Out of balance


For the last few weeks the following strands have been intertwining, drawing a dark shawl over my eyes. 

  • The gradual slump towards ‘hump month’ and the shortest day in the Southern Hemisphere. 
  • Gloom filled days interspersed with a smattering of sunshine
  • A soft tissue injury in my left foot making exercise painful

Peeping through tiny spy holes skewed my outlook. Languishing here provided me with the inspiration to write:

Morning morosity takes hold;
Melancholic meanderings of my mind and
Morbid imaginings of this mindless malaise.

Energy constricted, ebbing. Woefulness clouds; dimming. 
Knowing what is happening, not wanting it to stop. 
Why go on? Hopelessness creeps in, chilling.

Darkness, warmth; slumber away the doubts. 
For now, in this moment balance exists. 

Serendipitous circumstances led to my release: email reminder from the Buddha Bar Healing Clinic, Newtown, Australia; space in my diary; promise of financial assistance from our health fund; and an appointment with the person who ‘felt’ right. 

My journey began with a cup of rose and green tea then I was directed downstairs by Gavin to the ‘Harry Potter Room’. A deceptively large and comfortable subterranean cavern tucked under the stairs. This room, filled with colour, fragrance and spiritual artefacts, welcomed me into its womb like embrace. 

After a 45 minutes massage with lavender oil and a quarter of an hour of Reiki I was decidedly wobbly. I don’t remember my walk to the train station or the trip to Lewisham. While making my way along the platform I felt a sensation in my head, and a slight dizziness as I stumbled to the left. The walk home was taken at a snails pace. The accumulated stress had been replaced by a deep trancelike calm. Like sparks from the fire, thoughts of the previous weeks popped into my head and dimmed without gaining traction. Three days later inner peace persists, a testament to the most profound massage to date. 

More information:

The Buddha Bar Healing Clinic

Gavin Read

Anxiety and Despair

Blue Mountains sun light

dappled sunlight on the forest floor

I’m not sure how to write about anxiety without feeling the need to offer a glimmer of hope to the reader. This state of mind is all consuming at the time, however, as droplets of sunlight somehow find their way through the densest of branches to reach the forest floor, it is possible to gradually cast off the weights of worry that have brought you to a place of woe.

It makes sense to me that anxiety is part of an instinctual response towards danger. For me assumptions feed the mounting panic to a point when it is difficult to assess the scale of the threat or to use logic and reason to formulate a plan, to flee or fight. The result is a bunny rabbit dazzled by the headlights, unable to move one way or the other.

In the todays’ World, physical dangers are present, yet my period of anxiety was mostly internal. The unseen canker grew within, it fed on self doubt and self loathing. Conversations and events were replayed over and over in my mind. The facts and significance of incidents became warped and out of step with reality. I would go through the motions of day to day life. This was counterproductive at a time when my occupation demanded total engagement and a need to excel.

You would think that a break from it all and time to relax would help to redress the balance.  Unfortunately for me the thought of a holiday involving travel would fill me with dread. The act of preparation, the fear of forgetting something, the panic of waiting for a taxi to the airport that may not arrive or cause us to miss the flight led me to build in unreasonably long lead times. The constant internal tension impacted on my potential to enjoy the trip. This was uncharacteristic of a person who had moved from England to Australia. I would go out for a meal and become stressed because there appeared to be people waiting for our table, shouldn’t we hurry our meal? It is time for us to leave!

Just when I thought that I had hit rock bottom and begun the slow climb out of the abyss, the sudden death of my mother resulted in a total loss of my grip on reality. I tumbled to a new depth of despair supplementing anxiety with depression.

Despondency is physically, mentally and emotionally draining. I quickly filled the resulting void with negative thoughts of paranoia, fear, anger and apathy. I spent hour upon hour of mindless meanderings of thought processes, the outcome of which was a downward spiral of my mood. All successes and achievements were forgotten. There was precious little left of confidence in my abilities. I feared failure, how I appeared to others, I avoided social situations and  enjoyment of life seemed reserved only to those who were happy.

For me the only way out of this situation was to make changes to my life that reduced the self imposed pressures of money, status and unnecessary demands on my time. With the love and support of my partner who believed in me I was able to seek a new path. Together, we found the way through my ordeal.

Hindsight has miraculous properties; I am attempting to make sense of what happened and to put things into perspective. I look upon the years of descent and eventual re-ascent as a side trip on life’s journey. This opportunity to look within allowed me space to reevaluate what is important to me. The physical plane appears to be brighter than it did before. The path to enlightenment seems clearer.  I attempt to navigate life’s foggy path with my destiny as my goal while keeping one eye on the weather and the the condition of my craft. The other is trained on the light that illuminates my way.