This was the last year of normal for most people but it was anything but normal for me. After a spiritual awakening towards the end of 2018, I began to wonder if I was Jesus reincarnated. This experience was so profound that I began to let go of the life I had intentionally created in software development. After graduating from university I spent eight years of 70+ hour work weeks running and scaling a bespoke software development agency. In 2019 I was just beginning to see real dividends from all this hard work but it was time for it to end.
The unraveling of my software development life began with a passionate desire to follow anything that led me back to the love I met upon awakening. Amongst other things, this led to experimenting with altered states of consciousness, attending Sufi Dhikrs, Kundalini yoga classes, reading about Buddhism and Barry Long, ecstatic dance, and partaking in tantric lovemaking on a personal level. Soon exploring spirituality became an all-consuming interest for me.
This new interest meant that for the first time in my life, I made friends on a purely social basis. I did not set out to make friends but meditation, dancing, and all the other new activities resulted in me meeting many new people. The spiritual awakening left me filled with life force and immensely interested in other people and what they had to tell me - because I was convinced that everything I thought I knew before was utterly wrong. The result was new social groups and many new friends.
At the end of this year, I emptied my house of almost everything, sending the contents I wanted to keep in a shipping container. I wound up my company including ending the office's lease, finalising my taxes, and letting my staff and customers go. I am proud of how I let my staff go because I went all out to try to help them. I regret how I managed a few of my customers because I didn't finish my relationships as cleanly as I did with the staff. By that I mean there were some customers that depended on me that I only got around to telling them that I was leaving after I had left. Thankfully Teamviewer and Zoom exist so I could still help them until they transitioned to other companies. In contrast, I helped the staff find new jobs and helped them with the transition.
After leaving Sydney I drove up to Northern NSW. I didn't have a destination in mind but I intended to visit a friend. I ended up staying with this friend for a while until I received guidance that it was time to return to my family home, in Sydney, so I could join my family in helping my Dad pass. After a few months in Sydney, my Dad passed with me and my siblings by his side. Tending to my Dad at this time was a profound experience that allowed me to bring many of the practices I had learned the previous year into my life.
I also received the first clue that I was not Jesus when I was staying with my family. That is I recall getting angry at people but mostly I was Zen and accepting of the difficulty of my Dad's rapid decline. The saying, 'if you want to know if you are enlightened go and stay with your family' turns out to be accurate.
After my Dad passed my sister and I cleaned up the family home for sale, leaving my brother to throw out the garbage. When the family home was cleaned I left Sydney again and entered a short but meaningful relationship with a spiritual woman. She had much to teach me about how spiritual life was going to be and I had spiritual insights to share with her. The relationship encountered problems because I was more in love with the Universe than any one person, sadly this included her. In a break in our relationship, I returned to stay with my friend up North. During this time I attended yoga classes and from here I got told about an enlightened Bubba from India that was staying in a small temple. I turned up to meet him and met a spiritual equal. I got very involved in helping out at the temple and this meant the end of our relationship. Through a series of awesome coincidences, I managed to find land for my own temple while helping at this time.
I am aware many people were impacted by Covid-19 and the related lockdowns in 2020 but fortunately not me. I was mostly living out of my car in regional areas without lockdowns and I wasn't interested in news about Covid. The only impact I saw was a temporary dip in the share market in March. If I had more courage I would have invested more money but as it was I did okay from this sharp v-shaped price pattern.
This was the year that I moved to Nimbin. I also began a relationship with my closest friend from Sydney. This was a magical relationship that had many beautiful moments - I have written them down elsewhere but might move them to this blog later. I built a relationship with her son and we decided to try to for a child. I loved being a stepdad to her son almost as much as I did the relationship with her.
This year I also realised that I had so much to learn about community leadership and living on rural land, I still do but at least now I have some reference points. I should study more permaculture and carpentry. Looking back on it now I should have spent more time learning what to do before purchasing land but I got a great deal on some amazing land so it worked out well. It was just before regional areas rose in price because of Covid instigating tree changes.
I ran my first retreat this year and also found a fun groove for how to socialise on the land (sauna, pool, pizza, bushwalk, pottery and garden). I lay the foundation of many spiritual practices the non-denominational temple offered.
This was the year that reality hit me about the hardness of rural life. In March we had two floods with water levels higher than the government has on record. I came to associate rain with floods and uncertainty. This was a time that left its mark both on the land and my psyche.
During the floods, I noticed that the land leadership had been taken by a single person. Centralised leadership felt out of alignment with the mission of the temple so I mostly unsuccessfully set about to try and change the culture. This alienated the usurper and by the end of the year, I asked him to leave because he was upsetting too many visitors. I guess my instinct was right but I spent too long trying to fix the person rather than address the situation.
After recovering from the floods I started studying psychotherapy. My experience with men's work processes means that I have a good instinct for helping people and this is providing me with a theoretical underpinning for this implicit learning as well as a bit of paper to show I know what I am doing.
With reluctance, I resigned from my work with the Barry Long Foundation this year because it was beginning to remind me too much of other software work I have done where I get paid to do work that does not produce value. I need to remember that it is vital to me that I be involved with projects that have a tangible impact and that I will lose interest if this is not happening. I hope my resignation will mean the foundation will refocus on value-producing activities but only time will tell.
As soon as I decided that I needed to resign from the Barry Long foundation I picked up a role on the Aquarius 50 Festival Committee. This is exciting and I am learning a lot about how Nimbin works.
Sadly toward the end of this year, my beautiful relationship ended. I have been told that this was because she just wasn't that into me but I suspect it might be related to the fact that I got too attached to the idea of her coming to live with me so we could start a family. There were a lot of circumstances that made things hard, like the death of a parent, my ex's child's biological father not wanting to have his son move so far away, and more but the relationship was always good until it was no longer a relationship.
This year is filled with possibilities. It has only just begun and many interesting things have happened.
- I attended a self-development course that opened my eyes to where my life had gone off track since leaving Sydney. I could also see I have got a lot right - in particular prioritising experiences over things.
- I almost died from pneumonia and only recovered after a computerised energy healing. I know how strange this sounds.
- I have an exciting new relationship. I will keep this private for now.
- The stock market got off to a flying start and so I have a bit more money than I expected.
- I have realised it is important to travel while I am still young. I don't want to just be on this land till I get old.
I have organised to host many retreats on my land and I am now making plans to travel around the world. I need to think about what it is that I want to do when traveling. Maybe I will do some of the planning in this blog? I have experiences to have and memories to make. I am interested to see what impact marketing will have on retreat numbers and if I can make enough money on my investments so I do not need to make money elsewhere.
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