Update

Hey guys!

I know I haven’t been around for a while so I wanted to send out this post to let you know that I’m still here and keeping creatively busy! I have a new book in the works which I’m incredibly excited about. It’s coming together in my mind and on the pages which is always a nice combination! I’ve been so struck with inspiration on this one that it’s consuming my time a lot. But I’ve also been picking up the old guitar again and having some fun! I thought I might share a couple of covers I’ve recently put up on YouTube. I’m working on a song too and hope to have that up there in the next week if you wanted to keep an eye out 🙂 sending good vibes your way and hope you all are getting creative, having fun and loving life!

Cheers, Tahlea.

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Finding Peace

I’ve been MIA for a while…which isn’t the flying start I had been hoping for with my blogging! I think it is one of those things where you miss one deadline and then the next and be before you know it you’ve completely disappeared without a trace. Suddenly it’s August and I’m left wondering where on earth the time went. I have no excuse but for life. Life happened.

Okay, I am going to admit this upfront…the inspiration for this post came from watching Kung Fu Panda 3. Don’t laugh! It was actually quite inspiring. I don’t know what it is about children’s movies but it seems that Disney and Dreamworks have really been rocking it lately. I wanted to see the third Kung Fu Panda movie simply because I loved the first one. But I hadn’t expected the underlying meaning behind the movie to resonate so much with me. I think because I have been on this journey of consciousness and researching so much about peace and fulfilment that I just couldn’t seem to wipe the smile from my face.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s basically a continuation of the story about a clumsy panda who becomes a kung fu legend. This particular instalment, however, focused more on the power of chi and Po’s journey towards understanding what it was and how to use this energy to defeat the bad guy. Sure, in true children’s movie fashion it stretched ideas a little – or a lot. But I loved that such concepts were being introduced to children.

It got me thinking though…seeming as life gets crazy and busy and all things in between and the vast majority of us don’t have the ability to devote years of our life to dwelling in a cave and meditating, how does the pursuit of peace fit into our lives? I decided that I would trial a day where I completely let myself indulge in chi gong and meditation and ultimately reap the benefits of letting go a little and shifting my priorities. So I woke up and got prepped for the day, it was going to be amazing. I was going to take care of necessary commitments and then I was going to come home and it was peace warrior time…

I don’t know if you’ve already guessed this but it didn’t happen according to plan. See, after getting the kids fed and dressed and dropping my daughter at school, I came home and there was a hundred things to do in terms of unpacking and shifting furniture and cleaning the house and prepping meals. Before I knew it, it was school pick-up time, serving dinner-time, half an hour slot for a quick workout before the kid’s bedtime routine. Suddenly the moon was laughing at me, the stars were joining in, my zen monk image had quickly slipped through my fingers and I still hadn’t sat down to do my work yet. I guess the point of this rant is to say, I get it! Who has time to truly devote their days to the pursuit of inner peace?

It made me realise though that the pursuit of inner peace doesn’t have to be something that completely takes over your day; that needs to be scheduled like an appointment and followed with rigorous determination. Peace for me, is the celebration of each moment. It’s waking up and watching the sun rise with a warm cup of tea. It’s taking a brief moment within the chaos to stop and breathe and marvel at how unreal and amazing life really is. It’s settling down at the end of the day to a soundly sleeping home, a full heart and little ‘thank you’ of gratitude sent out to the universe. Ten minutes for chi gong or yoga will come, as will five minutes for a wind down meditation. But I think it’s what we do outside these moments of practice that really defines our inner world and gauges our soul’s state of peace.

Book Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I wanted to write a review about this book while it was still fresh on my mind. It was such a rewarding read that I felt, to do a recommendation justice, it ought to be as though the pages had closed and my words had taken over to pass the journey along.

The Alchemist is an incredibly popular book but for those of you who have never heard of it, it is a small but riveting tale about a young boy in search of treasure. However, unlike many treasure-hunting stories it is the ambiguity of the treasure that makes this story so compelling.

Santiago is a young sheep herder who has a longing for adventure and new horizons. Turning away from his future in the church and his family home he buys some sheep and starts a journey. But he continues to have a recurring dream that stirs a curiosity within him. After seeking interpretation and finding more than he bargained for, he is propelled into an adventure that leads him to much more than treasure.

I particularly liked the rhythm of the story. Paulo Coelho has a gift for blending narrative with an almost poetic description of events. I think this was most evident in his ability to capture the simplicity of the plot within a thread of complex emotion. The reader is invited to learn as Santiago does, uncovering fragments of wisdom along the way. The author’s ability to convey such beautiful ideas within popular genre made it a pleasing read.

I think something that did strike me as unrealistic was the convenience of side-kicks. It seemed as though the right person came along at the right time to tell him exactly what he needed to hear. I believe that this was intentional as Paulo tried to convey the concept of ‘the universe conspiring to make our dreams happen’. But I think that making the information a little more difficult to obtain, or the message-bringers a little harder to persuade, would have made the story more complex.

In saying this, I think that The Alchemist was written with the full intention of transmitting hope to readers. The simplicity of the story, in a way, is what made it such a nice read. The idea of Santiago being an average young man in pursuit of something that could very well be obtained by anyone helped the audience to relate and to consider the underlying morals within the work.

I really loved this story and would recommend to anyone who is on a journey of fulfillment or even just looking for a quick, feel-good read.

Block

I seem to be having trouble writing lately. It feels as though since he died a void has opened within me and I can’t seem to fill it with the things that normally make sense to me. I try and sit down to my novel and all that looks back at me is an empty page. The intention is there and I know what I want to say but something has been lost in the translation and I’m left waiting.

I begin to think that maybe I should try something else. Write something else. But what can I say? Should I write about the heaviness in my heart that seems to have settled, the memories upon my fingertips that won’t let me rest? Should I write about the ghosts I see in the street, the faces I pass that I’m so sure could be his?

Loss is a funny thing. In the beginning you are drowning, kept afloat by others who happen to be either drowning with you or fighting to keep you all afloat. These people that you find yourself surrounded by become connected to you by this invisible little thread of collective despair. They make you feel strong by just being there but also make you feel weaker than ever through the levels of vulnerability you find yourself falling into.

There comes a point in time however where the people begin to fall back. They have lives that they cannot keep turning away from and you have a life that you have to begin to salvage and rebuild. You keep yourself busy because the busyness distracts you. You keep yourself happy because the happiness distracts you. You keep yourself strong because there is nothing else. But eventually the day will end and you will have to fall into bed, or into a chair in the corner of the room. It is there within those quiet moments where you start to feel incredibly alone. Faced with only yourself then, you realise how very much this has all taken from you.

One day you’ll be okay, and you know this too. But maybe just not today.

Just a Little Tribute…

I lost someone very important to me. Our history together was so rich and complex and so cobble-stoned with memories that thinking about it now is like reopening the scar and bleeding afresh. I crossed mountain ranges with this person and waded through the dark depths of a vast and unending blackness. I rejoiced with them and cried with them and I feel privileged to be one of the few people in his life to have known him completely both in heart and soul.

He had a smile that if caught was like holding onto a butterfly, full of glee and childish reminisce. And in those moments the world could have been crumbling and I wouldn’t have minded, because his joy was so full and complete that nothing else quite existed. A thousand words could never truly express the sorrow and the regret that I carry with his passing. But I have tried to condense them into a poem that I hope will help both he and I to say goodbye.

 

FOR YOU

I never thought that I’d be envious of the moon,
Who watches ever-knowingly over our loves and lives and falls,
But it is through her reflection now that I will find you,
Cradled within her light as she dances with the shore.

I imagine you there upon the waves that always healed you,
Floating on your back with the glee of hope held in your eyes,
I imagine you tranquil and still in that slow black,
Listening to the hum of the ocean as she sighs.

I know I cannot keep you and it would be selfish of me to try,
When there are so many horizons now for you to roam,
So though I’m envious of the moon I know she carries you to peace,
And so I’ll let her light hold you and guide you home.

© Tahlea Eastwood 2016

Hello Out There!

There is a little bit of satisfaction in sitting down to write today, after a journey that has caused me to completely fall apart and rebuild myself one little brick at a time. It has been around five years since I have sat down to take myself seriously as a writer and between that space and now, I have moved, had a second child, moved again, had surgery, met some amazing people, suffered heartbreak, pushed through walls, moved again, lost myself, found myself and that’s right…moved again. Suffice to say I am completely sick of bubble wrap, but vulnerable and willing to accept myself completely and utterly as I am.

This is huge! Complete acceptance of self has never been a strong point of mine. But after a soul quest that has taken me from martial arts, to Eckhart Tolle, from past lives to the pretzel-shaped nirvana of yoga I can actually sit here and say that I am at peace with not knowing precisely what’s in store for me from here. I am at peace with strapping on my backpack of hope and heading down that symbolic road of good intentions. Believe me, this is pretty big for a self-confessed control freak.

I am realising more and more as my journey unfolds that life is mostly just about being bold. About having the courage to stand up for who you are and what is most true to your heart. It’s so easy to find yourself lost in a maze of distraction that pulls you off in different directions and further away from the only path that will lead you home. But we must prevail! We must rally together and fight for dreams because dreams are the stuff of greatness. And we all need a little more of that stuff…so, fellow dreamers, stand up and be bold with me! Let us walk together along this incredible road ahead. May we pave as we go, with stones of hope and light and love and as we do may we leave behind a pathway to something amazing!

Okay, enough of that…but seriously, you only have to turn on the news for a moment these days to be confronted with images of drama and hate and violence. It’s enough to make anyone feel defeated and hopeless. There is an old Cherokee Legend that talks of the two wolves within all of us. One represents darkness and the other represents light. One encompasses hatred and greed and ego and guilt and the other a warrior of goodness and joy and faith. In the legend, the old Cherokee is asked which wolf will win and he says “the one you feed.”

This little legend has really become a backbone for my intentions lately. Life can be so complicated and it helps simplify things to bring awareness into you and your intentions. For me, I guess, this blog is a way of me feeding the right wolf. On a personal level I want to feed the wolf of trust and self-belief and try my best to ignore the wolf that tries to tell me it’s all impossible. But on a collective level, I want to feed the wolf of the world that is still fighting for a better place…that still believes that we can come together and make a change, leave something incredible behind for our children.

So hello, fellow dreamers I hope you will walk with me as I write and live and dream and meet some amazing people along the way.