a tournament. Imagine it! The daily feeling of pure ecstasy, satisfaction, achievement, with an overwhelming need to celebrate and embrace those around you. Maybe I am being naive thinking this is only a false unobtainable concept, and really many people are consistently rejoicing in their own Gatorade Day.

Whilst hypothesising the idea of Gatorade Day, I must highlight one of the flaws needing to be addressed. Namely, the imbalance between winners and losers. If you can picture a scene involving a coach being provided with a Gatorade shower by his team, then you surely must have also noticed the losing team who are not sharing in the happiness. Therefore, if this whole activity is simply fictitious rambling, it only seems probable to also have the power to change the dynamics of the day, particularly to establish a scenario where no-one will be weeping on the ground devastated while bearing witness to their opponents basking in their achievement. The internal quarrel becomes whether in fact I would intervene in the organic battle between winners and losers? If so, could I not be actually tearing apart the fabrics to success, and ultimately, having a detrimental impact on the so called losers or people who failed? My reasoning stems from a thought of some people, myself definitely included who at times may need to fail at least once before claiming victory.

It would be be interesting to hear whether people are living their Gatorade Day or any other thoughts associated with the entry 😄