Be real. Be honest. Be kind… and be grateful.
This is what I distilled from four wonderful days at Wanterlust Sunshine Coast – a conscious living festival unlike any other I’ve been to.
The youngies kept passing me water as I danced like a ‘wild thing’.. with them saying they “..wished my mum danced like you.” and “When I grow up I want to be like you.” (hehehe) I think I was the one of the eldest people at the festival; which I’m sure I wasn’t, but I had a sense of maturity which become quite playful in my own self-acceptance… and I didn’t feel old at all. I was quite moved by how many people came up to me and commented on how lovely my presence was and how much I radiated. I felt like I was in a really lovely space within myself and I was being nourished.
My greying hair seemed to cut through the bullsh*t. When I heard terms being flashed about like ..”Well it wasn’t meant to be”; I thought to myself – “Nup. Don’t resonate with that concept”. I don’t think we are puppets and we each have free will. When I heard Gloria Latham say ..”You are right now where you are because of every single one of your choices up until this moment.” Now that’s something which works for me!!! I agree with her thoughts on that one!
I heard someone say .. “..now I don’t want to judge…” and I recalled something Amy Ippoliti once said and that was that “We ALL need to make judgements. We ALL need to make choices so we make we make judgements every day! We make judgements to stay safe, to assert our preferences, we judge what is good to eat, what is not, etc. The dictionary defines the verb “to judge” as having an opinion about something. To say that “true yogis do not judge” does not make much sense to me.” That’s another tick for what I think too.
I have respected Amy Ippoliti for a long time and was so excited to be able to attend one of her classes. It was amazing. Her commitment to environmental causes and latest marine conservation projects was inspiring. Watching a demonstration of her deep connection with her own body was amazing. I laughed at myself and what I thought was an impossible process exploring a pose, and with her supportive guidance I found myself with one leg outstretched above me while I extended myself on my side and at the same time being consciously aware of the rotation of my femur and angle of my sacrum. It was life changing. Those asana in that hour and a half shifted my awareness to a much deeper level of sensitivity within my body. Being inverted gave me another perspective on how I can view myself. I had never explored so many of those asanas, and it was wonderful to be in such new territory.
Shiva Rea was astonishing. Participating in her classes was like being directed by Divine channelling through this movement meditation deep into mySelf. What I connected with so strongly was my need to just be real. I am who I am and I’m exploring and uncovering who I am each day, and regardless of what has not been revealed to me of myself; I just need to not bullsh*t myself. I need to be honest. Honest with myself and with others. That’s the thing which I recognised the most during my activities of yoga, meditation and dance during this festival. My life experience of realising to just be totally real and honest; was reconfirmed through my every breath at the festival.
Participating in these classes satisfied a deep yearning for me to have teachers who understand the deeper principles of Yoga… not just as a sequence of poses in a class at the gym. For me I realised that is what I yearn for. A teacher who guides and nurtures me to explore and dive into myself and connect with that which is greater than myself.
Xavier Rudd was brilliant. Wild Marmalade extraordinary. Both brought a sense of strange time warp as I recalled in the freedom with which my limbs moved to their sounds – of Woodford 20 years ago. It is so funny the kids these days thinking THEY invented their form of dancing. LOL…
Si Mullumby channelled the primordial sound of creation through his didge during Savasana in Julie Smerdon’s restorative yoga class. Words can’t explain what I experienced during this profound journey in the resonance of that place in time.
Deya Dova shared about how she travels her songlines across the earth and her purpose to sing. Her sound enriched my life at this Wanderlust festival where so many people were caring about creating a better version of themselves; and where there was a real demonstration of wholesome living – with food and of recycling and composting of festival waste. There was a sense of playful responsibility being expressed.
I saw some women raising their hands committing to daily practices and I knew that I’ve been there … and honestly; daily yoga practices?!?! … nup – that just isn’t going to happen. Meditation for me yes…. when I’m not travelling in Penny… but daily yoga practices when I want to run and swim and dance and play with other things… just not going to happen! A few times a week yes… Every day…. something I can’t manage. I’m going to be real and honest… and kind to myself by not pushing myself to do things I artificially think I am supposed to do. The only things I am ‘supposed to do’ are the things which I really enjoy and I can fit in with ease without struggle.
I saw people purchase raw food lunches and heard them say to their friend that from now on they were going to just eat raw food – because it was sooo yummy and healthy (and they forgot they didn’t have to prepare it!)
..had a big gong for when Melissa Abrosini suggested that to be in our feminine we should perhaps have a shower and put an apron on and that is soooo sexy for our husbands… and when we need to have a business appointment then we can put our suit coat on… and to keep our floral dresses for home and when we need to do feminine things. I don’t go that one at all! Really?!?! I’m sure some of the post powerful women in history wouldn’t take too kindly to be told that they had to wear a masculine suit coat to be taken seriously. Perhaps social perceptions need to be challenged about how a woman can still be both strong AND feminine. What does it say about our society where a woman’s voice is devalued because she has worn a beautiful dress to a board meeting?
Kemi Nekvapil was brilliant. So many gems in her words of wisdom. She said to just start small… and don’t say you are going to walk an hour every day – when that just isn’t going to happen. She was fabulous how she suggested taking action in ONE small achievable step… and asking yourself whether you honestly thought it was achievable for YOU in YOUR life. Kemi taught women how to be real and honest with themselves… and how to be KIND to yourself.
I already had learned that one. Lots of years or realising that being kind to others is automatic for me; and being kind to myself was more of a challenge. I think I’ve got that one pretty much sorted now and I am so much more gentle and loving to myself than I was when our children were little. That’s what also comes with the greying hair and wrinkles! 😉
Many of the speakers and teachers spoke about Self-care and Nourishment; and for me those two are the pivotal elements in what I share with those who seek ideas on how to find a more fulfilling path in their own lives and I’ve written about it here.
Kemi Nekvapil said words which were music to my ears… She said she “wasn’t a fan of ‘positivity’, because all that represented was a denial of feelings.” Brilliant. She was referring to that cognitive ‘i’ll ignore the obstacles’; denial type of positivity – as opposed to the genuine innate feeling of joyful positivity. Denial of the circumstances one is in, and the denial of one’s feelings – is a most destructive force. Denial just isn’t being honest. Denial isn’t being real. Being ‘positive’ about a dire situation or circumstance isn’t being real nor honest. There is a difference with negativity though. Negativity is a sign and reflection of deep lack of self worth and faith in anything beyond oneself and loss of meaning in one’s life. Kemi mentioned moving on and letting go of people who are negative and really don’t elevate you or aren’t real with you. Let them be in the world they want to be in, regardless of the type of relationship you have with them. Create space in your life for your cheerleaders and those who can challenge and elevate you. Once again this is about being real and honest; not being controlled by, or controlling others… and actually caring about not only yourself but them as well so they can live in their own life at their own space and pace.
I met some really lovely people and had moments of tears and laughter with them. It felt nourishing. I was feeling such a sense of deep gratitude over the four days.
Gratitude. This was a common thread which started in our first prayer with Dustin Brown at the beginning of our surfing classes; flowed through each of my yoga and meditation classes; and at the conclusion of one of Kemi Nekvapil’s talks where she said… “Somewhere there is someone desperately praying for what you take for granted.”
Those words rung deeply in my chest and joined the thoughts I’ve been having over the past year as I regrounded my footing from a place which wasn’t that great for me and of not quite knowing where I was with anything; into my life now of flourishing and abundance. Every day so many times the thoughts of gratitude pass through my breath. Sometimes when I’m disappointed I tell myself to be grateful for something… and then I realise I’m bullsh*tting myself and not letting myself actually feel upset. I’ve learned now to feel it… breathe it and then just let it pass.. – then come to gratitude.
The four days closed with a heart opening and deeply connecting movement meditation with Shiva Rea which was sublime; and a sensitive performance by Xavier Rudd. He grounded our awareness into the realities of the lives we live to bring awareness to the decisions we make politically for both humanity and the environment. His music and songs were real. They were honest.
I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to experience friendship, learning, experience and such a loving sense of communion at this Wanderlust festival right on my own back door… and have much gratitude to have been able to reconfirm my personal commitment to being real, honest, kind… and grateful!