A wake up call in New Zealand

A wake up call in New Zealand

I have been out of the country and offline for the last 10 days… and I have to say that being unplugged has made me feel and hear life a little bit louder… Life brings me to New Zealand because of my partner. Our visits each year usually are surrounded by family, friends, lot’s of laughter, steak pies, the sea and new experiences. This visit however was about his fathers life. We got the call that things were not well and it was time to come.

Bruce will be 80 years old this year and he has lived a good life… but a hard one. Bruce grew up a sheep shearer, farmer, then a huntsmen and finally finished our his career in life as an Equine Dentist. They say 70% of chronic disease today results from our environment and our lifestyle. This made me ponder a bit…This trip consisted of lot’s of visits to the doctors looking for answers and although modern medicine has come a long way, there are still some diseases that just don’t have a cure yet. The experience really made me think about my 51 years on this earth. Am I living my purpose? Am I truly challenging myself? All good things in life happen when you are wiling to go toward the fear, uncertainty, apprehension, tension, discomfort and the unknown. At least I have found this to be true. in my life. I have experienced it first hand, yet the older I get, the less I do it. Why?

In my twenties to late thirties I was very passionate about embodying wellness as a way of life in everything I did. I believed connection was about eating whole organic foods, having a spiritual practice, taking time to move my body and protecting my mental space. I never wavered from that… in fact, it was a non negotiable for me. 2013 was a very stressful year for me, a turning point where I did not protect my mental space. I think stress triggers real disease within the body and I believe our bodies are telling us, will you listen now, or will you wait until your body has had enough and WANTS YOU to pay attention? The last 10 years I have negotiated and now my body has been sending small hint’s. Going to all these doctors with an 80 year old man, seeing all that was involved, all of the prescriptions that were given and nothing answered as we wanted… well this made me take a hard look at my life at 51. What do I want for the next 30 plus years? How do I envision myself at 80.

Risk is an individual perception, but this trip showed me I have to take more risk to reap the rewards I long for in life. I have to fill my life with less consumption and more memories. Sometimes I tend to avoid certain challenges because I fear failure. But failure is a part of success, it’s where deep learning and reflection occur. When I asked Bruce if there was anything he wanted out of life that he didn't go after due to fear, he said; “No, fear didn't stop me in life.” His only regret he said was not doing better in school. His favorite time in life was his years sheering he mentioned. Which surprised me, as he shod 500 sheep a day. My back hurts just thinking about that.  I am sitting here wondering how I would answer that if I was asked that very question?

I enjoyed listening to Bruce’s poem’s, tales of his childhood, his snarky remarks, but the reality of having to tell him he would no longer be able to live alone was utterly heart breaking. His brain is failing him. There are so many moments when he is there and seems sharp especially if you ask him about his early years of life. But remembering what happened a few hours ago is fleeting. Escorting someone from the place they call home, watching them pat their dog of 11 years on the head and hear them say, “bye mate” as he gets in the car to head to a nursing home. Well, my heart broke in a million pieces. It’s just not fair, yet it is the only option life is presenting at this time. I now see why my grandmother used to tell me she hoped she was taken while doing what she loved or in her sleep! My plan is to remind myself daily to to challenge myself, not let fear stop me from trying new things and to slow down and smell the roses as they say.

I would love to know if there has been a moment in time that woke you up, that shook you and reminded you to get back on track and seize life?

New Zealand with Bruce - A man who never let fear stop him from doing what he wanted in life.

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