Why I love Melbourne

I often get asked why I love Melbourne so much.

This little clip from my recent drive to Tullamarine Airport shows why.

It’s the green, it’s the trees, it’s the shape of the land, the sky, the changing weather…. not to mention the MCG and Punt Rd, Richmond.

No matter how far I travel, it is home.

#enlightenedtraveller#lovemelbourne#loverichmond#libbykinna

I often get asked why I love Melbourne so much. This little clip from my recent drive to Tullamarine Airport shows why. Its the green, its the trees, its the shape of the land, the sky, the changing weather…. not to mention the MCG and Punt Rd, Richmond. Will be a great night for Carols by Candlelight. #enlightenedtraveller #lovemelbourne #loverichmond #libbykinna

Posted by Enlightened Traveller on Monday, December 23, 2019

A humbling lesson in Universal Trust

Every evening I sit, reflect and review.  I enter my sacred room, I light candles, play soothing music, place a cashmere wrap over my shoulders, choose a crystal to hold, open my journal to a blank page and ensure a pen is handy.  I sit and allow.  I connect deeper into self.  I clear the day of its busyness, my mind of its to do list and wind back through the activities.  It’s a time to commune, to listen and allow. 

Four months ago during this time, I felt a flutter in my heart.  The slightest of sensation that filled me with joy and wonder of ‘what if’?  What if I did return to Scotland?  To live and work and immerse myself in this land and its people for an extended period of time?  This flutter in my heart expanded my senses and woke me from a slumber.   It was delicious.  I took some preliminary steps.  I researched ancestry visas, I spoke to real estate agents about listing my house for sale. I took a contracted part time role at work.  Three months.  At the end of those three months I would go.  November 2019 I would be in Scotland.  A commitment made to self and the Universe.  The smallest of flutters, the wildest of drams.  

It is now November.  Where am I?  I am not in Scotland.   Speaking with my counsellor this morning we went exploring.  Just how did this happen?  What didn’t I do? What did I do?  Quite literally, I went back to sleep.  I ignored the flutter.  I continued to work, get swept up in the day to day, stayed in my box, I didn’t feed the dream.  I allowed laziness and unworthiness to drive.  I let the fear take over.  Fear of not selling the house for the right price, not having the funds I would need, fear of leaving my kids, fear of what others would think, fear of what I would think, fear, fear, fear, fear, fear….. Yet I wasn’t aware this is what was happening.  I remained unconscious to the internal dynamics playing out.  I didn’t trust in myself or in the Universe.  Fear was in the driver’s seat.

My tiny little mental thought it new better.  It thought it new the way.  Three months ago when ‘we’ did the numbers I didn’t have enough to cover the expenses so I stopped.  The numbers on paper didn’t add up the way I wanted them too.  I backed out.  I didn’t trust the feeling.  I ignored my heart.  The whisper of my heart that said “it’s okay, we’ve got this,  just take the step”  I didn’t listened.  There was too much fear going on.  Fear interference.  So I continued my life as I knew it safe in the knowing that ‘one day’ I will have the money. 

Four weeks out from that November 1st dream I received unexpected additional financial resources.  The exact amount of money that I needed for the trip to Scotland in November.  I was simultaneously grateful for the gift and felt like the wind had been kicked out of my guts.  Here it was.  Exactly what I needed.  ‘She’ knew, she delivered the financial resources I needed.  And I wasn’t ready.  I missed the boat.  I didn’t follow through on what I was guided to do 12 weeks ago.  I decided out of fear and thinking I knew it all that I wouldn’t have the money, so we will wait. 

Right now though I feel out of place.  I should be in Scotland.  It feels like a part of me is there.  It is waiting for me.  For me to get my shit together and catch up.  There was an opening and I missed it.  I feel like I missed the sliding door moment.  I have to work with how this feels now.  I need to ensure it doesn’t happen again.  I need to trust that another opening will present.  I will be ready.

Now the money is there, it’s available.  But my house isn’t sold, I don’t have the visa, I don’t have a flight booked and the work isn’t lined up.  The Universe was there and ready.  I wasn’t.  I feel ashamed for not listening and trusting in her.  I feel humiliated in the realisation that I allowed fear to be in the driver’s seat.

Now I will listen, I will follow and act.  The Universe speaks through feeling.  Feeling through the heart.   My head is where the limitation lies.  My heart is the connector to all that is, to Universal flow, the oneness of all life, the biggerness of ‘I’ as soul, as spirit in this body.

Travelling as an insightful spiritual pilgrimage

Fascinating article published in the Journal for the Study of Spirituality (Beres, 2018) exploring how travel can become a spiritual pilgrimage.

Reference

Laura Béres (2018) How travel might become more like spiritual pilgrimage: An autoethnographic study, Journal for the Study of Spirituality, 8:2, 160-172, DOI: 10.1080/20440243.2018.1523048

Why do memories come flooding back when you visit places from your past?

my happy place, Frozen @ Chapel St, South Yarra, Melbourne

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/insight/here-s-why-memories-come-flooding-back-when-you-visit-places-from-your-past?fbclid=IwAR0iXzppBkV85wDdE5lNiB7CcMPtza1_IYSvsR-y10DdbQf-N_zW8GAUuP8

I came across this interesting article on SBS which shares of the scientific theory behind this experience. Known as contextual-binding theory.

It is well established that learning in the brain happens by a process of association. If A and B occur together, they become associated. Contextual-binding theory goes a step further: A and B are associated not just with one other, but also with the context in which they occurred.

What is context? It’s not just your physical location – it’s a mental state that also comprises the thoughts, emotions, and other mental activity you’re experiencing at a given moment. 

Adam Osth Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne

Looking at photos of past family members triggers moments of past family experience. The article goes on to share that our brain is like a google search engine. The clearer you are in what you are searching for the better results will be retrieved, same with your memory.

Every time I travel back to Melbourne this mass of emotions, feelings and memories come flooding back. Whilst I have fond memories of Melbourne, actually being there amplifies my experience and deepens the feelings.

Why I’m an ancestral searcher

Ancestry.com provided me with a sense of belonging at a time in my life within which this was missing. Recently divorced, my adult kids transitioning into adulthood, my identity smashed; what I belonged to, my family, home and roles as a wife and mum were gone.

Along the River Tay, Dunkeld, Scotland

In a massive process of re-identification – who and what I identified as was required. Often painful and disorienting the need to belong became paramount. Through belonging I could begin to anchor my roots, connect, docking station – slowly begin to anchor to spread my roots in the newly turned soil.

Belonging is a basic human need. Only through its absence did I experience this. But what and who do we belong to? Ultimately we reach a point where the truest sense of belonging is to oneself. Deep within we belong to our core, our centre, our conduit as spirit. Until such time that sense of belonging to external may be necessary.

For me tracking back through my ancestral lineage provided a belonging not only to people but place.

This sense of place, belonging to, I soon realised was important for me. To be connected to land and place through time became a stepping stone for my true connection to self. To become aware of sensations of Googling place of continents far away over oceans to lands not seen, showed me the eternal aspect of self. Some places were so familiar I could smell the air and feel the earth under my feet from sitting at my desk. Names of places such as Dunkeld, Perth… suddenly I was transported to other times. The familiarity soothing, a reminder of previous life times. ‘I’ as spirit had traversed these lands. I belong ‘there’ and I do ‘here’, all co-existing simultaneously.

So gently through researching I came to know that I indeed belong to many places, through experiences and that the imprint of experience is carried within. I belong where I am.

Ancestral searching for me played a key role in re-identification, providing a sense of belonging to place and ultimately self.

#libbykinna #enlightenedtraveller

“a table for one please”

Changing my solo dining experience

One cold blistery early March evening I checked into this tiny little hotel ‘The Bosville’ in Portree, Isle of Skye.  From the outside it was like every other building in the street. Only one thing differentiated it.  There was a soothing light emanating from the tiny windows.  It was a welcome sight after the long day journeying through from the Scottish lowlands into the highlands, weaving through Glencoe  and finally ‘over the bridge to Skye’. 

Whilst the sun had come with me most of the day, the clouds had rolled in later in the afternoon and the rain with them.  I was weary, wet and hungry.

Dulse & Brose Restaurant, Portree, Isle of Skye 2019
Dulse & Brose Restaurant, Portree, Isle of Skye 2019

In anticipation of the later than usual arrival, I had rung earlier and booked a reservation for one in the restaurant ‘Dulse & Brose’.    A wise choice as time was to reveal.

I have always been challenged dining out alone.   At home its an easy one to avoid.  I just didn’t do it. However, when you travel it is often necessary to do.  Whilst the room service menu is convenient the options soon run out.  There is only so many times you can have a BLT or burger! 

At the beginning, dining out in the first hotel was confronting.  I was often placed in the corner and it felt like the waiters weren’t quite sure what to do with me.  I was very aware of how they were about me being there alone.  Then there is the judgments and pity often projected from others. In fact, I feel this is the greatest challenge; managing and trying to not be impacted by others thoughts of me and perhaps the stories they were making up around me being alone.  Combined with this were the stories I was playing in my own mind! 

In amongst all of this how is one meant to enjoy one’s meal?

A new experience awaits…

'a table for one', Dulse & Brose, The Bosville, Isle of Skye - March 2019
‘a table for one’, Dulse & Brose, The Bosville, Isle of Skye – March 2019

Greeting me in the small intimate restaurant was such warmth.  My body relaxed and my soul sighed.  The warmth oozed from the staff, to the music playing, the soft candles, rustic yet comfy table and chairs and the dimmed lights.  I was led to my table.  It was not hidden in the corner, but beautifully placed at the window, looking out over the bay as the sun settled for the night.  It was picturesque and prime restaurant position. 

I felt welcomed and valued.   Then to my delight the table was set for one person.  Not two, but one.  They had previously removed the second setting and in its place a small vase with flowers and a lit candle had been placed.  I felt cared for.  I had not experienced this before. Such a delicious experience.  

I didn’t feel like I was taking up space or not wanted (which often is the case).  The staff struck up a delightful conversation with me, which was so nice.  My food was mouth watering and presented with care.  It set me up for a relaxing and rejuvenating evening in my cosy room.

'The Bosville', Portree, Isle of Skye - April 2019
‘The Bosville’, Portree, Isle of Skye – April 2019

I had no hesitation when I booked ‘a table for one’ the following night.  I knew I was in kind hands. What I took with me from that experience was to ask in future moments to have the second setting removed.  It made so much difference as I continued my travels.  Staff where happy to do it.  “Ask and you shall receive”.

Along the way I also began to take a notebook and pen with me so I could write out my reflections of the day.  I made my dining out experience about me 100%.  Instead of worrying about what other was thinking, I used it to nourish my body and soul.  

One small action of setting the table for one, by the staff in ‘The Bosville’ made such a huge impact on how I saw and related with myself. 

It showed me that being alone does not mean second best.  It does not mean I am less worthy of experiencing a beautiful dining moment. 

That I can take up space and I matter.

www.bosvillehotel.co.uk

www.dulsebrose.co.uk

Three travel companions

Travel, whilst incredibly exciting, can have an impact on one’s health be it physically, emotionally or mentally.  We must take care of our body so that we can fully enjoy our journey and our return home.

I always have Rescue Remedy (a Bach Flower Remedy blend) with me and it’s a given it goes away with me. 

For overseas travel, I always ensure these three other natural products come too.

My 3 travel companions – Lavender oil, ABFE Travel Essence & Space Clearing Mist

Small enough to be carry on luggage they support me prior, during and post travel.  

Lavender oil

Make sure it’s a pure essential oil, not a fragrance blend.  I personally find it’s a great aid for sleep.  A few drops on my temples does wonders.  It can also be used in a bath (if you are lucky enough to have one where you are staying!).

‘Travel Essence’ and ‘Space Clearing Skin & Space Mist’ are both Australian Bush Flower Essences products. 

I have used flower essences for over 30 years now and am an accredited Practitioner. I truly appreciate their natural healing potential. 

‘Travel Essence’ is an infusion of over 10 bush flower essences.   The directions for use are on the bottle and in may assist in balancing and refreshing oneself while travelling.  I personally found it a great way to lessen the impact of jet lag.   It also helps me emotionally and to remain centered and grounded. 

The ‘Space Clearing’ mist is a spray infused with the flower essences and essential oils.  It can be used as a skin spray and it’s a delicate scent that refreshes.  Personally though its great to clear the energy of a room. Who know who has been in that room and bed before you! 

Clearing the space you are in is pivotal for good health.

The ABFE products can be purchased through health food stores as well as online. Lavender Oil can be found at chemists. I personally use and recommend Young Living Essential Oils. If needed they can be sourced through me directly.

http://ausflowers.com.au/

https://www.youngliving.com/en_AU

Any questions? email me libby@libbykinna.com.au

Travel as a transitional process

Travel is a powerful way to mark transition.

All we need to do is look at honeymoons that newly weds embark upon. It’s an opportunity for them to transition from living two single lives into a new one of union. Of taking time away from family and friends to be alone just the two of them. A time of deepening communion and laying a foundation for a new life.

hilltop town of Todi, Umbria Region, Italy 2015

The experience of a ‘gap year’ is traditionally used by school leavers to transition from high school to young adulthood. Grey nomads hit the road with their caravans in tow as they move from working life into retirement.

For me, my trip to Italy in 2015 marked a transitional process from being married to divorced. Two years after my husband and I separated I had saved enough to take myself for a few weeks to travel through Italy. My first overseas trip alone. It was scary in many moments yet as the days progressed I settled into myself in a whole new way. Its a beautiful world regardless of what one is going through personally.

In a somewhat interesting Universal play out my divorce papers were finalised in the courts whilst I was away. I left married and arrived back into the country divorced. The Universe leaving her mark on the importance of this trip.

I feel undertaking a travel journey during or following a separation and/or divorce can be a beautiful and healing process. The opportunity to take self away facilitates a transformative journey enabling one to reconnect with self in a whole new way. It enables the transition from ‘us’ to ‘I’.

Chapel St, Vans and frozen yoghurt

I’ve always had a thing for taking photos of my feet wherever I go. My daughter doesn’t get it. But that doesn’t matter anymore. I have quite a collection now of ‘feet’ photos – from Rome to Uluru to this particular one in Chapel St, South Yarra, Melbourne. It may just look like someone with their feet up having some frozen yoghurt. And yes I suppose it it!

my happy place, Frozen @ Chapel St, South Yarra, Melbourne

This particular evening though was a marker of transition. A sign to myself that I will be okay on my own. Twice a year for the past 8 years I have travelled back to my home town of Melbourne and soaked up the city – from eating at numerous cafes, to shopping along Chapel St, to soaking up art at the National Gallery, to taking in a show at the Regent Theatre, to watching ‘the Tiges’ win at the MCG – and always with my daughter.

I was on my own though on this particular cold and winters evening. It made everything even more delicious. Whilst the arctic winds blew down the streets, the trams rattled along breaking the evening stillness and everyone was rushing in doors to get warm, I was out eating frozen yoghurt at 9.30pm. Why because I could. No one was there to tell me I couldn’t.

It was my last night in this city and I had just returned from a country drive. I was out one more time to soak it all in. My last little shopping trip saw me purchase my first ever pair of Vans canvas sneakers – in blue – my favourite colour. Even to this day I treasure those Vans, quite symbolic – new adventure, new shoes.  Vans were always something my kids wore, they couldn’t believe I treated myself to my own pair. You would’ve thought the world had ended with their reaction.

So with my new shoes and warm jacket on I walked Chapel St one last time on this cold evening. There is something magical about the crisp fresh air hitting your cheeks to make you feel alive. I love it. The cafes never seem to close so I headed to one of my favourite cafes and treated myself once more to a healthy dessert, mango frozen yogurt topped with pomegranate seeds and coconut slivers. And to cap it all off I actually took a photo of that moment, not quite a selfie, but hey its a start.

Travel Massive

Thankful to announce I have just been accepted as an Approved Member of ‘Travel Massive’.   I am part of the Perth Chapter here in Western Australia.

Check out my bio at https://travelmassive.com/community/libbykinna .