Winter, wealth and a wild life

I tell you, it’s been a tame Winter so far. I’ve barely left behind my cold outdoor showers amongst the orange blossoms and unearthed my Uggs. That’s just how it is in Queensland. Divinely Winter. Coffees with the girls across from the river in soft mellow sunshine are just the bomb. The cyclists are glistening in lycra, the guys just off their ocean kayaks are warming up with a fresh brew. A recent coffee and chat morning down the coast led me straight into a 30-day money challenge group with (mostly) women from around the country and world. You soon discover that to dismantle those limiting beliefs you hold about money you have to clean up your stuff. The way you see the world, others and “”central station” YOU. It’s about tweaking your inner wealth. And that’s where the honey is. It feels so good to be a student of the world, the universe, delving into spirit, mind body connection and self healing. I love the inspiration, appreciating everything anew, unpacking truth, setting intention for self-love and care, claiming the goddess edge in my family of men.

The yellow-tailed black cockatoos soar overhead at this time of the year, calling out the season, leaving a trail of munched Banksia cones on the beach path. Flocks of Rainbow Lorikeets skim by in a chattering mass of colour. Mmm, Winters in Queensland.
And here I am, running wildly, barefoot on the beach pressing my feet deeply into the sand, sending energetic roots down so Earth holds me, the dreamer, steady. Next thing I’m off into the void but cleaning chakras intently.

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All the tools we learn on this amazing planet give us the gift of consciousness. They allow me to return each day to embrace the hectic rush of a work day or a day of home work, and mine its gems. It helps me lift myself up time and again with forgiveness, to try again. So yay to peace and days of wonder. Live your wild and precious life keenly. Be kind, be open to the mystery of it all. Live with a kind of surrender.

Physician and spiritual seeker, Lissa Rankin sums up the mystery we breach. “While we participate with 3D reality and while we play a role in the co-creation process, perhaps we are not masters of our destiny. Nor are we victims of our DNA. We have many tools in our toolbox, whether they be conventional medical tools or metaphysical tools, but we are not in control of the outcomes of our lives or anyone else’s. This is an uncomfortable thing for many to admit. Both practitioners and patients prefer to believe we are in control. Messages ranging from the Western medical system to energy healers to The Secret suggest that we can control our destinies if only we try hard enough. If conventional tools don’t work, just try harder with your metaphysical and energy tools. But what if that’s only part of the picture?
I suspect we exist somewhere in between- in that humble space between stories, where we don’t know- and perhaps we don’t want to know or need to know. Perhaps there is a greater plan that our conscious minds can never understand. Physical or mental illness- or financial difficulties, relationship problems, the loss of a loved ones, or other heartbreak, loss and disappointment- may be part of this larger plan….
If I believe anything, I guess I believe we are here in service to a cosmic plan- and our soul’s blueprint has optional assignments we are invited to fulfill as part of this cosmic plan. Yet this plan is a mystery. Charles Eisenstein calls it “the invisible path.” Perhaps we are given clues about how to walk in impeccable alignment on the invisible path- through our bodies, our intuition, synchronicity, knowers and seers, the traditions of the indigenous people and other wisdom keepers. Yet we can never know this path. There is no certain map, no foreseeable plan. Perhaps we are never meant to know the plan- or rather, we’re only given information about the next steps on a need to know basis. When we admit this, we stay humble, willing to not know as we navigate the space between stories.
But there again, I don’t know.”

A Case for Blue

I felt the thrill of possibility when the editor of Vogue Living Australia announced this month that blue is the new white. Neale Whitaker said it was having a marked collective moment across fashion, art and interior design, and illustrated his point with glamorous homes in sexy cerulean, from Lake Como to Morocco.

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A designer home in Sydney’s Darling Point, Vogue Living Australia March edition

 

WhiIe I love blue, I have to say it is more of a cousin in my colour wheel. My home is foremost a white canvas and I don’t care if dogs traverse my white leather couches, young ones smudge sweaty after-sport feet or nieces and nephews finger-dot sticky sweets on my haughty off-white velour chaise. Everything is washable, is my mantra and my ode to white living. Having said that, it’s a big hello to pops of colour, okay.

This amazing Noosa home does the "blue thing" well.
This amazing Noosa home “does blue” effortlessly. Image courtesy of Facebook

 

But let me admit, the thought of turquoise domination makes me twitch. When we moved into our house, it had a navy roof. Now the entire house is Baker’s white. A designer, striped chaise got covered in a shade of cream after a few years of “putting up with it”. Naturally, I always have a tin of Baker’s white handy for spontaneous, odd transformations, to bring dark objects back to life. To demonstrate my deviance, a few weekends ago I spent a day white-washing a garden wall I’d previously painted teal in the spirit of adventure. As luck would have it, soon after, my soul ached for the purity of white. Alas, my crockery is white, my tea and coffee cups are white. My bedcovers are crisp, billowing white. Just today I tried to buy a garden suite with cushions as white as the driven snow. My interior decorator friend winced with fright and quickly warned me off. Shortly after I attended an underwear party and, yes, you guessed it, I bought bright white.

Now don’t get me entirely wrong, I really do love blue. I absolutely love my indigo shaded jeans, a jot of electric blue eyeliner, the excitable shade that is my boys’ eyes, my huband’s gaze. I couldn’t be content in a world without the rhapsody that is blue. Blue flowers, butterflies, the aqua hue of a Transkei hut on a dusty African road.

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Blue has my heart in our azure oceans which lure me in relentlessly, and our indelible and beautiful blue planet that spells life. it is a very desirable cousin indeed.

a case for blue

Yes, I do love blue, but blue can wait. Or rather, find a better devotee. I fear I’ll be off to de-lid my tin of Baker’s white before long.

* The featured image is courtesy of Rachel Kennedy Designs.

Last yummy thoughts for the year

With a new year just hours away, what was, what is and what will be, took me on a little mind stroll. And there were some yummy discoveries.

Thoughts came and went on my last-day walk in the cool green of the Kenilworth State Forest and then I pondered some more over a country brekky in town while my man motorbiked on, roughshod with mates over dales of last day dash.

Last yummy thoughts for the year

I found some yummy mind food. Boris Becker’s Instagram today had a quote (unknown):
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On the subject of Instagram, a new favourite is Brisbane/ Hong Kong wedding and travel photographer, Nicola Lemmon who has the most alluring, uncontrived About Me page I’ve read in a while, and of course, yummy Instagram photos and words. “I want to attract readers like myself, the life lovers, the deep feelers, the sentimental, passionate ones.” She’s a girl from Mackay with a camera (who abandoned her Speech Pathology career), capturing life and sharing her own stories too. Personally, I’m a sucker for stories.

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I am often amazed at how highly accessible information and inspiration is. There is so much generosity out there when it comes to sharing knowledge. The accomplished (and wealthy) share their knowledge liberally so you and I can benefit. Author Tim Ferris, the “Indiana Jones of the digital age”, deconstructs the habits of successful people and shares it in his books and on podcasts on his blog.

If you want to “drown yourself in a sea of knowledge” in the new year, fast track with Derek Sivers’ 200 book recommendations and his own personal summaries presented on a platter. This programmer, writer, entrepreneur simply wants to make it available to you.

I’m signing off for the year with a last yummy quote:

“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life
But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first,
some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid, then life would begin.
At last it dawned upon me that these obstacles were my life”
Alfred D. Souza

And finally, I wish you nothing but “small pleasures” in the year ahead, as I sit here sharing a punnet of raspberries with Last Born. Happy, happy.

 

Gifts from Noosa and a reminder to breathe in that good ass prana, baby

  • Gifts of confidence.

“The very act of walking is a metaphor for life. When you are walking you are rising and falling.”

What a descriptive reminder of life’s contrasts in this quote from the big guy of feel good truths, psychologist, Ralph Smart. He posts gifts to YouTube weekly, urging you to breathe in “that good ass prana, baby”. The video below reminds you to trust yourself, value your importance and embrace vulnerability. This is gift number one and it should leave you feeling expanded and smiley. Let me know what you think…

 

  • Gifts of happiness

Ever looked into Stoicism, a philosophy that flourished in Ancient Greece and Rome? The Stoics believed that twice a year one should wear dirty clothes, sleep on a rug on the kitchen floor and eat stale bread and drink rainwater from an animal’s bowl. They go on to explain that this will lead you to an amazing discovery – almost nothing material is needed for a happy life for he who has understood existence. This article is on how to wrest happiness from adversity with Stoicism which is “as much as anything, a philosophy of gratitude – and a gratitude, moreover, rugged enough to endure anything.”

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Photo by Raymond Depardon/Magnum
  • Gifts of inspiration

If you need a little business/ entrepreneur inspiration check out these Aussie female run start-ups building million dollar businesses and harnessing the power of social media

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Joanna French, founder of lipstick brand Shanghai Suzy. Photo: Ed Purnmo
  • Best of Noosa

Looking for ideas on where to eat out in Noosa or the insider on local Noosa secrets? These recent articles were full of juice! If you love home decorating then check out this thrifty renovation on a Noosa cottage.

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Photo via homestolove.com.au

 

  • A movie

Take a seat at the movies these holidays to view the movie, The Dressmaker. Set in 1950s Australia. Just beautiful.

  • A recipe blog

Green Kitchen Stories is a little gem of a food blog. This award-winning blog of healthy vegetarian recipes written by couple, David and Louise is bursting with healthy recipes (and charming stories) even if you’re not a vegetarian. A must-do accompaniment for the barbecue is the Herby Picnic Potato Salad.

Photo by Green Kitchen Stories
Photo by Green Kitchen Stories

 

Have a wonderful week ahead.

Darene

 

My Noosa-style Camino de Santiago

I’ve been struggling with delayed gratification. That is, having to wait for the perfect stage of life to take extended holidays, walk the Camino de Santiago, be done with routine. I just want to break pattern. Travel, roam, hit the road and caress the breeze. I am jealous of wild, earthy backpackers that buy sunscreen from me at work and leave their trail of insouciance. Oh to go to places that speak of engrossment in this charming world. Which lead you back to yourself.

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So off we went to sojourn amongst the trees at Lamington National Park, Kevin and I. We climbed to high branches where a few lovelocks winked cheekiness in a treetop outlook in the mellow Autumn rays. Waterfalls sighed and people came and went like they did on Le Petit Prince’s planet, always leaving a nugget. On a high path we closed in on a strident couple celebrating 34 years of marriage and he told Kevin he learned who the boss was on their first honeymoon morning, Apollo Bay, when he woke her early to see the sunrise. “Don’t ever do that again,” instructed his bride.

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At a junction we find a mother, father and student son requesting advice on direction. The father informs he is taking his son on the same walks he was taken by his own father. The son shrugs, indulging his Dad, and laments at the assignments he is falling behind on back home.

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Lamington National Park

At night we join a tight group to bus it deep into the dark and behold the wonderland of glow worm lights strung across dank shrubs. Here we sit contemplating the miracle of science, composing glow worm poetry. Our bush bathing ends each night in a pub beside a fizzing fireplace toasting a scarlet sunset that makes trifle of the worries of the world.

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Sunset view from the pub

And so my ennui was stalled for a spell till I realised it was that time of the year – the pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago. A friend who walked it over 6 weeks last year, gushed over coffee. My wanderlusting urge was in free flow yet again, and my kids talked of my midlife crisis. Then I came up with a brilliant solution. Why couldn’t I orchestrate my own local Camino, designed around my daily life, bringing adventure, exploration and shift smack, bang to me, right here, right now? Every year 100 000 people leave from their front doorsteps or from popular starting points across Europe, to make their way to Santiago de Compostela (walk, cycle and even run) as a form of adventure, spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth. Here I am two days into my six-week Noosa Camino.

Yesterday I ran 8km along a sepia beach processing day, and greeted the dawn 200 steps high at the edge of the National Park with this view. An old friend recognised me on the way home and suddenly fell in step to chat for a while. He nodded gratefully at the hard sand which made running less laboured as we faced the oncoming wind. Then he darted off on his own tangent.

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200 steps up into the National Park, then this…looking over Sunshine Beach

Today I was joined by Kevin, who says he will be a regular on my Camino escapades. Yay! We hit the road on bicycles before first light just like devoted travellers do daily on the St James Way. Twenty five minutes later we worshipped the dawn at Laguna Bay with some brisk exercises, finally joined by the first seagulls, the odd jogger, and then the sight and sound of coffee shops setting up for whatever travellers might come their way, brimming with thoughts to live another day.

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Sunrise this morning over Main Beach, Laguna Bay

 

 

 

Easter turtles (not bunnies), love from Noosa!

I’m listening to the soft patter of warm Easter rain, tired and damp but content. It’s been a week of treks up and down to the beach to check on turtle nests. Dinner on deck chairs and cups of milo in the dark on dunes. We made excess trips down the beach path to check on a 60-day-old turtle nest which was ready to run – that is, explode with a hundred little turtles making their way down to the sea.

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Kevin and I were hopeful we would get to witness the event. We drank milo on the beach at 9pm on Tuesday night, on watch. Can you believe it, back at 6am the next morning with local resident and volunteer, Kim, we discovered that the turtles had done their run overnight! A fox had also dug into the nest, but was averted by the protective mesh covering laid by volunteers.

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Two days later I was privileged to join a group of volunteers who dug up the nest and counted the hatched eggs, logging a success -104 out of 114 turtles had made it to full term and made the magical hike home down to the sea.

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Even more remarkable was the fact that the entire nest had been relocated from a nearby creek which was set to burst its banks with cyclonic weather on the way. As suspected, this happened. None of the hatchlings would have come to fruition if not for the volunteers’ swift and skilful work.

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It’s taken me years to realise this is all going on under my nose and that special people patrol beaches for months to assist little creatures take their first steps into the big yonder. And when foxes threaten, they may even spend a night keeping protective watch.

A green turtle hatchling makes its way to the ocean last month captured by resident, Harry Mark.
A green turtle hatchling makes its way to the ocean last month captured by resident, Harry Mark.

 

I just love nature’s theatre and that I live in a protected biosphere where nature is high on the agenda. Further to this note, Noosa was recently voted a dedicated National Surfing Reserve, recognising it an iconic place of intrinsic environmental, heritage, sporting and cultural value to the nation.

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Via Noosa National Surfing Reserve Facebook

 

Last month’s Noosa Festival of Surfing exhibited our surfing status and Tourism Noosa collaborated to bring five of Australia’s most influential Instagrammers to showcase Noosa to the rest of the world.

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Juanita Bloomfield and Lucy Mackee, of Tourism Noosa, tirelessly showcasing our beautiful area.

 

We also recently celebrated our two-year anniversary of the yes vote, a demonstration of people power which led to de-amalgamation from the Sunshine Coast Council and the ability to preserve the natural beauty of this area for future generations.

So I’m back to Easter trading at the pharmacy with the usual influx of visitors who come to share our paradise. No wonder we have a bunch of celebs living the good life here such as Lorna Jane, Daniel MacPherson, Pat Rafter, John Jarratt and David Williamson, to name a few. Welcome to new residents, Wally and Debbie Fry, owners of Fry’s Family Foods, from South Africa, who export their vegetarian brand to more than 20 countries and now call Noosa home along with their children and grandchildren.

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Wally Fry popping in at the pharmacy to say hi!

Happy Easter everyone. As soon as my work is done I’ll be out splashing in the big blue…or you’ll find me sipping cappuccino at the newly-renovated Bistro C.

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Photo by Miranda Bennett