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It was a beautiful autumn morning on the deck overlooking the sparkling pool surrounded by lush tropical gardens. With the warmth of the sun bathing me in it’s radiance, I relaxed at the end of my first Iyengar Style Yoga class in a heightened state of awareness – and felt the first urges to write in my blog again. I had lost all inspiration to write for weeks, and now suddenly I could hear the faint beginnings of a post gestating as I savored the experience.

I spent most of last year sitting at a computer, so this year I was determined to get into physical activities and enjoy life. Apart from walking and swimming, I’ve been going to a personal trainer which has been great to wake up the muscles and strengthen the body, but I decided my body is more suited to yoga. Yoga is a more conscious and balanced form of exercise to create wellbeing and inner strength.

Mark and Paula Cave

Mark and Paula Cave

My friends Mark and Paula Cave have offered classes on their deck on Saturday mornings – which is a fantastic way to start the weekend. The class included both men, women and children, and we all just managed to fit on the deck!

This was my first experience of having a high level of instruction with both Mark and Paula helping to adjust the poses where needed, offering structural guidance and support. We worked on opening up the chest and had a good all over workout with assistance from using props and belts.  Mark said the poses help to release accumulated toxins etc, but I had no idea what else it would release and open up!

I have practiced yoga on and off for years and have been to classes commonly known as Housewives Yoga – as only women turn up! For some pictures of ‘Housewives of Yoga’ from the 50’s click here

I look forward to attending weekly classes as yoga obviously benefits the mind, body and soul. Due to the popularity of the classes Mark and Paula are going to offer evening classes at a larger venue in Murwillumbah next term and I wish them great success.

Life is a Circle

I’ve just started a Community Services course which made me reflect back, and see the threads of compassion that have woven throughout my life – and realised that Life is a circle.

One of my first memories of knowing what career I would like to do was when I was 16. I would have liked to have been a Social Worker but that entailed going to Year 12, and onto University – which I was not prepared to do as I hated school and couldn’t wait to finish Year 10.

At that time I had befriended an Aboriginal girl who had been plucked from the high unemployment area of Sydney’s Western suburbs, and given an office job in a Government Department near the beach suburb of Cronulla in Sydney’s South –  where I lived.

It was a very white Anglo-Saxon area and my friends were asking what I was doing talking to an aboriginal girl. I was confused at my friend’s snobbish behaviour, but was not going to be swayed by peer pressure to behave like them.

This girl seemed at first suspicious about my friendliness, until she realized I was genuine about wanting to know her, then she let me into her life. She was only one year older than me and had a toddler that had been given up for adoption, which she had access to occasionally. I met him on one of his access visits and was in awe at the strength and courage she had.

I had always been a confidant to friends at school, willing to help when needed, but encountering this girl that was distrusting, and a mirror opposite of my life, made me aware of the injustices in life.

I wrote this poem straight from the heart last month and recognized I feel the same now as when I was 16 – as I could have written this to her.

I Will Listen to What You Say

I will listen to what you say
as your deepest thoughts interest me

I will listen to what you say
as your honesty awakens in me a deep reverence for truth

I honour your courage and the sacred trust you have given me
to share your disappointments
your joys and your sorrows.

I am here to give you the gift of acceptance.
Not judgements,
not conditions,
just pure listening to what you say.

Thank you for sharing your being with me
nothing you say can alter my unconditional love for you

For we are all beings of light
we are all beings of love.

With life’s experience behind me I now find myself where I was 30 years ago, wanting to work in the community, but this time I’m willing to apply myself to make it a reality. Life is a Circle!

After spending more than 2 weeks stranded in Cudgen Creek at Kingscliff, the last 2 Bottlenose Dolphins were caught and successfully taken back to the ocean, where they were released to hopefully rejoin their pod. To view video footage of the rescue click here

Surfers around here are very familiar with dolphins riding waves alongside them, but there is a magical quality about encountering these unique creatures which land lovers rarely experience.

The dolphins certainly created interest for locals as we were made aware of how the unpredictable nature of the constantly changing ocean and estuary can affect it’s inhabitants – as they arrived with the high tide and were unable to leave.

They were being monitored daily by Australian Seabird RescueNational Parks and Wildlife Service and had been assessed by experts from SeaWorld. They also maintained an exclusion zone marked by buoys and anyone who violated that was warned they will be fined.

We spent some time at Cudgen Creek on Australia Day captivated by the dolphins frolicking in the water as we viewed them from different vantage points. I took many photos trying to capture an image of the dolphins suddenly appearing before submerging into the waters again. Here’s an image I managed to catch with more than one fin showing!

Dolphins in Cudgen Creek

Dolphins in Cudgen Creek, Kingscliff

It was an experience for everyone seeing the dolphins, but as the high tides came and went and the days turned into weeks, many became concerned about their welfare.

Cudgen Creek

For dolphin images and 12 Facts About Dolphins that you Must Know click here

Giving Back

Today I was touched by an article posted by Laurie Boris on her blog conveying the gratitude she has for a teacher who impacted her life so long ago – Author Laura Jan Shore. Laurie Boris found Laura through my blog and I thank her for sharing her journey and reminding us to look back with gratitude to those who have encouraged us – and to acknowledge the progress we have made.

I was reminded of the journey that has taken me to being right here, right now. I had no idea that attending a voice and self expression workshop with Maniko last year would bring me in contact with Laura, who encouraged me to recite the first poem I had ever written at a Dangerously Poetic gathering – something I would never have dreamed of doing!

I attended her poetry workshops and connected to a deeply buried creative voice that I was unaware of. Laura awakened in me a joy of writing and she is an inspiration to many with her unending enthusiasm and energy.

Soon after in my Web Design Course, I was introduced to blogging and I enjoyed the freedom of creative expression that blogging allows.

After coming home from a one month journey overseas, I was feeling uninspired – then along came Laura to fire us up in the new year with a Dangerously Poetic workshop. I felt this is what I needed to reconnect with my inner creative and breathe new passion into me.

The post by Laurie Boris has inspired me and I wonder how often teachers learn how much of an impact they have made on their students lives?
To the many teachers in my life and the lives of others, I thank you.

There’s nothing like a trip away to make me appreciate what I have at home here on the north coast of New South Wales. Since arriving home from a month’s holiday in Asia, I have been to the beach more times than I have in the last few years!

I made a commitment to myself in Thailand, that upon returning I would make the effort to enjoy all that the superb beaches here have to offer: sun, surf, swimming, strolling in the breaking waves and pure absorption of nature’s beauty and goodness.

We even dragged out our very old surf ski and had a paddle at Hastings Point estuary. We plan to be there again on Australia Day enjoying the afternoon with friends after the crowds have had their BBQ’s and headed home. To just have the time to absorb the magic and beauty the beaches have to offer is a precious experience.

I’ve also been swimming at the new Tweed Regional Aquatic Centre which is impressive and have enjoyed seeing how many laps I can do – but not timing it of course!

I’m so much healthier and happier and intend keeping it that way by regular exercise encouraged by Naturopath Olwen Anderson. She has a great blog full of health tips and information and here’s a post with a question about Our Good Health Intentions Last Year?

For a list of Australia Day Celebrations on the NSW North Coast click here


Just what I need to start the year with – a Dangerously Poetic workshop being held near Byron Bay that might inspire most anything.  It’s not just for poets, more about connecting to your inner creative.

A one day retreat into stillness and the power of the word…

After the parties and holiday festivities, why not bring your soul to gentleness? Come into the still pastures of Possum Creek for a day of mindful connection with yourself and your inner voice.

“Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.”
–Anne Sexton

Feather

“A Feather on the breath of God”:
All spiritual traditions have called on the rhythm and repetition of language to communicate with the Divine.  Whether it be prayer, psalms, petitions, songs of praise, sutras— all these are forms of poetry.

For both those new to putting words to the page and more seasoned writers, this workshop is an opportunity to access inner wisdom and express it. Working together in a safe, nurturing circle, this is a practice and not about perfection. Through meditating on sacred poetry, exploring sound and silence, we will open to our own divine voices.

Sounds great to me – hope to see you there!

When: Friday, 29th of January 9:30-4:30 pm.

Where: Possum Creek Retreat Centre off Possum Creek Road
Tuition: $ 75. Or $65. DP members

Facilitator: Laura Jan Shore, author of historical novel, The Sacred Moon Tree, and poetry collection, Breathworks, is President of Dangerously Poetic Press. Her poems have appeared in The Weekend Australian, Blue Dog, Famous Reporter, Five Bells, Yellow Moon, Eucalypt, Verandah, Poetrix,Takahe and Radio National’s Poetica. Co- editor of 8 poetry books, she has taught poetry and creative writing for 25 years both on the North Coast and in the U.S.

To enrol: Contact Laura on 66801-967 or email-lshore@linknet.com.au

Dangerously Poetic is an incorporated community group seeking to encourage, publish and promote quality poetry from the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Australia.

For more information about Dangerously Poetic Press click here

Here’s a blogging tip I found for people using WordPress blogs.
Have you ever lost your post and have been frustrated because of the time you put into it? I found a great article about the Post Revisions feature on WordPress, that keeps track of your revisions and allows you to restore them.

If you want to make an Image Gallery on WordPress like I have made in the post about Tumbulgum on the Tweed River and Uki Village, here’s a WordPress video on how to Create an Image Gallery.

Upon reviewing my posts using the image gallery, I have found that the larger ‘stand alone’ images I had inserted in these posts are now not visible – though previously they were. I would advise not using separate images in posts using the image gallery as they are the only posts that have been affected in this way.

For a post with lots of links and interesting information about the great features on WordPress, click here

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