The conclusion of my journey this time...;)
It has been a while since I even had the time to wonder what I would call my next blog and what fabulous title I would give it...
I know I've made light of some of what I've been doing, mostly because I think its being read by seriously busy folk and hey, lets face it, I've been living the dream for a few months now- and I never forget that.
Actually its been fantastic. But not in a 'I've been doing loads of amazing things in New Zealand and here's the latest' type way... Quite the opposite. I thought I'd go all over in New Zealand and I haven't at all. I've spent a lot, A LOT of time in Auckland, in the inside of a gym, and a little bit in Rotarua. And a little bit in Picton, a couple of weeks in Wellington. Funny to travel to the other side of the world, turn yourself upside down to NOT do all the bungee jumping bla de bla stuff. Or even get near that. I mainly reconnected with people I knew before, and learned more from them. And saw everything from another angle.
Before I came here I'd spent a few months in India concentrating on my Yoga practice, doing another course, documenting everything. I had 2 weeks off in Thailand and that was nice, but I thought at the time I was on my way to another quick break, then home. Home back to the same job I'd elected to go back to, the job that gave me 'leave' with the option to return, carrying on as I was, teaching what I loved at weekends- certainly not a miserable existence, pretty nice in fact. And everything changed again. Sort of unwarranted. In my 20's I was always so into signs and symbols, always eagerly sucking up anything that seemed positive at all.
Now its weird... I'm older but not at all careworn. I'm not cynical but its as if as soon as I stopped expecting magic anymore and stepped away from it, something else stepped in again and there it was again, laughing at me for being a disbeliever, taunting me a bit for reading anything cheesy, and basically going 'Ha- Don't you remember?- How long has this been going on? Seriously Pay attention...'
So yes, I found the last part of my journey in Auckland. I got into doing this course to train as a Personal Trainer as I've always loved exercise and its relevant to my life so much and I thought I'd tolerate the course to get the job I wanted. So I did. I tolerated the course and did all the tests, assessments, trained 20 people, sweated a lot and lifted a lot of dumbbells (!) and got all fit again- loved it actually- some people call it Body Fascism- call it what you like, exercise makes you feel good, indisputably. And I think I was a little arrogant, arriving here fresh off the India boat...
I've learned so much. The course I did was formulated by Rowena and Kerry McEvoy. And like my teacher Dave in the UK said "If you truly believe in something strongly you create a LOT of energy"... I spent time with both Rowena and Kerry and they both have this intense energy about them that is something else. They are both powerful and charismatic people who are dedicating their lives to getting the world to be just a bit healthier- in quite a cool and down to earth way. And they are very clever and I am so very very very glad I got to meet them. I asked for a new teacher a few months back and in a roundabout kind of way they got me seeing the world very differently, its been quite strange, wonderful and beautiful. Because believe you me I never thought for one instant I would find any kind of spiritual wisdom in a New Zealand gym. But there it was.
And here are some of the teachings;
1) Listen better. Listen. Listen. Don't wait for a gap to jump in and speak. You know what you know, whats the value in repeating it?
2) Living in the moment is everything. Don't stain it with the past or the present.
3) Be in the third place. This means- if you are in the first place you see the situation through your eyes. If you're in the second place you see it through others eyes. If you are in third place you see it for what it is. (Example- I had a falling out with someone a while ago and initially I saw it through my eyes and thought "What a bitch" then I saw it through her eyes and thought "No I'm the bitch". Then I looked at it neutrally and saw all we were both doing was criticizing in each other what we fear in ourselves- like I thought she was lazy because doing nothing and leaving stones unturned is my idea of awful- and she accused me of being flakey because she's spent a lot of her life being accused of being a flake and always wants to move away from it. In reality I'm not a flake and she's probably not lazy. Interesting).
4) Again, in a roundabout sort of way, thoughts are things. Guard your thoughts. Observe yourself and iron out the kinks as best you can. I don't know where that came in but there was a big emphasis on being a happy person and how obviously, happiness must be genuine so you can't be a slave to your emotions or a slave to the people that hurt you before. Because it shows. And weirdly I have always instinctively felt that anger causes cancer, the healer in Rotarua also confirmed the link. Than Kerry gave this amazing talk last week and said, about angry/negative types, "And they're the ones that get cancer". And he's a health expert was scientific credentials, advanced sports science degree etc and certainly no 'new age' type. What you say to yourself is very important. And this is what the Yamas and Niyamas of Yoga are getting at.
5) Guard your circle of influence. Don't hang around with people that bring you down in the guise of "I'm just concerned about you' or otherwise. I had one of those in my life and they magically disappeared round about the time the course started, and though I'd known them a while, I felt lighter for it. People that criticize what you do from their sofa. If something you do bugs someone its usually because it makes them look at what they're not doing. Happy people don't need to bitch and criticize.
The past few days were pretty mental. It was like dissertation week all over again, I am that last minute woman and so I suddenly found I had shitloads of coursework to do on lactate talerance thresholds, muscles, joints, levers, kinesiology, business, marketing etc etc etc. Everything was covered exhaustively and I was studying the muscles names and details every night for ages, like how I used to learn stuff at school. And as I have no computer I spent a few nights in a hostel next door to an internet cafe and pulled some all nighters studying. It was actually nice to have some time alone too. I just got everything in on time, like Indiana Jones rolling under that crashing gate and grabbing his hat... And I had to take my Personal Training evaluation where you have to train Kerrie or Rowena to a standard they are happy with. And they're both charismatic D-stylers and Kerrie was THE first personal trainer in Australia, was a millionaire by a very young age etc etc. And Rowena has been at it for a few years too, is also very successful and charges thousands for public speaking seminars (and gives the proceeds to the SPCA, bless) and when you get close to her, this petite blonde, she has this High Priestess energy and a kind of mermaid depth to her eyes. So training them is intimidating to say the least. But I got through on the third attempt- I can hold the boxing focus pads for a guy to punch without going all limp which was the problem for a while, so I've been practising a lot, I LOVE boxing, its so much fun.
Then yesterday I took the final exam which took four hours and got through that OK. And afterwards myself and Robyn hit the Belgian Beer Cafe in Ponsonby and drank a lot of Belgian Beer and got tipsy and boisterous! Ordering the hugest glasses of Beer I've ever seen, like Giants beer glasses -see when you lift much heavier drinks its actually a form of progressive overload technique, flexing and extending the elbow joint with a concentric contraction of the Biceps brachii on the movement up to your mouth and eccentric lengthening on the way down as your scapula are retracted and stabilised by the trapezius....... I'm loving the lingo of the Fitness Professional and may use it in everyday life.
We also ate a massive plate of mussels, crab claws and smoked salmon- I think New Zealand smoked salmon is the best in the world. Then I wobbled home to sleep. And woke up early with a racing mind until I remembered I've finished the work, for now.
And this weekend I'm packing my stuff up and saying goodbye. I loved my time here. I don't think I could live here though. New Zealand is awesome don't get me wrong. With untapped magic everywhere, and its so beautiful and clean and has been so good for my health. But from where I'm standing, here in first place, its sort of like having a sexfest with someone who's incredibly attractive. Yes its a buzz but there will come a day when you wake up and want a conversation. Preferably with someone who knows who Che Guevara is . So I feel ready to leave. I'm having an ice cream every day and working out how to fit the last 9 months into my rucksack...
And I'll be going to the Yoga Academy for my last class with Jude Hines on Monday. As this was my Ashtanga trip and so I like to finish where I started. Same same but different.
Thanks for reading.