I got up early-ish and dawdled around before eating breakfast by the lake (Catani, pictured). I organised myself then headed up to the Dickinson’s Falls Walk before it got too hot. 8 people arrived while I was sunscreening so I jumped back in the car and continued up to The Horn. It’s the highest point of Mount Buff with a 360 degree view of the park. It was a better plan, I got the way up to myself. The views were amazing. I saw a bunch of kestrels or kites (not sure which) hovering and diving and a group of ravens playing in the wind. I attached my phone to my backpack strap and got some pretty terrible footage with a couple of okay bits. I like mountains, they’re incredible, but there’s something different about being amongst the trees that, at the moment, seems more beneficial for me. I returned to Dickinson’s Falls just as the 8 returned to their cars. I mainly did it for the wildflowers, so pretty, they lined the track. A little flame robin, singing it’s tune, followed along behind me, it was so cute.
I next drove down to Eurobin Falls car park with a couple of lookout stops on my way and had lunch. Food is very important to me, it’s a massive part of my camp prep. It’s where my healing started, how I show my love for people and the best way I know to take care of myself. It’s also very delicious. I passed Lady Bath Falls, where a group of people were taking a dip so I decided I’d have a closer look on my way past, early the next morning. I continued on to lower and then upper Eurobin Falls view points. They were pretty cool, I’d like to to see them all again when the snow is melting. I filled up a water bottle, don’t know how good of an idea that was, spent some time by the gushing falls then headed back down.
Grey Fantails kept showing up and doing little fluttering, fan dances around my head. So sweet and inquisitive. Apparently they’re great at multitasking, something I am not but would like to be, I’m working on it and hoping they’ll help me. Birds are really important to me too. Whenever I tell people what they mean to me they look at me like I’m crazy but it’s another one of those things, in relation to nature, that I’m only just discovering. I see people’s scepticism to it now, the same way mine used to be. I think it’s crazy too, so I understand. It just works for me and the more faith a put into it the better the outcome.
Back at camp, I’d planned on spending the afternoon chilling out by the lake but for some reason I was being super antisocial, so not like me (sarcasm doesn’t come across well in writing) and didn’t feel much like being in the vicinity of other people. I’d wave and say hi if someone walked past, had a brief chat with a man at the dish wash but not much more than that. Obviously, there were people in the main areas so I continued further around the Lake Track to find a more secluded spot. I found one but for some reason my legs wanted to continue on so I let them. Not far along, I came across a sign saying “View Point Nature Walk” and some distance down that track I came to another pointing towards “The Underground River”. Intrigued, I figured I had better check it out from the surface at least. It’s a cave, you need equipment and know-how. I do not have either. It was way farther than I had planned to walk and when I got to it I kept going, for some silly reason, until I got to the top of the other side of the canyon/valley. I think I was a bit out of my head because I’d stopped listening to my body again. Looking back, I think my ego just wanted to feel accomplished. Like “look at me, I walked so far” , but I was alone, so it was ridiculous. When I stopped, I all of a sudden realised how fast my heart was beating. I got frightened, so sat to give it a chance to calm down. I just assumed that the track somehow joined back in a circuit. As I have mentioned, I’m prone to making assumptions based on less than nothing but am getting a lot better at recognising when I do. This time my body helped. I wasn’t out of breath and felt like I could move but my heart was pounding so fast and loud, I wanted it to slow down before I continued. I took out the map just to check where I was. Turned out, if I had of continued, I wouldn’t have made it back but would have gotten stuck, out in the dark, in shorts and a T-shirt. That might have been the realest the whole body-mind connect thing has ever happened for me, as though my heart was trying to warn me. Before I went to Mount Buffalo, I had a little understanding of the concept of some of these types of things and was beginning to notice sensations in my body more often but while at Mount Buff, something shifted and I allowed myself to experience it in a much more tangible way. I felt like I was floating before, I knew I was able to have control but I didn’t understand how to exercise it or really believe I could. I still haven’t put anything into practice but I do feel like I am starting to better understand some of the tools available to help guide me more directly. The words ‘believe’ and ‘understand’ are so much more useful to me than the word ‘know’ because I don’t know if I know anything or not. To know something, to me, is to be definite. Knowing does’t leave room for movement or alternate perspectives but obviously they exist. I can’t fully understand them because they aren’t mine but I’d feel naive not to believe in them because I’m one individual and there are billions of other people. Almost every time I think I know something I learn I’m wrong eventually so it‘s safer to assume I know nothing other than my own experience and even that is clouded.
I listened to a podcast, with a guy called Robert Waggoner, on my second night. He’s a psychologist and lucid dreaming expert with 40 years (plus) experience. I don’t know how I came upon it but the fact I was reading a book about dreaming made it feel right. I still don’t understand quite how a person can be completely unaware of themselves. When I learnt that to be true of myself it turned my world upside down. It made me question everything I thought I had ever known. If I don’t know my self, how is it possible to know anyone? It made me feel very isolated at first but I don’t feel that way, so much, anymore because I don’t believe I am alone. I’m realising that it’s not just those traumatic incidents that were and are hidden, there is a lot more to it. While growing up I didn’t know how to be so I had to constantly watch what everyone was doing. I was dissociated from such a young age that studying people and taking them in was ingrained in me from the beginning. It was like my unconscious mind jotted everything down and somehow helped me to fit in and I’m pretty sure it’s all still in there somewhere. I really don’t know but I assume the case is the same for most people. Maybe not all to the same degree or maybe just not so obviously but it’s too much work for a brain to be able to do within awareness and all children learn from their surroundings. Listening to Robert talk about exploring his unconscious mind via lucid dreaming was eye opening. I haven’t really experienced it to know myself. The other night I realised I was dreaming and got so excited that I woke myself up but it makes so much sense. When the human brain is the most complicated thing we know of that exists, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be capable of this. When you spend more time asleep than doing any other one thing, how can what goes during that time not mean something?
Link to a really good lecture Robert Waggoner did at Tel-Aviv University. I watched and listened to a whole bunch of him speaking after I got back and this lecture pretty much covers all of that. In as scientific a way as possible which is how I like to get my info:
The Body Psychotherapy Portal with Tel-Aviv University Present: Lucid Dreams, gateway for self development and healing with Robert Waggoner.I wish you could study consciousness at Uni in Australia.
I made it back down to the underground river and up the other side, with some difficulty. My legs decided they didn’t wanna walk up steps, anymore. I hung with a grey shrike thrush for a while and chatted to it about finances, of all things. I also bounced off the idea of making a nature vid. I think that a part of what I’m meant to do, with my life, is encourage people to get connected with nature. Not to just be in it amongst friends but to connect with it on a deeper level. It was while I was out there that I got the idea to do a video to attach this to. I wanted to show just enough of the place to entice anyone who watches it to go there and explore it, hopefully by themselves. I wonder if the space that we put between ourselves and nature disconnects us from our purpose somehow and the further we distance ourselves the more damaged the world becomes. When I spend a few days shut indoors, my mind ends up way busier. Far more occupied by things that, in the grander scheme, aren’t really important. When I get back into the garden, or have a session with the horses (I do equine therapy with my psychologist) and obviously when I’m out in nature, it’s like I return to myself or that’s the best way I have of describing it. I confuse myself a lot less, I manage to escape my head and get back to that simple flow of realisation and acceptance.
I took a quick dip in the icy lake because in my mind going under the water meant something. Generally I’m not really a fan of going in water, especially if there’s the chance people will walk by. I think it relates more to my body issues than anything. I don’t hate my body, I’m not ashamed of it but I have a big issue with other people looking at it. I’m trying to get over it before I’m old and wrinkled. I took a real quick dip and I’m very glad I did. I decided to give that moment power, I felt cleansed. I guess it could be related to having my purpose and goals align with my belief systems when I don’t have the ability to lie to myself. When I’m fully within my body and connected to the land I have faith in some kind of master plan. It doesn’t happen all that often but somehow I know it’s real when it does and the more it happens, the longer I hold on to it. I time lapsed the sunset over the lake (it was too bright for my eyes, lost my sunglasses!!!), ate dinner and went to bed.
I woke up the next morning before the sun. I was all sprightly, surprisingly, I didn’t sleep that well again but I wanted to head off early. I started packing my car and as I was rolling the last of my tent up, big rain drops started falling. It was perfect timing. I wondered if it was a coincidence or my body being all intuitive again and me listening. I’m gonna go with the latter cos I want to. I was out of the campsite before 6 a.m. and saw a wombat as I pulled out onto the main road. Australian animals are so cool, all animals are but I love how unique they are here. It’s a special place to call home. So untouched compared to a lot of places, so much space, so much history still intact and I don’t know why but it also seems like there is so much time here in comparative to other countries, so much freedom and opportunity, something my international friends have helped alert me to. I did make it back to Lady Bath Falls, I got naked and did a yoga flow. It was 6 a.m. and I knew I’d be completely alone. The water from the falls was lapping at my hands, the air was still warm. There was something so invigorating about stretching out like that. I was quick and put my clothes back on even quicker. If someone had of come, all my insecurities probably would have tried to drown me. A king parrot, the only one I saw landed in a bush right next to my head on my way back to the car. It startled me to say the least. I’d never seen one in the flesh but must have seen labeled pictures at some stage because I knew, straight away, what it was.
I think I touched on it in my previous post but I want to go into it a bit deeper now. I’m starting to really believe that all my modes of nature therapy; animals, nature and gardening can somehow guide me to have realisations. I mentioned I do equine therapy. It has been, by far, the biggest factor in me feeling like I’m making progress towards being able to live a productive life. It’s really hard to explain but I am going to try. Like I already said it grounds me, doesn’t allow for dishonesty. It’s like the horses help to surface and give me insight into my unconscious dysfunctional behaviours. I kind of picture myself like a plant rooted into the ground and because I’m connected to oneness or whatever only truth is allowed. It feels like there is no time for the triviality of my own mind and because I’m connected to something larger than myself, shame and guilt just aren’t factors anymore. There is just acceptance and a willingness to understand and move forward, heal I suppose. This is only new for me, it’s only really sunk in properly as I write these words after reflecting back on my time spent at Mount Buffalo.. Not there yet, not even sure there’s a there to get to but the progress I have made since beginning therapy a year and a half ago is indescribable. Writing this has been an interesting experience. I really do think this blog is going to serve it’s purpose; organise my thoughts, help me figure some things out and be another tool to better understand myself. It’s already working.