The only thing constant in life, is CHANGE.

Parinamavada is a concept in yoga that has special meaning to me. It means the world is constantly changing, no situation is ever the same as before and no moment will ever be repeated.

Truly understanding this concept is probably one of the most liberating things yoga has taught me. I don’t need to get caught up in the bad times, I just need to put one foot in front of the other and let that experience pass. Before I know it that point in time will be gone. This is the case for every SINGLE moment. This second right here will never, ever be repeated.

I knew this, but I didn’t KNOW this. Once it becomes clear then you can ride the wave… the good, the bad, the ugly and the downright horrible…

One day you will wake up and wonder where that time went, how you survived it, how much you miss it, or perhaps not remember it clearly at all.

This time last week I was waking up after arriving back in Perth the previous night. I had no idea that only a week later I would be calling a new place home, listening to Jack Johnson while Mr Onward Bound (MOB – will now be my husband’s nickname) assembles the fridge. Easy does it, before you judge me, I was the one who cleaned it.

We have moved out of the palatial digs where we were residing in the burbs to a teeny tiny little unit on the outskirts of the CBD. It’s small, but I believe beautiful things come in small packages (like diamonds, and small apartments?).  There is still enough room for my pup and my yoga mat so that leaves me pretty satisfied. I feel strangely like we are newlyweds now, after 2.5 years. This is the first time we have lived alone properly for almost 3 years (aside from a cheeky four months in the middle there). We have just returned from a little ‘honeymoon’ in Bali where we spent our days doing a whole lot of nothing at all, to now today setting up our place and starting to live on our lonesome.

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It’s an unusual time for me. I haven’t got a job to return to, I don’t know where I will be next week or in a month from now. Strangely enough, I feel more calm than ever. I have a feeling that somehow everything is working out the way it is meant to and things are unfolding as they should.

The park across the road has beautiful flat lawn and the council has no permits. Over the next couple of weeks I am going to look at preparing some flyers and taking some classes to the park. I will also return to the burbs to my northside friends and family and offer a couple of classes to them a week. MOB has me working with him on his business. Yesterday he cruised around quoting jobs while I sat beside him typing them out. I enjoyed my mobile office on the road, saves time typing them later!

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the old man checking out his new park

There is enough to keep me busy, but also plenty of time to just be. I want time to honour the commitment I made to myself; to leave myself time and space to be creative. I feel as though I am exactly where I need to be. Who knows where I will be next week. It doesn’t concern me where I was two years ago.

All that matters is this moment, right here and right now. I am pretty happy with this place.

Tonight I am attempting teaching my first class, just a private class with my bestie and her ma. Wish me luck!

Onward Bound xo

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Home Sweet Home

Well here we are… I have been home for almost 48 hours and I have to say its better than I could have imagined, and not even close to what I expected.

It was the insecurity, self judgement, resentment and unhappiness I was feeling before I left that was affecting my perception of home.

Everything shines a little brighter here; the air is clean and crisp, the food fresh and tasty, and the hugs warm and welcoming.

My husband and I were greeted at the airport in the early hours of yesterday morning by my second mum (his mum), and as always she went above and beyond, waiting up and making the big drive to the airport to pick us up.

Yesterday I spent the day with my mum, sister and nephew. My sister’s smile lit me up and the embrace my little nephew gave me was too special for words. My mum and I talked like we haven’t in ages, laughing, crying, our words filled with honesty, love and and passion.

Today I walked my dog barefoot to the park, he wandered around while I did my yoga practice in the sun. I felt alive and connected, so happy to be at home with my best buddy by my side, taking in the Perth autumn sun and playing on the grass.

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Tonight I spent the night surrounded by my beautiful friends sharing the stories of my adventures.

I have realised that perhaps it wasn’t the outside that I needed to change, it was the inside.

That’s all I have tonight; just a heart full of love, contentment and gratitude. I am incredibly lucky and blessed for the people I have in my life.

It’s really good to be home.

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H is for Home

Onward bound xo

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Tacos & Tattuesday – Deus ex Machina Canggu

I can share this story with you now that I have told my mum… however I am sure that my dad, father-in-law and brothers will all have words with me if they ever find this blog.

I got a tattoo! Aaaand it was kind of a free tattoo, at a motorcycle bar, in Bali, on a Tequila & Taco night. When in Canggu, as they say. I am unsure if that is ‘what they say’ but let’s run with it.

I have wanted a tattoo to mark the memory of this trip. Something to remind me of everything I learned, to bring me back to this moment, a reflection of what happened to my body and mind during this journey.

Every Tuesday night Deus Ex Machina in Canggu hold ‘Tacos & Tattuesday’. The premise is simple have your art ready, it should take no longer than 15-20 min from start to finish and that’s it.

I had gone the previous two weeks to check it out. I had stood by and watched the hoards of people happily walk away. Everyone looking super stoked with their fresh new ink.

I watched to ensure he was using fresh needles or not reusing ink on people. Then I did my online research to make sure I couldn’t read any horror stories. I’m such a rebel right? That’s me, living on the edge!

The Nanna in me was onboard. So on Tuesday I rocked up at 430pm to patiently wait for the board to open at 6pm so I didn’t miss out. I sipped my water, ate my tacos and jumped inline. No tequilas for me, I didn’t want the post drinking tattoo blues (Ok, I may have had a couple of beers, just to take off the edge).

Unfortunately, at 5:59 all the kids came racing out of nowhere, pipped me at the post and I missed out.

Just as I was about to leave with a heavy heart, a girl decided her art was too complicated and needed to leave. Last minute cold feet perhaps?! Rookie, clearly.

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Easy, I simply wanted ‘breathe’ tattooed on the inside of my foot, so I wrote my name on the board.

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I had drawn an example of what I wanted on my foot and he tattooed over the top. My tattoo is my own writing and I couldn’t be happier. It didn’t even hurt.

I. AM. SUCH. A. REBEL.

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Onward Bound xo

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Mastering the Mind – Overcoming my Fear of Flying

I never used to be scared of flying in the slightest.

My first flight was when I was 18 to visit my boyfriend who worked on the mines. My maiden voyage was spent in the front seat of a Skipper charter plane to Granny Smith mine site. I sat at the front seat squealing with delight and excitement as the plane took off. Meanwhile the 25 men on the flight, commuting to work, all rolled their eyes with disdain. No-one was ready to share my enthusiasm at 5:45 that morning.

The flights that followed became very regular, I ended up working at that same mine site only a year later taking that same route to work every two weeks. After a few months of working there I took another job, this time on a small mine site where I flew to work in a 4 seater plane to work. That plane was no more than a car with wings, in the sky. This has to be, quite possibly, one of the scarier ways to fly, especially with even the slightest bit of turbulence. Sometimes we spent the flight white knuckling it for the whole 1 hr and 45 minutes.

I am a seasoned traveller. I have flown from London to Perth alone without a worry in the world.

Flash forward to 2012, when my first ever panic attack changed my life forever. Following the full blown attack that hit me from nowhere one December afternoon I began to get very claustrophobic. Places that never held any fear for me started to make me very afraid; but the two that topped the list was shopping centres and planes. Basically, my fear was of having another panic attack in that space and feeling trapped. Whenever I got my panic attacks I felt as if I need to run, far, far away. I desperately needed fresh air and I needed to be as far away as possible from the situation I found myself in. My flight or fight response was on overdrive. Slowly, I worked on my shopping centre fear as I faced it more regularly. However, the plane fear was still there. The recent plane crashes and disappearances only compounded my anxiety. I hear the door lock and the captain say ‘prepare for take off’ and my body and mind are off… the heart is racing, my armpits sweating and my brain is spouting ridiculous scenarios in my head:

‘what if I have a panic attack and rush over there and open the door’

‘what if I have a heart attack and die’

‘what if the plane crashes’

‘what if I completely lose my mind’

‘what if…. what if…. what if…. what if….’

In the recent trips I have taken I have always self medicated whether it be valium or booze. One of the goals of going away to work on my yoga teacher training was to finally master the mind, to release the grips that anxiety had over me. I flew home from Bali yesterday and much to my disappointment, it all resurfaced. I found myself in the same damn position. My heart started racing and my mind was becoming out of control. I reached to my handbag in defeat. I hadn’t had anything to drink but I had my one spare valium that I carry at all times in case of emergency. Instead of taking that valium, I looked down to my recently inked foot… ‘Breathe’ my tattoo whispered to me. ‘Breathe’.

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I closed my eyes and started taking deep breaths. I followed my variation of a meditation that we learned at our teacher training.

So Hum Meditation

Inhale your breath rises from pelvis to throat.

Exhale your breath rises from throat to pelvis.

Imagine your breath like the tide of the ocean.

The tide rising on inhale, falling on exhale.

Inhale pelvis to throat, exhale throat to pelvis.

Now that you have established this flow of breath, listen to the words:

‘So’ on the inhale.

‘Hum’ on the exhale.

‘So’ on the rising tide. 

‘Hum’ on the falling tide.

I followed this for ten minutes. My fear and anxiety were gone. I felt calm and composed, ready for my flight. I have realised fear will alway be there. Your ego will always be there to scare you with its ‘what ifs’ but you don’t have to listen to it. Listen instead to your breath, your breath is your anchor. It will look after you, and lead you to the truth. The truth is you are going to be ok. The truth is; fear is a waste of your imagination. Breathe, always remember to come back to your breath. Onward and Upward Bound xo

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Don’t cry because its over, smile because it happened… (Dr Seuss)

Hello from Bali, for the last time… well of course not the last time. But for a little while at least.

Tomorrow marks the last day in this adventure.

It’s time to go home and see my pup, my family, my friends, return to my life but not as I knew it.

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I miss gazing into this little guy’s eyes..

I am really looking forward to it. Earlier in the trip there was not one part of me that even wanted to think about ever returning home but I think extending my trip was the best thing I could have done. I am starting to miss creature comforts of home; you know the important stuff like unlimited vegemite at my disposal, showering with my mouth wide open, cooking myself a delicious home cooked meal and full access to my wardrobe (ahem… ahamkara! #yogajokes).

I can’t wait to wake up and practice yoga in the backyard while my dog sits by my side; to give my mum the biggest tightest cuddle; to laugh and play with my cheeky nephew; to see my sister’s smiling face; to meet my girlfriends and walk along the Perth coastline watching our glorious sunsets; to see how much my best friend’s baby belly has grown and give it a big rub; to have a wine (or 3) with my other best girlfriend; to dive into the icy cold waters of our beaches and feel completely refreshed.

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I am excited to get all my girlfriends together and start a yoga class with them, to practice everything I have learned and teach them the amazing things you can learn about life and dealing with challenges just by visiting your mat and honouring yourself.

I am going home with a bagful of tricks to deal with the hard times, a memory full to the brink of beautiful moments, a body reenergised and ready for action, and a heart full of love from the amazing friendships I made along the way. I am ready for the next chapter and whatever that might be.

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my gorgeous fellow yogis

I still don’t know the grand plan when I return. I just have a list of intentions:

  • continue with my yoga & meditation practice
  • share what I have learned with others
  • keep my creative juices flowing
  • not to be hard on myself; wherever I am is where I am and that is ok
  • trust that no matter what, everything is going to be amazing

Whatever comes after that, well only time will tell!

Onward Bound xo

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The Demise of the Vegan Yogi

Damn it! I have gone about this all wrong.

Note to self for the future and all others that are considering heading off overseas for training, retreat or detox. Follow this valuable advice..

Holiday FIRST, Detox SECOND.

Three weeks of solid daily yoga practice combined with tropical weather and vegan food does the most amazing things for your body and skin. I was literally radiating at the end of the training; my skin was glowing and my body was looking better than it had in years. I was strong, healthy, fit, and glowing from the inside out.

The first few days after the teacher training I kept up my yoga and vegetarian eating styles really , really well. Then the cracks started to appear.

I think it was maybe about a week after we completed it that I had my first reunion with meat in 5 weeks, in the form of a hamburger. I had sat there at dinner with my husband and girlfriends on previous nights ordering my vegetarian dishes green (literally) with envy at the delicious burgers that were coming to the table. I could do this, it was fine, I didn’t even miss meat… Who was I fooling?!

On the night before it all went pear shaped (pun city here!), I laid awake thinking of those burgers. It was all I could think about, my body ached for meat, my dreams were filled with burgers, beautiful… beautiful burgers…

So the following night I made it my mission to get myself the most delicious burger, and it was a meal dreams are made of. How had I survived so long without this?!

The next night I still hadn’t sated this hunger for meat, so I went to another restaurant for another burger… and then the next night, and then the next night…

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My girlfriend and I had to laugh as we sampled the burger on the menu at every restaurant in Canggu over the next few nights, Deus, Betelnut, Echo Beach, Lacalita. We certainly weren’t fitting the mould of the authentic vegan yogis, in fact we were failing miserably at it.

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The DELICIOUS burger @ Lacaliti

Needless to say, my banging yoga bod is a distant memory. Instead I am rocking a noticeable burger belly…

Ahhh who runs away to yoga camp and comes back to tighter jeans? Yes that’s me, I do!

Don’t even get me started on the boozin’.. With no work to wake up to, and your only priority every day being to pick where you watch the sunset. Well it gets pretty hard to knock back the happy hour specials…

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Aint that the truth!

So if there is one thing you take away from my blog it’s this; always finish with the detox, ALWAYS finish with the detox.

Onward Bound xo

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Isn’t it Ironic

Yesterday I hit an emotional wall. I had been feeling unwell and a little bit homesick.

I have no idea where it came from but it hit me like a freight train.

Suddenly I was convinced that I couldn’t move away from home, the idea was insanity! What had I been thinking?

I read a heartbreaking article about Rachel Brathen (Yoga Girl) and the death of her dog, who was her baby. I have a dog that I adore. He has been my best friend and seen me through so many highs and lows over the past 10 years. He is my partner in crime. When life served me challenges that almost broke me he was the one that laid there spooning me while I sobbed into his coat. He has been the one who makes me smile and laugh with his big brown eyes that are filled with so many words and so much love. He is the one that follows me to every end of the house even with his old rickety hips just because he can’t bear to be anywhere but right by my side at all times. How could I even think of leaving him?!  What kind of mother am I?! …

What kind of mother will I be…

Ok, if I am being totally honest I know exactly where it came from. I had just got my period after it was suspiciously overdue.

I had allowed myself to start to get excited. Its funny how the mind plays you. Here I was fresh from my yoga teacher training, excited and ready to start moving on and in a different direction. I hadn’t abandoned my dreams of having a baby, but I was ready to focus my thoughts and attention on new dreams and desires. I had accepted that it was time to put that on the back burner for a while.

Then nothing, no period. FOR A FEW DAYS. I am never late.

The fantasy started to play out perfectly in my mind.

Well of course, this is exactly how it happens. I quit my job, pursued my yoga dream, spent the past couple of months playing in the ocean and sun, then I reunited with my husband after weeks apart, drinking cocktails, watching sunsets, planning our new life overseas and making some sweet sweet love. This is when you do fall pregnant and now I was. All I needed to do was RELAX, just like everyone said. What a cliche! What a beautiful cliche.

I was going to return to Australia; tanned, happy, relaxed and pregnant.

One of my closest friends is 4 months pregnant so we would be pregnant together. It was perfect. Would I tell her by text? No I would probably take her out for a cuppa. To a coffee shop because we wouldn’t be drinking wine, order tea because we wouldn’t be drinking coffee.

I am the first to admit that I let my imagination get ridiculously out of control. I also realise I probably sound completely insane. After 2 1/2 years I should know better than that.

Some things are too good to be true and unfortunately that was one of them.

It really hurts sometimes. I feel like having a baby will never, ever happen for me. At times I break into a thousand little pieces and I am unsure if I remember how to pick myself up or how to feel happy again.

I remind myself that this is why I don’t let myself believe it could happen, because it hurts too much when it doesn’t. I feel hopeless. I feel stupid. I feel like my body doesn’t work properly, and I can’t do the one thing that comes naturally to being a woman.

Then I have a big cry, get a good night’s sleep and when I wake up and realise I actually haven’t lost anything. Life is still beautiful and there are so many things to feel gratitude for, and I will be ok.

The time will happen when its right.

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Onward Bound xo

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