I welcome Jacquie Verbeek as my guest writer this month. She's been on a spiritual path for quite some time now, and has just packed her bags and moved to OZ
A Spiritual Journey Down Under
It took me seven years to finally decide to make my biggest life change, mainly because I didn’t find it an easy process. Not helped by being a Libran; forever trying to keep a happy balance with the people in my life - my daughter, an Australian citizen living in Sydney, and my mum, son, sister and best friends living in England, who weren’t able to come to Australia with me! My indecision was adding to my unhappiness at not living where I wanted to be, doing a job I wasn’t enjoying, and all this despite everything I knew about how to be at peace! Sometimes the theory is easier than the practice!
I won’t dwell on my earlier indecision or my consequential nervous breakdowns, but I would urge anyone currently in a quandary, wondering whether to stay or whether to go (in a job, relationship, home or country), to ask yourself the simplest of questions, “Am I happy now?”
One important lesson I’ve learnt through all this is that we have to put ourselves first, for the sake of our own peace of mind, because until we find our own inner Truth and know what gives us peace of mind, how can we possibly help others?
My other lesson, learnt the hard way, is that unhappiness and indecision cause stress, which if unchecked can lead to breakdowns. So, I finally decided that enough was enough, acknowledged honestly to myself that I wasn’t happy in so many areas of my life and I had to do what I wanted to do; so in my fifties I would go and live in Australia. And, boy did it feel good once I’d made my mind up!
In March, with my home and suitcases packed, I said farewell to my friends and family. It was sad and I don’t know when I’ll see them again.
My first few weeks in Oz felt unsettled and my emotions were raw; I would well up when telling someone about my life change. I didn’t know where I was going to live, how I was going to spend my time, or where to meet people, but I had a plan to get involved with volunteering, acting classes, poetry groups, A Course in Miracles group, the Unitarian church and yoga classes - all the things I enjoy doing and where I hoped to meet like-minded friends. I’m looking forward to spending time at a yoga retreat centre in the countryside north of Sydney, but there’s no wifi or phone signal and I’ve been quite attached to my laptop since I’ve arrived, keenly looking for news from UK friends. However, communicating with a nine-hour time difference is not easy and I’ve come to terms with the fact that I moved away from being in my friends’ lives and “out of sight, out of mind” rings true.
I’m practising forgiveness to “let go and let God” to take care of my needs. I give thanks that I’m in the flow, being looked after and able to live my near my daughter and son (he also made the move in January), and I’m blessed that I can Skype my mother. There are so many people in the world worse off than me: I have a roof over my head, a comfortable bed and a view of the back garden where the morning sun rises up. I miss being in my own home, but I have my connection to the Divine and know I’m able to reach out to others on our journeys through this illusion.
Two Louise Hay affirmations that I’ve been saying daily for over a year are: “All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good, out of this situation only good will come, I am safe”; and “I am open and receptive to all the good and abundance in the Universe. Thank you Life.”