Head vs heart. Ego vs essence.

Funny how things in life often culminate.

Head vs heart. Ego vs essence. That’s the battle within me right now.

In my job, I need to decide if I am going to go with the position I’ve been mapped to, or whether I should make a submission to be placed somewhere else. My mapped position appeals to my intellect. Somewhere else to my heart as that’s what I’m passionate about.

I know that I should not go against my gut feel. But my intellect and my pride in it are having a hard time to accept this.

Similar for my health work. My body is now clearly telling me that there’s something missing in my current juice fasting regime. But my ego is keen as mustard to complete the 8 weeks of just juice that I set myself as a goal. Just for the sake of being able to say that I did a whole 8 weeks of juice fasting and wow isn’t this amazing.

And I know that I should not go against my body’s signals but my ego is making a stink about it.

I will sleep over this and then decide. But really, I know what the decision should be. Go where my heart wants to be and respect what’s good for my body.

 

Hung up on the one I loved

Mid 90s.

Young woman. Young man. Perfect fit, mind body soul. Click. Lock. STUCK.

Connection hard-wired into unsuspecting brain and body. No fading, no letting go.

If mid 90s He came into my room, mid 90s part of Me would throw herself into his arms.

It all ended in disaster. Together, we created carnage. Leaving behind a big mess in each other’s hearts and lives. Me vs You.

My life is all neat and orderly now and I bet his is, too. On the surface, things are looking as they should. On the SURFACE.

Until I started digging. A moment of clarity, striking gold. The red hot pain of love found and lost. Infernal love’s glowing embers ready to burst into a big blaze again. Occupying a part of my heart to this day. He occupying a part of my heart to this day. No Entry sign up and strictly enforced.

This is not a love story. Or a story about the power of love. It’s about the power of emotional blockages and the hold they can take over our lives. My life.

As long as He is still taking up a corner of my  heart, I cannot fully give it to anyone else. No matter how hard I try. This  deep connection made 20 years ago preventing such depth of connection ever since.

I’ve been working on dissolving my side of the bond created so long ago since November last year. It’s like going through a relationship break-up. That happened in November. November 2016 not in April 1997!

Does it hurt? Miseryl in fact.

Have I made progress? Forgiving Him and forgiving Myself has unfolded into compassion and kindness. No Entry sign still hanging on but faded and rusty.

One day it’ll be history. Not dead and forgotten but history. Distant memory of a time long gone. A chapter in the book of stories of my life.

Therapy to heal myself.

 

Surfing Foveaux Strait

May. The month of joy in my home country Germany.

May 2017 in NZ. The wildest ride on the ocean of life I’ve ever experienced.

It’s like surfing Foveaux Strait between the bottom of the South Island and Stewart Island. Notoriously rough. One of the roughest stretches of water in the world I’ve heard.

May has taken me from deep sadness to jubilant joy, then cold fear, then calm happiness..

All I know is that May 2017 is life changing for me. I’m not sure yet how but just about everything possible seems to happen this month.

Death of a friend..

Approval of my application to retain German citizenship while taking up NZ citizenship.

Massive detox and rejuvenation success making me feel 20 years younger (seriously!) with the added wisdom of my 40-odd years..

Total uncertainty around my future at work where of all places, I’ve been mapped into the Finance department as part of the restructure..

Having sharp vision again at the computer at work after many months of vision training.

Genuine interest in my work in health and healing by a small number of people I know.

Re-connection with a cousin who I had no contact with since I was a teenager and with who I seem to share a lot of life’s learnings.

There is a flow now in my life that is amazing. After years of stagnation, things are on the move, big time. I’m prepared that my life will change a lot over the next few months or year.

In fact, I look forward to whatever there will be and embrace it.

Life isn’t easy – life is awe inspiring.

Legacy

Gone so suddenly
Seems like yesterday when we last spoke
Friend much greater
Than I knew before you left

Seed in my heart of hope
And belonging
With courage I will build
On what you planted.

For Rob.

Germany vs NZ: Healthcare

It’s been nearly 10 years now that I moved to NZ. And therefore nearly 10 years since my last tetanus vaccination which I had done just before I left.

Time to see my GP (‘Hausarzt”) here.

As opposed to Germany where you can just go to your GP without an appointment, it’s a must here to make an appointment. This might be different if it’s something really urgent, but otherwise you don’t stand a chance to get to see the doctor.

The next big difference is that upon arrival, you’re probably one of maybe 2 or 3 people in the waiting room. And no way you have a chance to read one of the magazines there. You’ve barely sat down and picked up a magazine when the doctor calls you to see you.

Yes you’ve heard it all right, there are literally no waiting times. Your appointment time IS the time you’ll see the doctor, give or take a couple of minutes.

So I got my booster shot done, plus a smear test which I was due for. Smear test at the GP???? you might think? Yes ALL basic healthcare is done by your GP, even the female stuff. And note that a smear test is only done every 2 years based on research that shows that doing it annually doesn’t deliver any additional benefits.

But the differences don’t stop here. When leaving, you don’t just walk out. Or if you did the nurse would come after you pretty quickly. Time to fork out the doctor’s fees which for my visit were $58 for my vaccination, $69 for the doctor plus $5 for materials he used.

Bill paid, I left with a lab request in hand for a routine blood test as I’m now approaching the ‘danger zone’  as he calls it being in my mid 40s.

You see, GPs don’t take blood samples here. For this purpose, there’s labs specialised in this. Off I went to the lab. Thankfully, blood tests are government funded so no need to dig out some dosh this time.

Maybe you wonder why I don’t just get health insurance to have it all paid for. in fact, I am insured, like around 30% of people in NZ. But when taking out insurance, you realise pretty quickly that the full package would be rather costly. So it’s best to tailor it to your situation and get cover for what’s really important: Diagnostics and surgical stuff.

Yes you can get access to all of this through the government funded public system. But there’s a problem here: Wait lists. Long wait lists. People dying off wait lists, or what started off as a problem having grown into a big problem by the time it’s your turn.

Hence me having taken out health insurance. But there’s another reason why I’ve not gone for the full monty. Even the most comprehensive package available here won’t give you the coverage that you get through what’s compulsory health insurance in Germany.

Germany has an absolutely top notch fantastic health insurance system. Something I wasn’t really aware of until I emigrated for the green NZ pastures.

I say it again. Germany is AWESOME when it comes to healthcare and health insurance. Think about it next time you’re about to complain…

What concerns medications, some are government subsidised i.e. cheaper whereas for others you pay the full commercial costs. This can be quite hard or even impossible for some people in particular those with serious or chronic diseases. Imagine you have to pay out of your own pocket for some medication that could make a real difference to you but it’s so new and/or expensive that you have to pay for it yourself.

Guess what happens. Some people do fund raising to scratch together the money they need for a particular treatment. No joke.

Let’s get back to medications. So your GP might have prescribed something and prescription in hand, you make your way to the next pharmacy. The pharmacist there will by no means give you a branded and labelled package of pills. What he does is put the pills the doctor prescribed into a little container or cardboard box, prints off a label including instructions how to take your medications, plus a copy of  the general information about the medication (‘Beipackzettel”).

You won’t get to see original packaging. Stuff is bought in bulk and then given to you in the amounts you need. Not more. No unneeded pills going into the bin.

In a nutshell, the system here works well if you have money. If you don’t there’s some challenges here that you wouldn’t have to worry about in Germany.

So if you’re in Germany, next time you find yourself stuck in a waiting room full of other people and still waiting to see the doctor despite the appointment you had made for what now is 2 hours ago, think again  (as you’ll have plenty of time in this situation anyway….). Yes the waiting times in Germany are really, really bad.

But all the rest is being taken care of  courtesy of your health insurance.

Rest in peace Rob

Last week, Rob Hutchins  of the Electro-Sensitive Trust NZ unexpectedly died.
Rob and I had never met in person but we had a number of long phone conversations over the last couple of years. Conversations that I hugely enjoyed and always went away from feeling uplifted and inspired.
According to the Otago Daily Times, Rob  died in a house fire in his own home.
I still find it hard to believe that he’s gone.
It’s a big loss for electro-sensitive people in NZ.  For me, he was the spider in the web who connected us and a shining light in advocating for electro-sensitive people in NZ.
It was through him that I got to Anahata Yoga Retreat for my holiday. And through him I got in touch with a young electro-sensitive guy in Wellington with whom I now catch up regularly.
Rob was an impressive and extraordinary person. An unusually critical thinker for New Zealand, with the courage to call a spade a spade and speak up for the truth. Despite him not being able to use a computer because of his ES, he was incredibly well informed and always up to date about anything concerning ES.
His life wasn’t easy, but he was always cheerful despite the difficulties he faced on a daily basis.
In our last phone conversation earlier this year, we both agreed that we wanted to build an “informal network of electro-sensitive people in New Zealand”. I now feel more committed than ever to this task.
Having planted the seed for this network to grow it beyond what it currently is will forever be his legacy for me.

Of raging rivers, a temporary lake district and mineral baths

This year’s Easter escape didn’t take Gregor and me where we had intended to go. Right before Good Friday, a cyclone tore through our part of the world. Luckily, Auckland and anywhere southwards was spared the worst.

So it was just VERY wet but otherwise warm and humid. Just what you’d expect from a tropic storm.

The campground we had booked was closed because of the deluge, and so we drove a but further South towards Paeroa where we camped in the Karangahake Gorge.

This area is quite extraordinary with its amazingly steep and deep gorges:

The river looks pretty tame now but in the days before our visit, the water must have been around 2 to 3 metres higher telling by the debris along its banks. All the rivers were still quite swollen with most gravel banks submerged, and I cannot even imagine would they would be like during and right after the cyclone. Big raging torrents I suppose.

With the landscape still more than saturated with water, we adjusted our footwear accordingly.

Tramping boots cyclone style:

The main attraction why we had decided on the Paeroa area for our Easter trip are the mineral pools. This time, we treated ourselves to an hour in the mineral spa with private tubs.

Gregor and I taking a soak:

Not sure what the mineral composition is but the water had a rich soft feel to it and no hint of sulfur. Very pleasant and very relaxing.

We also explored the historic relics of the wood logging era.

Massive Kauri trunks were carted out on little wagons, one of which was still around:

Yet another fantastic weekend away for us in an otherwise challenging year.

Fab Feb holiday -Anahata yoga retreat

When I left for the South Island for my holiday, it had been with a sense of foreboding. Of something life changing that would happen to me. Not quite like a booming voice speaking to me from the sky, but something significant, maybe a dangerous situation or some other challenge.

I was right. It was subtle, but powerful and came in the form of a number of important realisations about myself. It had slowly started while tramping, and gained real speed in my week at Anahata Yoga Retreat high up in the hills of Golden Bay:

I had no previous experience with yoga and in fact had never had any interest in yoga before. But I had heard that Anahata was pretty much a “white zone” i.e. minimal electro-smog . As I felt I needed more time for emotional-spiritual work than I would be able to have while tramping, it seemed like a good place to be.

Main house:

Atma Mandir where classes are taught:

It was amazing. It’s changed my life, in every regard. Body, mind and spirit. It was cathartic, uplifting and healing, all at the same time.

I was so well taken care of that I could really relax and focus on my inner work and not worry about electro-smog or my currently rather detailed dietary requirements (in fact, the food was outstanding). I was challenged in many ways, not just by taking in the new experiences from the various yogic practices, but also by what these experiences and my studies made me discover about myself.

“My” bench where I sat in the sun doing my study and thinking work:

Two months have now passed since my stay.  I have firmly integrated some yogic practices into my life. I’m well into the juice fast that the resident chef and nutritionist had suggested to me.

And I still think about Anahata every day feeling grateful for the momentum it’s given my journey to health, healing and wellbeing.

Fab Feb holiday – Kahurangi adventure

The second week of my holiday took me into the peace and quiet of Kahurangi National Park. It’s been my favourite park ever since I first visited in 2002, and this time turned out to be a a particularly interesting backcountry adventure.

That’s because of some really surprising contrasting experiences. The Anatoki-Waingaro track travels along a couple of river valleys, and I started off at the Anatoki end.

Basking in the morning sun at the start of the track:

On the first day, it was 99% easy walking along a well maintained benched track. But every so often, the track presented me with a real challenge with a windfall with no track marker in sight, or pleasant creeks with big boulders to navigate.

To my great surprise, despite the numerous creek crossings, I didn’t get my boots wet. And to my even greater surprise, on arriving in Anatoki Forks Hut I was greeted by a warning sign regarding hot water.

I first thought this was a joke until I went into the main room of the hut and saw the big water cylinder. This was for real! But as it was a warm day and I was on my own, I didn’t want to fire up the range and opted for a cold shower.

That’s until I turned on the shower and WARM water came out. Courtesy of the people who had been at the hut a whole 3 days earlier!

A day’s walk further down the track, there was another surprise waiting for me. A shelter that had only been opened less than a year ago and wasn’t on maps and track brochures yet. I had heard about it from other people so had decided to go there instead of camping.

The Soper shelter tent camp:

It was fantastic. A place of pure magic, and made with love. It was like stepping into Hobbit wonderland, with even small details having done with great love and attention right down to the toilet seat. It was very cold that night and I was shivering in my summer sleeping bag, but it was so worth it.

Lake Stanley, formed in 1929 by an earthquake:

Stanley river:

I usually had the huts to myself, but just when I felt like company, I got it. This was at Waingaro Forks hut,  a beautiful old style hut:

I shared the hut with a couple from Tasmania, and a veteran tramper and mountainbiker. Who had come up to the hut on his bike just to prove to his wife that he could do it. Not an easy feat by any means. He turned 65 the following morning.

Another 2 nights in a hut further down, and then a spectacular walk out thanks to clouds hovering

Reaching civilisation again, I was greeted by farmlands with a distinctly Bavarian look which gave me a short moment of feeling homesick.

Me at the end of my Kahurangi adventure:

Dusk in Golden Bay from Takaka campground: