Transformative Travel Part One – London

 

 

I lived in London for a brief part of my 20’s; had my 25th Birthday in hamstead heath, coming back after the winter in Edinburgh to turn 26 and get married on Kings Road in Kensington.

(Followed by our hand fasting in Ireland with Kate by my side )

The last time I had been in London was 11 years ago for my her wedding.

The wedding of Kate and Will actually (that joke is bordering on ‘Dad’ status by now but it never gets dull for me!)

I was still married and went from Kates magical wedding in Surry back to Ireland to finish packing up my house to leave and return home to Australia. I had been back and forth so many times (between the Isles and Oz) in the previous few years, that I just assumed that I would be back again in no time.

This wasn’t to be the case.

I can’t really explain the sudden nature of the need that filled me.

I had to go to London.

I had been contemplating a retreat in Greece (more on that next)

London, it seemed had set off the alarm and was calling me home.

That’s the feeling of it anyway. It felt simply that I had to go. It wasn’t even a matter of questioning it.

For weeks it played on my mind day and night, schemes of how I might justify it plagued me literally every waking hour and then I started dreaming of catching flights and running through airports.

The need was not subtle or going to subside any time soon.

And so I lept.

 

If you find yourself drawn to an event against all logic go.

The universe is telling you something.

Gloria Steinem

 

Landing in Heathrow was as expected at 5am; hilarious.

The queue took forever and once I got to the front I could see why. The officer I handed my passport to (in complete silence while trying to make my face look as bored  as the image on the front page) was ready for a cracking chat.

He proceeded to ask me where I was staying and had I been here before and did I realise that London was a very big city and not at all like a sleepy suburb of Perth (that we had flown out of).

I assured him yes Sir I was well aware of what I was getting myself into and that I was in fact much (much) older than the straight out of school gap year students that stood around me and was going to be ok. Thank you for checking though.

And so now to work out where I was going and how to get there.

Kate and Will had been held up by a cancelled flight in Spain and so weren’t home yet. There was anxious whatsapp messages awaiting me upon arrival. They wouldn’t be home until this evening.

Girlfriend and walking testimonial for my Coaching Immersion Tina who is off on a year long around the world trip with her hubby and two boys JUST happened to be in London the exact weekend and so I sent Tina a message to see where she was at.

Talk about timing!

Serendipity loves company and so trundling through the Underground up and down way too many steps I eventually found myself at Marble Arch, in the most stunning boutique hotel, having the best shower of my life and breakfast with a dear friend like it had always been planned this way.

 

 

 

That really was the feeling of the whole trip. That all the things that occurred were already planned, I just had to show up with my “well I wonder what will happen today” attitude and watch the magic unfold.

The night after I arrived was reserved for the beautiful evening guiding a group of women with the Goddess Space.

Pop over to read how that went.

And from then on it was Kate and I, many kilometres of walking a day, daily yoga classes, my fairy god babies and a very busy Will who was graceful in the face of his house and newly unemployed wife being absconded with.

 

 

 

As I found myself walking the busy pre xmas streets of London I was overcome with the reality of just how much of myself I had left behind.

How much of my creative wild soul had been left on this island 1000’s of kilometres away from my home on the Gold Coast.

It was impossible not to feel Just HOW much of myself was available to me here connected to this land that I had long forgotten the song to.

There was a cellular embodied recognition of the dirt and cobble beneath my feet.

My lungs recognised the air they inhaled, and my soul called me, deep in my bones to stop, feel and call her home.

The lost parts of myself.

Depths of feeling and memory, mine and not mine recoiled toward me on those streets and found their place back in my heart.

Sliding back into spaces of longing, love and homecoming.

Like a new harmony added to much loved favourite song my heart expanded and remembered.

Soul retrieval – this is the only way I can describe the depth of feeling. I’m still unable to talk about my experience without the tears coming.

 

I wondered as  I stood on my hill in Hamstead Heath if maybe it was the nostalgia of a women in middle age looking back on her much younger self, maybe unresolved pieces of my ended marriage.

But this was not the case.

It was forward moving, enlivening.

A remembering of a richness that still lives in me.

Like a carefully stored dress, found in an attic, preserved waiting for the wearer to remember.

And like most truly magical moments it was also perfectly mundane.

We caught the tube, we dropped the girls off at school, I did laundry, we ate Ramen and bought groceries.

We went to galleries and drank gin and ate cloud cake.

We did lots and lots of yoga

 

 

We made magic with the girls in the garden. I am “Fairy G” after all.

For all the versions of myself past and present that haven’t had these opportunities I will be grateful for all my days that I went.

The thing about an old city is that you can meet yourself again and again.

Old self and future self sliding past each other with a wink.

Recognised but incognito.

The ultimate state of reinvention .

 

 

This trip was just for me. A deep soul connection that I needed.

With this landscape, with a very dear friend of 20 years and new friends courtesy of the internet.

Those people that you chat to and can’t believe it’s the first time you’ve met.

When it feels like you’ve  been doing lunch always.

Rhiannon is one of those people. Conversation that felt like a warm embrace, like we were picking up from where we left off.

A soul sister with needles and bangs and doe eyes and and that signature fierce spirit beneath the softness.

Watch this space as I just know there is collaboration in our future!

And so fighting back tears, (as I continued to do for the next couple of days) we parted at the train.

Till next time, not goodbye.

Never goodbye.

 

The oak trees, the light, the herbs that spoke to me in every hedgerow.

London I love you.

Till next time.

 

And with tears cascading down my cheeks she had one last rainbow wink for me as I turned my sights on Athens ….

 

 

How to trust ‘your gut feeling’

Trust your gut It's leading you home

 

 

Creating a relationship with your trust muscle can be a meandering path. It can be hit and miss, a dance between genuine procrastination, impatience and truly knowing to trust the feeling that says.

“Stop. Wait please”.

Back in this post where I talked about trusting my soul, I talked about this exact funny feeling, this sense of knowing that showed up with a big fat strong NO every time I tried to book a holiday, go on retreat or other wise plan this two week block of time around my birthday.

It had taken me some head wrangling to make sure that I took this time off, and there was a sense that I had to do something. Then I would get a sense that something was going to happen, I even had the temerity to think hmmm perhaps I’m going to move house? But heavens that was a terrifying prospect. How? With whom? Where? TERRIFYING! I had only been in my new house for just over 6 months!

And then, I would try again to work out ‘what I was going to do’ on my holiday and be greeted with that same feeling STOP!

Was this procrastination? Fear? or was I just meant to stop?

Well there’s a novel idea. What if I just trust this feeling and trust the answers will be revealed to me in good time because the universe is after all benevolent? And I mostly have a clue and have been quite good at creating my life. What if?

So about 2 weeks out from my birthday my sister and I came to a decision to book a house in Byron Bay hinterland for three nights luxury lushing out. Phew! Something was booked even if it was only three days . And then.

And then my bestie-wifey suggested not for the first time “come with me and check out my mums house, the tenants are leaving soon”

Now let me preface this by saying that I am an absolute suburb snob. I have been living within walking distance to the ocean for the last 8 years, and by walking I mean often literally on the beach front. This new house was in the suburbs, insert ‘I just sucked a lemon’ face.

It was with an haughty air that I agreed to look at said house, but lets be clear here I am not moving to the suburbs Sarah. And with a great deal of patience Sarah humored me. “Yes Keri”

Another girlfriend of ours had recently moved to house sit around the corner. She was the one I mentioned in the post about trusting my soul who had been to the retreat with Sera Beak that Sarah was now booked in to go to.

 

charmed soul sisters

When we took this picture here we had taken off on a ‘charmed day’ in Byron, we ate, shopped and when this photo was taken offered up a toast to ‘one day living in a charmed house together’. When this could possible happen was off in the distance one day; Belinda was about to move to San Francisco with her man I was just about to move into my own apartment and Sarah had been living with her boyfriend for ages.

Fast forward 10 months and the three of us are in Elanora looking at a house.

Our House.

The house that has the ocean view, the necessary rooms for our businesses the multiple bathrooms for privacy the big kitchen for late night tea parties. The house that feels sunny and light and spacious. The house that Ruben gets the run of. Oh and it has pool too. Did I mention that?

The house also that we needed to move into in 10 days time when Sarah was already overseas at Soul Fire Retreat.

The first weekend of my holiday.

 

tumblr_mk6rg5d9Ya1qe0rgso1_1280

Its one thing to post these inspirational memes, but another to truly embody them.

What I need, what I am desiring with all of my heart is looking for me too.

The thing is that I need to bloody well get out of the way. It’s possible we all do!

There is no way I would have looked here for this house there is no way my very clever mind would have taken me away from the beach front to get my ocean view.

I don’t believe that his house is somehow a pixie dust utopia that will save me from the trials and tribulations of living on planet Earth but I do trust that this is exactly where I need to be.

Trust that gut feeling.

Create a relationship with this feeling and it will not lead you astray.

It may well be uncomfortable because you may have to wait for things.

There is a difference between this and procrastination. I very much hope this helps.

I’d love to hear about it.

 

 

 

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What to do when your Soul makes plans (and doesn’t tell you)

 

What happens when you make plans and your ‘Soul’ has other ideas?

The soul, in many religious, philosophical and mythological traditions, is the incorporeal and, in many conceptions, immortal essence of a living thing        (wikipedia)

I’m not sure about you but there seems to be much more emphasis on this sort of work in the personal growth spiritual world I inhabit from time to time. Less rules and more ‘your chosen path’ is how it seems to me, and about bloody time! I have often felt quite radical in my approach to health and spirituality and what is now called wellness.

For a very long time the options were often very black and white either you ate meat or you didn’t you either subscribed to one particular spiritual teaching or you didn’t. There was no chopping and choosing there was no blending. And from the very outset this felt incredibly disempowering.

But who was I? Some jumped up hippy chick wearing way too little clothing mouthing off at the ahem ‘spiritual’ establishment? Eating what she ‘felt’ was right, subscribing to a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Yup.

Flash forward so many years and one too many episodes of looking outside myself for answers that can only lie within. I found myself questioning my choices, questioning my place, wishing like hell that there was some sort of clan or tribe or tradition that I could cling too while every known thing in my life was washed away.

There wasn’t.

There was just me.

A disruptive woman on a mission

to come home to herself.

It has been quite the crash landing.

So when I read Red Hot and Holy by Sera Beak I didn’t so much read it, as inhale it, in two big juicy giant gulps. Like air I didn’t know I was in desperate lack of. The second segment of the book I read on a flight to Bali. I had three seats to myself. I opened at the page I was up to, turned to the new chapter and read ‘now go get yourself a glass of red wine’ I hit the attendant button. I usually make a fairly consistent rule of not drinking on flights. Those rule just went out the door. My soul needed some red wine. So I read and I drank red wine at 20000 feet or however many feet your meant to be at….. ‘Up High Somewhere’ (thats what it would say on my Instagram location )
The Back Story

My gorgeous friend Belinda had come back to Australia recently and told us (my wifey and I) about this amazing retreat she had just been to in Montana and this Woman and her book.
WE. JUST. HAD.TO. READ.
Sarah and I instantly planned to go to Montana in 2015. Together in the Red Freakin Tent! Oh. Yeah!

Fast forward to 2015. (Hey! Hi there! We’re in the future now! ) Sarah had already booked holiday time, contacted Sera Beak and got her shizzle well and truly sorted.

I had a few things to get my head around, moving house to name just one such thing. I eventually put fingers to keys and popped Sera an email, detailing my interest, my history a bit about my journey so far and the fact that Belinda and Sarah had been and were going, and good heavens I truly wished to be present at Feather Pipe Lodge stay in a Yurt for heavens sake, travel and swoon with the magic of it all. Please. Can I come?

BUT

There was this feeling. Not nameable. But a sensation that said. Hmmmmmmm . When I told the girls that I had emailed Sera there were whoops of joy and high fives (and a few fuck yeahs) ‘Oh your going to have such an amazing time Keri’

AND

then I said “Well loves, it doesn’t quite feel like its decided yet.” If I had to describe it, it feels like my higher self, my team in the sky so to speak are all sitting around having the cosmic equivalent of a board meeting and they cant quite agree how its all going to happen… We need her to be there then… but how are we going to get those people there at the same time? and really? I don’t know if ‘this’ can all happen in time for ‘that’ It was like a pantomime but with cosmic overtones.
Two days at the most later I received an email from Sera. One of the warmest emails I have ever received letting me know that soul to soul going to her retreat wasn’t in my best interest. It just wasn’t on my souls path and, its not personal you understand, its just the nature of what we do, to check in and be 100% sure that everyone there is meant to be there. She might have even said something to the effect of my soul gliding gracefully past on its way to its own destination.

I mean seriously! My first thought was amazement at the level of integrity you must have to turn people away from your retreat. That kind of care and respect at a soul level is the real deal. Not an easy path to tread I might imagine. But SUCH a delicious feeling to be held in that space I have to tell you. So I expected to feel a bit let down, or bummed out or perhaps even miffed ‘that I wasn’t good enough’ (or some such nonsense) But actually it felt completely fine. Oddly fine.

This is what trust in self feels like I thought to myself.

Remember this feeling.

So often we look outside of ourself for the answers. There is nothing wrong with asking for help and assistance and being educated. Not at all. When seeking answers to our life direction though; what might be the right path to take, do I do this or choose that? We need first to really educate ourselves in the tone of our souls voice.

Does it whisper?

Does it howl?

Does it tingle up your spine?
We must differentiate between our souls true voice and the many nagging voices that would lead us down the streets of should and must and no choice and I told you so.
Take some time out to cultivate this relationship with yourself, you will not be disappointed. It may lead you on some wild journeys, but they will be yours.

Since all this some opportunities have come up that I have been waiting years for actually, opportunities and events that weren’t meant to happen this year that I will be able to attend. The one thing that I have learnt is that if I listen and trust this voice it does make sense eventually … most of the time.
But you know, I am still a human woman and it would be nice if my soul could send me a post card from the future and at least tell me what I might want to pack for this amazing future I’m gliding toward.

You know. Just saying.