As the relief, excitement and stoke of crossing into the NT filled me up it hit me again. "You have to call him". "No no no, we were here only here last November but then that urge disappeared and to be honest, didn't even cross your awareness again. Like, pretty sure that one got acupuncture-d out of your system..." "Next time you are in reception, just call and get it over with!! You'll never have to wonder again!".
"Argh, f@!k f@!k f@!k. Okay shiiiit. EEEEEP feeek okay, I'll do it".
Last November, I completed my first Ayurvedic Digestive Reset Cleanse. When our body goes through a cleansing process, it not only cleanses the physical but all aspects get shaken up and shifted and from my experience, you feel a much greater connection to yourself, nature and others. The day after I had completed the cleanse, I celebrated a friend's birthday with a group camping trip. After the best weekend with mates, I began driving home. Within 1 minute of saying bye I burst into tears. "Ummm what on earth is this?". I felt a full rush from the crown of my head to my toes run through my system. A sense of complete compassion. I had complete compassion for my Dad I had not spoken to for over a decade. The first time I began to feel this was after reading Eckart Tolles 'A New Earth'. After cleansing, I was in such a state of physical and mental balance that I became so aware of what leads others to do awful things. I felt sorry for anyone who was unaware of how much the past influences your current mental and physical state and how such lack of self-awareness will keep them blind forever. I truly believe no-on his born a horrible person. It's a build up of events and the egos ability to keep someone blind as a "safety attempt" to not have to feel through the pain to be free from it. The in-ability to see the blessings in the lessons and instead the decision to take the initial 'easy route' as a victim. The world is never happening to us but for us, but without choosing a path of personal growth and questioning everything… one's world would be perceived as an unfair place.
I had been told something significant was going to happen at Uluru. I only needed to enter her territory for me to be able to instantly guess what it was...
After committing to make the call on the next phone signal I received, that I was secretly relived deep down would probably be a while away... I continued enjoying what felt like an instant change in landscape from the SA outback. The trees were a little taller, dirt more vibrant and sandier. And the surface not so flat anymore.
I began driving down the Lassetter Highway sooo excited knowing Uluru would come into view aaaany minute now. Busting for the loo I pulled off to the side of the road. Jumping back in the van I noticed Daisy stank of Gas… Gas bottles and anything gas related FREAKS me out. Then I remembered my only hours ago freshly filled gas bottle.
Tucked away in the back of my pantry I quickly pulled everything out to get to my spare gas bottle. I could hear it leaking before I even picked it up. I took it away from the van and sat it in the sand. I starred at it. No reception. Not sure how anyone would help stop a leaking gas bottle over the phone anyway… I decided I had to approach it. I figured out where it was coming from and remembered that electrical tape fixes everything.
Not confident with my tape job and too scared to put it back into the car with me, I noticed a caravan parked 100m down the road. Holding the gas bottle as though it was going to explode and blow the NT up any second… I carried it over to the camper.
"Do you know much about gas bottles?" An old bloke and his misso sporting her pink leopard print Uluru merch cap were relaxing in the sun outside their van. "Yep."
I explained the leak and within 20 seconds he had tightened the loose release valve from the re-fill and the leaking noise had eased. Concerned that I could still hear it slightly, he told me he was deaf and it should be fine...
Still ready for the gas bottle to blow I walked back to the van that looked as though the gas bottle had exploded inside it already. In my panic of emptying the pantry and digging to the depths of the van for the tape, the contents were everywhere. I cleaned up, found a new, more exposed home for the gas bottle and continued on with my windows down.
Oh… my… On the horizon, Uluru sat. Still miles away, her essence expanded from her very centre.
I stayed at Curtain Springsthe night before heading closer to Uluru. An easy free camp about an hour from the national park. I set off early on July 13th to head into Yulara.
It's as though you can't open your eyes wide enough to truly see Uluru. With every new bend she would appear closer and more impactful. What from afar looks like an almost smooth sandy surface, begins to show indentation, grooves, curves and build shape.
I was shocked arriving at Yulara. "Shopping Centre this way". "Cafe". "Restaurant". An almost complete town centre only kilometres from Uluru. It all felt extremely off.
That afternoon I made my way into the national park and to the Cultural Centre as advised out of respect to know the story of Uluru before arriving. A beautiful story filled the walls of the centre, Tjukuritja, the dreamtime story of creation. It was special that no photos were allowed to be taken here. In fact, there are many areas of the rock you can not capture as sacred sites and areas hold sacred scriptures within the rocks surfaces only interpreted and shared by elders.
I wandered the art galleries, still wigging out about the establishments so close to the base of Uluru. I watched women paint for a few moments and hoped they truly were happy sitting in the sun surrounded by platforms for tourist to view them.
Finally I followed the road to the base carpark. I had to be mindful to pick up my jaw and continue to look at the road as Uluru cascaded my drivers window. I began the 10km walk around the base. Starting at the carpark, first seeing the scar on her face from where the climbing tours had not so long ago rightfully ended.
I started to walk feeling very uninvited and... like another ass-hole with a camera... I felt horrible for participating in the money making of this site. Questioning everything I was feeling, as I truly was viewing with the utmost respect and feeling so grateful to have the opportunity to stand under this sacred site, it just didn't feel right. For me to feel the pain of disturbing this place, tears trickled my cheeks imagining how the Anangu people must feel.
After 4 and a half hours circling the base, reading the stories of each area… I was astounded at the size and blown away from the most peaceful gorges and the many algae formed lines where waterfalls run on big rains, how beautiful that would be to witness! I pulled into the sunset viewing carpark on my way back to the campsite ready to see the super full moon rise. My fam joined in for some of the sunset after I called them over FaceTime. A very special experience to share.
With two nights booked I didn't feel right to get that close to Uluru again. The power of that place is so overwhelming it is satisfying enough to get an incredible fix from afar.
On Day Two I headed to Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), another magnificent rock formation about 40 minutes west of Uluru. Uluru and kata Tjuta can be seen on the horizon from one another often, so magic! A known wind tunnel these formations sure do create. A short but lushes walk into another sacred gorge, my neck in full extension gazing at the scale of the most vibrant red rock. The backdrop to greenery paired with open blue skies. Did I mention I couldn't open my eyes wide enough?
Razzed from a coffee and the wind tunnel, I couldn't deny the fact I had the best phone connection I'd had this whole trip… just do it!
I pulled into the sunset carpark, soaking up the power of Uluru and some large breaths… I clicked to FaceTime call the '💩' contact in my phone… I promise my maturity levels have not increased since saving that contact over a decade ago...
Hanging up, I couldn't tell if I had instant regret or a 50 Ton brick off of my shoulders. Not really sure what to do, I called poor Mango Man feeling physically helpless through my tears at home. After a nice chat and feeling like I needed a big hug, but contently alone. I knew in that moment that no one could comfort me more than I needed to myself in that time.
After hours that felt like minutes of sitting in the Uluru sunset carpark, the stampede of viewers started to pile in. I prepped my dinner as I watched the sun go down and the luminous moon rise once again. Gently, I took myself back to camp, set my alarm to watch the sunrise on my last day at the national park… I thankfully drifted off to sleep with ease.
Waking and observing if I was feeling dread from my previous day's decision as I was worried could be the circumstance… I was pleased that was not the case. Face puffy and heart experiencing a rawness I have never felt before. I had an extremely long, hot shower and made my way to the sunrise viewing area.
With all the thermals and layers on, regretfully not my gloves as it was -1degree, I took my cuppa to capture the sunrise. Pastels of blue, pink and purple painted the sky as the silhouette of Uluru began to show it's beautiful coloured rock. Kata Tjuta to the left on the horizon and the large moon saying its final moments of goodbye just above. Slowly slowly that rawness within me began to fill with a power I have not felt before.
I made it back to camp, starving for breaky and warmth. Feeling extremely slow and emotionally exhausted, I gave myself permission to let everything just take as long as it needed. Completing what jobs I needed to ready for my next mission, I made it back to the sunset carpark for one last natural show. I cooked up the most delish buddha bowl with Uluru in view, and enjoyed every bite as I continued to feel extremely introverted after 3 weeks of feeling this way. Enjoying my dinner and listening to the conversations happening around me I soaked up my last evening. Aware I still had an hours drive ahead of me, I left just before dark.
Unfortunately, leaving just before dark did not allow me enough time to make it back to Curtain Springs in light. I have never experienced driving in that depth of darkness and don't intend to again! My bar light was struggling to cut through the night and I was thankful the cattle that appeared suddenly lining the roads had not wandered into my lane...
I stayed for two nights at Curtain Springs, staying still and allowing my body time to digest a big 3 days. I had a flash back to a dream I had forgotten about many years ago.
I was in my local grocer and ran into my Dad. He asked what I did now and I told him I was a yoga Teacher. "HA! Why would you do that for?"
As clear as day I replied "So people don't end up like you".
I remember waking up in shock from the realness, bluntness and clarity of that dream. Then everything made sense. It was as though the universe was trying to remind me of why I do what I do. Along with this feeling of new found compassion. For once I felt a boundary around me. I knew this man could not hurt me anymore.I was gifted with a sense of empowerment and a growing high vibe from simply feeling like I had made an old (sorry Dad) mans day. I was reminded of the power in taking care and working on yourself first. The ripple effect that being self-aware or non-aware has on not only yourself, but every living being around you.
It felt like I had reached a new level of selflessness in sharing yoga and studying Ayurveda. We only have one life as the you that is reading this. The thought of another suffering through it is devastating. I am not saying we are supposed to feel "happy", "motivated" and "inspired" all of the time. I would be a complete hypocrite! But having the awareness of our own emotions and the space between our actions to observe and reflect, makes it oh so much easier.
I would not change a single hour of my life. In that moment and from that experience, nothing could have made more sense.
I can confirm the saying... freedom lives on the other side of fear.