What to do in Coronavirus lockdown: Surrender

 

“Help us to surrender, send a flood of salty tears in this time to acknowledge and release. Show us how to give in and not give up,” Pixie Lighthorse

IF I am to believe Facebook, in six months’ time, when we all emerge all dusty and disoriented from lockdown, we will be a world of best-selling authors, fluent in several other languages, with perfectly manicured gardens and diamond clean ovens from which we will be producing first-class meals. If I am to believe myself, and follow my instincts, this is simply not true. In recent days, there’s been a flurry of frenzied friends, posting frantic “to-do” lists on social media, about how to “use this time wisely” and to “become a better person”. And it’s making me overwhelmed, depressed and anxious.

Why? Because, to me, it defeats the whole point of this life-changing event. That the world is currently a mess is indisputable. But what if, just what if, Mother Nature is telling us to slow down? To just sit with what is. To do nothing. Sure, if you are scratching to write that novel that’s been itching you forever, go for your life. But don’t believe the bullshit, and pressure, to perform. Yesterday, I did an online yoga class with my favourite regular teacher, and while I agree it helped calm my nervous system, if yoga is not your thing, again, don’t do it just because everyone on Facebook seems to be recommending you stretch your precious body and mind during these confusing times. Hate gardening like I do? Forget it. It’s not going to cheer you up, although, again, social media is pressuring me to get out there and get my hands dirty, my skin itchy and my back sore. Why?

“Show us there is a time to make decisions and there is very much a time to sit with strong feelings. Witness us leaning our swords and spears in the corner to rest awhile. Teach us to clean out old ideas, old expectations, old patterns, old triggers and old bad habits,” Pixie Lighthorse

As humans in first-world nations, we’ve been conditioned to never slow down. Busy is the new black. How are you? Yeah, I’m real busy. Important. Except you’re not. You just haven’t learned the secrets of slowing down. In my first blog of 2020 I talk about the unbridled bliss of being bored on your break after I took a rare holiday to Bali. Those were long, luscious days of coming back to earth time, sleeping nine-hour nights, lazing by the pool reading, punctuating my chapters with a swim, chatting with the locals, and  following my star. When it rained, I sought refuge on the veranda of my local hut, and watched as  the fat water droplets rolled off the frangipani trees. I succumbed to the daily electricity black outs when those angry tropical storms rolled in over the ocean, and some days I’d venture to a beach bar and let the cool, furious breeze wash over me. At night, I’d crawl under my mosquito net, torch in one hand, book in the other, and just read. It was that simple.

These are no longer days of beach bars, swims and flitting through foreign fields. Except they are. In your mind. These are the daring days that will define us. So my advice: throw away that “to-do” list. That’s not the point. Yesterday afternoon, as a warm Brisbane day finally conceded to a cool night I stood on my back deck, glass of wine in hand, and in these eternal, ethereal hours watched a butterfly float around the garden. The point is to sit with yourself. Lay in the hammock of your heart. Witness the sunset of your soul. Read if you wish, nap when you can. Rest, relax, recuperate along with Mother Nature. She’s giving us one big lesson. And that’s all the learning you need.

 

“Help us to surrender. Let the waves overtake us and spit us out on the open sea, that we may know both the depths of our own mystery. Allow us to revel in the beauty and nakedness that surrender is,” Pixie Lighthorse

 

 

Ten eco-friendly ways to find a fella

Woodford2012 007

INSPIRED by a friend and fellow travel writer’s blog – No Impact Girl – in which Lou Southerden is trying to reduce her impact on the planet, I’ve decided to devote a blog to environmentally friendly ways to find men.

Here are my Top 10 suggestions:

1. Hide in the recycling bin and wait until Tuesday morning, around 5am, when the garbo comes around. While waiting, and if you’ve been sorting through your rubbish properly, you’ll have plenty of newspapers to read to keep you company and very few cabbage leaves attached to your head. When your hear the roar of the truck, jump up like a jack-in-the-box and say “surprise”. Don’t forget to accept the compliment when the garbo points out you are not trash.

2. Go to an airport. But don’t fly. Anywhere. Flying = bad carbon pollution. Sitting on one’s bum = moderate visual pollution. Spend the entire day in the departure lounge with your recycled water and banana (the skin will later become compost) and strike up conversations with handsome strangers looking like they are going somewhere interesting. Try not to look disappointed when he says he has to rush to catch the red eye to Bangkok. You know there is no red eye to Bangkok.

Woodford2012

3. Visit your local library. Among all those recycled books which have been read by hundreds before you, you’re bound to find someone lurking between the shelves. So what if he’s 90 and thumbing through the 1970s Playboy collection? At least he can read. Unless he’s 90 and hanging around the children’s books. Move on. Fast. And call the police.

4. A nudist/eco retreat. What could go wrong? There can be no lies, no subterfuge, just let your body do the talking. If he’s a hard-core Greenie, you don’t even have to wax! There will be no surprises when you get your man home, you already know how his extremities cope with cold water.

IMG_0254

5. The beach. Take a frisbee (made out of bamboo, rather than plastic) and start throwing it. Men seem to love playing frisbee at the beach. Once they realise you have no one to throw it back to you, they’re bound to join you. Unless a mangy dog gets there first in which case try to act cool and pretend the dog is yours.

6. Walk. Everywhere. Doesn’t matter how far you have to walk, just keep walking. Afterall, you’re not going to meet anyone sitting inside the confines of your air-con car singing Celine Dion now, are you? If you can’t walk, cycling is also a great option, however I fear whizzing past someone at speed is not conducive to snappy pick-up lines. Go back to walking.

Lombok 2012 014

7.  Funerals. Not your own. Not even someone you know. Complete strangers. What could be more environmentally friendly than watching someone go back from whence they came? Don’t pick a cremation. All that smoke ash cannot be good for the environment. Because you are not emotionally involved with the deceased, you’ll be in a much better position than any other single woman at the funeral to make your move on any vulnerable men. And who on earth is going to question your attendance at a funeral?

8.  An environmental rally. Nothing screams sexy more than angry protestors. Imagine the testosterone. You may have to wait for your knight in shining hemp to be released on bail should he be arrested, but he’ll be worth the wait. He loves the planet and all her foibles. Imagine how much he will love you.

Woodford2012 031

9. The Great Southern Ocean. If you can hang in there with the whales, eventually a group of hunky eco warriors will come down and save you all from the evil spear guns of the Japanese whalers. Don’t, whatever you do, wear a black wet suit. It might, however, get a little chilly. Take a cardigan.

10. Not on the computer. Who ever met someone on the computer? How many trees and brain cells are we killing sitting on these things for hours on end? Get out there. Hug a tree. You never know who might be hugging the other side. OK, so he’s a deranged escaped mental health patient. Go to the next tree.

 While The Global Goddess may have her tongue planted firmly in her cheek about environmentally-friendly ways to find a fella, she takes the issue of the planet, and what we’re doing to it, seriously. We need to learn to love Mother Earth. Check out No Impact Girl at www.noimpactgirl.blogspot.com for some serious ways to do your bit.

IMG_0631