All posts tagged: authenticity

Of things unknown and longed for still

Every morning I watch the seagulls fly over the canal from the deck of my new home, a houseboat in the centre of Amsterdam. They are experts at catching an updraft, familiar with every twist and turn of the waterways, expending energy only when needed. Unlike the seagulls though, I am bewildered by my new surroundings. I feel like a fledgling pulsing between fascination and a desperate need to return to the nest. Moving countries can do that to you, especially if you’ve spent the last 6 years living in the Australian wilderness with only forest for company. When I was young, I dreamt I could fly too. I soared high above mountains and through valleys. I wasn’t a bird in my dreams. I was me, flying. It felt completely natural and it was exhilarating. I haven’t experienced anything quite like it since. It coincided with a childhood exploring the woods surrounding my home, boundless and free of self-doubt.

The love of thousands

This week I started reading The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, a former forrester in Germany who now works actively for the return of primeval forests. He writes that forests are in fact a social network supporting the sick, nourishing the young and working together to regenerate in times of devastation. They flourish in community just like humans and a tree is only as strong as the trees that surround it. Both nature and nurture are recognised as having an impact on lifespan with the ‘maternal instincts’ of mother trees playing a role in the nurturing of young trees, passing on their legacy through their fungal root connections. In our human world, it seems nature and nurture are also inextricably linked. Entangled together manifesting as our innate disposition and our inner voice, influencing our behaviour, our relationships and our longevity. We are a potent mix of our essential selves and the accumulated experience of those that have come before us. A cocktail of DNA and generations of lived experience.

Rose is a rose…loveliness extreme

We’ve been back from the cooler climes of the Northern Hemisphere for a month now and the summer we’ve returned to has been brutal. Two days ago we reached a record breaking temperature of 48.9 degrees celsius, the hottest place on earth according to some news reports. Extreme heat like that silences and suffocates everything in its wake. It might sound dramatic, but it feels like we’ve been in survival mode for weeks. Another valuable lesson in surrendering to the dictation of nature and a frightening glimpse into our global warming future. But thankfully today I’m exhaling deeply and breathing in the sweet smell of rain. The forest is alive again with the sounds of the animal world. After nearly 5 years living in this wild and sometimes extreme landscape, I remain in awe of the power of the natural world. I’ve come to realise that to flourish in this wild place, I must also be fierce and irrepressible. To stand steady amid the chaos and boldly express my own true nature. That’s when the magic …

These are the good old days

After a month in The Netherlands reconnecting with family and old friends, tonight I’m leaving on a jet plane for home. I’ve said many goodbyes over the past 25 years but this time I’m feeling particularly melancholic. To have a life in more than one place is a gift for which I am very grateful but at times like this, I feel torn. Being here always takes me on a journey through past lives and a rollercoaster of emotions. Amsterdam in particular is where my heart feels most at home. It’s the city where I fell in love, truly felt comfortable in my own skin and learned to be a mother. Maybe it’s a symptom of growing older and understanding the impermanence of life that I’m struggling more and more with letting go and with the feeling that I still have unfinished business. Often the heart just knows what the mind struggles to understand.

(What’s so funny ’bout) peace, love and understanding

Lately I’ve felt very grateful for the isolation of my hilltop perch far removed from the chaos of global affairs. Has the world really become an uncertain, turbulent and unharmonious place to be right now?  The lyrics of Elvis Costello’s “what’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding” couldn’t be more relevant. As is my bent, I started thinking about what we can learn from nature and her wisdoms to help us make sense of it all.

Where ever you go you take yourself with you

I was keenly anticipating the super moon this week, excited to bath in her once in a lifetime luminescence. Even from our hillside perch overlooking the east coast, she remained mostly hidden behind a veil of cloud, showing us only fleeting glimpses. I read that this Taurus super moon was a time to reflect on what really matters and to assess whether we are living in alignment with our true values and purpose. A perfect opportunity to connect deeply with our authentic selves. Like most journeys of personal growth and recalibration, this moon was a slow reveal, gathering in momentum and culminating in a sublime showing when the conditions were right. This is not unlike my journey of transformation since arriving in the country. Sometimes propelled along by a desperate need to make sense of challenging circumstances but mostly in response to a growing desire to reconnect with my higher self and true purpose. In the process of managing life, multitasking and trying to prove myself, I lost touch with what really ignited my spirit and what …