Category Archives: Adventure

Engage all your senses

Life is about living – fully engaging all your senses.

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With today’s modern technology so much is done on computers that our sense of sight – vision – is often dominant. It’s not like you can smell what’s on the screen or taste the food (not yet anyway). However there are so many memories and associations that are linked into our other senses – taste, touch, smell, sound and even the sixth sense of “gut feelings” that activate our emotions and enrich our lives.

Thoughts are so powerful, and combined with emotions, can take you almost anywhere. Such is the craft of a storyteller.

This is a memory of my childhood when I would walk up the hill behind our home to relax after school.

Reaching the top of the hill I would sit on the bare dirt and just let the thoughts of the day go – forgetting about anyone and anything that might be bothering me.

Finding an elevated site to sit and relax helps to lift you out of your troubles and gives you a different perspective.

Finding an elevated site to sit and relax helps to lift you out of your troubles and gives you a different perspective.

As the clamour of thoughts started to drift away with the gentle caress of the afternoon breeze, I could hear the distant hum of cars on the highway in the valley behind me and the rustling of the wind in the nearby trees.

Closing my eyes drew my other senses into focus. My skin felt clammy with the high humidity and a pungent, celery-like scent wafted in the air. My mind filled with images of the first time I had encountered the smell. It was when the family moved north to the tropics, taking the Easter school holidays to travel up the coast.

Life was a great adventure then. The week-long drive felt like a month off school. There were so many new, exciting things to discover and places to see. Like the celery-scented vine. We used our noses to sniff out where it was coming from, discovering a vine with weird, tendril-wrapped balloon-like seed pods. And how they were all excited at the first coconut they saw growing. I laugh now remembering how we were amazed at the size of it; not realising there was a thick, fibrous husk around the nut. Even trying to climb the coconut palm was a challenge, and then finding a way to remove the husk once they managed to knock a nut down. Everyone got involved, trying to smash the coconut with a hammer or saw it open, using different tools until someone had the bright idea of stabbing it with a screwdriver and leveraging the husk off.

Coconut palms at Clifton Beach. Councils remove the coconuts for safety reasons but is it taking away one of life's simple joys?

Coconut palms at Clifton Beach. Councils remove the coconuts for safety reasons but is it taking away one of life’s simple joys?

As we get older and caught up in the worries of the mind we tend to forget to find the fun in life’s simple pleasures. Councils decide to cut down coconut palms because the nuts become a hazard in cyclones or may drop on some unwitting person’s head.

Are we taking the joy out of life for future generations, so intent on staying indoors that they miss the incredible sensory input nature is constantly giving us?

What memories will they treasure do you think?

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Cruising in the Spiritual Zone

Once upon a time it was believed you had to escape to some remote community, mountain top or sacred cave to find spiritual insight and inner peace. These days it’s more likely to come on a luxury cruise liner with a few hundred other people all dancing and laughing together.

Alaska ship

Relaxation and releasing struggle is a sure way to alignment. Why not do it in luxury?

The idea of ‘vibrational resonance’ is the key to this change of heart. It’s the idea that when like-minded people gather together in joy and common intent, wondrous things can happen – inner peace included. This is spiritual cruising at its best, sort of like an ocean pilgrimage.

I succumbed recently and found inner peace, insight and exciting interactions with some 600 other Abraham-sters on a week-long Vortex of Attraction Cruise to Alaska 2015. We cruised on the 15-level Celebrity Solstice from Seattle, with 12 hours of workshops with Esther Hicks channeling Abraham, of The Law of Attraction fame. Our physical needs were taken care of in the lap of luxury, freeing our minds and hearts to explore the depths of our spirit and universal questioning. Not everyone aboard was signed up for the Abraham-Hicks seminars, but there were enough of us to be noticed and bring an atmosphere of open-heartedness to the ship. For some it was their 8th voyage with Esther.

There are plenty of Abraham videos on YouTube to view, but it is not the same as being in the theatre with Esther Hicks on stage and heart-felt questions coming from the Hot Seat. There seems to be a greater comprehension as your mind and body are uplifted to resonate with the answers. I found any question I had was answered, and many questions I had posed years previously were also resolved over the course of sessions.

The inner peace came from the recognition that so many others were in the same boat as myself, metaphorically and literally. Many of us felt at crossroads in life, wanting something better, feeling confusion as to the best path to take. The answer was to let go of our addiction to struggle and resistance to doing what was good for us and just going with our inspiration.

The answers we received were universal. Wayward beliefs were clarified. Intellectual ideas became felt as a ‘knowing’ in the cells of your being.

Among the gems of understanding were to stop waiting for others to understand you, because you become frustrated when they don’t – sending you out of your alignment.

Sometimes we feel the need to justify a happy heart to those who don’t have one. But Abraham says stop trying to change other people. Happiness is contagious, and often easier with strangers because of our non-attachment to the outcome (eg. wanting loved ones to be happy when they don’t want to be happy). If people ant what you offer they will gravitate to your happiness. You don’t have to prove it to anyone. Your freedom only comes when you can keep your nose out of other people’s business.

One of the key understandings that became more ‘cemented’ for me was that you don’t need to know where you are going – just line up with your Inner Source and it will give you the inspiration towards the next logical step. When you are in alignment, you become a co-operative part of the unfolding. Our human role is to listen and channel the energy of Source into the manifest/physical reality. And take comfort in the thought that it really is your (inner) Self in non-physical that is prompting you to that expansion. You can trust it. Align with this inner self and it will take you where you need to be. The journey isn’t always a straight one – as Esther found out herself as she was led the long way around the dining room to her table by her waiter – but at least it allowed everyone to see her on the first night.

What I found most powerful was Abraham’s comment that all non-physical energies are focused here and now on us in this point in time. It sounded so important. This is the timing of our physical bodies becoming aligned to carry the fullness of our non-physical selves – to be infused with Source and the fullness of our Inner Self – to be as much as we can be.

Abraham said all the components we need are here – shifting and moving so we can line up with them as we listen and follow our heart’s promptings. The joy is in the dance of lining up with each note in our life (and we had a great night of uninhibited dancing on board). And following as each note and tone flows to the next (as each thought/emotion moves to direct us to the next better feeling thought).

Alaska-valley

U-shape valley carved by glacier in Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska

And so unfolds the symphony of life/creation.

It really did make you feel like this is such an incredible time and place to be in.

When you are in alignment with your inner self, inspiration and events will flow naturally. With the speed of our modern life we are prone to overwhelm. Abraham’s answer in the face of overwhelm is that sometimes doing less can produce more. There are limits to how much activity we can do in a set time, he said. Taking time out to relax and align with a better feeling, replenishing your energy and vitality, helps you to hear the promptings of source which will create more ease and flow.

So taking a cruise, where everything is taken care of, gives you the alignment to hear the inspiration of source and feel at peace – for a while at least. It’s the perfect solution for getting in the ‘zone’.

Abraham-Esther Hicks is cruising Down Under in October 2015 with another South Pacific Cruise – the weather is sure to be balmy and the ocean views incredible.

  • Sheree Scott is a freelance writer and massage therapist based in Kuranda, Australia. You can connect with her on Facebook at AuthorSMScott

Out of the darkness

 

There are hidden treasures in the great grasslands of north-west Queensland and not all of them are gold and sapphires, as I discover on a drive along the Savannah Way


 

Undara lava tubes were created as rivers of hot lava flowed across the land some 190,000 years ago.

Undara lava tubes were created as rivers of hot lava flowed across the land some 190,000 years ago.

Unexpected warmth emanates from the cavernous tunnel before us. Its source is not the river of hot molten lava that formed this high semi-circular “tube” – that cooled about 190,000 years ago. Hardy bushes now grow in the tumble of rocks at its entrance.

It comes in waves as if the cave is breathing.

Behind us the temperature is dropping as the sun sinks towards the dry savannah horizon. We wait patiently, eyes keenly peeled for any sign of movement. But the warmth endures as the sun sets over the savannah behind us, glowing deep orange.

Sunset over the western Queensland savannah at Undara Volcanic Park

Sunset over the western Queensland savannah at Undara Volcanic Park

A faint odour wafts from inside the cave, hinting at what’s lurking inside. I try not to breathe too deeply or make any sudden moves. Voices are hushed as we all focus on the darker depths of the lava tube.

Minutes pass. There’s a rush of air past my shoulder. I duck as movement flits past my face.

These are the scouts, checking if it is time yet. The light is dimming and the flash of wings comes more often, disappearing back into the cave’s depths. My eyes adjust with the fading light.

Before long there is a swirl of 20 or so tiny creatures circling in the cave entrance only metres in front of me, building up confidence to venture past. A 5cm fur-ball zips past me into the cool dusk air – followed by another and another. As if on cue, hundreds of resident horseshoe and bent-wing microbats dart for the surface en masse.

Out of the darkness there's a rush of wings

Out of the darkness there’s a rush of wings

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The sheer numbers make them easy prey for pythons which strike from the bushes crowding the cave entrance.

The snakes are more prevalent during the warm summer months – when bat numbers also swell with the breeding season.A python strikes (look closely for the bat wing as it swallows its prey).

A python strikes (look closely for the bat wing as it swallows its prey).

But the call of nature is strong and they continue to run the gauntlet to freedom and food. Finely tuned sonar ensures the bats don’t collide with each other or the humans vying to get a photograph but it is impossible not to duck as they whiz past.

Measuring only 5cm long and with a 10cm wingspan, thousands of the insectivorous microbats emerge from this particular lava tube at Undara every night. The creatures need to eat their own body weight in insects before the sun returns at dawn and play a vital role in the  web of life on the savannah.

Our Savannah Guide Ivor Davies says the bat population can swell to a million during the summer breeding season, taking up to 90 minutes to vacate their daytime abode. During winter there can be a steady stream of creatures for 20 minutes or more. The effect is mesmerising.

This is the excitement of the Sunset Wildlife Tour at Undara Experience, a national park-based tourist facility some 275km southwest of Cairns on the Savannah Way, in north Queensland.

The lava tubes are among the longest in the world – more than 90km long – formed as an estimated 23 cubic kilometres of molten lava flowed in rivers from a single volcano across the McBride Volcanic Province. It is one of the longest lava flows from a single volcano in modern geological time, spreading more than 160km to the north-west.

For more details go to: Undara Experience, Undara Volcanic National Park; Ph 1800 990 992; www.undara.com.au

This is just one of the natural wonders of the north-western Queensland section of the Savannah Way, a 3699km trans-national drive from tropical Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef to the remote pearling town of Broome, in Western Australia.

Flyboarding out of a rut

Rise above it all with Flyboard Cairns - Ironman meets King Neptune. Picture courtesy of Flyboard Cairns

Rise above it all with Flyboard Cairns – Ironman meets King Neptune. Picture courtesy of Flyboard Cairns

Sometimes life gets so mundane we can’t see our way out of the rut of our daily routine – when you can only see what needs doing rather than what you feel like doing.

When I find myself in this state I know that drastic action is required. Another time this happened I signed up for the Minjin swing – being winched several storeys high up a metal tower and freefalling for several seconds before the swing kicked in and shot me out across the treetops at Kuranda markets. It was such an adrenalin-rush my knees were knocking so much afterwards I could barely stand. Great fun.

So this time I was sitting around feeling swamped by all the weeds that had overtaken my garden when I thought of Richard Branson.  Now that’s a man with a sense of adventure. I can’t imagine he even lets the word “boredom” into his vocabulary. He’s a superman of extreme action!

Now by the Law of Attraction, what you think you draw to you. And what you think about with emotion comes even faster. So, as it happens, the last time I felt really excited was watching a TV segment about this great new sport of Flyboarding. It looked fantastic – the presenter hovering above the water like a superhero with white water jets streaming out below his feet like some rocket exhaust.

It was a case of Marvel Comics’ Ironman meets King Neptune  – or science-fiction meets reality.

So a few days after musing over “what would Richard Branson be doing now” I was offered the chance to go Flyboarding. I didn’t even know Flyboard Cairns existed at that stage. With a mix of trepidation and anticipation I agreed to do it.

After all, when the Universe brings you what you ask for it is only polite to go with it.

Watching YouTube footage of the pros jetting 15m high did little to quell the fears of friends and family who know my mind often gets carried away with things my body is less capable of. But I knew I needed this. Balance and flexibility could be an issue – so I trotted off to an osteopath to ensure my spine could snake as much as the young bucks and beach babes on the flyboardcairns.com.au website – fat chance really.

Palm Cove with Double Island in the distance

Palm Cove with Double Island in the distance

Come 9am Saturday and it is a sightly-overcast day at the beautiful spa-spangled Palm Cove, about 30 minutes’ drive north of Cairns. The gentle blue-green swell of the Coral Sea is enticing. I make a mental note of an advertising board offering discount massages outside one of the hotels – may be needed after I’ve finished.

As I rock up to their beachfront setup opposite The Reef House resort, Flyboard Cairns director/instructor Luke Kanowski assures me it this brave new extreme sport looks a lot harder than it is. Fellow director Chris De Santo says it generally only takes 10 minutes of instruction to be standing up out of the water and 15 minutes to learn to manoeuvre on the Flyboard. There are no weight restrictions (big relief) and about 20 per cent of their clients are aged 55-70 (out go my preconceived ideas that this is just for the young guns).

After squeezing myself into a full-body wetsuit and helmet, safety briefing over, and I join Chris at the jet-ski to get strapped into my jet-boots. Facing into the waves, the jet-ski powers up and the exhaust water quickly fills the 20m hose connecting us. As it exits the two metal pipes on either side of the Flyboard I start to move forward. The feeling is weird – effortless. Alternatively bending one knee or the other effectively controls your direction. We head for the safety of deeper water. I practice circling the jet-ski. Tilting my toes upwards and miraculously I rise up out of the water like some sea serpent. Nerves kick in as I get higher, losing balance and falling into the sea. Chris assures me that from the beach it would appear that’s what I meant to do. Yeah, right. We practice dolphin dives and work up to hovering. I make it up to 1.5m above the water. It feels more like 4m. I come crashing down on my side – my humpback whale breaching impersonation.

Up, up and away

Up, up and away

Getting my balance

Getting my balance

Beginners can usually get up to 1-2m high, Chris says, up to 4m for those with nerve and balance. With extended repetition it is possible to hover up to 5-8m, he says, with pros reaching 15m and top speeds of 20km/h.

“It is more about style and aerial stunts,” Chris says, which excites these pioneering sportsmen the most.

“It is so new, we don’t know what we can do,” Luke says, likening it to the advances in skateboarding tricks since the 1970s. “We don’t know what is possible”.

Flyboard Cairns instructor Luke in action at Palm Cove

Flyboard Cairns instructor Luke in action at Palm Cove

With that in mind, the guys are hoping to attract flyboarders for a North Queensland competition in 2014, with the aim of taking a team to national and world competitions at the Gold Coast and in Qatar at the end of 2014.

So far the tricks include backflips, dolphin dives and variations such as the twister/tornado and corkscrew. It takes “twisting by the pool” to a whole new level.

Thank you to Chris and Luke for blasting me out of a rut. And I didn’t even need the massage afterwards. Highly recommended.

For more info: check out www.flyboardcairns.com.au

(Flyboard session provided courtesy of Flyboard Cairns.)

Dolphin wisdom to release stress

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Dolphins to me are the epitome of playfulness and with so many people apparently struggling with different situations in their life at the moment (Danni Minogue on X-Factor re: death of a loved one) I thought it might be timely to share some of the lessons Onni the Dolphin shares in The Quest of Jesse Greene.

Read on to find out how Onni tells Jesse how to breathe and flow with his emotional stress. 

Excerpt:

Wrapped up in his thoughts, Jesse was startled as a fin sliced through the water towards him. He scrambled to his feet, desperate to get out of the water and beyond the reach of any hungry jaws. His heart was racing as he back-peddled up the beach – not taking his eyes off the ominous fin carving through the turquoise calm. The silent menace moved ever closer on the rolling swell. A larger wave picked up speed and sent the creature streaking straight towards Jesse, the dark shape beneath the water turning side-on in the shallows as it stopped before him, a beady eye turned up to the surface.

Instead of the jaws of death, Jesse was facing the toothy grin of a bottle-nosed dolphin accompanied by a cheerful burst of clicks and whistles. The dolphin was laughing at him.

“Hee, hee, hee, I had you going there,” the dolphin joked, in an excited, high-pitched voice. “You need to learn to breathe more. Breathe like Dolphin and you won’t be so easily scared.”

… “Breathe like Dolphin,” he said, rolling over slightly to show Jesse the small hole on the top of his head. It opened and closed with each breath in an effortless, calm rhythm – te puuhhh kihh, te puuhhh kihh, te puuhhh kihh – even the sound was relaxing.

 “Take deep breaths and hold. Then let it out in a burst,” Onni continued. This time the air rushed out all at once, making Jesse jump in surprise. Onni let out another burst of infectious dolphin laughter.

“The air brings life-force to your cells. Hold your breath to allow it to absorb into your body, then exhale in a burst, like you are spitting out the old stuff – you can even spit out the tiredness in your body, any thoughts and fears that are worrying you.”

Jesse gave it a go. There had been so much to worry about recently that it wasn’t hard to find those thoughts that he wanted to let go of…  His chest felt ready to burst, there were so many thoughts to gather up. Finally he could hold it no longer and it all came out with a massive PUUHHHH. His head was spinning.

“Not so much at once,” Onni laughed. “You looked ready to burst.”

… “You’ve got to learn to enjoy life, have fun and play,” Onni encouraged. Dolphins are well known for having fun – surfing on the bow waves of ships, leaping out of the water and somersaulting for no apparent reason other than the joy of it. Onni swam a few circles around Jesse and lifted his sleek grey body vertically out of the water using his powerful tail, giving a few cheeky clicks at the same time.

The dolphin’s playful attitude was infectious and Jesse laughed along with him.

“To feel the water flow over your body is to feel alive,” the dolphin said, rolling a few times in the waves. “You know, water is like your emotions. You need to let them wash over you rather than knock you around. Whether they are stormy seas or a period of calm, do not be afraid. Just do what is needed at the time. It is all good fun in the end. Learn to swim in the emotions of it all – and remember to breathe when it all gets too much.”

(Copyright – From The Quest of Jesse Greene by SM Scott.)

 

 

Karumba surprise

ImageCrocs, prawns and barramundi aren’t all that the Gulf town of Karumba in northwest Queensland has to offer. I was recently surprised to see the diversity of wildlife on a Savannah Way drive out that way hosted by Tropical Tourism North Queensland (TTNQ for short).

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It was the time of the June “super moon” – the moon being at its closest distance to Earth – and we were treated to a beautiful sunset, moonlit night and stunning moon-set the next morning (pictured) as fishing boats headed out to sea at all hours.

Fishing is a big drawcard for the Gulf of Carpentaria, but take care, the reminder that this is croc country can’t be missed by the 8.63m Krys croc statue (pictured top) on show in nearby Normanton’s main street. The original crocodile was shot by a woman, Krystina Paulokski, on the banks of the Normanton River in 1957. The river empties into the Gulf of Carpentaria at Karumba, some 832km from our starting point on the eastern coast at Cairns. For travellers short on time, Skytrans has regular flights from Cairns to Normanton, with car hire available.

Karumba isn’t just for the fishing enthusiasts, although it certainly reels them in every year. Birdlife abounds, including the tall grey brolgas on the Muttonhole Wetlands, which extend some 30km inland. There’s a great little waterhole near the road at Karumba Point where pink galahs gather in the evening to drink and wading birds can be seen in droves in the early morning, sifting through the shallows.

Kites gather on the powerlines around the town like pigeons do in other cities. Agile wallabies dart across the golf course and feed by the roadside at dusk.

We head for the boat ramp as fishermen return with their catch, one visitor proudly lifting two barramundi from the large coolbox in his dinghy. Others are casting for bait as pelicans wander the beach in the hope of an easy feed.

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The town has good accommodation for anglers, from the character holiday unit of Bunratty Castle (pictured above), built from bricks carried four at a time by bicycle from the old town meat works, to multiple caravan parks and the spacious Ash’s Holiday Units and Café, which has rooms for up to six people and does a massive cooked breakfast to keep you going all day.

As the sun sinks lower, the focus shifts to Karumba Point. Watching the sun set over the water, some three days after watching it rise over the Coral Sea north of Cairns at Palm Cove, is a fitting end to this segment of the Savannah Way drive. In between is a wealth of open skies, surprising natural encounters and a rich mining and pastoral history.

Hope you can come and explore it too some day soon (dry season or winter is the best time).

Check out drivenorthqueensland.com.au for trip ideas.

Nature vs technology – the irony

ImageAre you a nature-lover or a techno junkie? Or can you be both?

Life is full of paradox and irony. I am all for irony – not ironing, but irony – that funny word to “describe a situation or result that is the direct opposite of what was intended or expected” (Collins Australian Pocket Dictionary).

Starting this blog is one of those ironic, paradoxical situations of nature vs technology. I love nature. Being in it, doing in it, and even just sitting in it. Technology (think electronics/computers mainly) is at the other end of the scale – one that fills me with dread. While I love what it can do and what it gives us, it does have that tendency to be “unnatural” for me.

So I find it ironic that in my quest to publish a novel aimed at inspiring people to leave their computers and reconnect with nature that I have to take myself indoors, away from nature, and spend hours at my computer to explore new reaches of the cyber world as I learn to blog. But hey, that’s what life is all about in one way – discovering new horizons and venturing out of your comfort zone.

So welcome to my latest adventure as I seek to publish the Quest of Jesse Greene. I hope to share a lot more with you – be it adventures in nature and beautiful places to visit, adventures in thought – “taking thought beyond where it has gone before” to quote Esther Hicks; or an adventure in the unexpected – the realms of spirit and dream time (sleepy dream time rather than traditional Aboriginal).

Please bear with me as I find my feet and share with you. All I ask is that you bring an open mind and a sense of adventure as we enter this brave new world (to me anyway). I have been a slow starter, toying with my facebook page while not actually inviting anyone there… so please be the first to like http://www.facebook.com/SMScott, I do actually have stuff on it!

Check out some of the things I love – some of it funny, some inspiring and other stuff that’s just plainly baffling – like this picture:

ImageSince when were wheels called a Cube?