Winter-issue-8

Issue 8 - Winter.

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Detour to Adventure

Detour to Adventure

Nature: medicine to the soul, Nepal © Jennah-Louise Salked

Nature: medicine to the soul, Nepal © Jennah-Louise Salked

As I finished brushing my teeth, I stared into the bathroom mirror. A young woman reflecting back at me with a courageous intuition dominating a mental state in fear. I stood in front of that mirror for quite some time, as if facing myself directly would make the surreal feeling of my recent decisions feel anything but imagined. I had resigned from my corporate job that provided financial stability, I had broken up with a man that loved me and I was leaving a safe home for the volatile environment of Kenya, East Africa. Standing there in my final days of employment with a full face of make-up, wearing a white collar shirt with crease ironed pants and closed pointed stilettos, I knew that what I called life that day would soon enough be all but a memory.

Within the first week upon arrival at my destination however, the universe reminded me that it was always going to be about the journey. My arrangement of staying in Kenya for three months to volunteer with a grassroots non-government organisation fell through and at the time dramatically, though very genuinely, I felt as if my sense of purpose had all but disappeared. I found myself laid in a foetal position, curled up to ease the pain of anxiety and to hold fort against the overwhelming feeling of defeat. Adrenaline high, I battled between the decisions I had made with my gut and now the sword of doubt that was in my mind.

The largest and highest lake in the world, Lake Tilicho, Nepal.

The largest and highest lake in the world, Lake Tilicho, Nepal.

Initially seeing this situation as a hindrance, I soon came to realise that this was an opportunity to consciously shape the person that I was becoming. In line with this realisation, I booked a one way ticket to the land of soul searching, India. Leaving my suitcase in Kenya, I took steps forward with a small backpack and an unrelenting determination to pull myself together. I made a promise to myself that I would no longer allow chaos to control my mind. I had to restore faith and trust that though this experience was not easy, it did not mean that it was wrong.

Learning philosophy by a local spiritual teacher in the foothills of the Himalayas, India

Learning philosophy by a local spiritual teacher in the foothills of the Himalayas, India

As I immersed myself in a culture rich of ancient wisdom, I began to use my mind more for practicality and less for decisions I could make instinctually. I felt my way rather than thought my way; essentially acknowledging how I felt before thought could intervene. Serendipity turned evident and I came to find myself venturing into the foothills of the Himalayas, engaging in daily philosophical discussion with a local spiritual teacher. He emphasised the significance of nature to one’s own emotional stability and the positive energy that can be absorbed by the all encompassing Mother Earth. As I breathed her in, medicine to my soul, I looked to the mountains in the East and in my final days I decided to continue my self-exploration in Nepal.

Becoming one with nature 

Becoming one with nature 

In the essence of spontaneity and natural invigoration, I trekked in the awe-inspiring Himalayas for 35 days. Each day with intention I watched the sunrise and the sunset. I spoke to the mountains and listened to the trees. I dipped in ice lakes, laid under the stars and connected with soaring eagles. As I put my lessons from India into practice, I became one with nature and through this I began to genuinely heal. It took four months for my emotional pain to start pacifying. Everyday I became to feel lighter and more sure.

Going for a swim in the Gangapurna Lake, Manang District, Nepal.

Going for a swim in the Gangapurna Lake, Manang District, Nepal.

I found that sometimes in life you need to lead yourself into the unknown. You need to take a chance on an uncertain future and trust that the certainty lies in any misalignment of your present. You need to stop playing it safe for fear of risk, embrace the adventure that comes in seeking a life of authenticity and surrender. You need to surrender to the moment, surrender to what you feel and surrender to what is.

Since returning back to Australia I am grateful to have received an offer of employment, with a non-government organisation, to work in Tunisia, North Africa. I will be assisting marginalised youth in building a safer future for themselves and following generations. Though significant change had brought me temporary grief, it has also opened up the opportunity to live a life full of passionate purpose.

"Sometimes in life you need to lead yourself into the unknown." Nepal. 

"Sometimes in life you need to lead yourself into the unknown." Nepal. 

The top of Kang-La Pass, restricted Nar Phu trek, Nepal

The top of Kang-La Pass, restricted Nar Phu trek, Nepal

I want you to know that the pain that you will feel living a life that is inauthentic to you, will always be more painful than living your truth. Live your truth.

Microadventures: Northbrook Gorges  

Microadventures: Northbrook Gorges  

Geocaching - the Hidden Gem Of Adventure

Geocaching - the Hidden Gem Of Adventure

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