Loss, Suicide and the Ugly parts of life.

Over the past week, many people have discovered the passing of Anthony Bourdain. Whilst I haven’t done the typical “RIP” post to facebook that everyone tends to do in these sadly increasing circumstances, this particular death has hit me pretty hard. It’s odd when a celebrity dies – you don’t know them at all but their faces are so familiar to you, you’ve heard them talk, sing, you’ve read about their lives. They’ve told stories in your living room for years.

Personally, I feel he was different to most so called “celebrities” – so raw, unapologetically human and flawed – with such a deep zest for life, travel, people and food. So many people identified with him, admired him and connected with him in some way. His realness made him relatable, and his struggles resonated. He made it ok for a lot of people.

But I have to talk a little about the elephant in the room. About mental illness, depression and the struggles that people go through in their hearts and minds every day.

In this age of social media, we’re more connected than ever, and lonelier than ever. This is a world where we compare ourselves and our happiness to the “highlight reel” that people project to the world through their online personas.

Its a world where we’re so afraid to really show ourselves, to appear less than happy, less than perfect. A world where everyone harps on about mental illness and daily struggles, but people are still afraid to admit it’s happening to them.

One thing I observe is that the people who decide to take their own lives are often deemed “happier than ever” by their friends a family… we forget: its when people are alone, with their thoughts and their fears – that they are the most vulnerable. When the mask is off, and the mental boxing gloves come on, and the battle rages once more in hearts and in minds. People are afraid to be alone with their own thoughts. 

Depression, anxiety and mental illness in general – it never goes away. Not really. So even if a person seems fine – it doesn’t mean they are without struggle, or they are ‘cured’.

In an increasingly vapid society, where looks and personas and “personal brand’ reign supreme – its more important than ever to occasionally consciously disconnect from anti-social social media, and reconnect with self. To step away from mental self-talk and ego, and into the present moment.

Living in the present moment, in the now, is so damn powerful. It allows us to connect, experience, relish and squeeze joy from our lives and experiences.. the ego is only thinking about the past or the future and it sucks our joy with false worry and fear.

When someone who seems to have all this figured out, who seems to thrive in the present – succumbs to fear, anxiety, depression – and ultimately takes their own life – we often think “shit, if they can’t see past this – how am I to get past this?”.. and we are sucked back into that fear pattern.

But comparison is ego – it’s mind talk, it takes away your power and your ability to find joy. If you catch yourself doing this, and having these thoughts – you have the power to stop them in their tracks just by acknowledging the fear, and not following the thoughts. It takes a lot of practice – but it’s a powerful tool.

I think a lot, and I often ponder what my “legacy” will be for the world.. ultimately we all want to make some kind of impact. We want to make sense of  the world, and our place in it. When we look to a man like Anthony Bourdain, and observe and understand the impact that he made in so many peoples lives  – it can be both overwhelming (comparison) or inspiring – depending on our lens of the world.

Personally, if I can make people think, feel, give them tools to help them make sense of their lives, craft writing/ string together words that resonate, maybe a feeling of being less alone than they thought – and ultimately if I have been kind, then thats is a pretty sweet legacy.

In the meantime – check on your strong friend. Don’t wait – don’t think about it and not do it – drop them a “been thinking about you – hope you’re doing ok ?”  message… you just might find you get the same response… and we’ll all be a little less lonely.

Post-surgery reflections.

No matter how prepared you think you are….. you are not prepared for everything.

No one can explain to you that several days later you will be exhausted from the act of folding two pairs of pants and hanging up two t shirts, to the point where you need to lay down before you fall down.

No one mentions that the general anaesthetic is designed to literally freeze your bowels on the operating table, and that combined with the power of the pain meds to do the exact same thing, everything is working against your bodies natural elimination process. And hooeee that hurts. It hurts your stomach, your stitches, your arms and legs ache and your back feels like you suddenly aged 67 years overnight. (and spent each one of those years stooped over in a coal mine chipping away at a bloody rock)

So you’re stooped over, but trying to keep moving, one hand on your back, the other on your abdomen (gotta protect those stitches!) shuffling round the house, feeling older than your days, monitoring the pain, making sure you keep on top of the timing of the meds/ keeping the pain at 1-3/10, battling the breakthrough pain that you know will make you cry like a baby, slowly rifling through every pair of casual pants you own, assessing their waist height and the strength of the elastic to try and predict the potential level of torture, debating over the nana slippers versus the funky sneakers (because how far are you willing to lower your standard of dress…?) and despite this, despite ALL this, all you can think is: soon, I can get my life back.

I won’t be in agony every single month for 10-15 days, I won’t have to cancel social events and struggle at work, I won’t lose so much blood my haemoglobin will drop to critical levels and require a life saving transfusion or two, I won’t have cervical shock and my body begin to shut down, I can function like a normal person again.

I will be able to walk 100 metres without palpitations and the threat of passing out. I’ll be able to go to meetings without needing to rush to the bathroom. I’ll be able to wear the clothes I want. Go out to dinner with my partner. Have weekends where I can safely and comfortably leave the house.

The hardest thing about chronic illness is that you’re forced to make it look like everything is fine.

I’m officially a week into a minimum four week recovery period. Today was a bad day for pain and discomfort. But tomorrow may be a good day. We’ll see. ….just for now, I will maintain my mantra: “I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m okay”……….

 

Rarotonga Feasting: Moonfish in Pawpaw

Just a quick note/update, as there’s still much relaxing to be done in Rarotonga… Last night I whipped this dish up with local ingredients and it was easy and super fast. No exact measurements – I’m on holiday after all you gotta go with the flow!

 

Into two double layered tin foil boats, combine

Half an onion, thinly sliced, three gloves freshly minced garlic

Two teaspoons fresh chillis

Fresh salt & pepper

Two medium Moonfish fillets over the top of the onion/ chilli mixture (any NZ fav fish would work, but non-gamefish will flake apart rather than hold together, so needs less cooking and should be combined with other ingredients much more gently)

1.5 tablespoons coconut milk spread evenly over the fish  pin the two packets

Small handful finely cut coriander over the fish

Seal up into packets, and put in a medium oven to poach the fish in the mixture and juices

 

Cut up a handful of fresh green beans, put this on the stove in a pot with about two teaspoons of coconut milk, and half a teaspoon of the same chilli used on the fish, cook on low until a little more tender (but still with some crunch)

Cut up baby bananas, add to the beans, add more coconut milk (another teaspoon) take off the heat and let is rest with the lid on..

 

Halve a a ripe pawpaw, and scoop out the seeds, then create a deeper ‘boat’ in the pawpaw.

 

Take the poached Moonfish out of the oven, use a big spoon to add it to the beans and bananas, combine, perhaps add a little more coconut milk if it needs it, then add another small handful of freshly chopped coriander.

 

To serve, add to a plate with rice, and spoon the mixture into the pawpaw….. we had ours with champagne but I’m sure a nice mild Pinot Gris would pair just as well.

 

Vegan Green Goddess Dressing

A vegan/dairy free take on a modern classic dressing – this takes around 10 minutes from start to finish, and will keep in the fridge for up to a week… but I doubt it will last that long!

Ingredients

2 large cloves garlic

Juice of 2x medium lemons

2x gherkins

1x teaspoon olive oil

1x teaspoon apple cider vinegar

A handful of frozen baby peas

A handful of fresh parsley

1/2 Ripe avocado

Pinch of black pepper

2-3 teaspoons of water for the consistency you desire

 

Simply combine all ingredients in a food processor in the order stated above, until you reach the consistency you want – I used this as an alternative to my usual tahini-based dressings on a buddha-bowl with bulgur wheat base, steamed winter veg of broccoli, cauli, green beans and carrots, and spicy potato wedges to zing up the dish for a weekday work lunch. All up this took about 25 mins of prep and I had dinner and two huge bowls for lunch.

 

Lists aren’t just for organising..

Everyone has heard the phrase: ‘count your blessings’ – that’s a crude way of saying that what you focus on becomes bigger. Thoughts become things. But how do you get into that mindset? How do you shift your focus so that you see all of the goodness in your life, and stop focusing on the negative things?

 

One of the tools I love for this is making a list of THINGS THAT ARE AWESOME. This is a simple thing that takes just a couple of minutes of your day, and can leave you feeling absolutely marvellous.

 

Heres my list for today:

Things that are awesome: vogels toast with avocado and marmite * reading a book with an amazing storyline that you keep thinking about * snuggling up in white linen on a lazy Sunday morning * well organised closets * singing in the shower  * discovering new tv shows several years after everyone else and getting to binge-watch * getting the urge to write and paint again  * making holiday plans * making winter dinner party plans and the thought of busting out the slow cooker again * Sunday baking sessions * making lists about things that are awesome…

 

10 Easy Steps To Change Your Life…

So much of media these days focuses on ‘bite sized chunks’ of self-help advice… like we can’t stomach a book or something longer than a few paragraphs for the nourishment that our hearts and minds actually need. I’ve always felt that we spend a lifetime learning…. that some of our grandest revelations come when we least expect it, and that we should be open to change.

A friend posted one of those awesome and slightly cheesy motivational quotes to facebook this morning, and it got me thinking about how I would summarise the important first steps to manifesting change.. So here it is: my bite sized instructions for changing your life. (And honestly, really, this stuff is easy and free, but I’d be willng to bet you aren’t doing this yet…)

 

27 Life Changing Lessons from Ekhart Tolle

I stumbled across this post today, and it’s simply too important to be ignored. I’ve copied and pasted it below, and the link to the original post is here.

1. THE PRESENT MOMENT IS THE MOST PRECIOUS THING THERE IS.

“People don’t realize that now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.”

“…the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.”

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”

“Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment.”

“Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.”

“As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love – even the most simple action.”

2. WHEREVER YOU ARE, BE THERE TOTALLY.

“Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences.”

3. ALWAYS SAY “YES” TO THE PRESENT MOMENT.

“Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness.”

“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”

“Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? what could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”

4. LIFE WILL GIVE YOU WHATEVER EXPERIENCE IS MOST HELPFUL FOR THE EVOLUTION OF YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS.

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”

5. DON’T TAKE LIFE SO SERIOUSLY.

“Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.”

6. LOVE IS NOT TO BE FOUND OUTSIDE OF YOU.

“Love is a state of Being. Your love is not outside; it is deep within you. You can never lose it, and it cannot leave you.”

7. THE MORE YOU DWELL ON THE NEGATIVE, THE MORE OBSESSED WITH NEGATIVE THINGS YOUR MIND BECOMES.

“People tend to dwell more on negative things than on good things. So the mind then becomes obsessed with negative things, with judgments, guilt and anxiety produced by thoughts about the future and so on.”

8. WHEN YOU COMPLAIN, YOU MAKE YOURSELF INTO A VICTIM. 

“To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.”

9. THERE IS A FINE BALANCE BETWEEN HONORING THE PAST AND LOSING YOURSELF IN IT.

“There is a fine balance between honoring the past and losing yourself in it. For example, you can acknowledge and learn from mistakes you made, and then move on and refocus on the now. It is called forgiving yourself.”

10. LETTING GO REQUIRES STRENGTH AND A LOT OF COURAGE.

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”

“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

11. YOU ARE A HUMAN BEING NOT A HUMAN DOING.

“In today’s rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being.”

12. GIVE UP DEFINING YOURSELF AND OTHERS.

“Defining yourself through thought is limiting yourself.”

“Give up defining yourself – to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem. Whenever you interact with people, don’t be there primarily as a function or a role, but as the field of conscious Presence. You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.”

“Once you have identified with some form of negativity, you do not want to let it go, and on a deeply unconscious level, you do not want positive change. It would threaten your identity as a depressed, angry or hard-done by person. You will then ignore, deny or sabotage the positive in your life. This is a common phenomenon. It is also insane.”

13. YOU ARE MORE THAN YOUR MIND.

“On a deeper level you are already complete. When you realize that, there is a joyous energy behind what you do.”

“To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation.”

“To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.”

“Boredom, anger, sadness, or fear are not ‘yours,’ not personal. They are conditions of the human mind. They come and go. Nothing that comes and goes is you.”

“The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not “the thinker.” The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter – beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace – arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.”

14. WHERE THERE IS TRUE LOVE, THERE IS NO EGO.

“A genuine relationship is one that is not dominated by the ego with its image-making and self-seeking. In a genuine relationship, there is an outward flow of open, alert attention toward the other person in which there is no wanting whatsoever.”

15. WHATEVER YOU FIGHT, YOU STRENGTHEN, AND WHAT YOU RESIST, PERSISTS.

“To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. It seems almost paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly. Things, people, or conditions that you thought you needed for your happiness now come to you with no struggle or effort on your part, and you are free to enjoy and appreciate them – while they last. All those things, of course, will still pass away, cycles will come and go, but with dependency gone there is no fear of loss anymore. Life flows with ease.”

“What you react to in others, you strengthen in yourself.”

“Anything that you resent and strongly react to in another is also in you.”

“Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

16. POWER OVER OTHERS IS WEAKNESS DISGUISED AS STRENGTH.

“Power over others is weakness disguised as strength.True power if within, and it is available to you now.”

17. EVERY ADDICTION STARTS WITH PAIN AND ENDS WITH PAIN.

“Every addiction arises from an unconscious refusal to face and move through your own pain. Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain. Whatever the substance you are addicted to – alcohol, food, legal or illegal drugs, or a person – you are using something or somebody to cover up your pain.”

18. EXCLUSIVITY IS NOT THE LOVE OF GOD BUT THE “LOVE” OF EGO.

“Love is not selective, just as the light of the sun is not selective. It does not make one person special. It is not exclusive. Exclusivity is not the love of God but the “love” of ego. However, the intensity with which true love is felt can vary. There may be one person who reflects your love back to you more clearly and more intensely than others, and if that person feels the same toward you, it can be said that you are in a love relationship with him or her. The bond that connects you with that person is the same bond that connects you with the person sitting next to you on a bus, or with a bird, a tree, a flower. Only the degree of intensity with which it is felt differs.”

19. SEEK TO LIVE AUTHENTICALLY.

“Authentic human interactions become impossible when you lose yourself in a role.”

“Living up to an image that you have of yourself or that other people have of you is inauthentic living.”

20. WE DON’T “SEE” GOD AS HE IS, WE SEE GOD AS WE ARE.

“Man made God in his own image…”

21. SEEKING IS THE ANTITHESIS OF HAPPINESS.

“Don’t Seek Happiness. If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness.”

“Is there a difference between happiness and inner peace? Yes. Happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive; inner peace does not.”

22. WHAT YOU GIVE IS WHAT YOU GET.

“For what you do to others, you do to yourself.”

23. ANY ACTION IS OFTEN BETTER THAN NO ACTION.

“Any action is often better than no action, especially if you have been stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake, at least you learn something, in which case it’s no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing.”

24. IF YOU MAKE THE FOUNTAIN PURE, ALL WILL BE PURE.

“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. Primary reality is within; secondary reality without.”

25. THE MIND IS A SUPERB INSTRUMENT IF USED RIGHTLY.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive. To put it more accurately, it is not so much that you use your mind wrongly — you usually don’t use it at all. It uses you. This is the disease. You believe that you are your mind. This is the delusion. The instrument has taken you over.”

26. WORRY IS A WASTE OF TIME.

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.”

27. IF THE STRUCTURES OF THE HUMAN MIND REMAIN UNCHANGED, WE WILL ALWAYS END UP RE-CREATING THE SAME WORLD.

“Humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die. … If the structures of the human mind remain unchanged, we will always end up re-creating the same world, the same evils, the same dysfunction.”

 

 

 

 

Buddha Bowl w/ Spicy Miso Coconut Dressing

This is a fabulous way of preparing and eating food with a INTENT. Food that nourishes body, mind and spirit.

As we move into a new calendar year, it’s a great opportunity to start that ‘diet’ you’ve been chastising yourself about… but instead of some ridiculous calorie restricting monstrosity that people very rarely if ever stick to: how about trying to just eat a natural, largely plant based diet?

Buddha bowls are a great way to do this…. You can cook quinoa in bigger batches, and it lasts 2-4 days in the fridge in an airtight container, and cut veggies will also last up to 3 days covered in a damp handy towel and wrapped airtight. Like most things that are worthwhile doing, it takes a little prep but it’s more than worth it.

For this bowl I’ve put together a combination of the below listed fresh veggies, and made a new fav dressing (which can also be used as a dipping sauce for crudités or drizzled over pita breads on a nibbles platter)

Ingredients:
Organic quinoa base (I used Ceres Organics but you can’t see it on this pic)
Roasted garlic pepper cauliflower (I had a whole cauli in the fridge that needed using, so I mixed organic sesame oil with fresh garlic, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and roasted for 25 mins on 180 till it started to golden on top… Don’t cook any longer or it loses it’s crunch completely)
Red cabbage – finely cut
Fresh parsley (from the apartment deck-garden)
Snow peas cut length ways
Julienne carrots
Julienne cucumber
Sunflower seeds (suggest toasting these if you have time)
Julienne yellow capsicum

Layer the quinoa on the bottom, and then lay the cut veggies in rows across the bowl… this prep and layering is an important part of putting the intent and energy into your bowl, and its the part of the process that makes the selected ingredients look beautiful and appetising. Once everything is layered, I drizzled this with my newly perfected spicy miso coconut dressing – which I have included below.

Spicy Miso Coconut Dressing [or dipping sauce]
1/4 cup organic coconut oil
4 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1 thumb-sized nub of fresh peeled ginger
1 medium cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (or agave syrup or organic honey)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 Tablespoon water
1 tablespoon Harissa chilli

Blend ingredients until smooth, add water at the end.
** If you want to use as a salad dressing, simply add another tablespoon of water.

The Art & Science of True Happiness

Sometimes I wonder if true happiness is the real ‘holy grail’.

It seems like the whole of our existence is spent defining, refining, chasing, striving, comparing, ruminating and generally being fixated on happiness.

Whole industries have been created to tell us what it means to be happy:

  • Buy this car!
  • Get a bigger house!
  • Go on this holiday!
  • Lose that weight!
  • Buy those shoes!

We have advertising companies crafting these wonderful ideal people, living a seemingly perfect life, bombarding us with the idea that everyone else is having a better time than us, and we’re sucked into this cycle of buy, consume, strive, compare and buy again… and when we buy that coveted ‘key to happiness’ we wonder why we are not suddenly, deliciously, deliriously happy.

And and it’s not just about consumerism. We are trapped in this cycle of constantly comparing our unique selves to the rest of the world.

It could be the desire to climb the corporate ladder… ‘better’ job, fancier title, more responsibility, more money to spend on more things so that people can definitely tell you are successful and happy.

It could be based around your looks… constantly dieting, primping, preening, spending hours to get ready with the perfect hair, makeup, dress, shoes…. taking a million selfies to post to social media and prove to the world that you are an effortlessly beautiful human specimen who really knows how to have a good time (…’I woke up like this’)

 

Since when when did happiness come from things?

What will it take before we realise that the only true yardstick for lasting, genuine joy is within ourselves?

True Happiness – the genuine, lasting, deep joy that fills you up – comes from within.

  • It starts with mindfulness, stillness.
  • Taking time out to breathe.
  • Learning to be still in your own body.
  • Learning to enjoy the way your body moves, it’s strength, its gracefulness.
  • It comes from enjoying lifes pleasures with intent.
  • It comes from being present in your own mind and realising you have the power to direct your thoughts.
  • It comes from knowing that thoughts become things – and yes patterns take time to change but it’s worth it.
  • It comes from knowing that what you focus on becomes bigger, that you grow your intent and you shape your world.

 

When you slow down and smell the roses you realise all the other things that you’ve been missing..

The interesting thing about the pursuit of happiness is that it actually doesn’t cost anything. We’ve been duped into thinking that happiness is a commodity – to be bought and sold to the privileged few lucky enough to be able to afford it.

Yes, nice things are nice. But what you are looking for is that feeling of connection and contentedness with your world, and it doesn’t come in a bottle, on a plate or in an expensive shopping bag.

It comes from being able to appreciate how utterly amazing this world is.

  • It’s a good nights sleep, and waking up with the birds and the sun feeling rested and ready to take on the day.
  • It’s smiling at a stranger and having them smile in return.
  • It’s spending time walking – using your feet on the earth and paying attention to your surroundings.
  • It’s talking to random people you meet and asking if you can pet their dog.
  • Its seeing gangs of overexcited kids chasing each other around a park, screaming and laughing.
  • Its a good book, a favourite song, a board game with friends.
  • Its making a healthy nourishing meal and taking the time to enjoy your mad culinary skills.

But most of all, it’s realising that you don’t have to play into the hamster wheel of corporate life, or conscious consumerism – and that you are infinitely powerful in creating your own joy.

And the best thing about it, is that you can start right now.

 

should

Courage to live an authentic life..

People don’t usually wake up one day and suddenly decide they’re not happy with their lives… it’s a gradual thing.. it creeps up on you when you’re not paying attention. It gets down into the crevices of your heart, tucks itself into the secret parts of you that you no longer bother to pay attention to because you’re just so gosh darn busy with the perpetual motion of day to day life.

It often manifests itself in strange and unrelated ways:
– The ‘blah’ you feel when you wake up in the morning..
– How annoying slow people are in the supermarket or on the road..
– The way your ‘fuse’ gets shorter and shorter, or people just become harder and harder to be patient with..

And then you realise: it’s not them – it’s you.

There’s a brief feeling of falling when you realise you’re not excited about life anymore… it’s sort of like you’ve been falling the whole time but you’ve only just realised that the hard earth is fast approaching – and you scramble to open your parachute and then wonder if you even have one.

Because the process of change is a lot like realising you might not have a parachute.. and change can HURT. It’s scary stuff. You might lose friends, lovers, you might just lose yourself.

And the moment you realise you need to change? The ah-ha moment.. the epiphany.. the lightbulb going on above your head?

Its often a glimpse of joy that is so bright, that lifts you up and takes you by surprise and makes you feel alive – that brief moment where you realise that this is how you want to feel. 

There’s a lot of inner work that needs to be done at this point. If you want to capture that feeling again – you need to work out what floats your boat and pushes your buttons.. and you can’t base this around what other people are doing that looks cool, interesting or seems like what you should be doing to be happy. It’s got to come from you.

One of the best parts about your change journey is rediscovering your passions… focussing on the experiences and actions that make you feel alive again. Awake. Fully present and accounted for in your own life. Its a wonderful, truly magical time of discovery and energy.

I often encourage people to write these things down… keep a gratitude journal.. articulate what you are learning and experiencing and feeling – and do this just for you. (The process of writing is another step to manifestation after all)

At this point you are already changing… because you’ve decided that you can’t just go back to sleep now.. you know what you have been missing out on.

But the process of real change is tough. If you want to live a fully present, authentic life then you simply cannot keep doing the same things you’ve always done, you can’t even necessarily keep the same people in your life (particularly if they themselves don’t embrace change, or have any desire to be their best and happiest selves) and this is the hard part: letting go of the people and things you know, to allow space in your life for the unknown. To take the risk because you know that the brief moments of falling can actually feel like you are flying it’s all a matter of perspective. 

And sometimes you can actually hit the ground, knock the wind right out of you – lie there on your back, struggling to breathe and wonder how the heck you are going to be able to move again… or you can bounce. You can jump up, run over to the plane and head back up into the sky for your next adventure…..