Category Archives: adventure

My meeting with Taoism.

It seems, without realizing what I was doing, I have often been connected with Taoist practises. I have come across and used microcosmic orbit, I’ve practised self massage although more specifically for lymphatic system, or even on the whole body but not knowing where to focus my attention or why I was feeling better for It I have practised body brushing, mostly for my skin but also for the way it makes me feel. I have relied on inner smiling again without being specific to areas, to et me through some tough situations.

I have in many ways been channelling my chi without realizing that’s what I was doing.

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So I would say this is the reason I was drawn to the course which gave me my first knowing meeting with Taoism. Somewhere inside me I was searching, I was discovering in whatever way I could and the divine/fate/destiny, whatever you want to call it, gave me that last hint and put me on the correct path to discovery.

I heard about Taoist practises through my partner/ex (its complicated), he has been doing a rather monumental journey of self discovery and upon hearing about his experience with Taoist practices I was instantly drawn to this ancient way of life. Although of course his first experience was male orientated and focused purely on male practices.

I will just say here, although men and women do a lot of the same practise, we also have a variety of different focus. Of course we are physically, emotionally and often energetically different so the fine tuning to our feminine/masculine sides needs separate work. It would be very difficult for the man to use the infamous jade egg for instance 😉 ha ha or indeed to practise womb breathing! But even more subtle than this, Its important to be able to express our feminine/masculinity and learn in a way which celebrates our differences and allows us to tailor our practise to our energies and also to use our chi to help balance our hormones in specific ways. This is another aspect we often differ in our needs, or a lot of the time anyway.

Anyhow, I am running away from my own journey here. About 3 months ago I was having a terrible time, if you follow my blog you will have read/sensed the collapse of my world as I knew it and witness my rebuilding. Well it was during my strive to rebuild I was browsing the internet, and came across the jade circle website. Having clicked, I instantly knew I needed to take the course! In fat I signed up for two consecutive weekends doing the basic and next step courses.

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So…here I am!

I came to the magical green Isle of Ireland, and I met with the jade circle ladies last weekend. The connection with the ladies was fantastic, to be surrounded by such strong femininity and to be able to embrace and celebrate that so openly and unashamedly was such a mind opening experience.
It was as if we were already sisters, we shared so much including the start of an incredible journey into self discovery and…well I feel like I want to say control of ourselves and our lives, but in actual fact its more that we learned to lose the control, to allow the divine to guide us, to listen to our bodies, our intuition, our spirit and our chi, our life force, our energy.

We discovered ways of assessing our hormonal balance, how and when to balance the yin with the yang. We connected with our bodies and spirit, we learned all about healing sounds, self massage and womb/kidney breathing as well as some qi gong and microcosmic orbit.
We also connected with the jade egg, learned the first steps of practise with this and how to treat our bodies, to worship our sacredness and be the goddess we all have inside us.

OK so now I know I’m starting to sound a little…well…fluffy. It can’t be helped, Taoism is something best felt and not described. It feels anything but fluffy. It can be the most grounding experience, it makes you feel and see things which are very real. It really does help to discover the power we have within us.

And don’t worry guys, the men have just as profound practises and this weekend had a class of their own with Kris, Anamartas partner. Anamarta was the beautiful goddess who showed us the way in our first course via Jade circle (you can find them online and facebook).

Next weekend we meet as a mixed group to recap, to take the practises to the next level and to learn a little about the opposite sex, we must of course understand their energies as well if we are to have harmony in our relationships. Don’t worry though, you can just learn by yourself, if your partner isn’t ready to do the course of even if your single, the learning will benefit you immensely and prepare you for your next relationship. As well I must say that this system is useful for same sex couples as well. We all have yin and yang and every relationship has a balance of both, same sex couples may have the balance a little more evenly but the energies will still be there and can be worked on and understood.

I will write more about particular practises in future blogs, this was a general introduction on my introduction with Taoism.

Basically I feel like I have come home. This way of life really calls out to me and I intend to take this further, to journey as far as I can into this and maybe even one day help others find their connection to Taoist practises as well. Who knows what the future holds! 😉

Time to focus on the journey and on manifesting the life I desire, and am meant to live.

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Filed under adventure, advice, beliefs, challenge, change, Ireland, journey, tao, taoism, taoist

Long old journeys…How do you get through yours?? Heres how I tackle mine:

Since travelling I have discovered myself on many a long and arduous coach trip, whether its to/from airports, around foreign countries or, as I am right now, visiting parts of the UK.
How does one stay sane when travelling long distance, alone on the buses (or even planes and trains)? Well I have a few tactics I find work quite well:

1) Other people. Now there are several things other people can be interesting for. Firstly if they are of interest and free to chat you could engage I conversation, I often find myself meeting some quite random types having conversations I wouldn’t usually end up having. I recently got talking to a guy who was travelling across country visiting his girlfriend, a girlfriend he had met only once before, to give her his phone number and yet he was so in love and prepared to do so much to be with her, it was quite heart-warming…although my cynical side did have a few queries.
You may also find just listening in to other people talking can be rather amusing. Overhearing some overly chatty types or couples bickering etc…I can be entertained quite some time with this but I think my favourite thing when on long journeys is catching people sleep!
I recently found myself awoken via dry mouth as I had managed to doze off with it wide open and upon waking felt quite embarrassed, until I turned and saw the girl next to me was doing the exact same thing…Brilliant!

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2) I ALWAYS bring my laptop with me. This provides entertainment in many ways, especially now they have plug In points at every seat so you never need run out of battery! Firstly there is the standard watching your downloaded films, TV programs or playing computer games. Actual hours of entertainment. But also you can prepare and use both your computer and time quite effectively. I will often ensure I have lots of downloaded fitness information, guides, training programs etc. and can therefore research and educate myself on matters I may not always get around to when I have the internet available.
Lastly, you can of course still use word and such programs to blog, write your journal, or make plans and to do lists. (I am literally writing this as I start a 14 hour coach journey home (Cornwall) from Wales)

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3) Books, books, books! (or magazines) Because sometimes looking at screens for hours is bad for the eyes and also reading is good for you. By god if more people read the world would be a much better place, whether its autobiographies, fiction or factual, reading is a wonderful thing and definitely needs to be done more.

4) Lastly, ensure to have a good travel pillow and enough food and water. Sleep is a fantastic way of passing the time and for ensuring you are not left feeling tired and groggy after a long trip. Plus it can save you the indignity of falling asleep on someone or in an undignified position and having some stranger take pictures and laugh at your expense 😉 ha ha. The food and water are also essential not only for keeping you refreshed but also because time can pass extremely slow when you are hungry or thirsty and it can be difficult to concentrate on anything else…the last thing you need is food rage when stuck on a moving vehicle!

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So there you have it, Kirsts recommendations for those pesky long journeys, if you have any additional advice, feel free to share!

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Losing my rock climbing v platess

So I am in Wales, visiting a friend and after doing Snowdon, my next Welsh challenge was to rock climb. My friend and her friend who I went with are both instructors and so I was able to partake in safe hands without having to go in some big group of people and wait ages to take turns etc…boring!

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So we went to some slate rocks an they gave me a debrief, set up and away we went. The first one was relatively easy, a warm up and was rather enjoyable. The second was hard. After watching Kate struggle up certain parts of it, and she’s a good climber, I was sure I would barely make it up a quarter of the way but with their great encouragement (and at certain points I think Damien was actually pulling me up on the rope), I made it relatively near to the top. Id say just past 3 quarters up.

It wasn’t easy, even with the help. I had to stop and assess where I could go next a few times, mentally prepare myself to push up or to get my leg on a certain grip and there were times my hands were so damn cold I couldn’t even feel if my fingers were still attached any more, never mind if they were gripping anything and there was a lot of doubt but surprisingly not as much fear as I thought there would be. Of course I didn’t really look down and I knew I was safely roped on but I still expected to have some fear, especially as it was rather high and the grips were quite hard at time, hanging on to cracks and nooks where I couldn’t have thought it possible to get grip. I suppose in comparison to my 65 foot tree climb in Australia where we had no ropes, safety nets or trained professionals helping, it was still a little tame on the danger front but still a challenge and something outside of my comfort zone.

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Another experience tackled well, no tears, no failure, no embarrassment. Another survival skill to add to my apocalypse set I have been growing over the last year along with chicken beheading, tackling mountains in both tropical and snowy temperates and of course learning to hand-wash clothing properly…Boy that one will be important when the zombies come for us!

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My Snowy Snowdon experience!

After finally arriving home just a few weeks ago, I haven’t had the chance to trek much, in fact not at all and I hadn’t done much trekking really since spring last year. As you can imagine my experience with Snowdon was hard and I was not prepared!

First off we had to park further down the valley as all the damn people were in the way! Fools! So we parked and started walking, It was damn hard but the sun was shining and it was real warm. Vest tops ahoy I fact. The initial hour or two was actually nice.

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The third hour brought the best views and the beginning of the realization I may have bitten off more than I could easily chew.

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By the end of the third hour it was so very cold and getting quite misty, I was tired, teasy and I imagine, not very good company at all! The talking stopped and I just had to get the head down.
The last hour up was very hard, lots of snow, lots of wind, lots of incline and by the time we reached the top I was so over the whole experience.

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Looking back its funny, I was ready to strop for England!

The decent was initially fun, very deep and steep snowy mountain meant lots of fun slipping and sliding down, although this did cause me big knee issues and I was in a hell of a lot of pain on the decent.

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We arrived at the car just after dark, 6 and a half hours of trekking and I was done. Had my full blown quasimodo walk going down, my determined, stroppy aggressive face on and a shroud of aggressive air surrounding me.

It took about an hour before I actually smiled at the though of what I had done and that actually there were fun parts. The lesson to learn here though is not to be a cocky bastard and assume I can just tackle anything without being properly prepared. Just because I did a lot of trekking before, doesn’t mean I can just jump In and safely do anything now.

I must get out trekking again, I did not like feeling so weak and pathetic!

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Filed under adventure, body, challenge, fitness, mountain, trekking

My Journal Journey!

What is a journal? How personal do we make our entries? Do we write them with restriction in case it is ever found or specifically to be read by an outsider, or do we write our completely inner most thoughts unabashed, for our own eyes only? Do we use it to simply vent, or for record, are they for re-reading, assessing, future help or are they simply an outlet? Should we keep separate journals for separate parts of our lives? One for personal matters, feelings, thoughts and one for goals, accomplishments, wishes and wants? Are they a record of facts, experiences and advice or a mish mash of personal jibber jabber?

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I think its safe to say a journal can be any number of things and can be incredibly insightful, eye opening, and rewarding to the creator and also sometimes to others, depending on the type.

Personally my journal is a very personal thing, only I see it and IF I ever chose to allow anyone else to read it, they will be a very special person to me indeed. My journal is kind of like my friend, my confident, but it doesn’t judge or give false information, it doesn’t give misguided advice or try to warp my mumblings into coherency…It simply accepts.

When I was young I used to write a diary, much like a journal but to me my diary was all about my crazy thoughts, my emotions and turmoil, my trials, releasing the tension…when I read them back they are a desperate expression of everything I couldn’t say, or even make sense of. But there was no development, I was using it as an outlet but nothing more.

Now things have changed, for me a journal is more about a journey than just expression. Its a way of expressing but also of recording, of making sense, planning, improving oneself and I have to say it has been monumental in helping me through what has turned out to be probably the worst year of my life to date.

It really helps me to process my thoughts and feelings, but I refuse to scribble page and pages of nonsensical words, as I sit down to write I find a quiet place and time, I think….I process the things I itch to record, put the ramblings in order and write relatively concisely and with real meaning. Sometimes, the things I wanted to write, the negative or mixed up feelings often find themselves resolved before pen hits paper. I might mention them in a single sentence to record the fact it was there, I felt it but I can deal with it.

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I also use this writing time to make sure I am grateful. Every day I write ‘thankful for’ and aim to list 3 things I am grateful for that day, anything from my health, abilities, specific people, opportunities, experiences or sometimes even just for a TV show I am enjoying, or that wine which helped me relax and feel better. There have been one or two days in the last 6 months where I have been unable to complete this, on my lowest of the low yet even on these days, even writing the title, ‘thankful for’ I know there are things, I know that I am just having trouble pinpointing them at that moment in time, I know I write them every day and have many thing but my mindset is just clouding them.

There are another two sections I do every day to ensure I am looking forwards to positive things and to ensure I am chasing those things. I do ‘wishes/wants’ and ‘goals’. Under wishes and wants I write anything, this could be big things like getting a nice house, having a great relationship or winning the lottery or it could be smaller or more personal things like mental clarity, or happiness.
Under goals I choose things often relating to my wants. Most are small steps I can take towards what I want over the next day or so: start playing the lottery, do certain activities I enjoy to make sure I feel happier, put aside thinking time on specific topics or research them to gain clarity, reach out to a certain person, or give them space, remind myself what I need to do to help the situations go in my favour.

And every day I look back on the previous day to see what I accomplished. I don’t reprimand myself for anything not done, this isn’t a race, its not a competition, its not work. As long as I am moving in the right direction and bearing my goals, wants and things I’m thankful in mind, then I am winning.

I also use my journal for several other useful things.
Firstly for recording my training, so quick notes on workouts, weight, reps and how it felt, just writing it before I do the workout means I can’t just procrastinate and not do it…it is written in pen, it is recorded and so I must do it, I will NOT have to record my failure to do this, it is the one time I am strict with my journal content and entries.
Secondly I use the back of the book for notes, notes to help me. There are lists of my good and bad points, things to work on. I have a 3 year plan, and steps to achieve larger goals. There are some yoga routines, body-brushing information, workout plans, supplement information, notes of names and websites I may find useful and ideas to look into at later dates when I have time.

Overall this relatively small notebook is an incredibly valuable asset, helping me in a number of ways on a daily basis. I would highly recommend people giving it a go.
You don’t need to write the same types of things I do, make it personal, adapt it to help you be the most positive and productive person you can be, it is definitely worth spending 10 minutes a day doing!

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Filed under adventure, beliefs, change, creativity, development, life, writing

Being home between adventures

So after being to absolutely terrified of coming home, I got off the plane and into my friends car, I watched the countryside stream past the windows, the rolling hills, the cottages and red brick houses, I felt the fresh coldness of the British winter and I felt peace.

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I have spent the last few days taking it all in, I have watched the familiar scenery roll by, felt the biting, cool breeze and the slippery underfoot ice, I’ve listened to some of the well known UK accents and consumed some local food and teas, I have smelled the freshness of the Cornish sea breeze and I have felt relief and relaxed as I adjusted my body clock and am connecting once again with friends and family.

The thing is, now I have taken it all in, it feels like I never even left. It seems as if the last 7 months were just a dream and I never even left this life. Its quite disconcerting and has me getting wanderlust already. Today was my first day back at work, and I am incredibly grateful they heard I was returning and asked me to come back, but also its scary how easy it is to fit back in to the exact same life I had!

This is not the plan, not that I ever have a plan but this isn’t how I want life to go. I wanted change, I wanted to start a new life not jump back into the old one as soon as things get sticky. I know I need money urgently and whilst I’m doing nothing else it makes sense to do what is offered, and I am grateful, but I’m also scared I will lose my drive in the familiar monotony.

Already I have been online ordering stuff…stuff I don’t need, materialistic possessions! Its like as soon as I got back I feel the need to own things again, this isn’t who I have become and I think its going to take some very special efforts not to fall back to being my old self. I will not allow the last 7 months to be in vain. Every lesson I had to learn, all the heartaches and failures as well as the adventures and realizations, I faced a lot of situations and conquered them, I grew, I evolved and now…what am I doing??

I really need to get a plan and make some serious effort to remember my path. I am above monotony and settling, I don’t want contentment and security, I choose life and adventure, experience and growth! So I have forced myself to get away from the dreaded TV, get into my space, write a blog, do my first proper workout in just over a week and actively make effort to be the new Kirst.

My aim over the next week is to make my big decision as to the possible yoga course I would like to do, to book my trip to the course in Ireland I am doing and to make plans for after this. They may change but I need a basic idea, a get out free card from the prison that is regular life. I am not ready to settle just yet, Its not time for me to be here for long. I will also ensure to be back on track with my workouts, today’s was awful, get my diet completely in check and to get back to my blog as well as ensuring I make plans to actually do things whilst home, make sure I have some adventures even here, just because I am home for a time, doesn’t mean the adventuring has to stop!

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I shall endevoour to make the most of Cornwall, my loved ones and having a home, a real place I can relax, at the same time makin sure I will be leaving it again soon.

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Homeward bound, And I thought the leaving was the hard part….This is terrifying!

7 months ago I gave up my old life, I got rid of, gave away and left behind pretty much everything and everyone I’d ever known. I was setting out on a new path with the man I loved, we were going to have this big brilliant exciting future in the Philippines and then maybe travel and eventually come home successful, happy and ready for our happily ever after…

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I was scared but I was so excited, I felt like life was really turning around and we were finally getting to start our life together, after waiting for my fella who was in Afghan for 2 years to come home. Letting go was hard, I cried a lot, I wondered if I was making the right move and I thought I was doing the scariest thing I’d ever have to do…But I had my man and together we would make it work… I had made the right decision, we had made the right decision…First fail

Turns out we were wrong…oh so very wrong!

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Now, 7 months later, 4 of which were spent enduring life in an awful part of the Philippines, dealing with corruption, and disappointments business wise, having only each other pretty much for company, only each other to vent to and take it all out on, it was hot, we were teasy and it was difficult! There were no places of quiet, nowhere to go and find calm, nowhere to g and trek, explore we were trapped and it wasn’t fun!…Making a life and work fail

Following a trip away where we realise we are much happier away fro that place and did indeed have a relationship worth fighting for, we decided drastic action was needed. So I arranged to go to Australia and the fella was due to meet me there after his trip to India…

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yeh that didn’t work.
Time apart for him and his realizations in India made him decide to embark upon some journey of self discovery, minus the emotional baggage AKA me…so relationship fail (for now)

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I was devastated but we stayed talking and decided although were not together, there’s a good chance we could be again one day and, bear in mind I am simplifying things, I was able to accept this. I wont go into it but the guy does have things he needs to sort and in retrospect me being in his face wouldn’t help those issues…anyway so I set out to get a grip and do this travel thing everyone does.

Problem was, travel was something we’d planned together, everywhere I went I felt his missing presence as a physical thing, it felt like I was carrying around all this wistful sadness. I tried, I went through the motions, I made a few friends on my travels, I did 2 months in Australia and a month in Newzealand…I explored, I spent a lot of time and energies working on ‘me’…yet, I still don’t feel like I have managed to get a grip…I mean yesterday I cried as soon as I awoke, I barely sleep and I still feel like i’m not quite here, I have been here and there but a part of me has been elsewhere…I am clearly not getting a grip just yet..another fail

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So now it’s time to go home, I’m terrified. Going home means facing everything, out here I have been able to distance myself from reminders, from the things I’ve given up and lost, I have concentrated on being a new person, a better person but suddenly I feel like I haven’t changed at all. Being faced with the reality of life, my old life, people, places, the monotony of the life I left behind really makes me wonder, what did I do? Where did it all go wrong? I was so happy, so sure and so ready to make this wonderful step…How did it fall apart?

I thought leaving was the scary part, then I thought the separation was, then I thought the dealing with stuff out there by myself would be but it turns out the worst bit of it all is the returning home.

Don’t get me wrong I’m excited to see my loved ones and to spend time catching up with them but personally I feel like I’ll be facing each and every one of them embarrassed and slightly ashamed that not only could I not make it work, but that I was so smug before I left. So sure I had it all sorted.

Oh how the fates love to humble us!

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Filed under adventure, Australia, battle, change, discoveries, fails, failure, home, travel

The ironic development of my daring dance with nudity!

Trekking to the river and finding a nice little secluded spot. Looking around, feeling nervous and yet excited. I take off my shorts, top, shoes and socks…
Finally the underwear comes off! I laugh, I feel like this is the most daring, adventurous thing I have ever done, yet realistically its really not that much of a big deal.

Travelling around the world solo, having large tattoos permanently adorning your body, climbing a 65 foot tree without safety ropes. Yes, these things are daring and adventurous but being naked outside by yourself. Its really not a big deal at all. Certainly not in the physical sense and yet…yet I felt like it was a monumental moment. I felt like I had disobeyed some unwritten laws, I had gone back to adolescence and rebelled and it felt good.

Now I’m not saying I am ready to be naked in front of people, or that I want to keep repeating the experience, but it was a liberating moment and one I shall remember for ever. Realizing that I am capable of really letting go of societies restrictions and doing something new, something different. Experimenting with something which is often misunderstood and frowned upon. Especially after recent experiences it was a big step for me.

Now here is the irony!

After talking to people and sharing my journey so far, it seemed the natural course to share this moment too. So, I decided I would take a tasteful photo. No frontal nudity, just a natural non posed picture of me standing by the river, on the grass. It looked nice enough, nothing pervy or in your face, certainly not a sexy photo, just a natural shot of a natural moment in a natural environment.

And I posted it to my facebook, to share with my friends and family, to include them in my journey. I received many encouraging words, some said I was an inspiration with regards to fitness, some said I was so strong, courageous and outgoing and they were envious I was able to do this, some commented on how beautiful the picture was…and one….one reported the picture to facebook as offensive.

Yep, offensive. Now I attach the picture below so you may judge for yourself and in the end facebook judged it non offensive and well within the rules on nudity but it still bugged me.

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Is it offensive to post this on my own wall for my friends to see? Am I, to some one else, the pervy German??
Or is this a case of someone just being spiteful for the sake of it? Or jealous or incredibly closed minded and prude. I felt outraged that I was now painted in the position of the inappropriate when I had been so careful to avoid being what I had hated most about my recent nudity experiences and a lot of people agreed with this, showing support and insisting it was a tasteful picture, I had every right to post it and they enjoy seeing my progress, both in my travelling journey an in my body (I am a fitness fanatic).

Maybe the lesson to learn here is that there will always be people who do things you deem unacceptable, and on the other hand there will also be those who deem you unacceptable

We are not made physically the same, nor are we mentally balanced in the same ways, some of us are more easily offended, or thick skinned and you will always have haters for whatever you do, or don’t do and you will always have people you look up to. I guess the key is to avoid what and who offends you and search out that and those which inspired and interest you.

It has made me see that maybe my negative experience recently with a certain German was actually more to do with his personality and high sexually charged nature than it was with the actual naturalism he was practising. Perhaps when shirking off the restraints of clothes, we should also shirk off the social conventions that make us feel like we have to be nice and friendly with everybody. Why not keep some distance if someone just isn’t your cup of tea, why not just not be friends. Be polite, but be distant, there is no rule that you have to try to like someone and spend time around them.

Is it not more rude to be rude to someone because you dislike them than to avoid being around them unnecessarily?

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Filed under adventure, body, naked, nakedness, naturalism, naturalist, nudity

Life at Aio Wira retreat!

Upon arrival, or collection at the train station you are greeted with a big hug and an open, kind-hearted face. Di, the coordinator is a lovely woman who, from her attitude and spiritedness in life, you would never place at almost 70 years old!

The centre itself is situated not far fro Swanson, about an hour by train from Auckland, south Island and is hidden away amongst a multitude of plant-life. It is surrounded by bushland, which means forest, trees as far as the eye can see, total lushness! At first the weather was wet wet wet, this area is rainforest after all and catches most of the water supply for the whole of Auckland, but eve in the downpours there is something magical about this place.

The air is clear, there is a feeling of freedom, of letting go of the restraints of civilization as we know it, you are getting back to nature, partaking in activities specifically designed to help you reach inner peace, a higher place inside yourself. It is a place for self discover and self improvement and of course, it is fun. The people you meet here are all incredibly open minded and positive, you can literally feel the positivity radiating from the walls themselves.

The bedrooms are cosy, there is a big communal kitchen, dining area, sitting room and big relaxation room along with a little sanctuary in the meadow and a hot tub and sauna. It is very cosy and, although I am not a person suited to living communally in the long-run due to my need for lots of personal space and alone times, I still saw and felt the benefits of having interesting people around the place, the wealth of experiences and information was incredible and I have already learned a lot from my stay here. The whole place has a very welcoming, homely, cosy feel to it.

And then the sun comes out and a whole new lease of life is bestowed upon you. Although there are places to explore and a certain fondness does arise for getting out there in all weather, it is an altogether enchanting experience to be here when its sunny.

All doors and windows are open, the only sounds you hear coming in is from the animals, the birds, frogs and bees, it is tranquil, peaceful and beautiful. The light glints off the plants and flowers showing their true lushness, you can almost feel the life, the nature and the power resting in the natural world just slipping in around you on the lazy breeze. The great thing is there is nothing really here to sting, bite or prick you (apart from mosquitoes) so you can walk barefoot through the forest, feel the earth beneath your feet, get to grips with nature and you know, its incredibly enlightening!

To be working here is a blessing, although it can be tiring chopping veg and washing up after guests, its not so bad and particularly at the moment there are no guests, the place is quiet, the work consists of a little gardening, washing, tidying up ready for the next guests later in the week, there is so much time for exploring, walking, swimming in the river, or just sitting about with a good book.

For me one of the best parts is the knowledge here, I am learning more about yoga and meditation here than I could have hoped for, not only from guests but fro the library of books on everything from meditation, self discovery, and fasts to faith, tarrot cards, runes and everything else in between! There is so much to learn, and all of great interest.

The centre itself often hosts events such as group fasting for 3 or 10 days, meditations for long weekends and a multitude of seminars as well as anyone wanting a few days at the retreat to unwind, relax and get centred.

Of course there are a few points which are not so positive, maybe you read my last blog, ref the German exhibitionist, but they are minimal in the grand scheme of things.

Below are pictures from my time here so far:

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My mind closing dance with the naturist!

Right to start off, remember I’m British and although I like to think of myself as liberal, open minded and not easily offended, I do still seemingly carry around a slightly naive and innocent view when it comes to such things as nudity!

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Before heading out to Aio Wira, A retreat in the wilderness in Auckland, Newzealand, I knew there would be a very relaxed, hippy vibe to the place. I was there to work and expected the usual array of friendly faces, coming together to get the work done, pleasant social exchanges of an evening and I was even vaguely aware that there will most likely be the option to try being nuddy in public for the very first time!

Although I hadn’t thought much about this either way, I figured I was mature enough and chilled enough to either join in, or ignore the nakedness if I wasn’t feeling it myself, I intended to go with the flow, see how I felt and be liberated god-damn!

What happened though was altogether un-liberating and has closed my mind to such things! I know this is probably just a bad example, a bad experience and I shouldn’t let it taint my future ideas towards this increasingly popular…Um…Exhibition of ones self! Anyway on my first day here a fellow German helper kindly asked if I would like to go for a walk to the river. Innocent enough right? Nice stroll with the father age, friendly German man. I should go, be polite and partake in the walking!

Well upon arriving at a certain point at the river, he asked if I would like to swim, It was cold and I didn’t but politely said I’d wait here for him on the bank, so I sat, watching the water, all at ease. Even took off my jumper to catch the few rays of sun starting to show through the clouds and then…
Something changed…The atmosphere felt a little strained, and I heard” oh you have a nice body, I can tell you workout” so I’m like OK, its a compliment. Take it, its just a compliment. It sounds a little pervy but maybe its just his accent. So I turn around to thank him and BAM…Penis right there! He’s standing, I’m sitting…Well it brought a whole new meaning to the words ‘in your face’!

I was a little surprised but quickly dismissed it, keeping my cool I turned back around and averted y gaze. Oh boy did I avert my gaze! I have to say it was the least attractive member I have ever seen, but then in fairness I have only ever looked upon them in a sexy frame of mind before, this penis viewing in broad daylight and in a non sexual manner(for me) was very strange! And then.. He doesn’t even swim, oh no he goes in and then walks about in the shallows flopping it around all over the place whilst trying to make conversation so I’d have to look…Well I never!

This episode was followed up with a couple of days of excessive compliments in a manner which I could only take as slightly pervy. Still I thought, I am probably being prude, I should give him chance to just be a nice man…non naked! We shall stay away from the river! The next day as I worked out he came in asking if he could join in…Um…well, OK! And then proceeded to make what I can only assume is his sex face at me whilst making appreciative noises and telling me “this is goooood yvar?” Um, no! This was not good for me!

And THEN, still trying not to judge and be nice, I went to walk to the car with him. He’d asked if id go with hi to collect it, its a nice walk he said! What he didn’t say was that it was past the river, and oh yes you’ve guessed it, there he goes again. Birthday suit, waving it all about, by god I thought, I’ve been tricked!! Well not again!

Until today that is, I thought we would be safe seen as it was myself, said helper and another helper Markos who was more along my lines of modesty and we were all going out to a rather public lake and waterfalls. After reaching the top pool of the waterfalls, there was a lovely young couple enjoying some togetherness at the top of the falls, Markos and myself climbed up to explore and I hear “oh! What the, oh no…lets go” and I know what’s happening, I turn just in time to see our lovely nudist emerging from behind the bushes smack bang in front of this couple. I swear its an obsession for this guy, I mean does being nudist mean you HAVE to be nude at every opportunity, even in non nudist places??

Does it mean you continually do it around people who are clearly not comfortable with it?
So all nudists constantly compliment each other all the time?? The amount of comments about my body and how I should swim or do the yoga in my bikini, I am just left feeling naked even with all my clothes on! It is by far the most uncomfortable I have been in as far as I can remember.

Is there not some sort of etiquette for such things and being too ‘in your face’? Like a religion, I kind of feel its one of those things, each to their own but exactly that…Your own, or people of the same inclination…Its just good manners not to force people to bear witness, surely?

And the worst bit of all??? This is the last penis I saw, and the last one I will be seeing in quite a while, I can’t erase the image and I wont even get to replace it with a nice one, one I wanted to see, one I felt good about! Its all tainted now! Ha ha ha. I am scared for ever…Or until I WILLINGLY come into contact with more male anatomy to wipe the memories!

Now I’m aware this is probably a bad experience with someone whom I obviously don’t connect well with, but It leaves me wondering if I am not too prude for such things after all? Am I too reserved to be the free, fun-loving hippy I envision myself to be?

I am left more confused than ever with regards to my feeling on naturalists and participation or witnessing!

The whole thing was certainly an eye opener and a mind closer for me!

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