Barely one month after restrictions were lifted in Victoria and we were free to move around and see friends and family again … Melbourne and all its suburbs is in lockdown again. Stage 3 restrictions. I think by now we all know what that means and the feelings that come with it.
But this post is not about venting frustration, angst, pointing fingers or bemoaning our fate, though I’ll admit to some of the above. It’s about leaning into patience and accepting a different sort of being. Welcome to round two everyone. Buckle up and hold on, it’s gonna be a wild ride!
Travelling is once again off the cards for awhile, but our minds are always free to wander and to reminisce. To dream wildly and conjure up new adventures. The plans we had made and places we love are still there, waiting for us once this passes.
Somehow it feels more important than ever to intentionally take in the good. Balancing the feelings of worry and negativity by focusing on all we have to be grateful for.
We had a month to enjoy a new normal and a freedom we once took for granted. And in that time, though we didn’t venture too far, it felt liberating to be able to move beyond our home. We had quiet catch ups with family members, an adventurous long weekend camping and a night away at the beach with friends.
These days I find I’m living more and more in the moment, taking in the pleasure wherever I am, trying to make it last. Pondering an uncertain future only fuels worry. However, there are times when looking back is therapeutic, especially in tough times when it involves capturing and holding onto those feel good feelings. Blogging and reminiscing helps.
Free camping near Benalla
There was so much to love on our long weekend away, free camping near Benalla, a night by the lake, two nights at James Reserve and relaxing by the river at Caseys Weir.
Memorable moments were many and included a beautiful morning walk around Lake Benalla and making damper by the river. We bushwalked through history in Ned Kelly Country at Stringybark Creek. And who can forget that adrenalin charged Dubious Detour that tested our skills, determination and marriage! Sometimes the Universe has an uncanny way of making us stop and take notice of where we’re going.
Life’s made up of small joys and big moments and this part of Victoria has some of the biggest and most amazing silo art. This is Artistry on the grandest scale.
Feeling Wild at Bushrangers Bay
I’d been wanting to visit Bushrangers Bay for a long time. It’s less than 90 minutes from Melbourne, tucked away near Cape Schanck on the Mornington Peninsula. Truly a hidden gem.
The views from the boardwalk from nearby Cape Schanck are spectacular but the lesser known walking trail of Two Fold Bay is especially worth seeking out. The 45 minute walk to the beach is magical, weaving through a trail of banksia trees and forest that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a Harry Potter movie.
At the bottom, steps lead to the beach and around the headland is a beautiful cove, stunning rock pools and a rocky path underneath limestone cliffs. As I stood on the rocks and the wind and waves crashed up around me I felt spectacularly alive.
We enjoyed a late bbq and prolonged our stay by visiting the Cape Schanck lighthouse at sunset. It was an awesome day trip!
Finding Solace at Point Lonsdale
What a fitting name for a house. Solace. Finding comfort. And that’s how it felt, tucked away inside this cute beach house in Point Lonsdale, cosy and warm with a log fire already stoked and ready to be lit. It was like camping with friends, with a few extra comforts thrown in.
During the day we were blessed with calm weather and winter sunshine as we walked along the pier at nearby Queenscliff. That night after a steak and red wine dinner we pulled out the playing cards, a dodgy set with extra aces that produced some elaborate scoring and a lot of laughs. Good friends and good times … that’s what life’s all about.
Our stay in Point Lonsdale was a last minute decision, booking through AirBnB. There was a feeling in the air that things were changing. Did we have an inkling of what was to come? Perhaps. So I’m grateful for our night away and that we got to share it with good friends.
Now, for the next six weeks, I’m once again staying home, like most people in Victoria, and appreciating what’s in my backyard, literally.
I’m currently reading a book by Rick Hanson called Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength and Happiness.
It’s this months book in The six month MindLife Project I’m doing. In it he talks about how to, not just find the good but “install the good” into our lives. I love what he says here in his interview with Elise Bailyew.
“So we start with positive states, we activate it but if we don’t install it in the brain, it’s wasted on the brain. It’s momentarily pleasant, but it has no lasting value, there’s no learning …
That’s why taking the extra 10-20 seconds to stay with the experience, to try to feel it in the body, to open up to it, to have it be as rich as possible is key to turning positive mental states into lasting positive mental traits …
So the take away point is, you know, when you’re already having some ordinary positive experience, a moment of gratitude, a feeling of relief, a sense of someone being friendly towards you, a sense of accomplishment of finishing something, walking outside and seeing the beauty of the world, whatever it might be, at least a half dozen times a day don’t waste that positive experience.
Take the extra 10, 20, 30 seconds to give it to yourself like a beautiful gift. Opening yourself to it, sustaining your mindfulness on the experience so you stay with it rather than getting distracted.
Having a warmth toward yourself so you allow yourself to receive this beautiful positive experience so that it actually becomes a part of you … any single time you do that … it will gradually change your brain for the better.
Weaving these positive experiences into the fabric of your brain can be absolutely life changing …
“Someday everything will make perfect sense. So for now laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.”
Keep making the most of this crazy wild journey. Whatever else is going on, there’s one certainty. Life is precious, it’s for living so let’s focus on the moment and make it the best we can. Are you taking in the good?
In love and light.