Four profoundly powerful practices everyone should do at least once

The best things in life are the people you love, the places you’ve seen, and the memories you’ve made along the way

A recent hiking holiday reminded me of several things I already knew but hadn’t fully grasped the significance of. I realised there are four things every woman (and man) should do, at least once in their life but preferably more often, for a powerful realignment to their true north.

1. Sleep with your back to the earth
There is something very settling about sleeping with your back to the earth. On several multi-day hikes around the world my beloved and I have slept in the wilderness with just the thin fabric of a tent between us and the elements. Enclosed in a small space, unadorned with furnishings, without manufactured structures between the earth and ourselves we revelled in the grounding, reconnective and healing nature of this opportunity.

I find now, having done this quite a bit, that I crave to pack up and go outdoors to sleep when things get busy and out of control.   Part of the pull is getting back to basics, it’s partly about shrugging off all the unwanted and unnecessary parts of life but a greater part is about reconnecting with nature. Feeling the warmth drain out of the earth, going to bed with the sinking of the sun and rising with the trill of birds and the breaking of day is powerfully seductive in its simplicity. Why not pitch a tent in the back yard, create a lean- to and crawl under it if you don’t have the time or means to take a camping holiday or throw a sleeping bag on the ground, if you are so inclined.

2. Go hiking and carry your belongings on your back
Like the previous item this action is mind-blowing. Apart from the reality check of hiking where time is inconsequential, devices are left behind and routine turns into a gentle daily rhythm, there is something really sobering about lacing on a pair of hiking boots, slinging a pack on your back and walking in nature for several days.

When on a multi day hike you are limited by how much you can carry. It’s a great lesson in prioritising. Only the essentials are necessary for a more comfortable experience. After my first multi day hike many years ago I realised the towel and the soap and the book I’d packed weren’t necessary. Nor were several other items I thought I had to have. Not only were they adding to the weight of my pack but in the end, I didn’t even use them. More recently I realised I could swap my small brush for a comb to lighten my load. I’d taken a sleeping bag liner that wasn’t necessary with the thermals I’d carried. Why did I pack three pairs of socks when I only wore two? Once you are out on the track things change. A clean set of clothes each day isn’t as important a priority as it usually is. Not looking in a mirror or doing the usual grooming routines, one normally engages in, is liberating and refreshing (well, perhaps not too refreshing for those in close contact with you when there hasn’t been facilities to shower or bathe for several days).

I remember on the Walls of Jerusalem walk in Tasmania, a few years back, having a light bulb moment when I realised that all I needed to survive was in the pack on my back: food, water, shelter. I realised, in that moment, that so much of what I’d acquired over the years wasn’t really necessary. Yes, definitely some things make life more comfortable but going on a walk and having to consider what you’ll be happy to carry up hill and over dale day in day out helps you readjust your values and priorities. The things I long to have with me on my hikes are not things at all but the people I would love to share the experience with. Carrying a pack on a hike is a nice exercise in getting back to basics; something we all need from time to time. I challenge you to pack up and go hiking for a few days, what will you carry on your back? Who will you take with you?

3. See the sun set and rise on top of a mountain
There is something magical about a sunrise and sunset. It doesn’t matter how many you’ve seen, it’s one of those enchanting experiences. Sharing the experience with someone is even more special but sharing both, with someone you love, in the same place, is an absolute must do.

My beloved and I camped atop Brinkley Bluff in the West MacDonald Ranges recently and watched the sunset over a magnificent and vast landscape. We woke early to watch it rise again to warm the earth after a cold and windy night. That experience will stay with me forever. It was a highlight of my life such was the magnitude of it. I totally recommend you do it, you’ll not only be connecting with nature in a very real way but you’ll be investing in a shared experience with your loved one and creating a lasting memory.

4. Be a tourist in your own country.
I love to travel. It’s an enriching experience and it changes you. You can’t go home the same after all you see, do, hear and engage with. Travelling at home and visiting places in ones own country is immeasurably pleasing.

I recently visited the heart of my country, central Australia. I’d learnt about arid zones in school when I was young, I’d seen pictures in books and watched movies set in the various places I visited but nothing prepared me for the experience of actually being there. I was gobsmacked by the beauty, the vastness, the palpable spirit of the place. Of course not everywhere you go at home will have the same impact but it’s definitely worth exploring those places you know about but haven’t actually visited. It helps you have a greater appreciation for the country you live in, its history, its geology, the ecosystems that thrive there, the opportunities and the experiences available.

Many people I know were unaware they could ride a lift to the clock tower of our city hall. Nor did they know there is a magnificent art gallery and museum on the same level as the lift entrance. Discovering and exploring these points of interest creates a greater sense of connection and belonging with where you live. It is an easy way to bring more joy into your life through adventure, curiosity and discovery. I travel for work quite often now and approach each trip away with the attitude of ‘what will I discover there this time?’ Sometimes it’s beautiful botanical gardens, or quirky public art, a zoo, often it’s a peaceful place to watch life unfolding in that place.Where will your curiosity take you? What would you like to explore that’s close to home? Perhaps it’s somewhere in your own city or town.

If you feel rudderless and adrift or stressed out and totally wired why not take some time to get back to basics, to realign, to invest in yourself, to embrace life more, to reignite your sense of wonder and awe with some profoundly illuminating, yet simple practices, such as these. Go ahead. What will you do first?

Transformative Talk


Are you ready to speak your truth, give up fear and risk judgment to share your authentic self? I did just that this week and the outcome was stunning!

In truth, I can be my authentic self in some circles. In others, like the corporate arena in which I work, I haven’t been prepared to speak openly, frankly and in detail about my spiritual orientation. Sure I’ve shared small tidbits over the years and people regard me as a bit alternate and label me a tree hugger (their words, not mine). Many know I’m into healthy eating, opt for chemical free products and spend large amounts of time in nature and visiting sacred sites. Some know I like crystals, have made my own healing drum and read tarot cards. But I have never been comfortable revealing the depth of my spiritual self to my colleagues for fear of ridicule and judgement. The bottom line is, I didn’t want to defend myself to people who I thought simply could not or would not understand.  Until this week.

What was special about this week you might ask? Nothing? Why was I all of a sudden ready to disclose? I don’t know; but this is what happened.

I was at a conference for educational leaders.  We were training in cognitive coaching and I was partnered with a gentleman I’d met the day before. To practice we had to share an issue or situation we were facing. For some reason the only one that came to mind was my waning passion for my work and my desire to move out of the education sector and full-time into my business.  In the process of our ‘coaching session’ I revealed I wanted congruency between my work and my spiritual self; that I no longer felt comfortable in the corporate environment and that I passionately wanted to help people in meaningful ways.

I gained some great clarity in that session about my future but the real learning came on our way to lunch.  We continued to talk and Randall asked me about my spiritual beliefs. Without hesitation I revealed to him I was psychic, that I could feel energy and received messages mainly through clairsentience and claircognizance. I have to admit, it did sound a little odd coming out of my mouth in that setting but it was liberating at the same time. To my surprise and delight Randall never wavered, never smirked, never shrank from me. Instead, he revealed that he was a fan of Eckhart Tolle, that he practices being present, that he understands the impact negative energy has on me and, (this is the kicker) that he had been looking at the aura of our presenter throughout the day.

I can’t begin to tell you how wondrous that moment was for me. Over lunch we continued to bond, not by sharing our spiritual journeys but by sharing snippets of our family life; significant moments with our children and partners. I can’t remember a time when I was more comfortable or more candid with someone I had just met. I feel, after that thirty minute lunch break, that I have known Randall for many years and that we are now, in some way, inextricably linked.

That conversation was transformative. More specifically, my initial disclosure of my spirituality paved the way for a real conversation to take place. If we were all a little more willing to be authentic in any given moment, we could open ourselves up to, not judgement and ridicule as I had feared, but genuine, sincere and transformational interactions with others.

Wishing you many wondrous and transformative conversations with those you meet.


2012-01-21 003 006       “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” Anais Nin