What a crazy six months it’s been. It’s been a time of upheaval and change, of chaos and unrest, of bush-fires that seem a lifetime ago and a global pandemic that instigated personal reflection and a search for clarity.
Clarity was, in fact, my theme word for this year. But have I gained it?
Amidst all of the change of 2020 I’ve tried to maintain a sense of inner peace amongst the fear and confusion that’s permeated life this year. Doing Mindful in May and continuing now with The MindLife Project has helped.
Life here has been quiet, punctuated by mindful walks, a lot of writing, personal projects and ordinary day to day stuff. And now slowly we’re moving again.
Things are changing daily and last weekend, finally, we were given the green light. You know what that means …
Hitting the open road again felt so good. Heading north past Benalla we set up camp riverside. We met strangers that became friends. We cooked delicious meals in the great outdoors and froze our arses off as we walked a 4.5km circuit track around Lake Benalla. We got our four wheel drive bogged at the bottom of a hill in the Strathbogie Ranges. And we winched ourselves out of it. That’s a story in itself!
We learnt a few lessons along the way and and we’ll no doubt keep learning.
I reflect on the bliss of getting out and about again, the allure of adventure and the risk of the unknown.
Life is constantly changing. It’s challenging and, whilst there’s still uncertainty about, there’s also hope and a fierce unified determination that somehow we’re emerging from this with some new insights. A few simple truths.
Less is more
We really can make do with less can’t we? It’s the same when we’re travelling and camping. Getting back to basics is about living richly and in focus, with what matters. We often over complicate things unnecessarily.
Most of us are fortunate enough to have all we need, at least physically. We have food and shelter and the basic necessities of life to make us comfortable. It’s the same when we plan our trips. We take away what we need and that gets us through.
Our recent getaway reaffirmed why I love camping so much. Spending even just a few days camping and on the road offers freedom, peace and ease with the focus on being rather than having. It’s a rich life in every way that matters.
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” Socrates
Every day is another beginning, a chance to reflect and reset our mindset if the sparkle has waned. No matter what’s gone on the day before we can always find something to be grateful for. It’s all about perspective.
Limit the mainstream news and be discerning. Question what you hear. Be aware of the nature of negativity and how it can drain us. A tonic? Our immune system thrives on fresh air, sunshine and a positive mindset and grateful heart. Get up early and watch the sun rise, wherever you are. You don’t have to be camped lakeside to take in the beauty of a new day.
Find joy in simple things. Look up at the stars at night and ponder on an infinite universe. Live each day with awareness. When worries takes hold, focus on your breath and the fact that you’re alive. That in itself is a miracle.
“I’m still thanking all the stars. One by one.” Marissa Meyer
Humans need hugs
Zumba with Zoe (via Zoom) has been kinda cool, but I do miss being in the same physical space with others. That energy is almost palpable in a real live zumba class, music and dancing anytime lifts the soul.
What do you miss the most. For me, it’s the hugs. It’s something we all instinctively crave. It’s not natural to be apart long term and, though I understand the why’s, I miss it, the warmth, the touches and the comfort. It’s like depriving ourselves of sunlight over a long period of time. And we all know how good sunshine is for our health and state of mind!
Hugging is the same and Oxytocin, affectionately known as the “cuddle chemical” is, in my opinion, the best medicine. Roll on the day we can all hug each other freely.
Everybody is valuable
I remember months ago waving to the garbage truck driver as he emptied our bins and I stopped to say hello. I got such a great response, one of real appreciation and connection. These simple gestures seem more common today as we look at all people, no matter what their job is, with a new level of respect.
There’s been a real shift in attitude in many ways, an acknowledgement of, not just our amazing front line medical workers, but those doing just as necessary work that society in the past has classed as mundane. No role in life is unimportant.
What about all those thousands of workers working from home. Whilst this pandemic has proven how flexible and productive people can be, I wonder how our economies and employment will look in the future, post isolation. Time will tell but we all have a role to play.
Nature is healing
A new season means change and renewal. Here in Australia, Autumn has shed its leaves and made way for cold wintry nights and invigorating days that fuel a sense of aliveness. Those bursts of sunshine and brisk walks undeniably strengthens our immune system.
In the garden, with soil under my fingers, I feel the connection with the earth. And on my walks the birds seem to be chattier and more playful than ever. Maybe I’m picking up on their vibe.
As we stayed at home our planet has begun to heal with clearer skies, clean waterways and Mother Nature thriving. Will it remain that way as the world wakes up from its lull? Can we truly change our future and sustain a cleaner earth?
Times of crisis bring people together. All over the world, the energy is rising. When love leads the way there’s a sense of alignment and, even from afar, we realise that distance is irrelevant. We’re all connected.
When people do come together with the same intention and purpose, in that collective consciousness, miracles can happen.
On a physical level this was never more apparent than when hundreds of Emergency workers and volunteers came together recently to search for 14 year old autistic boy William Callaghan, who went missing on Mount Disappointment for over two freezing days. It was such a happy, feel good ending to this story.
So, have I gained clarity? There’s movement and cracks in the earth and uncertainty in our tomorrows. No one knows what’s to come or the intentions of the powers that be but we all have our own power inside us. Maybe that’s what we need to focus on. Connected by love, united in humanity.
Time moves fast. Nothing is forever and “this too shall pass”. Hopefully what we’ve learnt won’t be forgotten and will move us forward in a more powerful and positive way. A new kind of normal is slowly emerging.
May it be full of love, free of prejudice and hatred and filled with the possibilities of infinite peace, joy and enlightenment.
Wishing you a peaceful heart as we navigate through the second half of this year. Here’s to bringing back adventure in our lives, living each day on purpose and maybe learning a few lessons along the way.
In love and light
We passed this sign in Benalla and I thought it was a powerful message, fitting for our times. May we live with our eyes wide open, in a new world of compassion, kindness and understanding.