The medicine of wonder

The most beautiful emotion is the mystical. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.
— Albert Einstein

Green turtle, Racha Yai, Thailand

For too many years of my life, I lived as if I were sleepwalking. I went through the motions of life doing everything that I knew you were meant to do: I finished high school, went to uni then detoured for a while after my mum died. I decided on a career in financial planning studying part-time diplomas, certifications and a bachelor degree whilst I successfully worked my way into an Executive Manager position at age 28.

My time in the world was spent in the office, in the car, in the apartment, in cafes, in the shoping centre, in the gym and sometimes walking around the lake. I built what I thought was the perfect life, the life I thought would make me happy except it didn’t. I ended up miserable to the point of crying almost everyday on the way to work, on the way home and at night in bed usually after my boyfriend had fallen asleep.

During this time, something wonderful happened that turned out to be my saving grace and put me on this pilgrimage path. I learned to scuba dive.

I don’t remember much of my first dive in the sea. I was really focussed on keeping the regulator in my mouth, not drowning, not running out of air and not getting lost.

It was my second dive that changed everything. After completing the necessary skills at the beginning of the dive, we spent the last twenty minutes exploring the reef. Swimming along behind my instructor, trying to stay at his level with my right hand holding my regulator in my mouth so there was no way it could come out and leave me airless, he suddenly stopped swimming and hovered in the water pointing straight ahead.

In front of him was a small green turtle, paddling gracefully through the water with her flipper-like limbs. I squealed through my regulator, my excitement absorbed by the sea.

We watched as she effortlessly changed direction and swam perpendicular to watch us, peculiar creatures, swim towards her. Her and I, we locked gaze. In that moment I knew that she knew everything there was to know about life.

She was a timeless soul with ancient wisdom passed down from her ancestors. Although we were different, we were connected, like all creatures and humans are in a way that many aren't aware or understand. What I recognised in her, I recognised in me: we were made of the same essence.

That connection and exchange flicked a soulular light on inside me. From that moment, I was hooked on diving. After I returned to Melbourne as a certified open water diver, almost every holiday revolved around diving.

I dived with reverence and respect of this incredible mass of molecules and the vast array of unusual creatures that live there, many I had never seen before.

In the sea I felt alive, nurtured, supported and in awe of life. From the sea, slowly I started to wake up.

We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.
— G.K. Chesterton

My journey over the last five years has been a pilgrimage back to my true self. That one small turtle led me to the beginning of the path.

When I left on my year long sabbatical, I packed up the life that I knew and followed my passion for scuba diving to Thailand. After completing my Rescue Diver and Divemaster, I spent that year travelling very intuitively around Asia. I didn't try and see it all, only what called to me strongly. I spent most of my time outdoors, in nature and in the sea. Watching sunsets became my religion.

When I returned to Melbourne to contract for 6 months, my sensitive free-spirit hated being in the city, spending my days in an office in a glass and concrete tower, although I was grateful for the amazing view over Port Phillip Bay. I needed space and air and nature and so I actively sought them out spending lunch breaks in the nearby gardens, walking to and from work, paying attention to my surroundings and looking for moments of beauty.

I discovered that wonder is medicine for a city life.

To wonder is to connect with your own spirit and the spirit of this world.

To wonder re-connects us with nature and all of life.

To wonder is to feel grateful for blessings, big and small.

To wonder is to feel truly and deeply alive.

As you read this, I will be on my way to Bali for a few days of rest and creative revitalisation before I board a boat to dive my away across the Bandas Sea in Indonesia with some dive pals.

10 days of immersion in wonder = 10 days of spirit medicine.

I believe that time spent reconnecting with nature is a way of healing our fragmented selves and bringing peace into our lives and the world.

I look forward to sharing the gifts of my journey with you when I return via a new video.

In the meantime, I hope you experience your own moments of wonder in the world. There are so many waiting for you to see: the setting sun flaming tangerine, a lone leaf spiralling daintily to the ground, the pale pink cherry blossoms blooming in spring, the tight green buds of the new leaves, the warm breeze wrapping around your shoulders like a silky shroud. 

 

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