holiday reflections

holiday reflections

I’ve felt a deep sense of appreciation since arriving back in Sydney. To be able to take time off and travel with my wife, to come home to such a beautiful place, to a job that I love and to be surrounded by so many wonderful people. It truly feels like a blessing. 

It can be an awakening experience to take a break, have space and gain some clarity. It’s not always easy, and sometimes can be incredibly difficult — but an opportunity nonetheless. 

A lot of people have been asking me what the best part of the trip was, and my response is alway the same, ‘we just had so much fun’. It’s been interesting because I think there has been an expectation for me to share somewhere we explored, or something we did or ate, and trust me I have long lists for all of these, but what has really stayed with me is the feeling of being so at ease.

The trip didn’t start like this, of course. In the first few days I noticed how much tension and tightness I was carrying — in my body, my mind, my energy. I was excited but also edgy. I wasn’t able to surrender to being away and out of routine. I could see that I was stuck in the habit of doing, going, planning — always looking ahead to the next — the next part of the day, meeting, place, meal, whatever it was. I wasn’t able to fully let myself be in the moment. 

It was a challenging, and powerful, realisation. I like to think of myself as a pretty easy going and present person, but these habits can easily go unnoticed. They become ‘normal’ or baseline in our day to day lives, and often we need something that feels different to help shed some light. 

To me, this is what practice is all about. Formally we meditate, we breathe, we move — and what we are really doing is developing awareness so that we can see ourselves, and our life, more clearly. We learn how to be still, to observe, to reflect. And the beauty is, the more that we can see, the more freedom that is possible. We don’t have to be stuck in a pattern or a cycle, we can choose something different. 

So I found myself coming back to two questions I often ask myself — 

‘is this skilful or unskillful?’
is this way of thinking/speaking/being, moving me closer or further away from peace?’

My practice was obvious — to relax and let go. To watch and catch myself in moments of rushing ahead — to learn to pause, take a deep breath, and very gently and kindly, bring myself back to the moment. 

It was (and continues to be) a slow and gradual process, an untangling of sorts. But each day it got a little easier. I felt more relaxed, happy, peaceful, grateful. Life became sweeter. I started to really take in where I was, what I was doing and who I was with, and each moment became so much more meaningful. 

And so I return back to my day to day rhythm with the intention to live by this, to not forget. To not get too caught up constantly looking ahead, planning or preparing, to stop rushing to some sort of finish life. And instead really slow down, take it in and enjoy this 'precious human exisitence'.

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