Double Rainbow

What a week.

And so apt that last week I blogged about ‘Change’ which is about being adaptable and willing to let go… of … relationships, people, jobs, what ever no longer serves us. AND so, some of you know, I set sail to Sydney as I thought I was heading to a ‘dream job’. Too good NOT to at least, try.  However, it soon became apparent that I did not have all the facts to make an informed decision and once again, was thrown a curve ball.

Yet is was also a grande opportunity to face my own principles. Those old questions arose again ‘was my need to please and gain approval of others going to dictate my now inadequate situation? Or was I going to stand my ground, speak my truth and set forth, yet again, amid my life feels topsy turvy and transitory?

I’m getting better (finally) at knowing what is NOT going to serve me. And so, as I drove out of Sydney back towards Brisbane feeling ‘what on earth was THAT all about?’ suddenly I saw this. A double rainbow. It came out of the blue. I drove into it and in a split second (well, about 20 seconds to be precise) it was gone.

double rainbow.JPG

It took my breath away, far more beautiful than this photograph could ever capture.

I looked up what a double rainbow meant : According to the art and philosophy of Feng Shui,double rainbows “are considered symbolic of transformations in your life. The material world is represented by the first rainbow while the second rainbow is the spiritual world.’

Beautiful.

Sometimes we don’t know what’s around the corner, we can act in good faith and make decisions on the information we are given. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. Yet as I saw this rainbow I suddenly felt that this past week had all been a test. Was I going back into old patterns that were hardwired into my brain? Or was I going to be gusty and brave and say no… and stay true to my self as I grow in self  love? Lub loni xx

 

That lil word ‘change’

Never has a word struck more fear into the hearts of many than the word Change. It can show up in an instant and cripple even the strongest of men. How we react around the changing circumstances of our lives really tests us on the deepest level. Recently someone said to me ‘oh I have no fear’ yet it is very easy to say that when you are living a comfortable life isn’t it? Far harder if you lose everything overnight! What then? How’s your fear barometer doing? How do you sit with the word Change? What needs attention or changing in your world?

ports light house

I love the story of  Neal Donald Walsch, a man whom had no health insurance and found himself penniless after an accident.  He is living proof that so often “change”  gives us opportunities that we never ever considered. Yet what courage is required of us to literally walk out into the world penniless!! We humans are creatures of habit and enjoy our comforts and lets face it, it’s easy to talk the talk. Of course we feel fearless when we have a roof over our head, money in the bank and our immediate future looking pretty okay. Far more challenging when we are put to the test!

sunrise

Which brings me to the next person whom I have adored for many years. She left her old life as she knew it, for a spiritual calling in her 50’s and walked across America in aid of peace. Her name was Peace Pilgram and her simple life embraced a rich inner spirituality.  http://www.peacepilgrim.com

In the hope of inspiring and encouraging you to grow, to take on fresh opportunities, to step outside of maybe your comfort zone…. embrace something different and remember to breathe, relax in the letting go of what is no longer required and trust….. xx

 

An “off week” …. Retreat Life

I had assumed after a retreat, one could kinda rest up… I mean, we have a whole week off!  Time to shop, go for a stroll, lay around the pool, go out for lunch maybe?

It was a slight surprise (shock, horror) to realise there were a lot of other things to do, like mowing, gardening, tractor repair work (that took 2 days), cleaning, organising, ordering, answering copious emails, phone calls… and thats just the normal daily stuff.

After a retreat many folk say things like ‘wow, it must be amazing living here… all this peace and serenity…… you really DO have THE LIFE.’  No sooner have they disappeared down the drive way, when we are stripping linen off 12 beds, scooping up damp towels, face washers, hand towels, bath mats,  (did I mention towels?) and pushing them into those huge green bags for the laundry guy to come collect on Monday.

Phew. One job down.

Then, we can take a break, ahhh… maybe indulge in a cuppa.. ahhh perhaps watch the midday movie, ahhhh  do a bit of weeding in between feeding the horses, donkeys and birds who need their water and feed constantly topped up….ahhhhh….

However, it is peaceful living here and at the end of the day, I pause, look up into the sky, whisper a silent ‘thank you’ and gaze at the clouds and colors and feel quite infinitesimal …sunset.JPG

Life isn’t so bad. It’s even pretty damn good when you realise that so many things one used to stress about is, as my daughter kindly says really are ‘first world problems mother first world problems’

We are blessed. Life at the retreat is simple: we love looking after people, we adore giving them a new experience,  holding hands and saying a prayer before lunch, friendly hugs, a chakra dance, vego meal, meditation, a stretching class of yoga when they had never tired it before or  an afternoon of art when they assumed they didn’t have a creative bone in their body….

Life goes on…

flowerHL

In all it’s beauty, wonder and simplicity Life weaves its magic web among us all… bringing strangers together whom, after 5 days, depart as friends. Opening each other to new realms of thinking, to laugh with free abandon and dance even if you feel a little awkward. This is all growth and change, pushing into the unknown…. This is the greatest gift a spiritual retreat gives you – something that cannot be easily described because it is a feeling, a knowing, an understanding….. and it spreads deep inside you.

I think if you’re not smiling and feeling grateful for a day well lived… maybe you need to ask yourself why not? What’s missing? What needs to change? … Meanwhile, I’ve got laundry to do and water troughs to go check up on …..

HL collage

Detoxing at Heartland Retreat, Gympie.

Hi again!

I’ve done a couple of detoxes over the years and had been feeling it was time to do another. It just so happened my beautiful sister invited me to trial a new program they were running – ‘a la detox’. I said goodbye to Hervey Bay, coffee, processed foods, my favourite cheese, all dairy, sugar, alcohol and ‘hello’ to Heartland Spiritual Retreat, 80 acres of tranquility, raw salads, veggie juices, coconut milk smoothies and divine veggie soups. Got to love the timing of the Universe…. Heartland is situated 7 mins north of Gympie and has been running for 12 years under the loving guidance of Trudi and Les.  http://www.heartlandretreat.com.au

waldorf salad

There is nothing quite like being tucked away at a soothing peaceful retreat space.  To feel no pressure to have to do anything. At the intro talk by Les, he re-iterated this was a week for us to simply enjoy the vibe, detox and if we needed to go lay down whenever we wanted, we could. I know I would have struggled to complete this on my own. The support of the other participants and informative talks by Lesley Dymond, a highly experienced naturopath from Mullum Herbals certainly helped me stay on track and keep motivated. Lesley’s happy disposition made the detox process almost effortless!  www.mullumherbals.com.au.

It’s the little things that you notice at Heartland that make you feel ‘at ease and loved’  the sprinkling of fresh herbs over your meals, the simple attention to loving signs in flower gardens, fairy lights that glitter at night and friendly faces encouraging you.

Pond pic

So, with no further ado, here is my experience in a nutshell, bearing in mind, I now have another week of detoxing to complete on my own.

Sunday afternoon: We gathered at Heartland to settle in and meet with Lesley to receive our detox packages and run through any health issues we had. It was good to know that this “2 week easy cleanse” detox had helped loads of people around Mullumbimby for many years. After a simple nutritious bowl (or 2) of vegetable soup and an evening meditation, we settled into our new surroundings.

Day One – Monday

Started the week with a beautiful massage with Lesley and cruised thru the day okay. Experienced a dull headache during the afternoon which prompted me to drink more water!  Took my psyllium shakes x 3, herbal tincture, minerals and herbal teas. Everyone loved breakfast – Flourless pancakes with eggs, banana and cinnamon,  fruit salad, coconut yoghurt and a spoonful of activated roasted nuts!

breakfast

Day 2 – Tuesday

Day started off with a gentle tai chi class – thoroughly enjoyable, followed by a fresh fruit salad with coconut yoghurt. I honestly wasn’t hungry because the psyllium fills your tummy. Interesting discussion with Lesley about the detox process to help us understand what was going on at a deeper level. I had much to ponder! Lunch was a delicious stuffed mushroom and a small salad that left everyone raving about the tasty mushie.  By 2 pm though, a headache slowly took hold of me and I was on my bed until 6. I could barely open my eyes – the light was so bright!  Slowly, it began to lift and I joined the group for a light stir fry dinner then back to bed. Missed out on yoga and an art lesson. Ah well. I’m really not missing my daily coffees or evening glass of vino as my taste buds are changing…. Bowel movements – 12…. Unbelievable!

Steamed greens/ stir fry veg/ satay sauce…mmmmm

satay veg

Day 3

After a fantastic nights sleep, had a pretty good day with more regular visits to the loo. It’s amazing what passes through your body! Enjoyed another class of Tai Chi with the humorous Darren and an afternoon yoga class with the lovely Susy. I’m getting used to taking all my herbs and especially enjoying the afternoon pot of tumeric, ginger and black pepper tea. Who would have thought a tiny sprinkle of black pepper would lift a cup of tea?  I even made a face mask from the Bentolite Clay and sat in the sauna for half an hour until I was nice n sweaty. A dull headache was bothering me again during dinner so skipped the meditation and hit the hay instead.

Day 4

Woke early and after a light breakfast we all jumped in Heartlands mini bus to drive to Tin Can Bay to feed the dolphins. I was feeling pretty lethargic and tired, so being outdoors, watching the early morning mists lift as we drove along was very pleasant. The dolphins were delightful, of course, and we all enjoyed feeding and watching them bobbing in the shallows.  Whilst there, a mother and baby dolphin came along which was a real thrill. After arriving back at Heartland, we enjoyed a chakra dance with Trudi followed by another interesting session with Lesley who showed us all the various homeopathic remedies she works with, followed by lunch, afternoon rest, then into the art shed for some ‘time out’  creating personal collages for ourselves, a lovely way to keep ourselves inspired and self motivated.

3 dolphins

Day 5.

I woke feeling quite energetic and bright. It was the first morning I actually could see a change in my  skin and my tummy feels like it has shrunk a bit (bloating – gone). I no longer feel achy nor have headaches. Morning meditation before breakfast with Les further restored my clarity and afterwards we sat outside listening to a talk Lesley gave on how to make your own face creams and deodorants, chemical free of course. We all had a turn at making our own and came away with 2 little pots, one of each.

Making face creams

Afterwards we headed to the temple to beat drums and clang symbols to engage with our inner child just for ‘fun’. It was these little ‘extra’ things that made the week so fulfilling.  I’ve had a week of complete self nurture aided by some very dedicated people who love nothing more than to help others grow and become stronger.  As I said goodbye to each fellow detoxifier, they felt like extended family and I even felt a little sad. When would I see these beautiful folk again? Also I need to mention the amazing cooks here, Elvie and John who were so friendly, fun and prepared all our meals with TLC. And now my morning cup of tea has transformed into a) tongue scraping b) oil pulling c) a psyllium shake.  I feel so grateful that the Universe opened this opportunity my way… and can only say two words that seem so inadequate … but from my heart .. thank you.  

To check out the detox program at heartland just go to their website above.

Perfect Stranger – A book review.

Mostly I like to write upbeat pieces, stories that make you feel good (hopefully). Or maybe thought provoking. This time, I want to review a book I’ve just finished reading called Perfect Stranger. I literally could not put it down. It’s an incredible story about a 40 year old high flyer Kay Schubach who met a man, who is now in jail. My sister kept telling me ‘you have to read this book, it’s a lot like what you went through.’ Unfortunately, she was right.

book KAY

In just a couple of months this man turned Kay’s life upside down and unfortunately, she didn’t have the inner resources to complete her AVO nor follow through with assault charges. This is what so often occurs, you are so worn down, emotionally depleted and exhausted that you just want to get as far away from your perpetrator as possible.

Without support around you, it is nearly impossible to follow through with any court action. There is a very big flaw in the QLD court system that I experienced. If you have also been served an AVO and want to fight it (because it’s untrue) and the perpetrator is self representing he will get to cross examine you!  Your the one who is terrified, exhausted and depleted and don’t even want to be in the same room as them, yet they have that edge once again, over you. I have heard there is a movement trying to change  this. These relationships are about power and control and if you have the unfortunate experience living with someone like this, all I can say is, it won’t change.

Kay Shubach ended up going O/S where she began a years repair on her wounded downtrodden self. She had suffered enormous physical, mental and emotional abuse at the hands of a very sick narcissist/psychopath. He has changed his surname (they like changing their names I’ve noticed) but he is due for parole in 2020. Heaven forbid.

From the Daily Telegraph in Sydney a excerpt from an article written by Sarah Crawford in Nov 2016  ‘LIFE behind bars for infamous rapist Simon Monteiro is not as cushy as he would like so he has issued a list of demands to prison authorities, including a request to be moved to a jail by the coast.

Monteiro, 49, who was imprisoned for 12 years in 2008 after being convicted of bashing, raping and twice impregnating his girlfriend in their eastern suburbs home, would also like an “orthopaedic mattress’’ and a “soft-bristled toothbrush’’.

Also known as Simon Lowe, Monteiro was nicknamed the “playboy rapist” because he bragged about being a model and actor who once dated Hollywood star Barbara Hershey.’

When I was into chapter 3 of Kay’s book I was thinking ‘No no ! Red Flag!’ This was only because of what I now understand about these toxic men (and yes, there are women around like it too). They prey on the lonely and vulnerable, people who are kind, gentle and loving.  If you know of anyone who has been through something of this nature, tread gently with them, remind them they are loved and be there for them. I still thank the three ladies in my life who stuck by me like glue and one of my sisters. At the end of these unions you are completely and utterly exhausted and barely know which way is up. These perpetrators can do enormous damage with their air of confidence amid the pathological lies they spread. Some people do start to wonder maybe there is a grain of truth to them? I honor women like Kay Shubach whos incredibly brave writing an sit on the edge of your seat –  page turning book from her experience. Good for you Kay.