Category Archives: travel

SOME MAGICAL SH*T!

IMG_3731

“Magic is not a practice. It is a living, breathing web of energy that, with our permission, can encase our every action.”  ~Dorothy Morrison

There is some magical shit happening in my life right now. I’m overwhelmed with this intense feeling of power coursing through my body and, in particular, my hands.

2020 is looking to be an incredible year of awakening and connection. I’m both excited for and nervous of all the changes coming for me. The forest is calling me. New lands are calling me. New & meaningful connections are calling me. The healing arts are calling me. My only job now is to simply open my heart to receiving and to not allow ego, in the form of fear, to get it the way. Simple, yes. Easy, no.  I’m reminded of one of my favourite quotes by Goethe, which is quite appropriate now: “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”  I will be bold.

As I sit here writing this, I’m filled with so much love and gratitude for this life and all the people and experiences I’ve been blessed to know. I just want to explode with JOY!

2019 led me on some amazing adventures! It brought me to tears with appreciation for all the opportunities to experience love and connection with both humans and animals. I’ve made the most incredible new friends and deepened the connections with those already in my soul tribe. I’ve deepened my connection with myself and the truth of who I am & what I’ve come here to share.  I’ve also experienced intense mourning for the relationships that needed to fall away and for the aspects of myself I’ve outgrown and shed.

On the first day of this new year, I discovered powerful healing energy coursing through me. I discovered a new calling with a friend that I haven’t quite clarified and can’t articulate yet. I’ve experienced profound love and gratitude that I ‘m unable to find the right words for, other than ineffable. I’ve come home.

My wish for you and all beings is that you find a deep and lasting happiness, are free from suffering, and are able to bring much benefit to the world by sharing your unique and powerful love and light.

Namaste. 🙏🏻

Braving the Wild Seas


“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” 
― William Faulkner

As 2018 comes to a close, I’m left reeling from another year of growth and changes, both small and monumental. I feel pulled in so many directions, I struggle to remain centred. I’m, at times, overwhelmed and sad, but also inspired, empowered, determined.

I feel a deep longing to swim out of the safe and familiar harbour and explore the world with this newly recognised power, but find I am clinging to what’s safe and comfortable.

I’ve spent this last year cleansing, removing all that weighs me down and keeps me small. I’ve stood up for myself and spoken my truth. I’ve set clear boundaries that honour and nurture my spirit. I’ve surrounded myself with people who are growing and expanding. I’m inspired by those who are fierce in their dedication to raising their vibration and fulfilling their dreams, despite, sometimes, crippling fear.

Yet, I’m consumed by grief. Am I grieving the woman I used to be? That person who shrank so others could feel more comfortable, who kept quiet when sexually harassed or abused so as not to make a fuss, who stayed mired in distraction so I didn’t have to face the fact I wasn’t living up to my potential or doing the things that feed my soul?

Perhaps I’m grieving those I’ve left behind. The precious, frustrating, consuming relationships that once served me, but ultimately led to discomfort. I’m painfully aware that not everyone is meant to walk this entire journey with me for we all have our own higher purpose to fulfil. Some I meet at forks in the road and we happily skip along for a while, but then need to part ways in order to continue on our own paths. Others come along who resonate on a frequency that inspires expansion – challenges my fixed ideas about myself and the world around me. These are my tribe, my soul-mates.

So, 2019…. what do you have in store for me? What adventures at sea will you take me on that bring exciting new chapters to my storyline? Who will stand bravely beside me as we journey out to face life’s storms? Who will be lost at sea? Who will choose to stay behind anchored in the safety of the harbour? These unknowns both scare and excite me.

I love what Brene Brown says in her book, ‘Braving the Wilderness…’

Belonging so fully to yourself that you’re willing to stand alone is a wilderness — an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. The wilderness can often feel unholy because we can’t control it, or what people think about our choice of whether to venture into that vastness or not. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.”

My affirmations for 2019: To bravely stand in the sacred; to continue to expand and challenge my spirit; to nurture the relationships with my fierce tribe of fellow seekers who have taught me about courage, loyalty and strength; and to always stand up and speak out for myself and others in the face of apathy and toxic ignorance.

What are your affirmations for 2019?

Namaste 🙏🏻

A Change of Scenery


“The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle.” ~ Anais Nin ~

For me, the dream is always travel. I have a wicked case of wanderlust that never seems to be fully satisfied.  I’m always in the process of planning another trip.  It makes the day-to-day stuff easier to manage.  How to create magic in the mundane is the key….

Most of my time is spent being pulled in a million directions by all the things I want to do, both personally and professionally.  My husband and I are very ambitious and have a highly successful professional life.  We invest and manage our portfolio well. We give as much of our time and money as we can spare to various charitable organisations. We spend a lot of time on our individual pursuits, which include recreation, personal and professional development and at least twice a week we go on dates to make sure we stay connected as a couple. We ensure we hang out with our kids as much as they will allow (they’re teenagers after all) and we make time for play. 

My life is extraordinarily abundant, yet I always manage to get way off balance somewhere along the way, and then find I’m breaking apart.  Then, when I’m travelling, I’m able to put it all back together again.  How do I go about bringing the “holiday” spirit into my day-to-day life to prevent the break down altogether?  I know it’s all about balance, but boy, do I struggle with this! What exactly happens while on holiday that enables the reconstruction process, seemingly without effort? The obvious answer is that no one is asking much of me. I get to meander through my day, no minute by minute schedule, no issues I need to address, no problems I need to solve, other than what do I feel like doing today?  Don’t get me wrong… I’m grateful for the ability to be able to handle as much as I do and be of benefit wherever I can, but I get worn out. In my most grouchy place, I feel like the more I give, the more gets asked of me. I think sometimes if others know someone is there to handle it, they don’t bother doing it themselves. This is especially true of my kids. Left to their own devices and they’re quite capable.  But when I’m around, they can’t remember their phone number….

My beloved teacher, Geshe-la, says that if my motivation is correct, I won’t run out of loving kindness and compassion.  I guess the trick is to look deeper into why I am doing whatever it is I’m doing on a day-to-day basis and see where I’m getting off track.  Where am I being self-cherishing (motivated by ego), fearful or dishonest? If I can uncover this and correct my motivation, this should enable me to keep my balance better.  Also, I need to be sure I’m setting good boundaries and saying no when I need to. Sounds like a piece of cake, eh?  Mmmmmm…. cake.

Over the years my husband and I have repeatedly found that when we “help” too much, we enable and cripple others. We need to be diligent on when to offer guidance and support and when to allow others the space to figure out and manage their own problems. It’s the process of trial and error that leads to good problem solving skills. We don’t need to be super heros in anyone’s lives. And this is where checking our motivation is helpful… ensuring we’re not feeding our egos and calling it help. 

So, going forward, my path is a little clearer now. I will slow down and create more space between my words and actions and ensure I have enough quiet time to meditate, reflect and recharge my batteries. I will allow myself and others the space to make mistakes and learn from them. I will cultivate emotional maturity and intelligence. I will diligently shut down my inner critic as soon as she pipes up. I will practise patience (I say practise because I’m no damn good at this).  I will monitor my motivation to ensure it’s pure and I will make more time for spirit-enhancing activities.  All the busy work manages to somehow get done. I don’t need to stress about it. The questions I need to ask myself often are, “Will this matter in a year, 3 years, 10 years? Will I regret doing this, or not having done this when I’m on my deathbed? If the answers are NO, then why worry about it? His Holiness, the Dalai Lama says, “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”

Good advice.

Om mani padme hum 🕉

BALANCE


Why is it that when I’m travelling, I find my balance so easily, yet when I arrive home, I fall out of balance almost immediately? It’s imperative I solve this riddle as I can’t rely on holidays for a sense of balance. I need to find it in my every day life in order to sustain emotional, physical and spiritual wellness.

What is it, specifically, that creates the feeling of balance whilst on holiday? Obviously, being away from work helps, as well as being away from household responsibilities. Yet, somehow I can work and clean while on holiday and it feels invigorating, not exhausting. What is the difference? Is it simply a change of scenery, or is the energy of a new place better or different? Perhaps my energy is what has changed, allowing me to view the world from a more peaceful perspective. If this is true, then how does one create a sustained sense of peacefulness at home?

Don’t get me wrong… I love my life! I am superbly blessed in every way. I have a phenomenal marriage, great energy and vitality, happy, healthy kids, financial security, meaningful work I love, amazing friendships that feed my soul and we live in a beautiful country in a beautiful house. So, why did I slide into this latest holiday completely on fumes? What essential component is missing from my every day life that’s throwing me so far off balance?

I know for sure one of the most important things to do each morning is to set my motivation for the day, which is always the same: To be of maximum benefit to everyone I encounter, however great or small. If I’m feeling discontent or off balance, I ask myself the following questions: Am I truly wanting to be of benefit to others or have I slid into selfishness and self-centredness? Am I taking the blessings in my life for granted or am I in a place of gratitude? Am I placing more importance on temporary material happiness than to a more sustainable spiritual happiness? Am I diligent with my daily spiritual practice? Am I letting life get so crazy busy that I don’t make time for what’s really important to me? Am I simply hungry or tired? Once I’ve identified the source of my poor attitude, I can then apply the antidote(s). Meditate more, worry less; spend less time on social media and more time on my writing; remove the clutter from my schedule so I have more time for family and friends. I could pretend I was on holiday and take a nap, lie on the beach with a good book, explore a new place I haven’t been to before, the list goes on and on. 

It seems the answer to the riddle boils down to one thing….space. Space to reflect, breathe, create, dream… space to nourish my mind, body and soul. This is not selfish, it’s essential. I am of no benefit to anyone if I collapse. Space is the missing component of our daily lives that we find when we’re on holiday.

So, the first item on my new list of Divine Daily Practices is: CREATE SPACE.

ARTIFICIAL PARADISE

  
As I sit on the deck of our beautiful over-water bunglaow in one of the most universally recognised top destination resorts, I feel a little disappointed.  This place has been on my bucket list since forever and I was so excited for this trip. 

Don’t get me wrong… It is absolutely spectacular here and the water is a beautiful turquoise and so warm.  But overall, it has been a let down.  Initially, my husband and I thought perhaps our expectations were too high.  Or maybe it was fatigue from the travel that was making us a little grumpy.  But several days later, we still feel the same.

The feeling?  Like we’re big walking wallets queued up awaiting biopsy.  Even as we see new arrivals wearing their fresh leis, there’s a small part of us that pities them knowing they’re next in line for the shake-down. There is no culture to be found here.  There’s just an artificial corporate flavour.  The pretense is they’re so happy to have you here with an almost saccharine sweetness in their demeanour.  The alternative has been to treat us with blatant distain.  

Determined to enjoy ourselves, we’ve decided to just focus on relaxation and rejuvination in a glorious setting and let all the rest go.  We’ve retired to our little bungalow and only venture out to eat and swim, which has made us so much happier.

After many discussions on the subject, we came to the conclusion that we are just spoiled. We live in a magnificent part of New Zealand and absolutely love our lives.  We tend to work too hard and don’t always rest as much as we should, but otherwise, life is grand.  Perhaps that’s why our expectations are so great when we travel.  The bar is set pretty high.  We’re not looking for an escape from our lives, we’re looking to enrich it further.  

Our favourite place to go is Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.  We were trying to figure out the difference between Raro and here, or anywhere else we’ve been.  We came to the conclusion that the people of Rarotonga, where the land is ancestral and the big corporate giants cannot get their hooks in, are friendly in a very genuine way.  Although they’re comparatively poor, they’re rich in culture and a joie de vivre.  They value the tourist revenue but don’t resent your being there.  There’s a mutual respect and authenticity present.   They’re just relaxed and enjoying life, which creates a real sense of serenity and you feel like you’re part of a community.  Also, it’s completely safe, no matter where you go.  A local told us it is because it’s such a small island, any criminal misbehaviour will definitely get back to mamma and that’s scarier than jail!

This whole experience has really highlighted how incredible our life is.  I feel so grateful for the contrast of this journey, which has brought my attention to all the many blessings in our lives.  So, for that Tahiti, we thank you.

Namaste.

WANDERLUST

  
“As long as I stay in my comfort zone and am not challenged in any way, my philosophies get hardened in concrete and there is no room for new ideas. That is why travel is so important. It facilitates movement.”  Jana Joy

Lately, I’ve been suffering from a touch of wanderlust. Never is it more apparent than when I’m travelling. I get caught up in my daily routine and glean some comfort in the repetitive, but I also become dull and rigid. However, when I travel and there is no “norm” in my day, I come alive in a way I tend to forget exists within me. Exploring a new place and meeting new people makes me feel giddy. The fresh energy recharges my batteries. I feel compelled to learn from scratch, change, evolve, be present. I feel awakened.

Like most Americans, I have within my DNA rampant consumerism. I love to buy stuff. But as I get older, and time seems to be accelerating, I’ve come to realise that experience is far more valuable than “stuff.” Experience changes me and enables me to grow in exciting ways. As long as I stay in my comfort zone and am not challenged in any way, my philosophies get hardened in concrete and there is no room for new ideas. That is why travel is so important. It facilitates movement.

Energy is always in motion and when I stubbornly resist that movement, depression and anxiety settles in. If I cling steadfastly to old, stagnant ideas and beliefs, I will suffer.  You’ve probably heard the expression, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of crazy.” I’ve tested out that theory, over and over and over again… and gone crazy in the process. If what I habitually think and believe is making me feel unhappy, then perhaps it’s time to let those beliefs go and open myself to ones that feel good. It does take a certain measure of discipline to change the habitual thought patterns, which only exist to maintain beliefs that are past their use-by date.  If it feels bad, throw it out!

I think that some of my resistance to letting go of old beliefs is that it feels a bit like admitting I was wrong. My ego hates to be wrong. My true nature, underneath all that ego, needs to adapt and learn new ways of being. That is what sustains real happiness. Ego-clinging sustains misery, and misery alone. There is no benefit for me there, yet I go to great lengths to protect my ego. Why is that?  Habit.

So, today, I am making the commitment to travel more, challenge myself and my beliefs in a way only stepping out of my routine can do, and seek out new experiences and people to keep the energy fresh and flowing.

What is your commitment to yourself going to be?