Wednesday, December 26, 2012

So long, farewell

So it is getting further and further between drinks (aka posts) on this baby of mine, what started out as a way of keeping friends and family up to date on my travel adventures turned into something more. I re-kindled my love of writing and so much so I became inspired to get my stuff out there and get some things published (and to date have 6 articles online) which is awesome. I have also built my website for my business ( which is becoming the focus now that I am not really "traveling" anymore. Although living in India is certainly different from my country town Horsham where I grew up.

That said, I am focusing my attention on the new blog on my website (please check it out if you haven't already, you can even sign up for my fancy pants newsletter) So I have decided to say goodbye to In the Flow - simply as I feel it has served its purpose and it is now time for some different things. I will be writing, and lots, but on my other site. It may not be as personal as perhaps this has been (and maybe too personal at times) but nearly all of my articles published were born here, on this very blog. I am forever grateful for that and to those of you who followed me.

For now, it is goodbye, but then hello over at the other site. Would love to hear from you, and get your comments etc, starting out is never fun, but I guess you have to start somewhere!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Latest blog !

Super excited to have not one but 3 articles now published!!! SO so so cool to dream of something and then see it case you missed them, here are the links to

How to get a yoga butt on elephant journal

Crow pose, and how it is my barometer on MindBodyGreen

and last but not least, How meditation changed my life...MindBodyGreen

Awesomeness :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Manifesting Dreams

You often hear me here banging on about dreams and making them come true. It is a common theme I will admit, really and truly connecting to what you want and then making it happen. For me it has become a work in progress as I have carefully adjust and move and shift and grow - finding my path, finding what it is that floats my boat, connecting into what I want for my life. It might seem ridiculous or even foreign to some of you, but I coasted through life without really asking myself of those big questions. Why am I here? What is my purpose? What do I want my life to look life? And the kicker, when I die, what impact do I want to have had on the world? (I even wrote out my obituary, now that is a fun task I assure you)

So I guess I talk about what I know, what is on my mind, and in my heart. It is a blog after all, and that is the purpose, to share/vent/discuss/bare what it is the writer (me) choses to divulge. Of late I have been perhaps preoccupied and so my posts have been few and far between - setting up a website (part of my dream of being my own boss) and studying a foreign language (also something on my bucket list but I even I have to admit that Tibetan was not perhaps what I had thought about when I envisioned this one) and also enjoying the beauty of new romance - I reluctantly share this about my personal life - the romance stuff - as it involves another person, but if I am painting a picture for you, it would be like leaving out the paint or the brush in this case as it is a pretty big thing for me right now. But I digress....

One of my dreams is to write, I love it. Through this blog I reconnected with an old past time, something I had done alot of in my youth and if you had asked me what I would be when I was 16 I would of promptly replied a journo. I had grand plans of traveling the world and writing about it - my besty at the time had a love for photography so we were going to be partners in crime as I wrote the story and she told it through pictures. Ah, the dreams of teenagers. Here is the funny part, she did go on to be a photographer and here I am, traveling the world and writing about it. Well sort of. Who would've thought that a girl from Horsham High day dreaming in a music theory class about a life in front of her would really come to fruition in a round a bout way. This dream shit works people.  So there is a reason for my banging on.

And I would like to share with you another manifestation of my dreams - my first ever published article on an amazing magazine.....

I would love you long time if you can share it, send the link on...thanks!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Remove the safety net

I have been busy building, trying, note the word trying to kick the procrastination and get off my butt and DO the things I have been planning to do....I am studying (Tibetan language and Buddhist philosophy) which for the record is incredibly enriching and fulfilling and I highly recommend getting out and learning something new today. Stretching your mind can be like blowing out the cobwebs from an old and dusty cupboard, rediscovering and reconnecting to a part of your brain that have neglected. For me, it is challenging but fun. I am loving learning for the first time in my life - well except for my yoga teacher training which felt more like experiencing that study per se.

But back to here and now and what is filling my days. I am busy building my own work, my own website and own material. It brings up every insecurity I have in terms of "making it" and being successful, of putting out there what I know and maybe exposing what I don't. Exciting and scary are in bed together on this one. They are joined at the hip. For every moment there is a small sense of achievement there is a moment of "what AM I doing???" So hence the procrastination, it is easy to not do rather than do and fail. Why try when it may not work anyway. Why take a risk when it is safer and easier to not. Safe is comfortable, but safe I have found in the past is boring. Safe is for the "that would be nice" sayers, safe is for the "success is for other people" musers. But safe is not for the explorers, the adventurers, the change makers. I am sure Steve Jobs did not sit at home saying, "it would be better if I just took a job working for someone else's dreams." No, Steve Jobs followed his own dreams.

So maybe I am no Steve Jobs, but I am trying to do what I know is the right path for me. The path that is not often walked, that is not often understood by others, and is not always filled with comfort and ease (or a regular pay check for that matter) So I am practicing what I preach, I am stepping again outside that comfort zone, most days it I snap right back to the comfort and ease of not doing, but I am not a quitter and I will slowly but surely get there. SO, this blog will be less and less and more and more will be - still a blog, but maybe less about me personally but more about what I am doing.  I hope you continue to follow my on the journey as one world morphs into the next.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Power of 3 Simple Words

"Are you here for the teachings?" A simple question
"No, I live here." I replied

You would think such a simple question would not even raise an eyebrow in this part of the world, and to be honest, for the unknowing question asker, it didn't. But it certainly raised mine. "I live here". It is the first time in close to 2 years I have had a place to call home. I guess this place has always felt like home to me, from the moment I stepped off the bus back in Feb 2011 in the wee hours of the morning I knew this place was kinda special. But uttering those 3 simple words fills me with so much emotion it is weird. Emotions that are new and interesting or perhaps they are simply old and familiar but my outlook has shifted as I watch them arise - watching them play themselves out, detached in a way but in other more connected than I have ever been before.

Maybe it sounds like I am talking in riddles, but before I left Sydney I remember saying to my sister "I feel numb". Sydney had been wonderful in so many ways, but it also left me feeling, well, numb. I felt disconnected to me, I was on auto pilot and it was easy, but something didn't quite fit. Unable to truly feel, occupied with distractions and the way of life that I never stopped, never spent time reflecting, never sat still for a moment. Back here though my feeling is slowly but surely shifting, moving back into the space of gratitude and wonderment and awe. Noticing stuff, appreciating the little things and grinning from ear to ear like a small child each and every day. Granted I had let my practice go by the wayside in Sydney and perhaps it is back into a regular daily routine of gentle asana (the body is still adjusting to the 333 steps I climb each day) but the coming back to my breath, of sitting and allowing my mind to come to stillness, the power of simply observing. All things  that connect me back in. That bring me back to me, that allow me to feel alive.

It is hard to pin point the actual combination of things that connect me back, that make me feel alive, that smooth out the numbness and breath life back into my eyes, my body, my mind. Is it the daily practice, is it the immersion in teachings of the Buddha, is it the crisp mountain air, or perhaps the simplicity of the Tibetan people....or maybe a careful blend of all of the above. Who knows, but it is nice to feel back, to feel at home, to feel me.

So those 3 little words "I live here" were like my gauge, my point in time where I felt pride and joy, of hope and gratitude and that feeling of being exactly where I need to be :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Daring to dream

So much for blogging again, I must admit it is not due to writers block, on the contrary, I am in overload with things to write about. But where to begin? Do I share the daily teachings on Shantideva's Way of the Bodhisatva that manage to inspire me and hit home every day (I have started my study at the Tibetan Library and Archives here in Dharamsala) Or perhaps the realisation that it is 2 years since I handed in my resignation and embarked on what has become a life changing experience? Or simply the fact that on my walk to the library this morning I found myself nearly in tears - simply from joy in feeling so god damn happy.

I figure I just start somewhere and the rest will follow, it usually does. Things form in a direction and you may not realise it at the time, but they are making shapes for futures we are not even aware. I had one of those moments today, standing on the side of my mountain thinking "how did I end up here?"  A ridiculous grin on my face as I skipped over the road that has been swept away by the monsoonal rains. A grin that is spontaneous and a permanent fixture even with the constant rain and in turn soggy shoes. "How did I end up on the side of a mountain in India??" Had you have told me this time last year I would be here today, back on the side of this mountain I would not have believed you. Hell, 2 years ago I was still not sure that I would in fact pack in the corporate gig, sell my stuff and really put on a back pack and head off. Sure, it was a nice idea, in fact it was a lovely idea, but for real? I didn't think I had the balls. But turns out I did. Or maybe you could say I had the stupidity, but either way it brings me here, to this side of the mountain in the north of India.

However, maybe,  just maybe I did know I was going to end up here. A funny story that perhaps I can share with you. Whilst I was home I had the fun job of sorting through my "stuff". The random 10 + boxes and bags of clothes that I had stored in my sisters roof. Vinnies (a charity) received another shipment of the clothes I had little use for, when you have spent 18 months with one bag you soon realise how little you really need, and I didn't even touch most of the boxes. I ran out of steam.  But I did come across some things I found interesting and perhaps useful. A hair dryer that is now necessary for my longer locks, my favourite hoody that I have bought back (although white is really not a great colour for India) and a dream book I had started about 3-4 years ago. A book that I used to write down all of my dreams for the future, what I wanted my life to look like, the places I wanted to go, the goals I wanted to achieve, the house I want to live in - it has it all.  As I opened the first page, here is what I found.

Now you may not find that unusual, plenty of people have long term desires to travel to far off lands, but to be honest, my head was never filled with a longing for India, Nepal and Tibet. It just so happened that the day I started my book there was a travel feature in the paper on the region. Nepal was on my list of places to return to, but India was an afterthought. And Tibet? It sounded exotic. Here I am, living on one side of the mountains to all 3 of those countries, within a Tibetan community, surrounded by prayer flags and in fact studying Tibetan Buddhism. And in the last year I have been to all 3 countries.

mcleod ganj dharmasala
But perhaps the most interesting page was the drawing I had made of mountains. I have always loved the mountains and would say I am a mountain person over a beach one - I guess it is in my blood, my family has spent many generations at the foot of the Grampians in Victoria. But this sketch has a resemblance to something else, don't you think???
mcleod ganj dharmasala
The view from my balcony - sunset at monsoon    
mcleod ganj dharmasala
The view non monsoonal

So maybe on some level I did know that I would end up here - happy dreaming everyone :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Welcome back old friend

I have been a bit distracted of late - time in Sydney with family and friends, play dates with my beautiful nephew and then I have also been spending time on everything else but writing, or practicing, or working or studying or anything really. Sure it is a lovely distraction to sing to a sweet little boy, but now that I am back in McLeod Ganj and I no longer have morning cuddles with my nephew, I am trying to come back to what I know. I am back in my favourite coffee shop in my favourite town in the north of India. Cafe Budan is the same, the boys are all still here, and I feel like in ways I never left. I have even moved back into my old apartment which I just love. I love the familiarity, the view, those mountains that look so magical now as they are permanently surrounded in mist of the delayed monsoon. The place is slightly surreal as the rains have come and bought with them a freshness to the air and a greenness to the mountains. It is breath takingly beautiful and each day I wake and watch the colour of the sky slowly change from dark to light as the soft gentle rain falls and the trees start to make form through the dense fog. Beautiful. Breath taking. And I can't believe I am here, it is magical.

I even rolled out my yoga mat, something I am trying to do each day. Whether it is for 5 minutes or 50, I am slowly breathing life back into my tight hamstrings and loosening the tension in between my shoulders with gentle and slow movements. Nothing fancy, nothing radical,  but simply moving with my breath, watching my mind, and allowing my body to sigh. A big long sigh as the stiffness starts to flow and the past 2 months of good times and indulgence of food and wine and catching up with loved ones start to slip away. After the movement, comes the pranayam, the breath and finally the cherry on top, the silence, the mediation, the stilling the mind. It is amazing how the body never forgets a Surya Namaskar sequence, and groans in protest to a long hip opening, and my mind settles into the space that it is oh so familiar. We have been here before, we know the drill, it is like seeing an old friend. No matter how long the distance, no matter how much time has passed, old friends never forget, they never grow weary or kick you to the curb because you have neglected them, they simply welcome you with open arms and show you nothing but love.

McLeod has welcomed me with open arms, and so to my yoga mat. Like friendships that stand the test of time, I know I can be myself and slip back into our familiar pattern. Bliss.