Reflections on Endings and Beginnings (2018 so far…)

On the ferry ride from Phi Phi Island, Thailand to Phuket, I stood on the deck outside to catch some fresh air and to soak up my last view of the Thai Islands before our journey back to South Africa. Taking in deep breaths of ocean air, whilst staring at the water bubbling and rolling up from the propeller, put me in a state of trance. In that moment of meditation, I started reflecting on who I am, where I am and what the rest of this year holds for me.

The previous few days (and our last in Thailand) were filled with a sense of unease and anxiety.

As the ocean breeze spat salty drops onto my face, I thought to myself: “How is this possible?! I’m on holiday in one of the most beautiful parts of the world! This is paradise! Why am I feeling like this?”

It all started with the contemplation of extending my stay in Thailand and the feelings of uncertainty and doubt that coupled this very important decision I had to make… I planned our holiday to Thailand as a celebratory gift to myself for the 7 years of hard work to become admitted as an attorney and to visit one of my closest and dearest friends.

In the days leading up to my departure for Thailand, a number of people made me consider extending my stay by confirming that I’m “only young once”. The idea was idealistic… romantic… so tempting.

I started questioning what I would be doing in that time, how I would be earning an income. I also thought about my loved-ones who would be waiting for me in Johannesburg and the promises I made to them.

My decision to stay or not was never anyone’s decision but my own. Nobody could influence my decision or make it for me. My decision was to be made for my own happiness and health.

In that moment of reflection, I realised that the idea of living on an island, far away from everything I know, was an escape. I wanted to escape the dissatisfaction of the life I have lived to that point and the fear of what life has in store once I’ve returned to Johannesburg.

As much as my soul is yearning to travel, be free and explore all these interesting places I’ve never been before, I knew that I had to be responsible and follow through on decisions that I’ve made: to start a life in Johannesburg. I also realised that living on an island, sipping GnT’s, wouldn’t bring me that happiness and sense of peace that I was looking for… only a direction, a goal and a purpose could do that.

I have returned to Johannesburg to sort through my personal admin and, with the support of my family, friends and boyfriend, start the journey to reach for a life purpose that will give me satisfaction and be in line with my values of passion, peace, health and happiness.

I learnt that it’s OK to be anxious, and it is OK to not understand why you have certain feelings. I do urge you to take a moment of self-reflection to find the cause of those feelings so you can start solving painful emotions at the root.

It is also OK to feel uncertain and overwhelmed. Create a goal for yourself; envision how you want your life to be. What makes your soul jump in joy? What are your values and beliefs? Follow them.

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Every journey starts with one step. Today I take a step forward, through fear and anxiety; I take a step for balance and stability. Today I meditate on safety and security, to build and rebuild the foundations of my home.

I choose to trust in myself and in others; I choose to trust that the universe will send me whatever is necessary for the growth of my highest self.

To endings & new beginnings.

 

 

Woodstock Cave: Cape Town’s Window

(Hike from Rhodes memorial)

Difficulty: Easy 

We reached the large and wide opening of the cave, peering down to see only white fluffy clouds. It seemed as if we were a lot higher up in the mountains than the actual location of the cave. As the warmth of the sun baked the earth, the building tops of the city started peeking through the white mass.

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This was the second time I’ve hiked up to Woodstock Cave – It was just as rewarding as the first time. The wide crack in the mountain is visible from Woodstock and surrounds and is one of the biggest caves in Table Mountain National Park. It is a relatively easy hike, even though I would not recommend to hike without proper trail shoes/takkies, water and snacks.

The trail to Woodstock Cave starts at Rhodes Memorial. Once parked at the parking lot you should make your way toward the mountain. On the left end of the parking lot the trail starts ascending up the mountain.  I must admit, this initial ascent is rather steep and leaves me red-faced and out of breath (or maybe I’m just unfit?!).

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Follow the zig-zag path upwards until you reach Kings Blockhouse. From there you continue to take the path that goes right (towards Cape Town city centre) and around the mountain. The path’s incline steadies as it contours around the mountain to the cave and offers many opportunities to stop and take in the views of the city, sea and mountains. Keep following the path until the cave is in site – you won’t miss it!

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Duration

The duration of the hike is about 45 minutes one-way, so be sure to set aside 2,5 – 3 hrs to have enough time to enjoy a packed lunch with some friends whilst taking in the terrific views.

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What to take:

  • Walking shoes – proper walking shoes have better grip and help to prevent injuries sustained by slipping and falling.
  • Water – stay hydrated when exercising, especially outdoors.
  • Food – to keep glucose (energy) levels up
  • Sunblock – protect your skin from the harsh African sun
  • Camera – you would not want to miss an opportunity to take some picturesque photos
  • Cellphone – always take a cellphone with you for in case of an emergency.

Please save the Mountain Rescue number +27 (021) 9370 300 before departing on the hike.

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Please note: Muggings have been reported along a number of trails in Cape Town. Always be vigilant and hike in numbers.

Grace & Gaia

Hello Readers! To live life with a sense of awareness has been a main concern of mine ever since I was mature enough to grasp the extent of humans’ disconnect to other life and to their environment.

To further my journey to a more conscious, sustainable and healthy lifestyle, I have decided to adopt a state of mindfulness and to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n…

Continue reading “Grace & Gaia”