February 28th, 2019 4:30pm

I woke in the morning with a strange feeling in my stomach, telling me to stay at home. I ignored the signs and resisted my needs, to go on a date with someone whom I had met the previous week.

The awful sick uneasy feeling didn't leave my body... I chose to ignore it and power through the day like, most of us do.

A decision to go for one last swim at the Noosa Fairy rock pools, before heading home. I sat and watched as the surf rolled in past the rocks on where I was sitting. Confused as to why two surfers choose to sit parallel to me on the other side of the rocks as the waves were breaking 20 metres away with the crowd of over 50 surfers.

I heard a gasp from someone nearby... and a surge of doubt began filling my whole body. But it was too late. My stomach dropped simultaneously as I turned to see a roaring wave double over the rocks heading straight towards me. The wave swallowed me whole, pushing me eight metres through the air to where my body was stopped by a wall of rocks breaking the bones inside my body. I still remember the sound... I fall underneath the water and emerge with no breath... only piercing eyes glancing at a stranger basking in the sun. They screamed help!

I was left with a hole in my lung, pneumothorax, seven broken ribs, internal lacerations and fifty percent chance of survival. I was airlifted to hospital where I resided for the following eight days. Then relocating seven hours away to a small town and childhood bedroom, where I lay, heal and contemplate for the following months.

I was out of the water for what felt like a life time. Hours, days, and weeks went by. I sat by the beach dreaming of the day I would move my body properly, like I used to...

Months later, the day finally came...

I often experimented with my capabilities and studied how my body would react to different movements and breathe exercises. I used my knowledge of yoga philosophy ahimsa (non violence) with gentle movements of asana (postures) as well as, self exposure therapy, breathe work and meditation to self-rehabilitate during my recovery process as being on land is not ideally where I wanted to be. Surfing and Yoga practice were my personal measurements to see how much I had improved, and the direction of attention on recovery in which I yet needed to undertake. Yoga tested my my movement, Meditation tested my mind and Surfing tested my breath.

In the process

Breathe is life, is it not.

My recovery began with my breath - strengthening a collapsed lung with a rehabilitation breathing trainer, which kind of looks like a kids game, "blow into the tube to make the individual little balls rise to the top of each cylinder - your goal is to be able to make all three balls rise to the top of their individual cylinders in one breath, then you will be able to leave" my nurse said to me. To begin with, I couldn't even raise one ball with my breath... It took me 8 days to be able to reach achieve this goal. of breathing into this tube for an hour/ day.

It felt so strange not to be able to breathe well, or move well, or not do the things I was so driven to do.

I got to know my body quite well, how my breath was in tune with my quality of life. I began to notice how important my breath and lungs were to my energy, endurance and the ease of mind clutter. With every conscious breath I am able to relieve my body and the bodily reactions created f

rom this accident. I took the breathing instrument home with me and used it for another 3-6 months. I would also sit in nature a lot and focus on my breath and expansion of my lung using visual meditation and 5 5 5 breathing technique ~ counting as you inhale: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 whilst inhale, wait: count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, exhale count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Self Exposure therapy ~ & PTSD

The first three months was soo intense. I remember only being able to just walk from my house and be able to sit on the bench watching the waves roll in, day after day. I would watch the surf for hours. My first goal was to be able to make it to the water... to touch it. To see it close up. Though, as I got closer to the edge of the shoreline fear rose, flash backs appeared. I had no

conception of what I was seeing was real. My eyes were open but I could see a giant wave toppling over me. I couldn't even stand in the water or watch water trickle over small rocks. Even as I write this, my body feels and remembers this constant feeling of being unsafe... All I wanted to do was be in the water and have my body functioning as normal.

I used breath work with exposure therapy to be able to breathe through challenging thoughts and feelings that would arise causing strong reactions of fight and flight in my body. I would sit via the ocean, and visual memories of the wave that took me would appear out of nowhere, this happened when not only my eyes were closed, though as well with my eyes open.

In yoga, we practice staying in poses for a longer period of time, we breathe through the difficulty of posture in know that this strong feeling too will pass and it will help us to not react so quickly to uncomfortable feelings in the real world. I applied this knowledge to fight the feelings of wanting to retreat back to the safety of my bed. By focusing on my breathe and attempt to slow it down, to inhale a little deeper and exhale a little longer... I would often return to being calm, sitting with ease and comfort. This wasn't like magic chocolate, it didn't work immediately, it took time, practice, patience and the growth mindset of never giving up. Sometimes I did run away ~ well swiftly walk away, however, overtime it became easier to be able to sit by the water and the flash backs were becoming less intrusive.

The key part is to sit a little longer, stay, feel the strong feelings to their fullest presence and release them with an exhale breath. Squeezing the fist and then relaxing and letting go of the tension held in my hand helped.

Re-introducing Yoga for personal practice

I can tell you this much stiff as a brick with all my broken bones, a growing lung and bruised muscles, my yoga practice wasn't much, I couldn't twist, bend, lift my left arm, my upper body was now on a slant, I couldn't hold onto my core... but I could smile and kind of... laugh at myself.

To begin with, I would spend about half an hour per week on my mat and explore the potentials in what my body could do. It was tough, I had so much freedom and flexibility in my old body. That in my new body, I realised that I had taken my old body for granted. I had a choice... to suffer or... to shift my mind and focus on what I could do. Whenever thoughts and feelings of self-doubt would arise I would let myself feel all the things to their fullest extent and let them

go with the exhalation of my breathe. I was really able to identify with those individuals who did have lower back pain, sore hips, shoulders, legs. Who had breathing difficulty. Who couldn't move their body how they would like to. And those who had a foggy mind. Or mind identified persona. I became empathetic to what other people might be thinking and feeling in their mind and in their bodies. It was really a beautiful and powerful process to be humbled especially when returning to teach yoga.

I started with very simple movements - with neck, shoulder and hamstring stretches & progressed to very mild twists. As my body started to gain strength and flexibility, I gentle worked into deeper postures and increasing the duration of my yoga practice. Four months went by and I was in a rhythm of yoga flow. In saying this, my body still ached and there were still things that I couldn't do.

Hell, almost three years on, there are still postures I can't do, but I vary them, I tell myself I am working with the amazing vessel that I have got.

Each day, I was gaining more insight into essential muscular systems vital for movement and what they could be relevant for. I understood how essential the breath and the lungs contribute to energy levels and

healing. Time went on... as my yoga practice was improving, I returned to the water and so did my surfing. This is how yoga for surfing came to me.

Girl Meets Ocean

My first surf back in the water was at Noosa... Of course.

I had left the town of Coffs Harbour, where I relocated to heal and drove 7 hours North. Waiting for this moment. My feet touched the water, my body held by the weight of my surf board, the water slipping through my fingers. My feet landed on the board and I flew along the wave. I Cried ~ pure happiness. Achievement ~ Fulfilment ~ nostalgia. I survived.

It was mighty painful. It was the beginning of a long journey back to full recovery. Did I care, hell fxxking no. It was the most exciting moment of my life.

Mindset of Growth

There is nothing more rewarding than achieving a goal. Something that you have worked on for what seems like forever... come to

life. I had many moments like these during my recovery. To drive. To walk. To redo everything for the first time. Never have I ever cried so much for the pure bliss and joy that came with these achievements and a there are a lot more that I haven't mentioned. I look back at my recovery and I understand that all my experiences within my accident led me to positive change ~ the one thing that stayed was my mindset. I feel lucky to have been through what I have been through and if I can say anything, I say "keep going, grow your mind, challenge yourself, and to not let go of reaching your potential in goals. You will soon uncover how strong you really are.

Unstoppable & held... by you.

Being present in conversation requires a unique and vital skill that requires all parties of a conversation to be seated in the Now as a prerequisite to expand and deepen current human connections. Being human is more than having mostly two arms, two legs, a face, private parts and growing hair in all the right and wrong places. I talk in the form of being human as a way in which you adopt and interrelate with fellow humans. At first you may not find this to come at ease, though as you read through a little snippet of my story you will be able to see what resonates with you, and use the tools that I have provided for you at your own pleasure.

I have been pondering this concept for a short while as I interpret the relationships I have had over the past couple of years and how I now share with other humans. My experience has led to answers of enlightenment and a deeper understanding of how expanded I could become. I fluently would answer these self questions: How human can I be? Can I laugh, make mistakes, can I be myself, and how can I be there for others, will it bother someone if they know that I am not perfect? I asked myself these questions as I began to learn self-awareness and the print I could leave on others.

2016 I noticed how I was relating to people and began acknowledging how I can be better for other people and for me. I was in a relationship at the time and I noticed that I was very different in the way in which I interacted with other people. I was scared, intimidated by how everyone seemed so relaxed. I anticipated judgement from others, I didn't feel relaxed at all, often my words wouldn't come out and I would often drift off into my own thoughts and leave all my senses behind whilst I watched my mind do all the judging of self and others.

My partner at the time would always say to me "You should really read this book, I really think it would help you". Ignorant and full of ego at the time, I shrugged off the book until I desperately needed it and came to terms with myself that I no longer wanted to be listening into my minds thoughts and believing the things that it would tell me. I wanted to be able to have regular conversations and feel comfortable within myself and to deepen my relationships with my loved ones who surrounded me.

The book in which I am referring to is Elkhart Tolle, The Power of Now. I am old fashion and cannot get enough of the smells and sensations of holding a book in my hands however the link above will connect you to an audio version in which you can purchase. Nostalgia yes. My dear friend Elkhart Tolle whom we seem know not of each other though have you heard of him?

The first time I had read the book, I noticed that it helped me to recognise how identified I was with my mind and my ego. My mind was identified with my ego and it was taking me out of the present moment, out of important conversations, out of living through my heart, as me. As I re-read the book, three or four times over, I found the teachings had become more instilled in my body and that I was adopting new belief systems and thought patterns in which were more healthy and proactive for my sense of self worth, confidence and abilities to be relaxed and comfortable in who I was.

Elkhart Tolle's books really highlighted that most of my insecurities were because I was so identified with the thoughts that were being created in my mind by my ego, that I had no real understanding of actually how the world and people around me perceived me. My ego identified mind was telling myself lies after lies, that I was not good enough, undeserving, that I should already be at a place in the future, not perfect and all the things that were not nice. If you can hear or relate to what I am saying and have any form of relation to this I will say it: The Power of Now will help you see your mind for what it really is and allow you to choose and keep thoughts that are relevant to reality, the actual, to engage with your senses of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell to live in a more peaceful and realness manner. In time, and a lot of self-work later of shifting my focus and thought patterns, and self-belief systems I was able to choose positive stories about myself to live in the present moment with the knowledge of the Power of Now to form and deepen connections and relationships with others.

In this book, I learnt to be able to be in a state of no mind to connect with other human beings, I can say that is has been one of the most powerful and important shifts in my life. This involved listening and sharing my human qualities and experiences of joy, excitement, and fear with others. I noticed through reading and listening that I was able to share and talk in conversation more freely and be more myself. I felt judgement from others slip away. I was living and breathing into exactly how I wanted to be.

I feel a lot of the really important part to be human and connect on a deeper level is to quiet judgment from the mind and to listen and to really hear what your friend, college, family member or acquaintance is trying to tell you. As you listen, vital questions can be asked to deepen the interpretation of knowledge of what is going on. The more interested you are in them, the more interested they can be with you and the lesser the mind can be attached with ego and judgement. The quality in which you begin to know a person improves which I believe is really cool as you can develop a lifelong positive relationship with a friend, lover or work college.

Delving into the selflessness that may come with forming this idea about being present, being in the now, acknowledging the Power of the Now, and becoming more human for humans. I began developing feelings of empowerment. I felt a gain in understanding myself more and how creative I could become with the language that I used, the topics of conversation I could extend upon and the people who I could speak these conversations with. I can honestly say since appreciating what I have in front of me and using all of my senses as best that I can and using the tools that I have, a light has shone on gratitude of what has been presented to me in life in the form of personal growth as personalised gifts. I am so grateful to be able to live from my heart instead of my mind to have love and gratitude for (I am going to be real) most things.

As I let go of unwanted/ undesirable thoughts I further develop and transform friendships with others as well as myself. I let go of people who are not allowing me to shine and overall increase my happiness.

Activity Time

If you feel that your mind is often or sometimes bogged up by irrelevant thoughts, repeated thoughts, mental movies, past or future events or feelings of unhappiness I believe that you can reassess that quality of your mind and thought processes and begin to re-design what your mind can look like. You can do one of the three things in which will bring you into the present moment to deepen your connection with others. All these activities when repeated will help you to notice how present you are with yourself and in conversation, and can help you to further deepen your connections and relationships with friends, family and lovers. You might even like to grab your special person whoever that may be and do these activities together as another way of forming a special connection with someone.

1) Read: The Power of Now

Be patient as you watch your mind think whilst your read. Notice what thoughts are happening in your mind.

2) Meditate

Read the follow and begin to practice with your eyes open or closed.

Sit in a comfortable seated position and begin to close down your eyes and follow your breath as it enters through your nostrils and out of your mouth. Notice your belly rise and fall with the inward and outward breath. Look into your mind and see what your mind is thinking and ask yourself the following questions: what am I thinking? Is what I am thinking relevant to what I am doing now? Am I being stuck to a thought? Do I repeat my thought? As you sit with yourself and notice yourself answering these questions allow the thoughts to come and go. Imagine your thoughts like traffic on the road and you are sitting on the side of the road watching your thoughts go by without running into the centre of thought traffic and grabbing onto a thought that may cause a certain reaction or feeling in the body being: fear, sadness, judgement or joy. Notice the thoughts arise and let them go down a stream as you allow the next thought to enter, then let that thought float away whilst a new thought enters.

Continue to watch your thoughts between 2 - 5 minutes and understand what thoughts keep popping into your mind. Write them down. Do they make you feel good or bad and decide: Do you want to keep thinking this thought? As you do this you have now entered meta-cognition where you are now aware of your thoughts and in the position to choose to keep the thoughts which are in the best interest of yourself and others to be able to deepen your connections with self and others. Meta-cognition helps you to sift through what feels good and what doesn't feel good, to bring you into the present moment.

3) Listening partner activity

Listening is underestimated as being one of the most vital and important skills of becoming human. Quiet your mind by tuning into the sounds of the person who you are talking to. What are they saying, what are they trying to say? Hear the person without creating mental noise in your mind aka talking to yourself, being distracted by other thoughts: judgement, disinterest or excitement. You should only be hearing the words that are coming from their mouth. Listen without judgment & rephrase what they have said to you.

Activity: Try this by sitting in a comfortable position with a friend, sexual partner or someone you can trust and let them talk to you. Choose a topic of interest or you can use one of the following: how you have shown strength/ what you are proud of. Take turns in talking for 1 minute each. Whilst one person is talking the other person is listening, and only listening, doing their best to listen as closely and as carefully to what the other person is saying without interrupting, adding advice, or sharing a story that may somehow relate to theirs. Once the minute is over, repeat back to the person what they have said to you and discuss what was actually said. It is usually a good indication of the current quality of your listening skills and how it may have been in the past. You might like to question yourself if your mind was busy chatting to you whilst you were trying to listen or if your wanted to make an input into the conversation. Then swap roles. To deepen your connections with your sexual partner you might like to choose a more easy topic to begin with to get into the rhythm of listening and then begin to deepen the topics of interest.

As we share our stories, it allows others to be humbled and share their stories too.

Thank you for being here on my page.

Alli x

The Good Life

My story extends from the depths of the night time, to the early morning sounds of birds chasing the sunrise as I am. I breath in the air and drink in what I can mostly say the sobriety of the good life. What it means to feel the oxygen open up my lungs as I inhale.

Then to exhale all of what does not serve me.

It starts to flutter for a while before the feeling entirely consumes me. The feeling extends outwards spreading like the roots of flowers & trees. Wrapping me carefully in a desire that I can no longer settle for stillness. The entrance of light and colours of life take my breathe away. I am patient to sit whilst you unfold & I embrace your elegance. I accept who you are, then emerge into your surrounding content.

I can imagine...

A world that you could create using the essentials given to us: LOVE, beauty, intelligence, creativity and the key component of social understanding. To learn to understand one another as a form of social norms. To act, not to re-act, to accept, and not live in the mind of judgement. To Love. Can you imagine what the world would be like if your mind represented a vase of flowers? Beautiful, colourful, forever growing, unique.

Can you imagine what your world can be like by opening up to new opportunities of laughter and passion as you embrace all of what planet Earth has on offer for us? Imagine if you just lived courageously. Live presently, live intentionally, live with purpose and live with gratitude. Stop thoughts that only put us down and make us act against what we can achieve as individuals.

Imagine if your mind was clear, how great your existence will continue to be,

I am here and I am ready to teach you, how to live like this.

Every . dam . day

inhale . exhale . heal