Autumn blessings

Image by Timothy Eberly

Image by Timothy Eberly

 

Blessed Autumn,
you break open my heart
with your brazen beauty.

You ripple across this land
in shades of red, orange, 
amber, yellow and tan
until you fade
into the darkness 
of winter’s waiting arms.

You offer your bounty,
and I drink it all in
until I am satiated in bliss.

I could die right now
and feel content with my life.

Absorbed in the fullness
of this moment 
I know nothing I’ve strived for
truly matters, 
but everything I’ve surrendered to
has been richer in meaning
then anything earned.

Swallow me whole
and if you must spit me out
transform me into the golden light
of the end of days.

Witnessed by many or none
it does not matter,
my purpose will still be complete.

In the water I am free

In the water I am free

"Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it" — Lao Tzu

35 degrees Celsius in the middle of March. The pool beckons.

Facing forward, I climb down the ladder into the warm water that wraps around me like a welcoming silk kimono—
so soothing to my skin.

I hold my breath and slip beneath the surface.
Pulling the water down past my torso as I kick myself forward—
I fly.
In the water, I am free.

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Seek the silence beneath the noise

Seek the silence beneath the noise

"There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub."—Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Everyday, I listen for the silence beneath the noise.

We live in a busy world—daily work to earn a living, chores and to do lists, relationships to nurture and maintain, places to visit, fun to be had, plans to make, dreams to achieve.

We live in a noisy world—small talk, conversations and laughter, the constant chatter of social media and news, not to mention the thoughts that run rampant through our minds.

Yet beneath the busyness and the noise, there is silence.

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To invite wonder: a practice

To invite wonder: a practice
Ten times a day something happens to me like this - some strengthening throb of amazement - some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness. — Mary Oliver

Learning to pay attention to the world around me saved my spirit from withering and dying.

A few years ago while I was still in Thailand, I discovered a mindful writing practice called 'Small Stones'—a short piece of writing that precisely captures a fully engaged moment. It's about keeping your eyes open for beauty, simple or extraordinary, then observing it and writing it exactly as you saw it and by doing so developing a deeper engagement with the world around you.

It was this practice that helped me to transition back to city, corporate life amidst the glass and concrete without suffocating after living my carefree gypsy scuba-diving lifestyle in a tropical paradise. It was this practice that helped me to discover the beauty in everyday suburban and city life. It was this practice that connected me to the world around me in a very simple yet deep and magical way.

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The roots of deep delight: a practice

The roots of deep delight: a practice

“You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It's just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.” — Paulo Coelho

 

Every night as the sun sinks below the horizon out of sight, the cicadas praise in chorus, whilst on the periphery life rumbles past in all its rushing normality.

In this moment, that I stop and pay attention to the seeming end of yet another day, I create a sacred space in time, filled with wonder, filled with the essence of holy.

This is my practice — everyday.

I stop and sink deeply into the now with my eyes and heart open. I allow its beauty, its realness, its lights, its newness to infiltrate my bones and root me in the present moment.

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Why walk thousands of kilometres at 4 km/h? Watch my Via Francigena video to see why

Why walk thousands of kilometres at 4 km/h?  Watch my Via Francigena video to see why
"But in every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” — John Muir

Back in my career-focused days, I rarely paid attention to the natural world around me. I spent a lot of time indoors: in the office, in airports, in shopping centres, in the lounge room watching television. I rushed from place to place not seeing anything but the next appointment or event ahead of me. In my rushing, I was not only disconnected from the nature of the world around me but also from myself.

Then, I went to Thailand on my 12-month sabbatical where my life instantly slowed down. On my first night in Phuket, I experienced this sunset...

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