Capturing the essence of a life changing experience is challenging but wonderful. Stirring up the memories that defined an experience allows one to recapture the feelings and emotions of the experience and physically changes ones state no matter if the experience was a positive or a negative one, which is why I feel so compelled to write about my recent trip to Greece.
I was asked by a very dear friend who is also a client to join her on the island of Skiathos, to coach her and ended up coaching more than expected and “playing” more than I expected. In reflection I realise that both the coaching and the playing felt like I was having the time of my life – an experience that I am extremely grateful for.
When the invitation came, visions of azure blue seas and white sandy beaches, yachts in the distance and tropical delights filled my imagination at the prospect of a whole month on the island. I have always wanted to go to Greece, now I was being gifted with an all expenses paid working holiday – life doesn’t get much better than that.
It came as a complete surprise, this offer to go to Greece. I had often dreamt of it but the opportunity came in such an unexpected way. On a normal weekday morning, my friend and client contacted me and asked me if I was available for a month and within an hour, I had made up my mind and I said yes. I had less than a month to get a visa, arrange my life and sort out my trip. Two hours later, the Emirates Plane tickets were in my in-box, ready for printing and the adventure began.
I left Durban in South Africa, three and a half weeks later and arrived on the island ready to serve my client. It was a fabulous trip! We stayed in a beautiful villa overlooking some of the Sporades Islands; I had the most exquisite “office” from which to work – a pavilion of sorts at the bottom of the garden, fitted with sunbeds, couches, cushions, a desk and chairs and a music system. I had exquisite views and chose this area to do my daily early morning yoga and meditation practise, to prepare for each new day.
Some days we coached for 1 hour, sometimes for 5 hours and some days we played. Sailing, swimming, snorkelling, lazing on the beach, parasailing, and eating wonderful Mediterranean meals on covered decks, watching people and experiencing the relaxed lifestyle that allows one to enjoy a daily siesta.
This is what dreams are made of. Bucket-list experiences, being in the moment and soaking up the magnificence of being alive, in a healthy body, with a glorious life to be lived.
Reflecting on why my life is so amazing has been fun to contemplate. It hasn’t always been this way. It’s taken “doing the work” as one of my spiritual teachers used to often say. Now, I observe every area of my life and I am astounded at the way things are working out – perfectly.
It sort of feels like I’ve found the cure! The cure for being a miserable, fault-finding, blaming, naming and shaming person. For a long time I knew a lot of ‘stuff’ about being really happy and thought that I was “doing” the right things, but that was just the problem – I was “doing” a lot of stuff and I wasn’t really “being” me. I know, it sounds so clichéd and it’s a phrase that seems so overdone, but it’s such a simple truth, when you “get it” – it’s the ultimate cosmic joke!
Actually, being this happy has been the “un-doing” of me and that has been the most profound. Finding this cure took many years of listening but not hearing, looking but not seeing, feeling but not sensing and mostly searching but not trusting.
At last, I am able to put the books down, give the self-help programs away and stop searching for the ‘answer.’ Realising that the answer is in me, and that the quieter I am the more I will ‘hear’ and the more I trust, the more perfectly things work out and the more aware and conscious I am, the more magically ‘life’ opens up to me.
Are you doing, striving, trying, and struggling? There is such peace in ‘knowing’ and trusting that ‘everything is exactly as it should be’ in this moment. Right now, can you just stop? Can you simply just trust that things will work out? It’s just a thought that creates the stress – it’s just a thought. You have the capacity to have a new thought – then another new thought – and another.
Michael Neill, in his book “The Inside Out Revolution states that “we begin to see things in a new light that makes them look less fixed and less scary than before.” I have read and have listened to many teachers say this many times over the past 3+ decades, but about two and a half years ago I really GOT IT it for the first time. Going through some really tough stuff does that to you – it wakes you up. I’ve had the opportunity to ‘wake-up’ many times before but I guess I’m a slow learner or a late-starter, as some like to call it.
Extreme gratitude for the tough times has been my cure. Without having the rug pulled out from under me, I probably would be miserably content to buy into the global fear of what the future of Brexit means, the negative speak of what has happened to my country of birth and the rising cost of living. No, I don’t have my head in the sand – I just choose to trust, that whatever happens, I will be ok. This gives me the amazing ability to live fully, love passionately and serve greatly! Now, that’s what I call happy!