The Progression of Gratitude

Spiritual junkies will tell you that gratitude is one of the key foundations to ultimate enlightenment.  And I’m not judging them because I’m a junkie too. But what happens on those days where everything just seems to fall apart, and all of what your life is made of is seemingly crumbling before your eyes? Well you’ve simply found yourself out of alignment from where you’re supposed to be. Practicing gratitude by starting in a place that feels good, will provide a little bit of fuel to break out of your bad energy, and back into alignment with that best version of yourself.  

I don’t see any point in practicing fake gratitude. Sometimes you’re not even conscious that you’re doing it, but when you realise you are, you find it as counterproductive as no 65169_10151137360180168_400812489_ngratitude at all. “I love my job, I love my guy, I love my dog”, won’t get you anywhere if your boss keeps throwing overtime at you, your partner is finding all your triggers to frustration and your dog just pooped on the lounge room floor. The universe will simply align you with more of your dominant vibration, when your words don’t match how you feel at heart. In other words, you’ll get more of the same stuff that’s got you stuck in that point of frustration in the first place.

The universe does not care for the words you mutter; they will simply fall on deaf ears as it only cares for the energy that you vibrate.  

You want to perhaps imagine a life without your job or guy or dog. What would that picture look like? Sure you had to clean up that smelly poop from the floor, but what about when she gives you the saddest puppy dog eyes you ever saw, as you leave the house for work. Where you can see nothing but love in her eyes, and happiness in her wagging tail, when you return home from a long day in the office. Nobody said that gratitude can’t be broken down into smaller bite-size pieces. Just as many jigsaw pieces make up a finished puzzle, so too are many elements involved with each person, object or situation. It all comes down to your point of focus.

As long as you keep the bigger picture in mind. I always understood gratitude to be the cheekythought of blowing the gifts, the love, the connections, the positive circumstances and the miracles in life, so far out of proportion that it ignites an incredible wave of new energy that just overrides life’s nuances. Gratitude has a magical way of pushing away negative aspects of life from your mind. Because you know all too well how easy it is to make a mountain out of a molehill. You just have to choose what hill you want to build higher.

Practicing gratitude takes time and practice to truly nail it. To allow your vibration to match your inner muttered words about how incredible your life is, and everyone and everything that’s in it. As soon as the words and vibrations match- that’s when the magic starts to unfold.

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The Wild Things

I feel my fiercely independent nature weaving into my daily life most profoundly when I sit still. I’m a wanderer, a drifter, a gypsy who’s never really found a home other than in the hearts of those whose souls call to converse with mine. But more often than not, I find my home in the ocean because its lines seem to run deeper than the thread of another. Floating above the earth’s surface encapsulated by sparkling blue waters, I feel it’s all the comfort and reassurance I need to get by.

The last full moon rose in my sign of Cancer and I hadn’t felt the need to crawl in my hardspiritual shell and tuck my claws away as strongly as I had in this moon’s pull. It wasn’t until after I felt waves of sensitivity, to everything, and an almost overwhelm, that I placed my eyes on an astrology report that spoke just to what I was feeling.

I’ve read that the stars and planets are a reflection of the current happenings on earth and that they are deeply in sync. Those that can whisper those reflections back to us have a gift of communicating with the universe.

I am a believer in astrology, not that I know too much about it, but I want more of its grounding explanations read to me to put everything in its place. I like things neatly in their place.

The moon brought out in me a feeling of panic, an overwhelm that I’ve been overseas for so long that my communities have spread so wide that they feel almost out of touch. Sometimes I forget that many can still reside in my heart, if not in my presence. I’ve thrived for so long in the vastness of the ocean on my own.

Watching the sun lazily rise above the misty horizon. Schools of bait fish passing through to disturb the ocean surface. The tide changing to create strong currents sweeping out to sea. Lone dolphins happily exploring the curves of the ocean floor.

I desperately wanted to scamper to find groups of friends, feeling I could easily distractlost island myself with resolution by external source. As the moon seemed to pull I pushed harder in return. I needed quiet. I needed to explore a corner of my soul that hadn’t been touched for so long.

Today as the moon wanes to barely visible, I feel the cooling offshore breeze from the furthest mountains on my face.

I feel it so deeply that I nearly trip over my own feet after I close my eyes and breathe it in. I was reminded of seasons that we’ve all left behind, cycles that come and go and the need to slow down and observe. To stay out of the chaos.

Authentic connections are what I most crave. If it’s anything less then I’m OK to get lost in my vege garden, talk to my dog, read about mythology and theories on our existence. I just want what’s real. Why don’t you go out and socialize…maybe another day. I want to learn a little more about myself.

The Status Quo

There’s a common theory that at the age of 28 a big transitional period in most people’s lives take place. You might get a panic or anxiety or that “old” feeling perhaps as you get closer to the big 30. The life structure that just worked throughout your 20’s mightn’t feel so fitting. It can also be a time of great pressure if you haven’t quite found what you’re looking for in terms of career satisfaction or relationship status.

From an astrological and numerological perspective it is said the physical body goes through seven year cycles and 28041_10151118702540168_796332908_nthe emotional and personal body nine years. If you were to research more into this, you will see it is quite a powerful transition that can either be treated with respect and used as an inner compass, or resisted against and be seen as your own enemy.

Ever since I left high school I never had any intent to take on any further education. While I loved school and received good grades I just wanted to get out into the world and learn and study from just ‘living’.

Even though I was stuck in a city for the first six years of my working life, I wasn’t overly fussed with what kind of work I was doing. As long as it meant I was able to set sail on the weekend and embark on a two day action-packed adventure to find the best waves on offer. While I accidentally carved myself a career along the way as a legal secretary in between travel, eight years have now gone by.

With what feels like a passing of extended surf trips overseas (for seasons at a time), I’ve taken this year as more of a year of grounding and quiet. I had only ever heard of the “28 year theory” briefly while I was travelling in Tahiti last year, and have since not paid any attention to it.

To say this year has been easy would only be one half of the truth. Somehow I have found myself a little lost, even lonely in the post travel realm. Friends have moved away, married up and started families. Confusion mounts and laps at my feet as to the once warm feeling of a true ‘home’.

Over the past year I’ve also considered my position in society as a giver, a contributor and what I truly have to offer in this lifetime. I seem to always have had the opportunity to help clients daily at work, through horrific motor vehicle injuries or encounters with the 10301118_10152556715340168_4391682234274403263_nwrong side of crime, have always put time aside for volunteer work at nursing homes and spent many trips away assisting at orphanages, however lately I’ve labelled myself selfish to pursue the never-ending wave of perfection.

I’ve re-evaluated just how many hours, days, years I’ve spent in the ocean deeply encapsulated in that pursuit. Sadly I’ve been so hard on myself I’ve actually spent less and less time doing what I love but never quite found that substitute for happiness. In that ‘hardness I’ve also re-evaluated my career path, which has always worked in terms of stability and closeness to the ocean and a healthy lifestyle, but that true lack of passion for the work seems to surface more and more often of late.

Over the past few months I’ve also found myself attracting those that pour their everything into their work, where their satisfaction lives, their purpose in this life. What I’ve come to realise is that while that is their story, it doesn’t necessarily have to be mine.

Giving myself some much needed time out from my own hardness, I’ve discovered a message that keeps rising up from inside- with passion comes a deep love and a desire for life itself. When you extract passion, the days seem dull and lacking in colour and you can rather unconsciously begin to give up hope.

To me I’ve always seen surfing as a relationship withhappy days surfer girl the ocean. This has remained my view as I see others have close relationships with their partners, their true loves. I see mine as a close relationship with my lover the ocean. Both are in a way self-fulfilling but makes us (through that love) better, softer, more compassionate humans.

The moral of this story is never give up doing what you love because of the pressures of the outside world.

If you’ve already found your passion in life, there’s no need to find it elsewhere because of the “status quo”. Simply pursue it with all of your heart and live in that happiness and joy.

Staying connected to nature in city elements

This is something I always struggle with when I find myself in any city for a long period of time, because let’s face it, city living is complete disconnection from the earth, nature and all rhythm and life connected to these elements. Fair enough some people just don’t get it the way I do. Perhaps they grew up in large cities and don’t know any different, or they’re limited by living in a poverty-stricken area of the world where travelling outside of the city is just not an option in their lifetime. That’s where we really have to find gratitude each day for having the ability to step foot in a jungle, a crystal clear ocean, a vast, dry desert or a snow-capped mountain surrounded in glaciers, whatever takes your fancy, some just don’t have access to this-ever.

As a surfer I love to be in tune with nature. It becomes a necessity in order to make the most of the ocean. The tides, the wind, the moon cycle, Surfer girl in cityweather patterns, the formation of highs and lows and structure of the ocean floor. I’ll never grow tired of watching a big glowing moon rise over the ocean. When I took myself away from my existence as a surfer and placed myself in a large city in Northern Thailand for two months, I honed
into the very aspects that make up all the parts of the magic of life as a surfer. And what an experiment it was-gratitude multiplied. When I find myself in the city and it is a lifestyle that goes completely against my soul existence I tune in on the following:

Astrology

This is relatively new to me, I’m talking only the last couple of years that I really started to learn and pay attention to what’s going on in our night sky. Even now, I’ve only touched the very beginning of the iceberg. Just like the ocean herself, there is so much mystery contained within the galaxies. I love how they’re both just so untouched and unexplored, so peaceful and far away from humans and more importantly human wars. AstrologyThe history of astrology is just as captivating as the mystery. The Polynesian culture is renowned for their abilities to successfully and navigate thousands upon thousands of miles of open ocean (the Hokule’a) solely being guided by the patterns of nature. Their biggest natural compass is the night sky. They track specific star patterns and motions that guide them in the direction of their intended travel. This is the same pattern that birds use for navigation. The degree of accuracy is absolutely mind boggling. Read more here: http://pvs.kcc.hawaii.edu/ike/hookele/on_wayfinding.html

So back to sitting in the city glancing out at skyscrapers and lots of concrete. You want to keep your mind on the patterns of the planets. In astrology it is believed the planets are all linked to events within the human existence. You have a bad week and wonder why everything is going wrong. Well if you did some simple research it could all be explainedkaypacha due to the positioning of certain planets. One certain astrologist I tune into each week is a guy called “Kaypacha”. Ok so he’s a long haired eccentric looking guy with rings on every finger, feathers in his hair and a quirky sense of humour- but he knows what he’s talking about. He has an in-depth three-dimensional computer program and he will walk you through where the planets are currently sitting and what that all means in layman(ish) terms. Follow the page “Mystic Mamma” on Facebook as they post his weekly reports. At the time of writing this the latest report is here http://www.mysticmamma.com/kaypacha-report-i-always-get-just-what-i-need/

Of course nothing beats going out and gazing at a night sky with your naked eye but this can be a bit of a struggle thanks to the strength of the city lights and pollution.

Sunrise or Sunset

Again this can be a bit hard because there’s so many buildings and houses to obstruct your view. The body is made to rise with the sun and set with the sun. That was the theory back in the days anyway but how many of us sunsetactually follow this? In summer I become pretty close to this pattern as there’s more light to surf with. The point I’m getting at is when you find yourself in the city, watch as many sunrises and sets as you possibly can to keep your body in rhythm! My most memorable attempt to catch sunset was when I went on a mission to find the perfect spot to take a photo of the setting sun, away from the endless rows of houses and estates. I skated my way down a big hill, walked up the next hill preparing myself for a breathtaking view on top of the world, only to be faced with another rolling hill stacked with houses. So on I went until I made it to the top of the biggest hill and sat on my board exhausted but greeted by a fiery sky and an approaching storm. As the sun set, dark clouds rolled over and thunder began to roar. A classic electrical storm began to form and lightning covered the sky in long forked patterns. That’s when I got a little too close for comfort. The storm literally passed right over my head and lightning began to strike earthward. One was so close to me I felt the heat coming off it and quickly got on my skates out of there! I got a little more than I bargained for, but it sure beat sitting inside the house watching the 6pm news like the rest of the zombified city.

Connecting through the food you eat

I find this a bit hard to explain in word form but if you were to try a detox of pure fruit and vegetables for two or three days you would understand what this feeling is close to. Get creative, juicing, fruit smoothies, vegetable soups, it doesn’t mean you have to eat raw heads of broccoli just to comply-although I do this regularly ;). What you will notice is just how much this type of diet allows you to tap into the natural world around you. It will also supply you with an abundance of energy, pure energy that is-not the same feeling you get from refined sugar and caffeine. Eating raw girl gardening fresh producefoods that are from the earth contain so much life force, especially ones you pick “live” such as bean sprouts. Growing in popularity are little mini-pots of sprouts or spinach that you can sit on your window sill, babysit and add to your salads when you like. I’ve even seen them in big chain supermarkets and I love this positive influence. Wherever you are in the city you can almost always grow your own herbs or small vegetables. Even in an inner city apartment you can do this on a window sill or balcony.

The biggest difference I notice with a largely raw diet is my quality of sleep and dreaming. There’s a certain kind of peace that buzzes around your body and mind, a feeling as if your resting head is so close to the earth that you could be laying directly on a dirt floor, covered in nothing but leaves from the forest and you would be comfortable with that. My dreams are much more vivid and happier, the type of flying dreams and going to natural settings like forests, waterfalls and oceans. This is the topic of another story which I will expand on later.

Chemical free products

It has taken a few years of practice but most of my cosmetic products, household and cleaning products are all naturally derived. I feel as though I am living a hell of a lot more consciously when I choose products that don’t contain scores of unknown chemicals, or even worse known carcinogens that are ending up on my skin. Also thinking environmentally where those products end up- down the drain, I’m able to think about what little thing I am doing for the earth each day. I call it conscious living because I become aware of the way I go about my day and the impact I have on the world around me. I also love the feeling of using natural products knowing I am lowering my risk of getting cancer through unnecessary chemicals.

Meditation & yoga

In line with keeping a healthy mind, body and attitude, yoga and meditation are a must. Meditation comes hand in hand with dream time. meditationTaking your mind into a place outside of thought and just allowing yourself to sit in stillness is vital for staying sane in cities that never “sleep”. It is also especially important if, like the majority of us, are locked
into social media and the virtual world which is far from the purity in which our ancestors were brought up. Yoga is all about being present and freeing up the flow of energy throughout the body. It can become very easy for tension to be locked in certain areas of the body, causing stress, restlessness and short-temper. At worst physical injury can be the very result of holding onto stress or negative emotion, especially internal organ malfunction or muscular degeneration. I ensure I practice yoga daily, if only a quick sequence upon waking and before resting at night, to keep the body moving and energy free-flowing.

So even though it may feel like you’re disconnected from the natural world around you all you need to do is step back into her power and flow. We are all from nature and in the end will return to nature- a simple statement that can often be forgotten in our hectic fast-paced lives.