Travelling – The people who touch your soul and change you forever


Having no preconceived expectations when my daughter and I had a 3-day visit to the Mind/Body/Spirit Festival in Brisbane last week was definitely the way to go. We took it as we found it, and we found it exhilarating.

Dressed as a North American Apache, Red Horse danced and told cultural stories, played handmade traditional musical instruments (at least, I’m supposing they were authentic instruments), and wowed audiences with his performances. But more than that, what touched me was his genuine attempt to encourage others to “find your gift, and share it with the world”. He had a meaningful message to spread, and he conveyed it with feeling. His words, his enthusiasm, his natural pride in his ancestry, and his sincerity made an impact on me, touching me deeply.

The second man who reached my soul with his gift to the world was Scott Alexander King from Animal Dreaming Publishing. Initially, I was moved to tears listening to a panel of authors who have been helped and mentored by Scott. This affected me in such a positive way, and at the time I thought that was all there was to his story. But I was in for a real treat the following day as I sat in the audience hearing Scott relate his special gift and share it with others.

Scott sees and communicates with animal spirits, and helps people through life’s troubles and mysteries by ‘reading’ the animal spirits. He was amazing, and that’s an understatement for sure. Tears streamed down my cheeks as he spoke to people about their animal spirits and how they relate to their lives. He has changed my life, and I am so grateful for the impromptu meeting and the sharing of his knowledge and love. He is a special soul.

Then there was Lenore, an elderly woman in the audience who I chatted to waiting for a session to begin. A stranger, an ‘ordinary’ person just like me, and we connected on a soul level for a moment. A beautiful soul.

And I can’t forget the green surprise that was the river precinct at Southbank where we stayed in Brisbane. The city and all involved in the creation and maintenance of this parkland can feel justifiably proud of their contribution to residents and visitors. We swam and relaxed and ate there every day, and again, came away with lovely memories.


Travelling – The spiritual experience that was Crystal Castle

046 Crystal Castle - Copy

Sharing something special with someone special, makes that something special all the more special.

My daughter and I spent the day at Crystal Castle on the north coast hinterland of NSW, and it’s hard to find a word to describe the experience – beautiful first and foremost, absolutely splendid plants adorning a misty mountain setting surrounded by natural rainforest. And crystals; stunning huge and ancient crystals on paths and clearings. Mossy stone statues, bamboo groves, sacred spaces. Seats amongst the garden for solitude. A truly special place.

We started the day taking part in a ritual offering to deities that are ‘simply’ universal energy. It was moving and enlightening. After tea and cake in the cafe overlooking the forested slopes, we wandered at leisure, taking in the beauty and abundant positive energy.

Group meditation with the hauntingly soothing sounds of Tibetan singing bowls, and a crystal workshop, delicious vegetarian food, and peace and quiet. We both took away wonderful memories, love and warmth, and a new perspective on some very old traditions.


053 Crystal Castle - mandala that the meditation class made, including Gaye and Tracy - Copy

There are times when being alone is ideal

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Can spending time alone amongst nature be healing? Can spending time in nature be a spiritual experience? Yes, on both counts.

I was a bit apprehensive about swimming in the river on my own. But at the same time, I was overjoyed that I was on my own. Nature at its most beautiful: a mountain stream, crystal clear, deep, lined by boulders and trees. No man-made sound, no buildings, not even any rubbish. And no other people. Idyllic.

Carefully, I slid into the water, swam to the other side of the river, and sat in shallows above the rapids. Nature chatted amongst itself, with the babbling of the stream a soothing chorus backed by the swishing of eucalypt and she-oak canopy. Occasionally, a bird would add to the song with a musical call. Harmony.

River 3

I lay back watching clouds float by, letting the water trickle over and around me. The sunshine was pleasant. The water was fresh and cool. Mountains upstream towered over the narrow valley. It was a stunning scene, and I was filled with gratitude for my stunning surroundings and the opportunity to immerse myself in Mother Earth’s beauty. Solitude.

At one with nature.

If I’d had to share the experience with a companion, or if strangers were also using the river at that time, the moment would have been something different, not as special, and I would not have been so profoundly touched by the spirit of nature. Often times, experiences are best had alone, and this was one such venture. Bliss.

A soulful experience

River 2

Travelling – The beach of the balancing stones

Balancing stones beach cairns 1

It’s like the peace hidden and lying in wait in every person’s heart has emerged, just for a few moments. I wonder if they felt it? And I wonder if they experienced a connection with the other travellers they wandered amongst? And I wonder if any person leaving the beach was changed forever?

There are no directional signs, and it’s not an official tourist attraction, yet the beach is obviously visited by thousands of travellers who contribute to the impromptu art. Balancing towers of rocks and stones against a backdrop of tropical ocean, on the road from Port Douglas in far north Queensland to Cairns. I guess it’s rather unique.

Just picture: all cultures, all religions and all faiths, all political persuasions, all sexual orientations, and a full spectrum of social standings mingling, admiring, and feeling part of something simple that is also something special. And knowing that this simple natural expression of cross-cultural creativity is special. Boundaries have been crossed and walls have come down, and everyone is part of a whole. There are no officials telling dark-skinned people to go there or rich people to go here or heterosexuals to go there. Every person is equal and one with everyone else. A celebration of humanity. That’s how the world should be.

I’m disappointed to find, a few months later, that most of the stone stacks are gone. It doesn’t appear to be an act of wanton destruction by humans, but rather, I think Mother Earth has claimed the stones with boisterous stormy seas. More towers of balancing stones are starting replace those washed away, and I hope the process will be repeated so that people from all over the world and from all walks of life can once again leave their positive energy and creativity for all to enjoy.

I sat on the beach this morning amongst the new art pieces to write, imagining cultures mixing, and all going away with a smile in their hearts.

Balancing stones beach cairns 2


One way to help make the world a better place


There was a time when I thought the human race wasn’t worth anything. Our world in such a state of disconnection and discord – crimes against humanity, violation of our planet home, and local communities obsessed with ‘success’ at the cost of all else. Corporate greed, personal gratification, governmental corruption, ignorance and neglect at a family and neighbourhood level. Ethics of a gutter rat. Too grim to comprehend a future.

My darkest days were upon me. Mental ill-health ruled my life, and I sank into isolation. Wild creatures were my friends, my only friends – backyard birds, lizards and snakes, frogs and bugs. Any and all of Mother Nature’s animals that would allow me into their space. I all but gave up on people.

Although my love and appreciation of nature has not diminished, my hope for humanity has grown many-fold. Violence against humanity and Earth, on a global scale, if anything, has increased: terrorism, inequity, persecution, greed, materialism. BUT my thought processes and outlook have changed. My perspective is more grown up, more universal, more positive, more charitable. My view is holistic and comes from a place of love instead of a place of fear.

Despite the world’s massive and apparently irreparable woes, I can sense an undercurrent of goodness, of change, of connection that transcends nationality and social standing. There is an energy of universal love spreading through humanity, causing a shift in attitude.

The catalyst for this energy is self-love and self-compassion. Not a love that involves the ego, rather, a self-love that must replace self-loathing for any growth on a soul level to occur. We (you and me, the elderly crippled woman, the business man, the retiree, the janitor, the school teacher, the single parent, the barrister, the troubled youth, the  homeless, the refugees), we can help heal the wold ONLY if we can find the courage or develop the capacity to love ourselves and work on healing our OWN pain, our own past hurt and grief.

When we are able to accept our past ‘stories’ for the necessary and beneficial lessons that they have truly been, we are then able to heal and move forward. As this process begins, we begin to change, we become aware of who we are and why we’ve been where we’ve been, and why we’re here. And then we can not help but live from a place of love that inspires others and triggers a ripple effect of soul growth far and wide.

One seemingly insignificant individual who doesn’t have a spare dollar to give to those less fortunate than  him/herself, can help heal the world simply by living authentically and unashamedly from a place of love. And it is my unwavering belief that this is the REAL giving.

learning to love yourself is the best way to help heal the world

Travelling – The solitude of the beach

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There are other people on the beach – walking, playing, fishing – but the atmosphere of the wide open space of the beach allows me to ignore them without being impolite. Everyone  is doing their own thing so there is no unspoken expectation to engage with them. I like that. I like being able to find some solitude out in public.

I think it’s the gentle rhythmic rise and fall of the waves that I find so captivating. And the peace.

The protected beaches of north Queensland, with islands and reefs taming the ocean – like the swaying coconut palms overhanging the shore, the waves mimic the peaceful tropical pace. Roll in, disperse, roll out. Repeat. No thundering surf. Just toddler-sized waves, gently turning over shells and coral debris, spreading out onto the beach, soaking into the sand, with the remaining trickle of water returning to the sea. No push and shove. No unrelenting brashness. Just a slow hypnotic chorus. A calmness that permeates my depths.

I cross my legs, wriggle my backside into a comfortable depression in the sand, and let the beauty and tranquillity of nature nurture me. And I am grateful.

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Souls connecting, then parting, but knowing it was enough

Sunset in flight

Generally when I fly, I choose a window seat, bury my head in a book and choose to be ignorant, feigning invisibility.

It’s not so much that I hate flying, it’s just my inability to tolerate sardine-can people-density, with no opportunity to change or control the situation. Smelly and highly perfumed people, noisy and totally inconsiderate passengers, kids kicking the back of your seat for 5 hours, squeezing down the far-too-narrow aisle to the toilet, and no space for simple circulation exercises. But possibly worst is the explosion of entangled energy prodding the sanctuary that is  me. I don’t handle being packed into a confined space with people en mass, elbow to elbow, with high and low frequencies of energy messing with my emotions.

But this trip was different. The Law of Attraction drew a like-soul to me. For the first time in my life I realised that it is possible to have a spontaneous, out-there, in-depth conversation with someone other than my daughter. I walked off the plane stunned that this had happened.

We talked for hours, comfortably, honestly, joyfully. Spirituality. Criminology. Photography. Writing. Nature. Relationships. Creativity. Connectivity.

Oh, and did I mention spirituality? How absolutely breathtakingly amazing to be able to talk to someone about our individual spiritual path with a depth of interest and understanding that I wasn’t sure existed our there. Rituals, choices, love and kindness, pain and lessons, challenges and growth. Peace. Dew drops, sunshine and gratitude.

Souls connecting, then parting, but knowing it was ENOUGH. Gratitude for the Universe sending me what I needed at the right time.