Over the past two and a bit weeks, I have experienced a series of impeccably beautiful interactions whilst also uncovering some profound insights about my life and the lessons that have been repeating themselves. And all of this started about five weeks ago when I made a spontaneous decision to accompany my friends to Sydney and then to Hamilton Island.
I’ve been wanting to visit my friend on Hamilton Island for some time now, but never felt courageous enough to do so. Given that she had attempted to meet up with me on numerous occasions within the past two years, I felt it was my turn to make the effort. Having friends accompany me to the island gave me the courage in which to pursue this interaction. And I am beyond grateful I did because I would not be at this place without having shared that insightful exchange with her.
Despite having only spent one night with her, I’ve found myself reflecting on many revelational statements that she shared. She offered some extremely applicable team bonding exercises that I could use with my teams whilst also talking about her mentor, a motivational speaker, who essentially calls her out on her shit. I immediately responded with; “That’s what I need! How do I find me one of them?!” So she suggested to go onto LinkedIn and type in “motivational speakers” in Adelaide…how awesome is that suggestion?! Sidenote: In addition to following through with this idea, I contacted her mentor directly and asked her if she knew anyone in Adelaide who was a motivational speaker and was willing to potentially be my mentor. Through the power of connections, she did indeed know someone and I am planning on catching up with her when I return to Radelaide.
We then got talking about individuals who seemingly attach onto us (“wounded animals” as she likes to call them), and I asked her how she navigates those relationships without letting it drain her or emotionally affect her. Her response? “Be friendly, not friends.” And I really liked that phrase. It communicates that you can still care, whilst also keeping and establishing boundaries that clearly convey you are not there to save them.
Speaking of energy, we got talking about injuries and I mentioned how I seemingly get injured whenever I’m reaching my peak performance. She asked if there was perhaps a self-sabotaging mechanism in place, an unconscious victim mentality if you will, that was inhibiting my ability to truly succeed. I had already considered this idea, but I had no idea how I could possibly change this subconscious belief without some unconventional method that taps into energy. Ah! Energy! Perhaps that’s what I needed – to see an energy healer or Reiki therapist to unblock my chakras. I’ve always been sceptical of energy healers because it isn’t conventional, but at this point in my life, I was genuinely open to anything new that could potentially help.
The interaction with this friend inspired me to commit to reading A New Earth again - I felt this gnawing need to reconnect to the spiritual path I was so consciously on two and a half years ago when I first read it. Within the first two chapters, I read this excerpt that has been ingrained on my mind ever since; “When you yield internally, when you surrender, a new dimension of consciousness opens up…Circumstances and people then become helpful, cooperative. Coincidences happen.” The day after I got back from Hamo, I was sharing some of these ideas with my strength and conditioning coach who mentioned that his partner’s Mum’s best friend was an energy healer. So naturally, he passed on her information and I had an appointment that Wednesday. Pretty neat huh?
This interaction with my beautiful energy healer then connected me with both a naturopath and a former teammate of mine who is now a health coach. I attended yoga for the first time with her and was so impressed with her ability to accommodate individuals of varying abilities that I am already planning to attend weekly sessions when I return. As for the naturopath? I’ve never been into “healthy eating” (with specific regards to organic food) because I figured we’re all going to die anyway, why limit what you eat? But after attending her workshop, I’m completely bought in. And perhaps that’s because I align with why she’s doing it; she didn’t charge for the workshop, nor does she charge to mentor individuals after they attend her workshop because she genuinely just wants to live in a healthier world. And the company she recommends, Mōdere? They don’t advertise. Their advertisement is word of mouth. So there’s a potential business opportunity with them to become a social marketer. Again, pretty cool huh?
Now onto some more introspective stuff. One of the questions I’ve asked myself on numerous occasions is, “Why do I keep attracting the individuals that I do?” And my ego, being so clever and wanting to justify the “goodness” within me, would say something like, “It’s because you’re helping them in a vulnerable state causing them to attach onto you.” Which makes sense, doesn’t it? I’m doing the noble deed, but it’s them that has the problem. Here’s the reality though; we attract the energy we elicit. So as one of my friends stated, on some level, I was communicating to these individuals that that was exactly the energy I wanted in my life.
It wasn’t until a very recent interaction with an incredibly beautiful individual that everything seemed to make sense. Whilst in Canada, I had an amazing lesson with a snowboard instructor who shared a few things with me that resonated deeply and has since significantly altered my perspective. I got talking about these “wounded animals” and I asked her if she had any suggestions. I was specifically asking if I should “block” these people, or whether I needed to keep communicating in a non-reactive way. Although she didn’t offer a specific answer to this question, she offered something even more profound. She shared with me that when she meets people who are struggling, she doesn’t meet them in their darkness, in their pain. But instead, she focuses on their recovery, on how they can get better. This perspective ended up being profoundly insightful because it led me to some stark realisations about myself.
Because of my belief that the most beautiful people have gone through life’s toughest adversities, I have a desire to learn about peoples’ stories, especially their painful experiences. What I realised though, is that when I meet people in their darkness, I’m doing so to fulfil a role. This role is to be a healer. And if I’m a healer that means the other person must be a victim. So when someone is struggling, I would reach out to them thinking I’m doing a “good” deed in helping them, when in reality, what I’m doing is feeding my ego and fulfilling this role. Helping others stems from an incessant belief that I am not enough; I need to help this person to become enough. Although helping is considered noble, it is actually a very egoic behaviour. I also realised that my ego would help these people temporarily – it would help them long enough to feel like it had done its “good” deed. Once it felt fulfilled, once it felt like “I am enough now because I helped them”, it decided it no longer wanted to help them because their energy was in fact draining. But at this point, the other individual has attached themselves because I met them in their darkness, in a vulnerable state, in a place where their role was to be a victim.
Eckhart Tolle talks about roles a lot in A New Earth. He talks about how no sustainable relationship can be founded on role-playing, although the majority of relationships are. Fulfilling a role stems from the belief that who I am, as I am, is not enough. I have to either be a victim or a healer in order to feel fulfilled. The relationship then becomes founded on an imbalance of energy, an energy of deficiency rather than one of abundance, and an energy that is no longer authentic.
Authentic interactions can only occur when there are no expectations. And that is why, for me, I don’t think I can ever do online dating. And yes, I have tried. When you join a dating site, you’re there for a reason; you’re there to meet people. Consciously or not, you have expectations. When you “match” with someone, you might find yourself asking, “Am I attracted to this person? Do I like them as a friend? Do I like them as something more? Could I date them?” So you keep talking, through a screen, until you decide to meet up. But now when you meet, there’s this sense of pressure that you have to feel something towards the other person, especially if you’ve been talking online for a while. Instead of just being present with the other person, it becomes an interaction of future-thinking and those aforementioned questions repeat themselves. It isn’t organic, nor authentic, because the relationship isn’t forming naturally. It’s forming on the basis of expectation and pressure, and that is not a secure foundation for any relationship.
And this is why I was able to experience numerous interactions that were both genuine and beautiful during my time in America and Canada. Whilst in Seattle, I met this stunning individual from Italy who was my waitress. She invited me out with her coworkers and later back to her apartment with her friend (admittedly I was hesitant, but as soon as she mentioned she had cats? I was sold). It was a totally unexpected evening. And that’s what made it beautiful. Are we going to keep in contact? Who knows. Whether we do or don’t does not detract away from the incredible exchange that we experienced. There’s no pressure nor any expectation that anything will come of it; it’s organic and authentic.
Looking back on my past relationship, it started off much the same way; there were no expectations nor pressure to get to know her. I was genuinely enjoying her company and it wasn’t until the third interaction that I even considered I might have feelings for her. But I think one of the reasons that relationship didn’t work out is because of the roles we were both unconsciously playing – one of the first things I thought while getting to know her was, “I think my purpose is to show you it’s possible to be loved as much as you love others.” And so unconsciously I fulfilled the role of nurturer because that is the role that made me feel valued, made me feel that I was enough. Perhaps it is no surprise then that the relationship didn’t work out.
One of the other beautiful interactions that I experienced in Seattle was with a lady at Pikes Market who was selling decoupage art. We stood there for at least an hour if not longer discussing life and the beauty of it. The piece that she first recommended was a stunning piece that had the words, “you are always on your path.” I felt connected to this piece because it reminded me of my brother – he’s someone that society would claim has been “lost” for a few years now, not knowing the direction he wants to go in. But I’ve always been inspired by his ability to do what he wants, to not give in to what others suggest, and have felt strongly that he is on the path he needs to be on.
After talking for some time, I asked if there was any other piece she recommended, to which she pointed to this other incredible piece, “i see you and you are awesome.” The other piece spoke to me because of my brother, but this piece spoke to me for me. Especially because of the path that I felt I was on and having just finished A New Earth, I was feeling so much more connected to everything and everyone. So much so I almost started crying at the airport looking at another person because I was thinking, We are literally the same. You are a human and I am a human. We are made up of the same stuff. How beautiful is that?! Everything kind of feels like a miracle. Our existence, the things in our lives, it truly is miraculous if you let it be.
But I didn’t buy this piece. At least not initially. I bought the one with the lions for my brother. I went home that night and had an internal bothersome feeling that I had made a mistake; I could not get the picture of the eyes out of my brain. So I messaged the lady and asked if she could please come in (on her day off) the next day for me to please purchase the piece. And she willingly did. I’m sincerely grateful for that because there was another, deeper reason that I felt compelled to purchase this piece. And that reason was that it aligned with my life’s why.
About eight weeks ago I read a book called Start With Why by Simon Sinek. It was a book that was recommended numerous times by the most “successful” people in the world in The Tools of Titans by Timothy Ferriss. In the book, Sinek explains why Apple is so successful; it’s not successful because of what they do or how they do it, but because of why they do it: their why is to challenge the status quo. So people buy Apple products not because they’re the best, but because of how it makes them feel. This book got me thinking about my own why and why I do the things I do; why do I have a blog? Why do I care so much about writing in an unfiltered way? Why do I care about team dynamics and making connections with people? Why is authenticity important to me? Why do I strongly dislike social media? And it’s because my why is this: I believe that when people feel like they belong, they’re more likely to reach their excellence. Everything that I do then, is about creating that sense of belongingness; making people feel seen and understood.
Growing up, I never felt like I belonged. My brothers being twins always had each other, and my parents too, always had each other. And so I sought that feeling of belongingness at school, in friendships, in my teams, or with my teachers. It’s shaped and driven everything that I’ve done and has helped me to understand why my collegiate years were the most difficult of my life; I didn’t feel like I belonged. It also helps explain why I was so drawn to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, especially the third tier. Money can buy the first two levels; money can buy physiological needs and safety, but money can’t buy a sense of love and belongingness. That’s something you have to create for yourself. And I guess that’s helped me to realise the path in which I plan to pursue moving forward.
Back to energy – we recently had a super blood moon and for those of you that aren’t familiar, this moon brought about an energy of change. An energy that is helping you to move on and let go of anything or anyone that is holding you back, particularly anything that you started experiencing back in August when there was the first lunar eclipse. (Fun fact: the universe [and its energy] is on your side this year). For me, I found myself cleaning out my phone contacts and then proceeding to cleanse my Facebook, too. I removed people I knew, but have never spoken to nor interacted with on Facebook. Why be friends with people for the sake of being friends? As Will Smith said, if they’re not fanning your flames and helping you prosper, do you need them in your life?
There were two people though, that I got stuck on. And these are two individuals who have significantly impacted my life, but for a reason, or reasons, I am still unware of, stopped talking to me abruptly a few years ago. Last summer I reached out to both individuals; I wrote them each a letter explaining how much they’ve influenced me and how grateful I am that they were in my life. I asked if they would like to reconnect before I moved back to Australia, but I did not hear back from them. As I was going through Facebook, I never considered removing them because part of me still held on to the hope that maybe, they might reach out to me. But any time I saw their name, I was filled with a sense of sadness because it reminded me of the beautiful friendship we had that we no longer do. And so, I removed them. I’ve communicated what I needed to communicate, and I figure that if they truly want to contact me again, they’ll find me. But in the meantime, I need to let go and I need to move on. Their presence, and subsequent absence, has taught me such a beautiful lesson: the lesson of nonattachment and impermanence.
Despite no longer having these individuals in my life, it doesn’t detract from how fondly I feel towards them. I’ve learned, from them, to not become attached to friends, nor people, nor events. And I’ve also learned that nothing lasts forever, especially not relationships. People come and people go, and that’s a beautiful process. Once you have expectations, once you become attached, only then will you suffer.
My final thoughts today stem from something I’ve struggled to grasp over the years; how can people be happy all the time? Doesn’t happiness need its opposing experience of sadness? Despite years of trying to understand these people, I have never succeeded. That is, until now.
What I’ve realised is these people aren’t eliciting happiness, they’re eliciting a joy and enthusiasm for life. They’re so intensely present and in touch with the universe’s energy that they become full within themselves. Their energy then, is in abundance and overflowing, which is why is seeps into everything and everyone they connect with. I’ve often found myself being attracted to these people with high energy and questioned myself, How can I be more like them? How can I get to a point where I am vibrating on such a high frequency that people immediately feel better just by being in my presence? And this is a question I’ve asked myself numerous times in my journal and a question that has led me to ask others – if you had just met someone for an hour, or however long, what are three things you would want them to say about you after having interacted with you? What are three things you would want to be known for? The follow up questions to this are, do you feel like you achieve these three things in your interactions with people? And if not, what could you be doing to ensure others experience them?
I love these questions because they give an insight into what the other person values, whilst also giving an insight into the highest version of themselves. For me, my three words are radiant, peace, and understood. I want to elicit the energy that I have so fortunately experienced from my friends and my last partner; the high energy that immediately improves one’s mood, the energy that communicates a real zest for life. But I also want that person to feel at peace and calm when they interact with me; I don’t want them to feel drained or as though there’s a charge from our interaction. And lastly, I want them to feel understood, to feel seen and heard, to ultimately feel like they belong and that they aren’t alone. Although I do not achieve these three things in all of my interactions, I know that I’m always on my path.
So having said all of this, I’m genuinely just so excited about life. To those that I’ve interacted with in the past six or so weeks, thank you. I feel so full within myself because of the beautiful people that have aided me on my journey. And my hope is that what I feel has somehow been transcribed into the words you are now reading on your screen.