Up and down New Zealand

I am on day one of a trip undetermined. It has been a really long time since I have written. Infact, I think I last posted in New Zealand. Well, here is the Coles notes version of what I have been up to.

I spent six weeks in New Zealand which was up until recently my favorite place in the world. It is now tied but more on that later. I wandered around the North and South Island, made some friends and learned that not all Kiwis are created equal. After a bit of a run in with an unsavory character, I managed to glide through the rest of my time unscathed.

After Nelson I revisited Golden Bay where I attempted to work at Shambhala, a paradise eco-backpackers that I had discovered years ago. I ended up going  to Golden Bay and woofing (Working On Organic Farms) at Shambhala for a few days. It was surreal to go back to this place after so many years and find that it still felt the same to me. A few things were new and improved but my favorrite by far was the meditation center. It was a lovely space on the top o the hill that provided me with endless hours of serene meditation and yoga practice.

After a few days of working, I realized that I would be better off paying the 25 dollars and enjoying my time as a guest rather than  stressing about a work schedule. Once I made that transition, everything started to fall nicely into place. Not only did I begin making some deep connections with the other guests, but I was able to listen to my body rather than a clock. I am finding this of growing importance in maintaining my well being.I ended up celebrating my birthday by indulging on the freshest salmon sashimi that has ever passed my lips (I caught it) then watching the full moon rise over the ocean.

The small group of friends that I gathered were sweet enough to sing enthusiastically to me and envelop me in a group hug when the clock struck midnight. I had  a bit of a freak out the next day when I realized that for the  first time, I felt older. Luckily one of my newfound friends and fellow Goddess quelled my nerves by talking me through it gently. By the end of the crying fit, the motivation for the tears went from fear to relief to gratitude and laughter. I came to terms with my aging and it really only took an hour. I ended up leaving Golden Bay and flying up to Auckland just in time to catch something of a hurricane. At the same time a bunch of whales were beaching themselves down in Golden Bay where I had just left. Strange environmental phenomena.

I got to reunite with Bevan and do some serious hanging out before he delivered me to the Vipassana meditation center where I would spend the next 10 days in silence. It was a lot harder (and  easier) than I thought. Its really hard to explain what happened to me in there. Lets just say that I most definitely learned a few things about myself and laid some serious groundwork for future restructuring of my brain. I admit that by day I had a breakdown but I didn’t leave. I am grateful I stuck it out on day 6 when I thought I’d break because by day 9, I was beginning to grasp what it was I am here to be.

I was able to spend more time with Bevan and his family after I returned from the retreat as well as catch up with some of my new meditation friends. We went to waterfalls, shopping, fishing trips, on ferries to islands, and to a few movies. I left New Zealand with a warm feeling in my heart so glad that I had deepened some bonds I had and forged some new.

Grateful for following through.

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