Mackay to Portland - New South Whales
My sense of time and space has changed so much over the past 5 months. I think it’s due to gradually becoming more and more present. The first month or two was spent reflecting and unwinding from the past. The next couple of months was spent worrying about sustaining myself for the rest of the trip and life when I return home. And through all of the worry and trying to control the future, I was living the most glorious life. And even though such worries still arise every now and then, I think there came a time where I realised… you are still here and you are so fine. There came a time where I found greater trust that although you do not know what next… it’s not relevant in this present moment where all is well… The what next will only too become a moment in time and that too will work its self out accordingly. Money comes and goes in ways you can’t always control or predict. Opportunities arise that you cannot foresee. Plans change that will always eventuate for the better if you surrender to it. I have always loved the saying “The world isn’t happening to you but for you”. If we let go of playing the victim in the moment and instead surrender to it in trust that the universe is on our side… life becomes a lot less scary and more of a miraculous thrill.
It’s as though time is almost irrelevant with this deeper sense of presence. Each moment is what it is, an experience to be observed, an experience to be welcomed and trusted whether it feels pleasant or unpleasant. The rest simply, is not. I’ve gained an understanding on an experiential level of the relevance of time in relation to space. A moment in time when experienced with space to simply be, feels eternal. A moment in time when experienced with restriction amd limitations feels like there isn’t enough of it. Other than a few dates where I’ve had landmarks booked and of course my date of return, I’ve spent 5 months filled with the space between. A timeless, space between where the incredibly pleasant experiences felt eternal therefore still feel alive within me, and the unpleasant experiences didn’t feel so heavy with so much space for it to be dissolved and processed compared to feeling like you have a time limit to try and have it dealt with or the need to store it away to fester within for another time when you have space.
I’m not sure where the time and space talk came from, I think I was pondering how it felt like I hadn’t created a blog for so long… but it has only been just over a month that has passed since I last checked in! I’ve officially been living in eternity for 5 weeks!
I feel I don’t have anything out of the ordinary to share as I truly did go with the flow down the east coast from Mackay QLD to Portland NSW. This leg was a big hit to the system. With an expanded mind I slid back into the suburban scene observing society. This stretch has led me through big cities and civilisation after a good 3 months of very little civil life and a whole lot of outback and rainforest. It was also a stretch of catching up with familiar faces, being housed by many kind and generous people and indulging in all the cafes and… some more cafes…
The first overwhelming thing was being in the presence of advertisement and shops. When you live in a small box, you come to learn just how much you truly need to survive very comfortably. We create and are surrounded by so much STUFF. It truly is an out of sight, out of mind situation. What you really need will arise within you without having to see it first or have someone else tell you that you need it. It’s a lot easier said than done. Once in view I needed every raw treat and sweet potato burger in sight. I had also been very much in and out of reception until this stretch. Meaning, the bombardment of all the materialistic, external, instant short term pleasures and validation wasn’t only coming from the outside world, but from the little box always at our fingertips. Full of the lives of others, sponsored sales post and all of the comparative, stimulative and enticing things in between. The news “feeds” that feed our minds to the point beyond fullness, yet we keep eating until we feel sick.
After spending 2021 sober and walking the path of holistic and philosophical studies of life and nature that I am so intrigued and lit up by, I gave myself permission to ease the self-disciplinary routines for this time. I enjoyed drinks with friends, all the foods in excess and later nights. I conversed in all the gossip, worked out in beautiful studios and window shopped the streets. And although I was telling myself that going with the flow meant enjoying, I slowly observed the fog over-come my mind. The tiredness overtake my body. My digestion turn to lack-of, feeling sluggishness and bloated and witnessed my skin break-out. I felt my creativity and inspiration sizzle away. The mind chatter become louder, and the access to mirrors again had the chatter turn on me in judgement of my body image. My whole working life I have been surrounded by mirrors, I really started to become aware of the effect it has always had on my mental health a few months before leaving. From hairdressing to yoga teaching, you can’t escape your reflection. If I am not taking care of myself and feel imbalanced, the chattery mind and negative judgment of my reflection drowns me. It’s so wild at what mirrors do to our self-image. And at what our lifestyles do to our frame of mind. It’s felt so freeing not being surrounded by reflective glass, your distorted perception of this beautiful body that houses us barley crosses your mind. All comparison and commercial tactics to enhance your distortion to make money from it, lose their power over you. I am lucky I have the ability to be aware of such thoughts, and that they are not true. And to also be aware that the state of my life choices can trigger a judgemental mind.
This need to look a certain way was probably the most overwhelming observation I experienced in the rest of society. I wanted to hug and shake every woman I walked past. The lashes so thick I’m unsure how their eye lids opened and make-up so thick I’m unsure how it survived the heat. Extension ponytails so thick I have no idea how they carried the weight of them up hiking tracks. Botox so tight and lips so full a true smile couldn’t be expressed. Who are we trying to impress? Ourselves? Each other? A partner? And for what? The first set of false lashes make you feel great until the next set needs to be thicker or longer to have the same effect… The first minimal dose of filler makes you fill good until it doesn’t seem enough, so the next visit you get a little more… a certain length of extensions make your hair feel long and lushes until it’s not enough and you want them even longer and thicker… At what point do we stop? I am all for whatever makes us feel good and empowered but is this a saying we have come to adopt to protect us from the scary truth that altering our true image and going against the natural truth that ALL bodies undergo an aging process possibly isn’t the answer to feeling good? An adaptation to protect us from the possibility that there is an answer that lies at a depth within that might make us feel worse before it enables us to feel better? If we all went with the flow of the wrinkly, grey, saggy perks of ageing, we wouldn’t have anything else to compare to! Our little girls would know it's a brilliant thing to live a long life and experience extremely normal body changes. They would know ageing or that no two bodies are alike and a constantly changing body is not a scary phenomena to experience or dread. They would know that in order to be worthy or seen as beautiful they do not need to change and risk harming their unique bodies with foreign substances through absorption or injection into their very incredible alive organ of the skin.
It is hard to unlearn what you know to be true. Not a knowing from reading about it, but from changing your whole life to live it and experience the positive effects. But it is much harder to feel understood among those who are yet to consciously experience the same knowing, or more so to have accepted it. I believe we all know what is truly good for us, this instinct is the law of nature. Sometimes it feels like you need to keep such truths to your self to avoid side glances or eye rolls. Like it’s just some “thing” I do or practice as though I created the idea myself, with no depth of wisdom or science to back it. With no understanding or awareness of the experiences and sensations in my own body. It’s simply all in my head. Change is hard when it means letting go of habitual behaviours that don’t actually serve us long term but make us feel good in the moment. And we make up every excuse to justify why it’s okay, I catch myself and the rest of the world doing it allll the time.
Sometimes I feel like I’m viewing society from a whole different planet. But it is a view that although you feel to, you can’t shake people to understand. It’s a planet I’ve come to learn you must choose to book a ticket to, to reach an altitude above the fog. This year I’ve tried to experiment in blending these two worlds… in loosening up the disciplines that I know make me feel like the best version of me, the disciplines that I have witnessed expand the epicness of my life in general, the principles and practices which have opened me up to more than I ever could have imagined. As much as I wish there was a beautiful grey space in between, I’m finding it to be a dull grey and an internal back and forth between what you know to be true and what is easy. Trust me, I love easy and totally understand and do not judge it. I luuurve a few drinks, indulging in the finer treats we’ve created, dressing up and feeling a confidence boost with make-up. But I have tasted a whole different sense of love and a confidence that is so freeing. This sense isn’t just a love and good-time in the moment of occurrence but an ECSTATIC aliveness and clarity that pulsates my veins. A glow from within that feels dirty with make-up on. An inner confidence that doesn’t feel as true when altered by alcohol. And a connectedness to life and the miracles it holds seems so distant and not as easily accessible as soon as I start to live out of alignment with what I know in my heart.
So… there is a little brain vomit of ponderings and observances hitting the big smoke. Amongst the life ponderings I stopped into a few coastal towns as I made my way to the Sunshine Coast. I got to see my sister, brother in law and my 3 nieces who were on a family school holiday who I was soooo excited to squeeze! I hung about the sunny coast for a week as I was housed by two beautiful families! I then spent a weekend in Brisbane with a girlfriend, watched the Brisbane Bullets play and hit the night life. Of course, this knocked Grandma Brides and I endured a head cold as I next made it to the Glass House Mountains. In hope of a little peace and quiet I was devo that the sound of the M1 still haunted the mountain top… I then snuggled up inland of the Gold Coast for a few nights in the rain and rested away until crossing the QLD/NSW boarder to visit a friend in Byron!
Besides the first few days worried Daisy van might float away in the rain, the weather cleared and I had such a great time hanging between Ocean Shores and Byron Bay. I not only got to see my friend, but my Cousin happened to be in Byron for the weekend which was another familiar face bonus for me! I signed up to a yoga studio for the week that felt like home and fed my soul morning and night... Creature Yoga and yogi teachers you are delicious!