Day 328 – The Endless Wine List

I saw a psychic a year ago who told me that around December all my hard work would finally pay off. When I think back on it, I had even said to myself that I hadn’t done any hard work at the time! I hadn’t even thought of the 365 Days in Bliss project yet. Now that it has happened I realise she was right- only she was telling me a year in advance. Today marks the first step in the right direction of writing. I have been asked to cover the launch of a new wine on Wednesday evening and so have had to whip up a new blog. All about the bottled bliss, The Endless Wine List is born!

Along with this, I have also been invited to contribute wine reviews to goodbarguide.com. It all seems to have sprung up on me today. A day of apparently little significance… A day that will forever be remembered as the birth of The Endless Wine List. Day 328. Thank you to all of the followers who watch this space for the words that have chosen to arrange themselves in such a manner as to create a story worth reading. If you enjoy my words, please check out the new blog. In my world, www stands for words, wine and wishes coming true.

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Day 327 – beyond the yawn barrier

I wonder how much energy I can conserve if I just manage to stop yawning?! I can’t believe how tired I am. I can barely keep my eyes open at boot camp so I just run with them closed. It’s like I could actually fall asleep if I let myself. By the time we get stuck into relays, I am moving faster than I usually ever move. Push-ups, grunts, sit ups, I am speeding my way through and getting faster as I wake up more! I have no idea how this has happened but it’s like once I pushed through that yawn barrier I got a second wind. By mid afternoon I realise I have made it through most of the day without a coffee. Amazing! It’s all about pushing beyond that yawn barrier and running it out. It is only the mind that is tired- the body can really do amazing things if only we let it.

Day 322 to Day 326 – good thoughts bad thoughts

Day 322 – the simplicity of open land

We are driving down to Canberra for a wine tasting cruise. I sit in the back of the car staring at the passing country and watching the groups of cows chewing sedately, always huddled in groups. I can see a wind farm in the distance. For some reason wind farms make me nervous. Silent and white in the distance, they seem alien in the landscape; a stark reminder of how much we have hurt the planet. The beauty of open land is its simplicity. Spread open ground of grass, rows of identical trees forming wind breaks on the tops of hills and wooden fencing that seems to have grown there. As soon as we are out of the city, I can feel my mind relax. It is like my brain takes a big sigh and has space to stretch out. I haven’t left the city in ages so I am relieved to finally be out of the concrete jungle. Even the windmills just dissolve among the clouds in the distance.

 

Day 323 – unicorn chasers

I wake up with an alarm in the morning but I fall asleep again for a few minutes. I have no idea what happens in this short space but suddenly I am in a vivid nightmare where my thumb is being torn off and blood is going everywhere. Something wakes me up again and I am scared to fall asleep again, knowing that nightmare is just there, waiting for me beyond the veil of sleep. I try to force my eyes open. I am so tired. I look at the unicorn tattoo on my arm. When I was little I used to get nightmares a lot and my mum would always get me to visualise a unicorn. She described it to me down to the smallest detail until I stopped crying and calmed down. When I grew up I found out that this is called a nightmare chaser. In the same way people have a chaser after doing a nasty shot, the unicorn is supposed to cleanse the mind of bad thoughts or nightmares. Mum didn’t know about this, she just intuited it. The unicorn on my arm is from a picture we found growing up. Incidentally, it was one of the first images that came up when I first found the “unicorn chaser” app on facebook. Well my unicorn sits on my arm now, where I can look at it. She is poised to chase the bad dreams away. I force my eyes open and looking at my arm, eventually calm down and the nightmare dissolves. Still works.

 

Day 324 – sisterhood

I have dinner with one of my best friends after work. We met at a yoga retreat a few years ago. We were roommates and we bonded immediately. Tonight we are giggling and talking quickly (she is Italian) and she suddenly tells me how grateful she is to have such amazing friends. I am too, I realise. I look through some photos of my friends and realise how much love I have for these women that surround me. I have never had such a strong network of sisterhood but now that I do, I couldn’t live without any of them.

 

Day 325 – double shot mocha

I can’t stop yawning! I am so tired. As soon as we get a break I race down to the coffee shop for a double shot coffee. I rarely have more than one coffee a day and it is always a small with a single shot. Twenty minutes later I am in the office doing handstands. Caffeine really is amazing! I went from nearly asleep to hanging out upside down. But I know how short lived this is. In yoga, we say deep breathing and backbends are like the yoga coffee that invigorate and energise us. But sometimes a little coffee helps too.

 

Day 326 – cleansing in and out

An over-indulgent birthday weekend full of wine, coffee, chocolate, cake (even though it was raw and organic), dairy and wheat, has left me feeling bloated and sluggish. I have most of the morning free so I have booked in for a detox at The Last Resort. By detox, I mean a colon cleanse. It isn’t the most pleasant or comfortable way to spend an hour, but afterwards I feel amazing! The naturopath at The Last Resort is young, friendly and gentle. The music is soft and relaxing and the faint smell of incense makes the whole spa feel like a beautiful retreat within the heart of North Bondi. When I get back to my car I realise it is full of sand, crumbs, nuts and dried fruit. All the telltale signs of a woman who works and lives out of her vehicle. I decide to pay someone else to clean it when I wipe my finger on the dashboard and it comes away black. While I am in the shopping centre, I make the final step of my cleansing process and get my legs waxed. It feels like I have taken a long swim under a waterfall after all these cleansing practices! Even the rain washes away some of the residual misery in the streets. Refreshing and light, I feel like I have danced naked in the rain.

Day 316 to Day 321 – 26 revolutions round the sun (this lifetime)

Day 316 – unholy moods

So once every 2-3 weeks I reserve the right to turn all Jekyll/Hyde and bite your head off, especially if you try to tell me coffee isn’t good for cramps. The inside of my most sacred part of my body feels like it is turning inside out and coffee is the only thing I have to look forward to in this long day of pain. So don’t tell me what is good for cramps. Especially when you don’t have a uterus. But my mood is fine. Aside from a little emotional, I don’t seem to experience the same mood swings I did a year ago. It was very early on this year that I realised how much my daily meditation affected my moods. No more spontaneous crying for no reason, or unfounded frustration. So today it is just the physical pain that I have to endure. It isn’t so much that it is actually painful, but uncomfortable. It is the kind of feeling that makes me want to stay in bed with a heat pack, not sit in the office for 10 straight hours. I spend most of the day cringeing and hunched over my desk and customers seem to sense this unholy mood because I am having no luck with them. On top of that, there is pressure coming from behind me, pushing me toward the same customers who are telling me to f*** off. I am between a rock and a hard place. It is a small space here but I know that even coal turns to diamonds under time and pressure. It is in the smallest of spaces and the darkest of hours that light can shine brightest.

 

Day 317 – judgement

I shouldn’t judge a yoga teacher by her age. I shouldn’t judge a yoga teacher at all. I can’t help but feel surprised, though, when such a young teacher can teach such a solid class. It isn’t that I am amazed by her insight – I know that even the youngest of people can have the oldest of souls. I know that the tiniest girl can have the greatest strength. What surprises me, I guess, is her confidence. She could be older than she looks but she is able to project her voice across the room, to hold the energy and never falter. She knows what she knows and she sticks with that. She is another channeller. She is open to receiving the universe and then uses that open channel to guide the room full of yogis. And I have learnt another lesson about preconceived ideas. I am not old, but I should never doubt the ones younger than me. This generation, we are full of light and there is probably more consciousness being born since the 80’s and particular now, with Indigo and Crystal children popping up everywhere. Eventually the children will be wiser than all of us. And I hope so, because they have to carry the light into the new world.

 

Day 318 – Jeff Buckley’s aura

I am about to head to a double yoga class when I get a text message from a friend and one of my favourite yoga students. Her friend is sick and she suddenly has a spare ticket to Ben Harper’s acoustic concert at the Opera House. I didn’t even know he was in Sydney! What a perfect way to channel my excitement. Matt is flying back to Sydney tonight so I knew I wouldn’t be sleeping well anyway. What a random and perfect surprise.

Aside from being a talented and angelic musician, Ben Harper makes a connection to the audience. He looks at people. He reaches out to people. He plays to parts of the audience and when a girl yells out a song she wants to hear, he bows with honour and says “Your wish is my command.” The perfect gentleman. And he tells stories. He is talking about a presence approaching, with the blackest eyes, surrounded by a hazy light and asking him to play slide. It is Jeff Buckley. If I could ever imagine a more perfect story, it still wouldn’t be this good. Two talented musicians, who both radiate immense light and energy, together, out the back of a festival in France, playing slide.

 

Day 319 – Heath Ledger’s ghost

I may have ruined the surprise by going to Ben Harper last night… Matt had organised tickets for tonight but I can’t wait to go again and with someone I get to share love with. And it is a completely different experience. Aside from my energy, which is probably radiating pink with all the love I am feeling right now, Ben Harper plays different songs with different instruments and tells new stories. He is telling us about late night partying with Heath Ledger, who bought him a piano and asked him to write a lullaby for his child. When Ben plays the lullaby, it is one of the saddest and most beautiful things I have ever heard. One of the stage lights, which had been working perfectly yesterday and all of tonight, starts to flicker slowly. Eventually it turns off. This doesn’t happen for any other song. Was that his way of saying he was there? Of saying hi, thanks for the song. Is Heath Ledger’s ghost haunting the opera house? Or just that song? It seemed like a beautiful connection between the two worlds anyway.

And yes I was fine alone, but how glad I am to be back again with someone I have grown to love so much. After being apart for a few weeks, I have lost a lot of the fear and trepidation that was holding me back. I feel more ready and open to this experience. I have no choice. Love is like water and it flows whether you want it to or not.

The most I ever learnt about my true self was in the name of love.

– Ben Harper

See the 365 Days in Bliss YouTube Channel for videos from the Ben Harper concert.

Day 320 – the angels we encounter

I try to have no expectations when I visit customers. I have no idea what they are going to be like, whether they will buy, so I just enter them all with my mind empty. There is no point expecting anything because it could all be nothing. My first client of the day is a beautiful surprise. It is in a Pilates studio and what I find is a connection rather than a sale. I make a friend. When I leave, I can’t help but feel like that was more of a success than a sale would have been. The day is wet and rainy. My next three appointments are not there when I arrive and yet, I can’t shake the conviction that today is a beautiful day. I race home for lunchtime to see my own angel again. I have to confess that I am extremely happy to be back in his presence again.

I do feel surrounded by angels, even every drop of rain is like their blessing.

 

Day 321 – 26 revolutions around the sun

And today I am definitely surrounded by angels. All the beautiful messages, kind words, hugs, kisses and gifts. I am so blessed to have all these beautiful people in my life!

A poem a friend wrote:

today is the day
your soul chose to enter this play
may it be filled with love
as may all your days
and all your plays

– Jim Hilbun

 

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Day 309 to Day 315 – movement meditations and manifest stations

Day 309 – Malabar mornings

It is one of my favourite places in the world. Somewhere between the jail and the sewerage plant, a little untouched paradise that most people believe is tainted with shit. Thank god, because it means very few people come here. It is beautiful and quiet, full of stillness and reflecting light on the surface of the water, ever flowing in the long bay, towards the shore. The water still takes my breath away when I walk in. I have to stop halfway and prepare myself mentally. As soon as I am moving, it is the best feeling to move through this liquid perfection. Across the narrow bay, to the opposite rock. I stop and sit, staring out to the point where the sky meets the sea. Sparkles of sunshine dance, throwing shimmers and rays into the morning. If anybody asks, tell them this place is full of criminals and shit.

 

Day 310 – run, swim, run

I can’t stop running until I get there. It is hot and it isn’t even 8am. I swim across and back. 4km to the boat ramp and 4km back home. Every step, every stroke, every heartbeat a moving meditation. In water, in sun, in air. I don’t want to ever stop. I could keep going, do it all again a second time. Just keep running and swimming so that you never have to go to work. Or keep breathing so that work is just something that happens outside, while on the inside, I am still radiating sunshine.

 

Day 311 – following instincts

If I get out of the car, I won’t be safe. I don’t even stop the car. I look around. The worst building in the worst neighbourhood in the dodgiest part of town. I am wearing a short skirt. I couldn’t get away fast enough in these heels. I would be encumbered with two cases of wine. It isn’t worth the danger. I drive away. As fast as I can. At the end of the day, we are all animals, and when danger approaches, when a predator is among us, hairs stand on end, ears prick up and you run away, as fast/far as you can. No point waiting around to be attacked. Instinct never lies.

 

Day 312 – manifest stations

There is something angelic and magical about 11.11. When I look at the time and it says 11.11, I always take a moment to imagine my sankalpa, or intention- something I want more than anything else in this world. I don’t ask for it, or even use words. I just imagine it, exactly as it would be if it were happening. I slow down my breathing and feel my way through this mind experience. The power of manifestation is immense. The skeptic says, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” The mystic says, “I’ll see it when I believe it.” There is no point not believing in your own success. After yoga, I can feel that deep yearning, a pulsation from within that moves with each breath. I want to teach again. I can feel the yoga mat screaming at me to teach again. To follow my path, my dharma. When I post this on facebook, Krystle notices I posted at 11.11pm. I had not even looked at the time. It just happens that way sometimes the time manifests the dream manifests the reality.

 

Day 313 – boot camp, swim, yoga

I have an addiction to movement. There, I said it! Boot camp, I just love crawling on the sand. I love the feeling of being immersed in cold ocean water, but I need to have a destination. I need a point to swim to. I need to aim for something. I love to stretch my limbs apart in yoga, ever expanding through breath and movement. Growing with energy and light. I can’t get enough of sun salutations. I don’t ever get sick of pigeon pose. I just want to move forever. Even when I sleep, it is like I am swimming around in my bed. I wake up with my head against the wall and my feet resting on my pillow. I curl up in the other direction and end up with my head hanging off the end of the bed. Ever dancing, ever swimming, ever flowing with the ceaseless waters of life.

 

Day 314 – time for me to write

I don’t like when I don’t have enough time to write. I take a day to myself. I leave my phone in a separate room. It is like detaching a limb. I resist the urge to watch all 12 episodes of True Blood and I lock myself up with endless tea and my laptop. Write write write write write. I can barely catch up. Every day deserves to be honoured with more words but there is only so much that can be said about bliss. The truth is, every day it becomes easier. The bliss is more obvious and the calm is always there. The brightness is always there, beneath any of the surface emotions. The trick is to always return to the breath and find that place of stillness. Like sinking to the bottom of the ocean, where everything is dark and still. Waves crash on the surface, ripples of water, movement, chaos of storms, wind chop, all happen on the surface. On the ocean floor, there is silence and peace. Returning to here, this where I can write from. The surface is too windy and the words get swirled around in tornadoes. So I retreat to the base of my spine, where the breath begins. And the words can flow.

 

Day 315 – no alarm

Two days in a row now, I have turned off my alarm, in the hope that I will sleep in. Apparently I don’t know how to sleep in. I wake up at 6am with the urge to move. Yesterday it was yoga. Today I run. 9km. I don’t have to drag myself out of bed. I sit up and stretch. I want to get up. I want to enjoy the morning. I want to experience the early light. The irony is that if I had woken up to the alarm, my default reaction would be to groan and reluctantly remove the covers, actually giving myself the verbal command; “Get up, Liz.” But without the alarm, I float out of bed. I enter the day with ease and softness.

Day 301 to Day 308 – the tethers that keep us togethers

Day 301 – the “I” tells you where to go

There is no way to interrupt the flow, regardless of the best intentions and there is no way to go any faster than the Sunday driver in front of you. It doesn’t matter how badly I want to go to this yoga class, nobody wants to let me get there. Even the traffic lights are lingering through reds and I by the time I get to the studio I have missed class by only three minutes. I go straight back home, via the beach, knowing that I can’t even be bothered to get out of the car. Ultimately, the “I” leads me back home, exactly where I started. Nothing to do but let go and accept that I was not supposed to leave the house today.

Day 302 – cry of help

I get an email from my friend, asking for help. She feels she has fallen away from the path, committed a mistake and now she can’t sleep. I am surprised by my own words, but I know exactly where she is because I have been there too. If I have experience in anything it is straying from the path, beautiful mistakes and most definitely lack of sleep.

Everyone needs to go through a Persephone phase. The Goddess Persephone, while in the company of her friends the sirens, was abducted by Hades and made to be the queen of the underworld, the goddess of shadows. There she remained, deepening her roots in the dark earth until the Spring when she comes out, strong enough to grow in the light. She is a symbol for nature, growth and the harvest.

And some of us has to go through this shadow phase. Everybody that has walked the path of light knows that it is steep and not without its bends and twists or branches that trip us over. But what happens when we fall over? We get to see the path really close up. We get to stop and look at the spot where we fell- the present moment. We then get to draw a line in the dirt and move forward. This life is not about making no mistakes. It is about experiencing every moment as a blessing, even when it seems painful. I can’t claim that I haven’t made mistakes. I have played with my shadow side, I have spent time in darkness, planting my roots deep in the underworld and now that spring is here, I am ready to grow into the light.

 

Day 303 – benchmark

The measure of fitness is in a 400m run, 10 push-ups, 10 grunts and 15 sit-ups, all done 3 times as well as a mile run. I try not to get hung up on results, especially when they don’t seem to be what I expect. The first sequence is a whole 20 seconds slower than what I did 2 months ago, but the mile run is faster. I have no idea what this means, but it affects my internal dialogue to the point that I start to question my self worth for the majority of the day. But that won’t make me faster. They don’t measure fitness and self worth in the same scale and Boot Camp has made me stronger and faster, regardless of whatever the result is from the benchmark test. Just have to run faster next time.

Day 304 – tethers of leather

My soul sister and beautiful reflective friend, Zani, and I always had strips of leather and bracelets tied around our wrists and ankles. We sat on the island at Togat Nusa retreat one day talking about this and came up with the idea that we were trying to tether ourselves down. Being both typically flighty, airy, flower children, it was something grounding that seems to ties us down to the earth and keep us from floating away.

We are in the office all week so I can leave the pencil skirt at home today and wrap my limbs up in random strings and leather pieces. It is like coming home. This is how I usually look. The corporate gear feels like more of a costume than the native american head piece. I feel comfortable in the flowing shirt and thongs and I the little leather bands that remind me of myself. It is like tethering my real self to my projected self.

It’s not like I could ever hide the true self. She is kind of loud. And she likes bright colours.

Nothing keeps her tied down, but it is nice knowing that she is tied to me.

 

Day 305 – salt water cure-all

I can’t explain but I spend over an hour crying today. It is a necessary part of the growth to let go of the past which no longer serves us, but it seems that the ego is not ashamed to mourn its own death. Each layer that is peeled back to expose more truth and light is another layer left behind. There is no need to hide the tears or worry why they come. I just accept them now, as a necessary piece to the evolution. The salt water cure-all. Ocean. Tears. Saline solution (found in every first-aid kit).

 

Day 306 – yoga ideas

It is through a passing comment that I have a lightbulb moment. I am sending emails to Zani about Bali when I say that we should run a yoga retreat in Bali. Suddenly I wonder why the hell not? Everything amazing in this world would have started as an idea at some stage. It is a tiny seed that is planted. I start to look at myself and think, “Man, Liz, if you followed every idea that came into your head… Hang on a second. You usually do.” Actually if I didn’t follow all the whimsical ideas that pop into my mind I would not have had half of the experiences that I have had. I certainly wouldn’t be writing this. I wouldn’t have gone to India, or Mexico, or gone mountain climbing, or run the City 2 Surf. I camped in the f***king snow! A yoga retreat in Bali is not that far fetched! I love the way a good idea snow balls in your head and the only way to contain it is to take a pencil and an enormous piece of paper and use pictures and words to draw it all out… PLAYING IN THE LIGHT

 

Day 307 – moving

At the beginning of this year I was told by a numerologist that 2012 would be very restless for me, that there would be lots of moving about. So I am not surprised that I am moving. Again. Looking at how many times I have packed a suitcase this year from when I first left mum’s house to go to LA, to Mexico, to Sumatra, Bali, India, mum’s house, Coogee, back to mum’s house… I wonder if I should even unpack at the other end. I have grown more accustomed to zippers than to cupboards and Lonely Planet makes more sense than a bus timetable. Well, another shift, another change, another place to call home. But really, as long as I am with me, I am always home.

 

Day 308 – bend but do not break

Someone has locked the bottom door knob at the Coogee apartment; the one we never lock because I had the only key, which I lost. When the new flatmate comes home later than night, she is freaking out that she can’t get in and has to go to a friend’s house. I meet Krystle at the locked door in the morning. Five of us had planned to sleep in that place last night, but five of us have been locked out and forced to sleep in random couches, beds and floors of friends. We stare at the lock and then start to call people. One by one, all the girls get picked up and we return to the apartment. The locksmith would cost $155. My bedroom window is open, though it is mysteriously three stories up, despite Krystle’s room being street level. Coogee is a bit of a warped, hilly, magical place like that. Facebook, if nothing else, is the easiest way, I have found, to obtain a ladder, especially since a passing fire truck would not help. My friend, Pete, comes to the rescue and even climbs in for us. The new flatmate collects her stuff, takes her bond back and leaves. She can’t handle the stress and the chaos of living with us. (I wouldn’t even be living there!) But yes, there will be chaos because LIFE is chaos. You have to bend, not break. If I took off every time I got locked out of a place… I remember one month I locked myself out of my car THREE times! I had to get really tricky with a coat hanger. And another time I locked myself out of mum’s apartment with my dog, Lewis Carrol’s Alice Through the Looking Glass, a bottle of water, and a tub of watermelon. At the time I was kind of stressed because I was four hours late to work, but it was four hours of reading in the park with my dog, staying perfectly hydrated! The point being that locks will forever keep people out of their own homes and is just another piece of chaos to which I bend, but do not break. Plus it gave me a really good chance to catch up with my friend, Pete, who is extremely elusive. And who would have thought- he even got me hooked on a new leather tether supplier… BLACKRAG.

http://blackrag.com.au