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FALLING INTO PHUKET. How I ended up in Thailand.

Reflection always brings on that tingly feeling of how curious and fantastic life works out. There are so many subtleties yet to see and learn for most of us that can really help us to live knowingly and intelligently. Life really has its ways of working that are worth getting to know.
For me, my life has taken on a reality that surprises me each day… and it’s not for trying to be unique or different or an attempt to make any statements. Actually all of my striving in life is of an internal nature. How to build a wholesome reality and existence from the inside out.
It is no mystery that we have a mind and that we have feelings, perceptions, ideas, an expressive personality and an inner character. We don’t detect these aspects of our self with our five sense… but we do have a subtler sense, an inner eye, that can detect and know these invisible forces that make us who we are.
Each moment these metaphysical forces are shaping our perceptions, our outer experiences and consolidating our character, our ego. If one can see that these forces and energies are… and have long been in a continual state of flux and change since birth… even before birth… to a beginningless beginning… then one can know that who we really are is ultimately beyond this subtle metaphysical character that we live through.
In seeing this subtle inner world more clearly, we naturally begin to foster a healthier state of being that is more aware, more rooted in presence and therefore more detached from the push and pulls of the forces of our subtle metaphysical character. When we see the unfolding patterns of our subtle character clearly, we instead come back to what’s real… who we really are… and we get to know that reality more frequently, spontaneously and assuredly, discharging all that is unreal.
back to the title of this blog. Technically there is no definitive cause for my ending up in Thailand. Is there any way of tracing a wave back to its original cause? Life is an ocean of complex waves and currents, all interconnected, all affecting each other from each side of the planet.
Despite there being no one key cause for anything, I can still share with you a few conscious living moments, both tangible and subtle, that have guided me in this direction where I now enjoy the sun, sea, sand as my outer world and a content heart as my inner world.
Some time ago whilst I was in Hong Kong for my little brothers wedding, I had reached a natural lull for which my previous intentions, plans and actions had brought me. I had no plans beyond my arrival because I wanted to scope out the possibility of making a life there and I was open to feeling everything out. I got in touch with studios, I created community classes, I ended up with a lovely private student within a week of my arrival who stayed with me throughout my two months there. I knew I could have sufficed if I had continued this streak, but there was a natural slowing down and retraction from making any further advancement to my plans in Hong Kong.
I stopped advertising classes and there was a natural pulling in of my energies, a feeling of ‘meh’ to move ahead. Instead of fighting the feeling and trying to force myself to make a life there, I allowed the feeling and intuition to play out. I retreated and hermatised and allowed time to figure things out. I surrendered to natures plans for me.
I had been here before with this internal struggle back in my doctoring days…. that gut feeling told me things weren’t quite right, that I wasn’t happy. I had slowed down and was living a half baked life of mediocrity and apathy. And yet I was ignoring and living with feelings of stuckness and stagnation, suppressing it for 7 years before I was forced to take the bull by the horns and leave medicine and the UK. It took physical and mental illness to show me that I couldn’t win a fight against life and natures way within me. At the time, life seemed so cruel, and yet it turned out to be the single most wholesome and joyful change that was blessed upon me. I never made the change… I just eventually surrendered to it.
Luckily for me, through repeated painful struggle and breaking down of my character’s mental resistance and stubbornness, I learnt to let go of trying to control my life and now respond much quicker to intuition. I could have stayed in Hong Kong, no doubt, but it would have been for fostering fear, insecurity, crumbling to social and family pressures and making money. I trusted that life instead, was leading me towards nurturing freedom, joy, creativity and unleashing one’s full potential.
Resisting the natural order of life is slippery slope for any soul; it will eventually crack you; a blessing in disguise. Regardless of what the mind will convince you, I have come to know that there is no actual good or bad, no actual weakness or strength in choosing to reject or stay in any one life situation, or move towards another… It is simply the reality that will play out. Your view of it is just a judgement based on past conditioning that veils your present experience and causes you suffering in the process.
It is neither right nor wrong to stay or to go. We just need to let go of those thoughts and judgement altogether… The thoughts themselves are the binds that cause us pain.
So eventually I posted an ad on Facebook, out to the whole world, all directions, all possibilities, describing who I was and what I was hoping to move towards. I sat back trying to slow down the twiddling of my thumbs.
In simply publishing a few job posts, I had opened the floodgates down many new rivers. How vital it is, to show ourselves to the world fearlessly. It’s just like throwing out our ball with all of our skill, in the general direction that appeals to us most… and then holding still and watching intently to see in who’s window will it enter and who will pick it up.
It may be that no one picks it up…but that is not a good enough reason not to play ball.
No throw = Game over.
So throw yourself out into the world.
Each day there was a subtle force that drove me to check Facebook everyday, to go through job ads, to re-read what I had posted, to consider other options in HK. So many thoughts and concerns of what I was to do next; a tangible restlessness and anxiety that wanted to throw me out anywhere from where I was. A few opportunities came my way that sounded wonderful but didn’t quite spark me into action.
If I had identified and responded to impatience, restlessness and anxiety, I may have found myself in a situation driven by fear. It wouldn’t have been ‘bad’… It just wouldn’t have been, for me, the most potent move if I am to live from the heart.
Patience is a great virtue. Without it, we act in haste, we do things or sign up to a job or life out of fear and insecurity that brings upon us a sense of urgency. So many times, patience has noticeably been the more wholesome move. Patience allowed my entire year in Malta to manifest as a yoga teacher. Instead of touting boat trips to tourists or working in a cafe to try and earn back savings, I decided to be patient with the feelings of eagerness to earn money. The thought of doing something that I didn’t love, made me shudder and so I chose to suck up my anxieties and restlessness and wait for something that felt better to come along and sure enough, it did.
In crafting our lives intelligently, the question is, can we allow ourselves to really sit back and wait patiently enough to let the universe fire out a great sturdy vase for us to display your blooming awesomeness.
Know that sometimes, Life just takes time.
It is not to say that patience means to sit and wait X amount of days. No. The practice of patience is more subtle than that. Patience is a combination of acknowledging our impatience, restlessness, anxiety and compulsion to be there, not here. Those feelings are like a metaphysical wart that can grow out of control and make life really ugly. It bites to feel impatient and restless because it throws us strongly off our centre.
How do we deal with this?
By realizing the truth that we can never be anywhere except where we are right now.
Whenever those feelings come up, breathe through them with presence, acceptance…and patience. Impatience is like a strong wind. We must take on the quality of strong trees to counter it. Root down, be still, watch and wait for the storm to pass. Only then will our impatience, anxieties and fears fade.
Only then can we truly enjoy what is coming our way, everything becomes a delightful gift.
Soon enough a curious Aussie got in touch. Good old Jack. He wrote me a swift message that basically said…’I don’t want to type…let’s chat’. And so a Skype call popped out of the heavens and there we conversed, or rather…Jack spoke, I listened. 🙂
I had very few questions because I had no firm expectations or strong desires. I just wanted to feel things out, listen to heart. The feeling felt buzzy, light and right and so I trusted and flowed with that.
I could have nutted out all the small details like pay and contracts to reassure myself but I knew it was a vain task with no real fruition except to suggest that I didn’t trust the situation in that very moment. I chose to practice trusting in life and others for the sake of nurturing a free and open heart. And I have been practicing trust ever since the day I agreed to come to Phuket.
Trust allowed me to book and pay for my flight tickets to Phuket. Trust allowed me to be picked up by Jack, a strange unfamiliar man I had never met. Trust even had me agreeing to stay in his spare bedroom whilst I had a trial period at the studio to see if it was a right fit, before moving forward with visas.
Trust is what has led me into this beautiful vibrant forward thinking community at Yoga Republic. I love teaching here. I love the students, I love once again being able to connect and do what I love doing, yoga.
The forces of apprehension, fear and doubt tried on several occasions to rationalize my actions, but I saw straight into them and the direction they would have led me…
….to nowhere, except towards further entanglement with the false feeling of fear. So I worked at swallowing and dispelling these lower vibrations of fear and distrust.
That isn’t to say that I condone being picked up by strangers, trusting blindly and going to their homes. No no. One needs to be rather sensitive to the intentions, motives and energies of other beings and situations around them. If you practice perceiving enough, through conscious relating, you will gain an intuitive ability to read your energetic environment.
… I did my research also, ticked off the ‘not psychopath’ box and then let go of any irrational fear. Hey, I’m still alive. Thanks for not murdering me Jack.
Since arriving, I’ve been practicing allowing my time here to unfold organically. Life can only really blossom when given enough room to breathe. Yes we have plans to organize a teacher training… and yes I hope to earn enough to survive… and yes I have a desire to settle here for a while, a nice break from travelling.
But if in an instant, this hand ‘folded’…would I be OK with it? The answer is Yes…because that is my practice.
… instead of having firm ideas and expectations, which place demand and pressure upon present moment situation and future possibilities, my ‘plans’ are more akin to just pointing, having a clear direction and intention.
We can only walk in the direction we want to go. We can’t decide what the path will look like, nor what foliage will line our path for us to experience. We can’t decide the terrain that will challenge us and change our course. One has to remain rather open minded whilst still maintaining a clear yet detached direction.
… And that direction is not even a projection into the future…it does not imply that I am not happy now, and that I will be happy in the future. It is not about creating a false ‘reach’ for a non existent conditional ‘happy’ future.
Having direction is not about saying that I will be happy upon achieving x y and z, no. Having direction is very much to do with the present moment…in this very moment, am I happy in putting my foot forward? Is my action and move a wholesome one, free from expectation? A happy now… is a happy future…if we must think of futures.
So here I am now in Phuket, taking each day at a time.
I flow with the time, I flow with the chaotic roads, I flow through bustling markets, I flow with the lovely locals, I flow with the needs of the studio, I flow with the students, I flow to the beach, I flow across the sand, I flow through the trees, I flow in the ocean. I flow with love and freedom. That is my practice.
Each day, I let go more and more of the residues of doubt and holding back. Doubts can have a suffocating veil and stagnating affect over our reality. Nothing can seem certain when doubt is present and it can really hinder or reverse our natural flow, making you think that what you are doing could be potentially ‘wrong’. The mind likes to overthink life, believing that it can actually draw conclusions, and make ‘right’ decisions.
So what do I do when doubt arises? I recognize my internal wobble, It’s energetic and has a certain quality that we can come to know and detect over time. I accept it, I do nothing with it in the moment when life appears to be shaken by it. Instead I breath and I wait until the quake has passed and then I consciously practice faith in the choices I make, knowing and reminding myself that there is no right or wrong decision, just the natural order of life.
Fear and doubt is fizzled out with the practice of faith, and so I practice deep faith in times of murkiness and darkness.
We will have blips and inner struggles when our inner truth takes a nose dive into ignorance. The challening thoughts and feelings will come… and they will go. They won’t last.
Despite the tossing and clouding of the ocean, one must always remember its purity and crystal clear essence and stay in that all pervading clarity and truth.
So often we think we are driving, when the ultimate truth is, we are not. It might initially sound rather terrifying… and it is….for the ego when it finally reaches its demise. But it is rather consoling for the heart, to know that we can let go, trust and flow with life’s way.
I believe that life and spiritual evolution is a given. It will happen whether we think we are trying to make it happen or not.
I would not be here if I didn’t love my life and what I do.
My practice of listening within and living in a way that resonates with me and lights up my heart, is of most importance to me.
That isn’t to say that I chase worldly desires and the boy next door. And that isn’t to say that I don’t do the mundane, boring and challenging things in life. No.
It means that I practice being the very love that permeates every moment, no matter what happens. Should love fall by the wayside, I practice coming back to it. Living from it.
Should I hit a period of ‘challenge’ in my life, I step forward willingly, acceptingly and lovingly, because it is the path I have chosen and I am fully accountable for it and thus fully able to learn and grow from it. Simply by remembering that I have a choice with my decisions, and owning my actions, can I truly love each moment as my own creation, my own wave in the ocean.
I love love love seeing what comes out from my fingertips, what flows out on my mat, what gets murmured from my lips. I love seeing my life take shape, whatever form that may be…because it is a life I choose. I can’t help but love that inner freedom.
I have long given up living just to try to create a life that I love, which only implies that we are not in love with life just yet… Instead, I practice being love now, and I see what is created out of that. If ever a question, life decision or course of action wracked my brain and needed to be answered, the answer would always come with great clarity, in an instant, if I just asked…what would Love do? I practice being that love… and just allow what comes.
What would love do if I had a fight with my mum. What would love say if I broke up with my partner? What would love suggest if I wasn’t feeling happy in my job. What would love do if I was self critical, doubtful, afraid? The question always brings you straight back into your heart. The question leads straight to the answer in and of itself… a space of deep peace that the mind can never take you to.
Love and devotion have the power to eradicate all our worldly suffering and bring us back to whats real.

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